Be warned: Qatar Airways is now selling a new restrictive business fare class

Sep 27, 2021

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Starting 1 October, Qatar Airways is introducing a new fare class for business-class tickets, and adjusting the inclusions for the existing fare classes.

The number of business-class fares will increase from three to four, with the new P fare emerging at the lowest price point. The classes are labelled Lite (P), Classic (R), Comfort (I, D) and Elite (C, J).

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Qatar already recently introduced a rather odd fare for business-class travel that didn’t include access to a business-class lounge: the fare class R.

This change follows the trend of unbundling in premium classes, allowing travellers to experience a top-level flying experience (such as Qatar’s QSuites) without paying for extra services that used to be standard, including seat selection and lounge access.

Qatar’s Qsuite business class on the A350-1000. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Award tickets, such as those booked with Avios, continue to have full services and privileges.

Related: Qatar unveils new business-class, coach cabins for its latest Boeing 787s

The full specifications for Qatar’s new fares are outlined in the table below:

Qatar’s new business class fares. Image courtesy of Qatar Airways.

In addition to charging for lounge access, a refund in the original form of payment and date or route changes, travellers who book Qatar’s new Lite (P class) fares also won’t be able to earn the same amount of Qmiles.

P fares only earn 75% of miles flown (compared with 125% for Classic fares; 175% for Comfort fares and 200% for Elite fares) when credited to Qatar Airways Qmiles loyalty programme.

Travellers who want to earn Avios with Qatar business-class flights previously received a generous 125% mile bonus, no matter the fare class. If you choose to credit the new P fares to Avios (rather than Qmiles) from 1 October you will now earn 75% of miles flown as Avios for the cheapest P fare, with 125% of miles flown for the more expensive J, C, D, I and R fares.

All things considered, unbundled P fares could mean lower business-class prices, which could be beneficial to many travellers. But before you book this new fare, keep an eye out for the benefits included in your ticket. Perhaps the R fare is available at only a slightly higher price, making it possible to earn more Avios and enjoy lounge access in the process.

Oneworld elite members will continue to receive their status benefits such as lounge access and seat selection, though keep in mind that, at Qatar’s hub in Doha (DIA) you will not have access to the well-regarded Al Mourjan lounge on the cheapest P class fare even if you do have status.

Related: Worlds apart: A review of the Qatar Airways business class lounge in Doha

Featured photo by Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock

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