Qatar Airways’ new reschedule policy is crazy generous

One of the only airline flying through the pandemic has been Qatar Airways. While their traffic has been down, they’ve still been a reliable way to get to places for those who have to fly for whatever reason during this (hopefully) aberration in our lifetimes. Qatar Airways recently announced that they’d serve 52 destinations by the end of May 2020, and take it up to 80 destinations by the end of June 2020.

Qatar Airways, earlier this week, made public a fantastic new booking policy, which should help them stir up their bookings in the days ahead.

Qatar Airways’ Travel with Confidence Guarantee

Qatar Airways’ new “Travel With Confidence” guarantee just came into force a few days ago and has a reasonable element of benefit for the customer. I would call it thinking from the perspective of the customer and giving him all the reasons to buy, rather than postpone their travel purchase for the moment.

Qatar Airways Reschedule Policy

The new Qatar Airways policy is valid for all tickets booked through September 30, 2020, for travel by December 31, 2020. Here are all the range of options it offers to customers, in case they want to change their travel plans, or their plans change for whatever reason:

  • Hold onto your ticket value for two years from the date of issuance so that you can travel at a later date.
  • Exchange your ticket for future travel credit, and get a 10% bonus on the ticket value. Vouchers are valid for two years.
  • Make unlimited changes to the travel dates and destinations free of charge.
  • Swap your ticket for QMile and get miles at the rate of 1 US cent per mile
  • Get a flight refund if your flight gets cancelled.

First, there are many options on the table, and unlike Indian carriers, or many other carriers, they are not just asking you to suck up and take vouchers. Not just that, when you change your tickets, you can change the origin to another city within the same country, and change the destination to fly anywhere within a 5,000-mile radius of your original destination (as long as your travel is completed by December 31, 2020).

While it looked a bit crazy, Qatar Airways has indeed confirmed that these terms exist the way they are stated. Why are they generous you ask? Let’s say you booked a ticket to go to London by the end of the year for INR 177,679.

screens screenshot of a flight

Now, you no longer have any business in London, but you wish to fly to New York or Dallas instead. No questions asked. You can move your ticket to New York or Dallas.

a map of the world

If you wanted to go to SFO instead, however, tough luck, since it is about 5400 miles from London, the Qatar Airways promotion page supports these terms.

  • Rebooking fees will be waived if reservations are amended before departure (for travel on/before 31 December 2020).
  • Rerouting is possible from the same origin within 5,000 miles internationally at no additional charge.

Let’s say flights from India to another country did not start by that date. You can either roll over to another time or just cancel your ticket and get your money back. Or… cancel your ticket and get 1.1x of the money as vouchers. To be sure that this is no mistake, it has been highlighted in the guidance for Travel Agents as well. And this has worked as presented, even after an hour of booking, for some people I know who have booked.

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I think this is the ultimate flexibility an airline can offer and is offering to its customers. If you are going to be a while filling up your planes again, might as well allow people to move around their tickets in ways they could never before. Keeping that in mind, this is potentially an excellent promotion for those who can and want to book travel now.

What do you think of the new Qatar Airways Travel With Confidence Guarantee?

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Just for a aclarity!!!!
    So If i Book Mumbai-Doha-London in Economy class and it can be changed to shift Mumbai-Doha-JFK in Economy any time next two years with no additional charge? Am i correct?

    • Incorrect. You can change the Destination, travel dates, or even the point of origin in the same country (so BOM to DEL for example), but all travel needs to be in 2020 and all changes need to be made by 30/09/2020.
      The 2 year thing is a voucher that you can get but then you’ll have to book tickets at the prevailing rate when you decide to rebook tickets and no such free change benefits will apply.

      Side note, whoever reads this now has missed out on the offer. Qatar seem to have removed all inventory from the cheapest fare classes in economy and business so all tickets are ridiculously expensive now.

  2. I think you posted this a bit too late Ajay. This has been doing the rounds since Tuesday. 🙂

    Looking at your example, I actually won’t recommend booking Bombay to London at all – it’d be better to book Kiev, Baku, Tbilisi etc. London, Paris and even New York is within 5k miles of Kiev so easy to switch to those destinations if needed.

    I booked London to Tbilisi at a super cheap rate in September and then switched to London to Bombay during Christmas dates. Also got a nice fare class upgrade along the way so complain at all.

    Not sure if this offer will stick around if QR realise what folks are up to!

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