Qatar Airways Says Its 10% Bonus On Travel Vouchers Is Permanent


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While a significant number of airlines spent most of 2020 doing their very best not to refund monies that their customers were entitled to (the behavior of some airlines when it came to refunds was nothing short of despicable), some airlines chose to incentivize travelers not to request refunds by offering bonuses to those who accepted a travel voucher instead.

Qatar Airlines was one such airline (alongside the likes of Aer Lingus, American Airlines, and Etihad) and now it would seem that the bonus that Qatar Airways has been offering is set to become a permanent feature of the airline’s terms and conditions.

Since the end of March, Qatar Airways has been adding a 10% bonus to the value of the travel vouchers that it had been issuing, and just days before that policy was set to expire the airline has announced that it’s “making the option to exchange tickets for a travel voucher with 10% additional value a permanent feature for all customers booking travel via qatarairways.com”.

In addition, the airline has also said that it will continue to offer passengers unlimited date changes and fee-free refunds for all tickets issued before 30 April 2021 for travel that’s due to be completed by 31 December 2021. That may not be quite as generous a policy as we’ve recently seen announced by the various US airlines (who have pledged to remove change fees permanently), but it’s more generous than the policies that are still in place at British Airways, Lufthansa, and Air France/KLM (for example).

When it comes to the 10% bonus on travel vouchers, the fact that the policy has been made permanent is good news for all travelers in the short-term but it will be interesting to see how this policy will work in practice once the pandemic is over.

I can’t imagine Qatar Airways offering a 10% bonus to passengers wishing to cancel a non-refundable fare once the world has returned to some kind of normality (that would be overly generous even by Qatar Airways standards) so, presumably, this new “permanent” policy will only apply to passengers wishing to cancel a flexible fare and who choose to take a voucher instead of a cash refund.

Qatar Airways A350 Business Class
Qatar Airways A350 Business Class

Assuming I’m correct and that I haven’t missed something (let me know if I have!), that makes the new permanent policy useful for only a relatively small segment of Qatar Airways customers (most of us don’t book flexible fares). Still, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t good news. If you’re a frequent flyer with Qatar Airways and have booked a flexible fare that you need to cancel, a travel voucher with a 10% bonus may well be worth more to you than a straight cash refund. With Qatar Airways unlikely to go out of business anytime soon, I know that I’d take a travel voucher and a 10% bonus if I knew that I’d easily be able to use the voucher within its two year validity period.

Link to more details about the Qatar Airways Travel With Confidence Policy
Link to Qatar Airways Travel Voucher FAQs

What do you think about Qatar Airways making the 10% bonus on Travel Vouchers a permanent policy? Would you take a voucher if you were entitled to a cash refund?

3 COMMENTS

  1. Qatar Airways did a lot of damage to their reputation earlier this year by devaluing their vouchers for a large number of customers.

    If you had ‘R’ class business flights booked you indeed got a refund voucher which added 10% value. But weeks later they removed advance seat selection and lounge access for business class passengers on these same fares.

    The fare difference between the new ‘Classic’ and ‘Comfort’ fares can be more than £500 additional each way. I cannot now book a similar product using my vouchers for anywhere near the value of my original flights.

    In my instance, the vouchers Qatar Airways issued are worth far less than their issued value.

    Buyer beware on Qatar Airways vouchers. They did it once for this specific and popular fare type. No telling what Qatar Airways will do with future fare unbundling. Lower the miles earned on all fare types perhaps?

      • No, what Michael is saying is that although he got the value of his fare back + 10% in the form of a voucher, Qatar Airways subsequently changed its fare rules to remove lounge access and seat selection from the cheaper business class fares (which he had originally booked) so he now cannot get the same benefits as he would have had on his original fare as they are now only available on more expensive fare bookings.

        A voucher can be used towards any cash fare.

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