Qatar Airways is offering one of the most ridiculously awesome and passenger friendly policy I have ever seen in my many years of flying and blogging. Qatar Airways new change policy allows for passengers to currently change their travel dates, destination, and departure location 100% free of charge! The new travel with confidence policy is the best in the industry. The policy covers four options: Unlimited changes, Swap for Qmiles, Exchange for future travel, or a refund if your flight is cancelled. For this post, I am going to focus on Unlimited changes.
Qatar Airways Unlimited Changes
For tickets purchased before September 30, 2020 passengers can make unlimited changes to all tickets. Usually when you hear free changes, it refers to the dates, not the destination. Qatar Airways unlimited changes allows a passenger to get the most value from their tickets.
Update 5/17/2020: Voluntary changes can only be made 14 days after booking initial ticket. You cannot book your ticket and then change your departure and destination immediately. This policy may change again. Book and buy with caution.
Change Departure City
First, Qatar Airways is allowing passengers to change their departure city. Per the rules, passengers can change their departure city to any other city within the same county. Unfortunately for many countries, Qatar Airways only serves one destination. Fortunately for those in the United States, there’s a lot of wiggle room. One could book a ticket from New York and change the departure point to Los Angeles. Or from Chicago to Miami. If you move this year or find a cheaper fare from somewhere else, book the ticket from any point in the United States and change it later. Qatar Airways offers flights to Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and Miami.
The same change of departure city works great for others too. Those in the United Kingdom can change flights between London, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Birmingham. Other countries with multiple departure points include Thailand, Tanzania, Australia, China, Vietnam, Kenya, India, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, and more.
It is somewhat unclear if you can change to a codeshare flight. Per the rules there is a line that reads rebooking must be on a Qatar Airways flight. However, there is information about codeshares. I do believe codeshare (OAL) flights are only bookable if you initially booked an itinerary with a codeshare.
The ability to change your departure city is amazing. Many people can use this to their advantage to save a ton of money!
Qatar Airways is allowing customers to change their flight to ANY destination within 5000 miles of their original destination. When changing destinations, there is NO addition fares or taxes collected! If you buy a ticket with Qatar Airways to Singapore, you could change it to Sydney or Tokyo. Qatar Airways calculates the distance by the way the crow flies. The easiest way to calculate the distance is using gcmap.com. Enter the cities airport codes such as SIN-ZNZ to calculate the distance.
This change opens a slew of options. For example, I booked a flight for just $1632 to Kyiv. Yet within 5000 miles of Kyiv is most of Africa, Asia, and Europe. If you are seeking a vacation, Qatar’s generous change policy is nearly unlimited. If you are worried Europe will be closed to tourists, maybe Kenya, Oman, Thailand, or elsewhere will still be open. Flexibility is key. If you are open to changes, this deal is just for you!
Changes can be made as many times as you would like. Yet, it is important to note that your final destination must always be within 5000 miles of your original destination. One cannot sneak their way to Sydney by moving their turnaround point from Kiev to Bangkok to Sydney. The rules also do not mention anything about open jaws. I did not try to book an open jaw myself. I would love to hear if anyone has luck with an open jaw ticket.
It is important to note that 5th freedom routes such as Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh are not eligible for destination changes. If you do not route via Doha initially, you cannot change to route via Doha.
Finally, Qatar Airways travel with confidence policy allows for customers to change their flight dates. Once again, this allows for one to change their ticket depending on whatever is happening in the world. It’s not safe to travel in June, maybe it will be in September. No one really knows. Many countries airports are closed or have tight travel restrictions. To help deal with this, Qatar airways is allowing free date changes. Voluntarily changes are our best friend, and more importantly free!
The rules of the Travel With Confidence policy does require travel to be completed before January 1, 2021. Free changes apply for travel before the end of the year. If ANY part of the journey is on or after January 1, 2021 travelers must pay the fare differences. Then, only rebooking fees are waived. This means a Summer vacation may just become a Christmas Holiday instead. Just get home by New Years eve!
Customer Friendly Policies Will Be Remembered
Qatar Airways will go down in history for having some of the best travel policies during these uncertain times. Once this all passes, companies will be remembered for how they treated people. Those with poor policies will be shunned, and people will become more loyal to those with better policies. Customer loyalty goes a long ways.
Many companies are changing policies to adjust to the new normal. American Express is adding an addition $200 travel credit while Airlines and hotels are extending status. As the world adjusts, so do businesses. Regardless though, Qatar Airways Travel With Confidence policy is among the worlds best.
What do you think of this policy? Do you feel confident enough to book a flight knowing you must travel before the end of the year? Will you take advantage or are you staying home for 2020?