Qatar Airways Privilege Club More “Enhancements” Effective May 27, 2018

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In the spirit of the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan, Qatar Airways today announced “enhancements” to its Privilege Club frequent flier program that will take effect on May 27, 2018.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000

Privilege Club members are now required to pay a redemption booking fee that is PER SECTOR and the number of Qpoints earned (Qatar’s version of elite qualifying miles) is adjusted to the type of fare and length of the flight.

You can access Qatar Airways’ web page here.

Redemption Fee:

  • $25 per sector in ECONOMY
  • $50 per sector in BUSINESS
  • $75 per sector in FIRST

Considering that you always need (few exceptions with fifth freedom fights) to connect in Doha, this is basically just a money grab for the airline.

It is somewhat unclear if Privilege Club has really meant this fee to be per SECTOR or per DIRECTION.

Qpoints

Qatar Airways here tried to better align the number of Qpoints earned with the flight length and the fare paid (fare family).

Conclusion

This is really short notice for changes to the redemption fees and Qpoints earnings. Privilege Club informs members less than a week before these take place?

Qatar Airways is “bleeding” money due to the blockage instituted by its Gulf neighbors year ago and seems to be in look for ways to extract some cash from its frequent fliers. I am not fully convinced, however, that this is the right strategy. Should they try to make Privilege Club the best frequent flier program of the Oneworld?

We all like flying on Qatar Airways (at least I and my friends do) but I don’t know anyone why would use Privilege Club as their main frequent flier program.

Privilege Club recently “enhanced” the award redemption process (read more here). You can no longer call the service center but need to fill an online form that may be replied days later. Considering how fluid the partner award inventory is, this certainly discourages redemptions.

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