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’ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?