NEWS: QATAR AIRWAYS – lounge access on tickets booked via BA, they won’t remove lounge access for reward tickets & reduce award prices

Qatar Airways Business Class Al Mourjan lounge Doha review

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Qatar lounge access on tickets booked through BA

After the rather surprising announcement that the lowest business class fares with Qatar, now called classic, would not receive lounge access or reserved seats, we appear to have found a loophole. A reader asked a question regarding what would happen if you booked your Qatar tickets through British Airways. You are able to buy codeshare tickets for a number of Qatar routes via ba.com and quite often these can be slightly cheaper, so it’s worth having a look. 

Qatar have given more detail of the new fare conditions and in regard to booking via another airline it says “Customers booking through other airlines will benefit from the terms and conditions of the issuing carrier.” So it worth looking at prices through ba.com if you want all the benefits.

 

Qatar will not remove lounge access for reward tickets and have reduced QMiles ticket prices

Qatar A380 business class review - Doha to London night flight

Qatar’s Al Mourjan lounge Doha

Earlier this week a Qatar Airways spokesman started a flurry of activity across the US blogs after they told Australia’s Executive Traveller that they would be issuing all business class award tickets as R or U class or Business Classic which means no automatic access to Qatar’s own lounges. This would have included tickets issued with Avios by BA’s Executive Club on Qatar. This follows the announcement of a new fare structure where the lowest price business class will no longer be able to access Qatar branded lounges. 

Fortunately, it was either a lack of knowledge or a u-turn as they have now confirmed to Executive Traveller that “booking a Business Class award flight will receive the same benefits as before, including complimentary lounge access and seat allocation.”

Reader Phil alerted me to the fact that he had been looking at rewards and found that Qatar appears to be reducing the price on full price reward tickets, but does not seem to have changed the upgrades. This makes them very poor value if upgrading from a cheap business class ticket. 

Here is an example:

London to Doha business class Q Miles return: 86,000 Q Miles

London to Doha Business class Q Miles upgrade from classes (T,N,Q,O): 80,000

You can find all the rates using the QMiles calculator (I wish BA would do one like this, it’s very easy to use!)

You have never been able to access the lounge if you buy a day or departure upgrade with miles or cash. Prior to departure, upgrades with miles are already worse value since from 2018 they do not include lounge access or extra baggage allowance, only for the class you originally bought. Unless they lower the price in line with the full QMiles tickets I can’t see why anyone would bother with an upgrade!

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6 Comments on "NEWS: QATAR AIRWAYS – lounge access on tickets booked via BA, they won’t remove lounge access for reward tickets & reduce award prices"

  1. I booked business classic seats to Johannesburg this week with cash and was able to select my seats as normal at booking online at Qatar.

    • Do you have status in Oneworld? If not it could be they simply haven’t got round to changing the IT. Let’s hope it lasts over Black Friday. However if you don’t have status I would keep an eye on them. It could be if they change something to prevent that it could unassign the seats.

  2. A previous article indicates that if you booked business classic tickets with Qatar on their website and you had status with BA, you would still get seat selection and lounge access. I am looking to book flights (hanging on to see if there are any decent prices for Black Friday) and am BA silver. Would I get seat selection at the time of booking on their site or is this something that has to be done post booking via their call centre or online?
    Thanks!

    • It’s part of your Oneworld benefits. It’s automatic. If you book via Qatar you get access to non Qatar branded lounges and Oneworld lounges. If you book on a BA ticket you would get full lounge access.

  3. I was going to ask the same question as above- if I book the cheaper business class fare with Qatar (with no lounge access)- but I’m BA Gold- can I still use the lounge?

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