NEWS: Qatar improve offer to customers with 10% bonus, Iberia’s new policy and BA cut back food & alcohol

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Qatar’s improved offerings with 10% bonus

Whilst we may have all been moaning about BA’s sneaky ways of making you call for a refund, once you actually got through they have been pretty helpful. Nearly all the complaints that I have read recently have been about Qatar. The main issue appears to be that you simply could not get in contact with them, leaving some passengers completely stranded, never mind getting a refund. Finally, they seem to have woken up to the fact that they may actually need these pesky customers to come back and fly with them at some point…..

Today they released a press statement with their new policy:

“We appreciate this is a difficult time and that many people around the world are trying to find a way to get home. At Qatar Airways we continue to operate more than 150 flights per day so that as many people as possible can get home safely to their loved ones.

As of 24 March, we are operating services to over 70 cities worldwide. We are constantly reviewing our operations to see where there is more demand and requests, and wherever possible we will add more flights or bigger aircraft. This is a challenging time for the aviation industry and we are thankful to airports and authorities and their staff around the world for their incredible efforts to help us get passengers home.

We hugely appreciate the understanding and patience of our customers during a time of unprecedented call volumes and call centre closures due to government restrictions around the world.”

Qatar Airways has amended its ‘Travel with Confidence’ and flight disruption policies to give customers more flexibility. Customers who choose to receive a travel voucher for future use will receive the full unused value of their ticket plus an additional 10% of the fare cost as an added value offer.

They are also now offering refunds back to the form of payment you used when purchasing the tickets. Qatar are advising that a voucher is much quicker as the administration of a refund will take up to 30 days to process. But then they would say that!

 

Iberia

Iberia are also on the naughty list for not handling changes and cancellations well. They too have finally launched a new policy and an online voucher form.

If you have an Iberia ticket for a flight between 1 March and 31 may, you can exchange it for a voucher worth the same amount to be used for a flight on a later date. The voucher will remain valid until 31 March 2021, and there are no restrictions regarding travel dates or destinations. You can even spend them on more than one flight. To request a voucher, please fill out and send us this online form.

Changes of your ticket are also allowed for travel before 31 March 2021 with the following exceptions: 30 April-2 May; 1 July-15 August; 9-12 October; 4-9 December; 19 December-10 January; and 24-31 March 2021. To change your tickets, contact your travel agent or the Iberia call centre. You should only use the call centre only to change flights due to take place within the next 24 hours. Thank you for your understanding.

If your flight has been cancelled and you prefer not to fly and want a refund, you can contact your travel agency or contact Iberia through their usual customer service telephone numbers.

Iberia are planning their final long-haul flights so that customers can return home. In addition to this Iberia have been granted special permits for some repatriation flights to destinations where it is no longer allowed to fly. Over the next few weeks, Iberia will operate a very reduced programme to guarantee minimum connectivity in Spain.

 

BA cuts back food on board

I was due to be flying in April and I today received a message regarding my upcoming flight (still need to cancel it!). 

On short-haul in economy, M&S Buy On Board will be withdrawn and replaced with complimentary light refreshments, water and, on request, hot drinks. Club Europe get the same as economy. 

On long haul even in Club, First you will get pretty much bugger all!

“A selection of hot and soft drinks as well as some light refreshments. We will be carefully and hygienically preparing and packaging each meal before your flight.

If you have any special dietary requirements or allergies, unfortunately, these will not be provided for.

You are very welcome to eat any food you might have brought with you that does not require heating or chilling and we will continue to assist parents who need to heat milk for their children.”

So basically no alcohol and very little food! I have no idea why they can’t serve alcohol. Surely if they are worried about top-ups etc they could use the Club Europe individual bottles of champagne, wine and miniatures with plastic glasses. There is no difference from soft drinks! They are also only plastic plates and cutlery which I do understand. Obviously there are very few people travelling anyway except to get home, so I guess they will just be glad to get home. However, I would be a bit annoyed having paid for First to get virtually nothing to eat.

10 Comments on "NEWS: Qatar improve offer to customers with 10% bonus, Iberia’s new policy and BA cut back food & alcohol"

  1. Clive Fletcher-Wood | 25 March 2020 at 8:49 am | Reply

    If you haven’t cancelled your April flights yet Michele then I suggest that you do so promptly.

    My wife and I were due to fly LHR – JFK aboard BA113 on 01 Apr, returning (as a codeshare) on AA142 on 08 Apr. While I was in Myanmar until last week I received notification that AA142 had been cancelled and that we had been moved to an overnight AA flight. As soon as I was back in the UK I applied for the BA vouchers relating to these flights.

    Even though BA confirmed a few days ago that they were processing the vouchers both my wife and I are still receiving e-mails as if the flights had not been cancelled by our voucher request: including a further cancellation of the second AA flight, the catering arrangements that you mention, re-assigned seats on BA113 as a 777 is substituted for a 747, etc.

    If this continues then I anticipate having to call BA once we are within 72 hours of BA113’s departure time, but the BA system seems to be sixes-and-sevens with itself.

    • You don’t need to worry about getting the emails. As long as you have requested the voucher that’s fine. It’s attached to your booking. It is taking a long time to process them as they have been doing them manually. You don’t need to call them again once you have applied for the voucher.

  2. Hi Michelle, I think they have stopped serving alcohol for two reasons. Firstly to avoid to risks of drunken behaviour with violent passengers striking and spitting on crew which results in crew having to man-handle the passengers with zip-ties. This happens frequently onboard aircraft, hundreds on times a year on BA. Secondly, to reduce costs.

    • I assumed cost cutting. Interesting about the violent behaviour although they could just give you one drink!

  3. Not what QR just told me! No refund just a voucher!! And if I want a new travel date later in the year an extra USD2944 to be paid as fare difference.

    • This was an official policy that came out yesterday midday. So if you called after that then it could be they hadn’t seen it. I would call them back again and quote it to them. It will be on the website somewhere now too I would think.

  4. So disappointed with Qatar. There are flights for repatriation this week, from Adelaide to Athens, economy, 1 passenger for 10,000AUD. This is ridiculous! With 2 stops and duration minimum 29h

  5. Does anyone know where on Qatar site is says about the 10% additional if you take a voucher?

  6. Vouchers are all very well (with +10% extra or not) but I’d take a guess that airfares won’t be cheap when they re-start limited capacity routes again. Maybe sales will follow but it will be very interesting to see what capacity levels we get to, how many high margin corporate customers won’t return to flying as companies realise they didn’t need an office / in person meetings so often all the time… and if we loose Virgin along the way BA’s direct route pricing will no doubt be horrific.

    • Yes pricing is going to be interesting. I agree that initially there will be very limited capacity and high prices.

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