Qatar Airways is changing its economy and business class fares by launching a new LITE category that books into W for economy and P in business.
Qatar launched its previously lowest R-business class in 2016 and excluded lounge access from it in 2020. This new business class LITE is even lower than R and only earns 75% of the miles flown in Qpoints and many partner airlines.
You can access Qatar Airways here.
There is some good news. All the fare families include complimentary checked luggage that some other airlines, looking at your Finnair, have excluded from the cheapest business class fares.
There is a new LITE fare class category in economy and business.
The LITE only earns 25% of the flown miles in Qpoints and has a lower checked luggage allowance than other economy fares. In addition, the fare is not refundable even with a fee, no changes whatsoever, and you cannot upgrade it to business for either using cash or miles.
The checked luggage allowance is the same as with other business class fares. You do, however, need to pay for lounge access or seat selection. You also earn only 75% of the miles flown as Qmiles. There is a fee to refund and any date or route changes. You cannot upgrade this fare to first class using either miles or cash.
No changes to first-class fares.
Bangkok – Heathrow Business Return
The price difference between Lite and Classic is $71 and $72 (total of $143).
You need to consider how valuable the lounge access is to you in Bangkok and Doha and London and Doha in the return sectors combined with higher award mile and likely elite mile earnings in some airlines.
It came to my mind immediately what Oneworld partners will do with these LITE-fares that book into W and P.
American has adjusted its miles earnings to be in tandem with QR. As a result, you only earn 75% of miles flown as an award, and the number of EQD’s is also lowered to just 15%.
BA has also lowered the Avios earned to just 75%.
The Tier Points calculator has not yet been changed. However, it shows the P as a first-class fare that it has traditionally been with most airlines.
Alaska has not yet updated its Qatar Airways partner page to reflect the new earnings that will likely take place on October 1st.
Qatar’s PDF explaining the changes:
You have to be careful with some of the lowest business class fares, especially if they are Lufthansa’s P, which doesn’t even credit all Star Alliance frequent flier programs.
This Qatar’s P is not as big of a disaster, but you have to consider that it won’t earn the same number of award miles with most partners as their other business fares. So elite qualifying could be more challenging as well.
If your transit time in Doha is more than an hour or two at max, I probably would pay the extra to have access to Qatar’s proper business class lounge(s).
Qatar has had issues even understanding the previous fare rules at outstations, especially when it comes to awards when they have denied access claiming that awards don’t include one when they do. So let’s see what further complications these new fare families create.