NEWS & OFFERS: Qatar’s amazing rebooking offer and BA reveals extent of refunds, criticizes UK government

Qatar Q Suite

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Qatar’s amazing rebooking options and voucher update

Firstly, we previously reported people had been having trouble with using Qatar vouchers on discounted flights. If you struggle to use the voucher by phone for a promo fare, there is a way around it. Put the booking on hold and then phone atar to make the booking. The issue is down to agents not being able to make the booking by phone rather than not being allowed to use the vouchers for promo fares.

The airline also announced an amazing deal for its new booking and rebooking policy. It is so good some people thought it was a typo, but the airline has confirmed it is correct. For me, Qatar has been leading the way in the crisis in may respects, with providing preparation flights, full service on board and bonuses for taking a voucher. With this offer, they have continued to make me consider them as my airline of choice in the future.

The offer is for new bookings or rebooking valid for tickets issued on/before 30 September 2020 for travel up to 31 December 2020.

 

The options are:

  • Keep your ticket and use it when you are ready with the extended ticket validity, now valid for 2 years from the date of ticket issuance. You need to call to extend the validity.
  • 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.
  • Swap your ticket for Qmiles and redeem them towards reward flights, extra baggage or cabin upgrades. 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.
  • 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.

Sydney Opera House

So what is so amazing? Well, apart from the unlimited changes which is great as I have a booking for November which I may wish to change, the big deal is the 5000 miles. For context, the distance between London and Las Vegas is 5200 miles. So that gives you huge scope to change your bookings. And you can change the booking as many times as you want until the end of the year. 

If you were thinking of booking a trip to Australia for example. There would be nothing to stop you booking a trip to the cheapest place in S E Asia and then just moving the destination. Bear in mind you can’t change the country of origin, only the destination, but you can change the origin to another airport in the same country. 

Here is an example:

  • Stockholm to Singapore: £1411
  • Stockholm to Sydney £2373

It seems almost too good to be true but it says in the T&C you can reroute for free. I’m reminded of the crazy Iberia Avios promotion, but we are in crazy times. If you do plan to visit Australia or New Zealand but are flexible in dates, this also gives you an option to book for somewhere else you fancy nearby and then rebook if and when the borders reopen. 

You can book with Qatar here and find the whole policy here. 

 

BA reveals the extent of refunds and criticizes the government

IAG CEO Willie Walsh

You may remember earlier in the week I wrote about Willie Walsh appearing before the transport select committee. Willie has now responded to Huw Merriman the chair on the outstanding amount of refunds. However, BA employees estimate that the total is closer to 70,000 refunds outstanding. You may be waiting a while….

Here is the letter:

 

I do actually agree with Willie on one respect, what Matt Hancock said was pretty stupid, does he mean then that you can only go somewhere a bit rough abroad? Nowhere lavish on the cards…. Magaluf anyone? Or that he views holidays abroad as “lavish”. He has clearly never been to Magaluf with Ryanair. 

26 Comments on "NEWS & OFFERS: Qatar’s amazing rebooking offer and BA reveals extent of refunds, criticizes UK government"

  1. “He has clearly never been to Magaluf with Ryanair ” love that!

    I was slightly miffed by his statement too!

  2. So i can buy WAW-BKK from 26th december to 11th january and then change it to WAW-SYD?

  3. Bloody hell… 2.11 million flights!

    Still, even at 70,000 left to refund, that’s 7.6% of what they’ve already processed, so maybe 2-3 weeks to cover them off?

  4. Would second the comment about Qatar leading the way through all this. Flew back with them from Sri Lanka at end of March. Impeccable. Full service Q Suites and still running 2 a day Colombo – London even then. Experience last year London – Vietnam was the same. They put BA and others to shame.

  5. So can I just clarify please, I have a Qatar flight I booked in December 2019, to travel November 2020, so I can rebook, to change dates and/or destination within 5000 miles or get a travel voucher with 10% extra??

  6. Robbie Murphy | 15 May 2020 at 8:43 am | Reply

    BA confirmed they would refund the cost of my original booking but not the £125 extra I paid to change the travel date. BA cancelled the flights. Surely they should refund the full amount I paid. Do you agree?

    • It’s a tricky one. Did you change the date due to coronavirus or other reasons? I think legally you paid for a service to change the date and that was performed. If it was an upgrade it would be different.

  7. I was rather dumbstruck and somewhat offended by the no ‘lavish international’ holidays. To those who cannot afford same I’m sure their hard worked for couple of weeks in Spain is lavish. Luckily we can afford to take ‘lavish’ trips but at the end of July is our big family holiday in a villa in Spain, it’s not a big fancy villa but because it’s family, to me it’s ‘lavish. Desperately keeping my fingers crossed.

    • Let’s hope you are OK. At least with the quarantine arrangements for Spain you could comply and with those in place it seems more likely they could safely reopen the borders.

      • Thank you for your kind reply. I have read somewhere that possibly one might still get their holiday if a villa, BUT could mean basically isolating at that property apart from buying essentials etc…..

  8. For new bookings with Qatar too? So I could book a UK via DOH to Asia for say November, and freely change or also not fly for 2 years?

    • It says tickets will be valid for two years but that’s from booking not from the travel date. Yes you can have unlimited changes but it does say for travel before the end of 2020. The one thing that is not clear is that if you booked for November and then changed it, whether after December you could change it again. I would say probably not but it is not 100% clear.

  9. Martyn Ford | 15 May 2020 at 9:38 am | Reply

    Thank you, this is most intriguing. Does one not need to hold an Australian passport for Qatar to ticket an Australian destination though?

    • That I don’t know but I would doubt it as the border could reopen at anytime. You need one to travel but not to book. And with unlimited changes you could change it again.

  10. Excellent, thank you Michele.

  11. I don’t quite understand the first paragraph regarding using the vouchers. So you phone Qatar to make a booking with the voucher, put the booking on hold (is that the 72 hour hold you can do?) and then call (Q)atar back to complete the booking? So you’re calling the same ticketing agents back even though you say they can’t apply the voucher? It would be good to have that more clearly explained.

  12. Malcolm Reed | 15 May 2020 at 11:55 am | Reply

    I agree with your comment about Qatar becoming your “airline of choice”. My Platinum status is now renewed until April 2021, and topped up with 60 new QCredits. They’re an underrated benefit IMHO. I went from Gold to Platinum status last year and ended up with 100 QCredits, which gave me 3 out of 4 upgrades from Economy into QSuites on my ex EU flight to Singapore. 4th leg was upgraded anyway, with my status!

    Regarding the offer, to take advantage of the re-routing, do all legs have to be completed before the deadline (end of 2020)? Or would it be possible to fly out Dec 2020 but return later, say Jan 2021?

  13. I understand unlimited changes are free. What’s not clear is whether you have to pay the difference in ticket price for a change of date or destination. If prices go up & you need to change it could work out expensive if you do have to pay the difference.

    • From the people I know that have done it they have not been charged any fare difference.

    • When I tried to move my flights to a later date I was told I would have to pay the fare difference so I ended up having to take the refund. The policy very carefully does not mention this either way.

      • Interesting as I have not heard that from anyone else. Was this in the last few hours?

  14. Paul Francis | 15 May 2020 at 11:07 pm | Reply

    So keep your ticket for 2 years – presumably that is your original booked ticket ?
    if you change destination then does it have to be used by 31st Dec to your changed destination ? And is it just the outward leg or both by 31st dec ?
    I wish they would spell their conditions out in more detail.

    • To keep the ticket for 2 years you need to contact them to extend it. Yes you are right. It is not totally clear. The way I read it is that you need to be starting the outbound by 31 December to qualify. I will try to find out more.

      • Malcolm Reed | 16 May 2020 at 8:32 pm | Reply

        Yes, that’s the main stumbling block for me. I currently interpret it as “ALL travel must be completed by 31 Dec” but I’d love to be proved wrong!

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