A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email about a rebooking experience with Qatar Airways and claiming the changed flight with American Airlines AAdvantage.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I recently booked a flight Kuwait – Doha – Chicago ORD with Qatar in discount economy.
When I came to fly, my initial flight was delayed because of fog… and then cancelled.
Qatar wanted to put me on the next flight to Doha which would have meant I had missed my only option to get to Chicago that day, and put me up in a hotel for 24 hours in Doha and send me on the next QA flight to Chicago arriving 24hours late.
I refused this on 3 grounds:
- I am based in Kuwait, so if I have to layover part-way I may as well stay in my own bed.
- There were alternatives that could still get me to Chicago the same day.
- I was only scheduled to be Chicago for 3 nights anyway. Reducing this to a 2 night stay.
QA refused to re-route me with Royal Jordanian (the next available flight which would have got me to Chicago only 1 hour late) as they said that the Kuwait departure to Amman may still be affected by the fog.
After a lot of pushing – and me doing all the leg work to check that there was seat availability with the British Airways supervisor in Kuwait, QA booked / bought me a ticket for Premium Economy itinerary via LHR to Chicago which arrived 4 hours later than my planned QA via Doha itinerary. I returned via Doha on my originally planned itinerary 4 days later.
My questions are:
- Can I claim the mileage for the Premium Economy flight with BA…? This is especially important as it would put me within one more return flight of getting to AAdvantage Executive Platinum qualification?
- Was I within my rights to demand QA put me on the next available alternative itinerary?
Whenever an airline has rerouted me on someone else’s metal, I have received the elite and award miles for the actual flown class and not what was originally ticketed. Qatar Airways here reissued the ticket on BA’s World Traveller Plus cabin. You should have requested the updated eticket receipt that would have shown the actual ticketed fare class for the BA flights.
Airlines are often difficult when it comes to weather conditions and reroutes. They often claim that it is force majeure. Considering that Qatar Airways would not have been able to offer a better itinerary on their own metal and the reader’s short stay in the US, I think that being firm with the airline and having them rebook on BA was the right choice.
Airlines often do not offer rebooking on other airlines unless the passenger demands this even when this is their right. We have covered this many times here on LoyaltyLobby.
The reader should go and buy a lottery ticket. Getting Qatar Airways to rebook on another airline is quite an achievement, although they nowadays own 20% of IAG, which is the parent of British Airways (money stays in the same “family”).
When Qatar Airways rebooked the reader, he should have made sure that the AA number was on the boarding pass issued by British Airways. If it was there, the higher elite qualifying and award miles likely would have posted automatically. You can claim these after the flights took place but it just may take more time.