Qatar Airways has today launched new fare families and has removed lounge access from all standard business class fares that are not even cheap.
Business Class Classic doesn’t include seat selection, before checking in, or lounge access. You need to pay hundreds or thousands extra to book “Business Comfort” or “Business Elite” fare that comes with these.
You can access Qatar Airways here.
Here are some searches I made:
New York – Bangkok
The $4,5120 fare doesn’t include lounge access. You need to pay close to $2K more to have lounge access, and seat selection included.
London – Sydney
You need to pay 4,106 GBP to get lounge access and seat selection. You pay 900 pounds for these privileges.
Paris – Hong Kong
The fare that includes lounge access is 500 euros more expensive.
Here’s the release that Qatar Airways issues:
Members of Qatar Airways Privilege Club can earn more Qmiles according to the fare family they select
The airline will offer exclusive discounts at Qatar Duty Free retail and food and beverage outlets for customers booking through certain channels
DOHA, Qatar — Qatar Airways has launched new, simplified fare families across all travel classes in a bid to offer greater choice and flexibility to its passengers. From today, Qatar Airways will offer a total of six fare families. By travel class, these are:
- Business Class: Classic, Comfort, Elite
- Economy Class: Classic, Convenience, Comfort
Each of Qatar Airways’ new fare families offers passengers a clear, distinct set of products and services designed to meet the different needs of its broad range of customers. For example, passengers booking Economy Class tickets will receive an additional five kilograms of checked baggage allowance for each incremental fare family.
Those booking an Economy Class Comfort ticket can enjoy complimentary preferred seating, while those purchasing Economy Comfort or Business Elite tickets can also make unlimited, complimentary changes to their travel date and are entitled to a fee-free refund. Across all classes, valued members of Qatar Airways Privilege Club can earn more Qmiles according to the fare family they select.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Our new fare families are designed to offer greater simplicity, choice, and flexibility to our passengers and further our ambition to offer a best-in-class retail experience. With these new categorisations, it is very clear to the customer what they are buying – there are no hidden fees or additional charges. We are also giving our valued Privilege Club members the opportunity to earn more Qmiles with us to unlock additional benefits or tier upgrades.”
Qatar Airways will reserve a number of ancillary products and services across each of its fare families to customers booking directly with the airline. These include the option to exchange tickets for a future travel voucher and discounts of up to 40 per cent at Qatar Duty Free (QDF) retail and food and beverage outlets at Hamad International Airport (HIA).
I can see Qatar Airways lounges to be rather quiet very soon.
You should be able to access Oneworld lounges based on the class of service (business) or if you have Sapphire or Emerald status with any alliance airline.
There is absolutely no economic sense for passengers to pay anywhere from 500 euros to $2,000 to select a seat and have access to the fantastic lounge in Qatar.
Has Qatar Airways finally lost it?