UPDATE: Qatar Airways Denies Lounge Access In San Francisco On Business Award Ticket?

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question regarding lounge access on an American Airlines issued business class award on Qatar Airways that we covered back in March. Now we have an update about the issue.

Qatar Airways

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Here’s what initially took place:

Here’s the message from the reader:

Qatar Airways lounge access rules in SFO? On 26MAR21 I was denied lounge access in SFO while traveling to DOH on QR in J on an AA award. QR station manager said this a new rule!

My take:

Qatar Airways made changes to its fare structure last year. They excluded R-fares (lowest promotional business class fares from lounge access).

First, They indicated that this would also apply for award tickets issued in U (Oneworld’s fare bucket for award inventory) but backtracked on this decision.

Even if you travel on tickets issued in R and have Sapphire or Emerald status with any of the Oneworld Airlines, Qatar Airways need to provide you with lounge access. Still, sometimes they used third-party ones for these passengers instead of their flagship ones.

Here’s an update from the reader:

Qatar Airways confirms that the Station Manager was wrong, and hopefully, the issue with him/her is now corrected.

Here’s our piece back in March:

Reader Email: Qatar Airways Denies Lounge Access In San Francisco On Business Award Ticket?

Conclusion

Unfortunately, frequent travelers must be aware of the rules and benefits that we are entitled to and sometimes must twist an arm to get them delivered or follow up with the customer service or corporate afterward.

I am glad that the reader was able to get a $300 voucher out from Qatar Airways.

Hopefully, the ground crew in San Francisco is now well aware that the lounge access IS included on awards tickets but excluded on the cheapest R-fares unless purchased separately OR when the flyer has Sapphire or Emerald status with any of the Oneworld airlines.

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