Take advantage of Qatar Airways new booking policy! Qatar Airways has recently changed their booking policy to make it insanely generous. Here are the details and how you can take advantage of this.
Overview Of Qatar Airways New Booking Policy
With the world economies starting to open back up, Qatar Airways has announced that they’ll serve 80 destination by June. However, a lot of people still don’t want to travel or even make plans for traveling.
What happens when your flight is cancelled? What if the coronavirus (COVID-19) is still a big problem? Will I lose the value of my ticket?
That’s why Qatar Airways announced their new “Travel With Confidence” guarantee. Many airlines have created new flexible booking policies, but Qatar Airways is so insanely generous that it deserves its own post.
Qatar Airways “Travel With Confidence” Policy
Qatar Airways’ incredible new booking policy is valid on all reservations booked by September 30, 2020 for travel through December 31, 2020.
Booking a reservation during this time period will give you the following options (read further down to see how you can take advantage of this):
1. Hold Onto Your Ticket
- Keep your ticket and use it when you are ready with our extended ticket validity, now valid for 2 years from the date of ticket issuance for greater flexibility.
2. Unlimited Changes
- You can change your travel date or destination free of charge, as often as you need, for travel until 31 December 2020.
- You can change your origin to another city within the same country or any other destination we fly to within a 5,000 mile radius of your original destination.
- Rerouting for voluntary purposes (ex. where there has been no flight disruption) is possible 14 days after making the booking.
- New flights must be booked in the same booking class. If the same booking class is not available, a fare and taxes difference may apply.
3. Exchange For Future Travel
- You can exchange your ticket for a future travel voucher with 10% additional value.
- Vouchers are now valid for two years from the date of voucher issuance.
4. Swap For QMiles
- Swap your ticket for Qmiles and redeem them towards reward flights, extra baggage or cabin upgrades when the time is right. For every 1 USD, you will earn 100 Qmiles that are valid for at least three years, so you can have the flexibility to choose how, when and for whom to redeem them.
5. Refund Your Ticket
- Rest assured, we will refund your ticket to the original form of payment if your flight gets cancelled.
Analysis Of Qatar Airways Rebooking Options
All 5 of Qatar Airways’ new options under their “Book With Confidence” guarantee are impressive, but 2 of them really stand out.
First is their option of giving you an extra 10% value for exchanging your ticket for future travel. Creatively speaking, you can simply book a flight, wait 14 days, and then cancel it for a travel voucher that’s worth 10% more. For instance, you can buy a random ticket that cost $1,000, cancel it after 2 weeks, and get a travel voucher for $1,100 to use in the next 2 years.
The second option, and the most interesting by far, is the unlimited travel changes. The key here is the sentence that states you can “change your origin to another city within the same country or any other destination we fly to within a 5,000 mile radius of your original destination.”
So along with no ticket change fees, you can alter both where you fly from and where to fly to without any charges so long as you stay in the same fare class!
What does that mean in practice? Again, putting the creative hat on, that means you can for example:
- Book a ticket from Philadelphia to Doha to Hong Kong and then change it to New York City to Doha to Sydney at no cost – changing the origin from Philadelphia to New York City is allowed as both are in the same country and changing from Hong Kong to Sydney is possible because they’re within 5,000 miles from each other.
- Book a ticket from Doha to Paris and then change it Doha to Boston at no cost because they’re within 5,000 miles from each other.
Sounds crazy, right?
Real Example Of How To Take Advantage
A woman who lives in New York City wants to travel to Sydney to check out kangaroos and koala bears. Looking for a cheap flight, she books a round-trip flight from Philadelphia to Hong Kong because it cost only $645:
After the 14-day waiting period Qatar Airways requires before one can make voluntary rerouting, she changes the flight to fly from New York and to arrive in Sydney (her intended flight) by calling Qatar Airways customer support number in the U.S. (1-877-777-2827) based on the new “Travel With Confidence” policy.
The customer service representative confirmed that she could make the change because Hong Kong and Sydney are within 5,000 miles of each other. About 5 minutes later the new ticket was issued with no additional costs, even though the new ticket would have costed her $2,344:
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What’s the catch?
When Qatar Airways first announced these new rebooking options, you could’ve rebook for no price difference as long as there was an available seat in the same class of service; economy for economy, business for business.
Qatar Airways has now modified its “unlimited changes” to require the new ticket to be at the same fare class or booking class as the original ticket – most likely due to people getting a little too creative with the generous policy.
A fare class (or booking class), further breaks out seats in the airplane with different sets of rules. You’ve probably seen this as descriptive words when you shopped around for a ticket, with phrases like “economy basic” and “economy flexible”. Each of these has its own special letter to symbolize what “fare class” or “booking class” it’s under.
Qatar Airways publishes all their fare classes on a chart at their web site:
As to where you can find what fare class you’re ticket is on, it’s usually listed somewhere in your flight details like this:
You can also find this in your booking confirmation email or the actual flight ticket itself.
The Bottom Line
While most airlines have changed their policies to be more customer-friendly, Qatar Airways new booking policy is especially generous. Even with the fare class restriction, you can still take advantage of this in many different ways.
If you think this is somewhat in the “gray area” of what’s allowed or not, don’t be. Qatar Airways fully knows what they’re doing with this policy and view it as a win-win situation. Airline carriers have already completely written off 2020 as a total loss, so if this gets people to book flights, they benefit from sales they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise and customers feel more confident to reserve flights with such flexible options.