A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us an email about a situation with Qatar Airways and Covid-19 testing requirements.
You can access Qatar Airways here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
Qatar Airways sends emails to passengers that they need to test for Corona 96 hours prior to their flights.
Last week, My itinerary was Tehran to San Fran thru Doha with Qatar Airways and I did my Covid test less than 96 hours prior to my flight but at the IKA airport Qatar denied me boarding stating that testing should be 72 hours to boarding.
Then, they charged me $405 for No Show even though I was there and $200 for change of class for the later flight the following week.
This is a regrettable situation, but you cannot rely on emails from airlines.
You, as a passenger, must be aware of the entry and transit requirements (if the flight is not direct) for each country, and there are significant differences when it comes to testing requirements from none to 48 to 72 hours within the arrival or from the first flight.
Besides, some airlines may have their own rules for testing passengers on their flights.
The question here is if Qatar Airways’s email advising a Covid-19 test requirement is 92 hours before their flight is legally binding.
It appears that the United States requires a test that is done within 72 hours before the first flight, but an antigen test is enough (PCR-RT is not needed).
I guess that there aren’t rapid antigen test possibilities at the Tehran airport that could have provided the required negative result in a few minutes.
If you travel currently, it is really a maze of requirements that are often airline, transit point, and destination country dependent that are sometimes based on where you are flying from or resident of, and soon if and when you were vaccinated and with what.
I am not able to verify the type of email that the reader received from Qatar Airways. You do, however, always keep in mind that the passenger is the responsible party to ensure that they have the correct documents, (right now) covid-19 tests, and vaccinations to enter the destination country.