Qatar Airways “enhanced” their fare types last week (read more here) by removing lounge access from most discounted business class fares requiring passengers to pay hundreds or thousands more to have entry.
The airline has now decided to classify all business class redemptions (U-fare class within Oneworld) as not including the lounge. Previously only upgraded economy tickets didn’t have access, but Qatar Airways or partner issued awards did.
You can access Qatar Airways here.
Passengers with Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status will continue to have lounge access even on Qatar’s business awards but may not have access to Qatar’s “flagship” lounges and need to use ones designated for access based on one’s status or those of partners.
Not sure why Qatar Airways feels that it needs to penalize passengers that use their miles for award tickets?
Removing lounge access from redemption tickets or discounted paid ones is an unprecedented move and hopefully doesn’t spread among the airlines.