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
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!