Qatar Airways found itself in big trouble yesterday after United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt decided to cut diplomatic ties with the state of Qatar (read more here).
This also meant that Qatar Airways was forced to at least temporarily suspend its flights from these four countries and limit the use of their airspace as well. This has caused huge disruptions to many and a LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email about this experience getting rebooked.
You can access Qatar Airways here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
My experience dealing with Qatar Airlines today:
Today, June 6 , I was scheduled on QR831 from BKK-DOH with a 2 hour layover connecting on QR1301 from DOH-CAI. Because of the bans against Qatar, instead I was transferred by QR to Oman Air, WY818 BKK-MCT with a 10 hour layover to WY407 MCT-CAI. Yep, 10 hours!
Last night I received a flight status update from QR telling me the DOH-CAI flight had been cancelled but I went to the airport anyway. On walking up to the check-in counter at BKK today, Qatar were aware of me and offered me a flight with TG and 2 connections with Saudia Arabian Airlines. One was Jeddah. I forget the other as I point-blank refused it. I couldn’t understand why QR would put me on an SV flight when it was their country that has caused all the problems. Why give them any business? Besides, I have deep-rooted issues with Saudia anyway, but that’s for another time.
Back to BKK Check-in, after a few other suggstions of my own in terms of routing they refused. “Ticket rules sir!” So reluctantly I took the Oman Air flight. I say reluctantly only because of the 10 hour layover in MCT. I did get to try their new 787-900. Nice aircraft, 2-2-2 format in J but service not a patch on QR. Again, made me realise what a gem we have in QR.
So I will arrive in CAI tonight at 11.40pm and have 3 days at the Conrad before the next unnecessary saga. On June 9 I have CAI-DOH-DXB on 1 ticket and then a new ticket DXB-DOH-CDG on another. Both are with QR. Both on June 9/10, back to back.
Knowing I had this trip coming up on the June 9th, I suggested to QR in BKK this morning they kill CAI flights altogether, let me stay in BKK for 3 more days ( at my expense ) and then on June 9th let me do BKK-DOH-CDG on QR. “No! Sorry sir, the rules”.
So, whilst I understand we need to expect inconvenience and while I sit here in Oman’s Lounge at MCT for 10 hours, because its 45C / 120F outside and because it would have cost $USD35 to go outside (which they would not allow anyway) in Ramadan, so no eating, or drinking anything in public before 7pm, there was no point.
All could have been easily solved/resolved with a bit of pragmatism or flexibility from QR. Would have saved time and money for me and them. And kept 1 customer very happy.
But rules are rules!
I am glad that Qatar Airways is willing to pick up the tab and rebook the affected the passenger to his final destination on another airline here (and probably paying a lot to other airlines in the process).
Cannot understand, however, why wouldn’t they just drop the Cairo flights between the two tickets, save some money for Qatar Airways and allow the reader to spend couple of more days in Bangkok.
Would like to hear what kind of experiences other readers have had with Qatar Airways rebooking process due to the flight ban?
There were some earlier reports that Maldives would have been affected too, but it appears that the flights are operating to the island nation. This would have affected me next month when I am taking Qatar Airways from Male to Mahe via Doha.