Why Qatar Airways Isn’t Handling Their Crisis Well

As we first learned about yesterday, several countries have cut ties with Qatar, including nearby Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The impacts of this are massive across the board, though since this is a travel blog, I’ve been focusing on the impact this has on their airline, Qatar Airways.

As part of relations being cut, Qatar Airways is no longer allowed to fly over or land in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, etc. This has big impacts on their flights. Yesterday I wrote a post sharing my recommendations for what you should do if you’re scheduled to fly Qatar Airways.

It has now been about 36 hours since this crisis started, so how is Qatar Airways doing? Well, I know they have a lot on their plate, but I’m still quite disappointed in how they’re handling it. Here’s why:

Qatar Airways is barely acknowledging this problem

This is a big freaking deal. Yet you have to dig through Qatar Airways’ website to find any information about this. As of now there’s nothing on the front page of Qatar Airways’ website about this situation.

Qatar Airways is acting as if this is a short term problem

While Emirates, Etihad, and Saudia, have canceled flights to Doha for at least several weeks, Qatar Airways is treating this as if it’s a very short term service disruption. They continue to sell tickets for travel to the UAE starting June 10, 2017 (yes, for travel in a few days), when there’s no indication that anything will change.

The first thing they should be doing in this crisis is making sure they’re managing expectations and not booking additional people on these flights, which will only lead to more people needing to be rebooked.

Qatar’s travel waiver is ridiculous

If you’re scheduled to fly Qatar Airways, they’ve only issued a travel waiver for flights to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain through July 6, 2017. There’s no indication that service will resume by then. Yet if you’re booked past that, it seems like you’re out of luck, based on their waiver:

Passengers holding a confirmed Qatar Airways ticket to any of the four countries between 05 June 2017 – 06 July 2017 are permitted to rebook their flights up to 30 days after their current confirmed departure date, one time free of charge.

Passengers will also be permitted to refund the unused portion of their tickets booked for the above period once, free of charge. The service fee remains non-refundable.

It’s a distinct possibility that this issue will last more than a few weeks, so it doesn’t seem fair to not give people the option to cancel. If someone is traveling July 10, are they going to be told on July 6 that they need to get themselves new tickets, or…?

What about those just traveling through Doha?

Qatar Airways isn’t letting anyone who isn’t traveling to one of the four countries change or cancel their tickets. Per the FAQs:

Can passengers transiting through Doha cancel their tickets?

Passengers holding confirmed and paid tickets for affected flights will be able to cancel their tickets as explained in Question 1. All other passengers will be able to rebook as per their existing fare conditions.

Now, I don’t necessarily think they’re totally wrong here. On one hand I think it would be reasonable of them to offer to refund these passengers, given concerns over the accusations against Qatar, given the potential political unrest that may happen, given the country’s limited access to supplies right now, given the potential for misconnects due to longer routings, etc. Then again, I’m not surprised they don’t want to acknowledge those potential challenges.

I don’t think they’re being totally unreasonable here, though if they wanted to take a customer focused approach, I think even those passengers should have the option of canceling.

Speaking of their FAQs, I don’t love those either. Here’s the thing about FAQs — if you write your own questions, then answer them directly. Don’t do this:

I have all my holidays booked to travel on Qatar Airways. Will you reimburse hotel charges and transportation to the airport if the flights are cancelled?

We will refund Qatar Airways tickets as per the conditions of carriage.

Bottom line

I can’t even imagine what Qatar Airways is dealing with right now, as this no doubt has catastrophic effects for the airline, and I imagine this whole thing came out of left field for them as well. However, they need to do a better job than this, at least in terms of their policies. There are a lot of people potentially impacted by this, and pretending that this is just a short term problem isn’t doing anyone a service.

What do you make of how Qatar Airways is handling this situation?

Comments

  1. Please do your research a bit more thoroughly and not rely on your assumptions. Gulf air and Etihad is selling tickets past June 30th, Emirates comes in a bit later but definitely not indefinitely.

  2. This ban is a huge catastrophe for Qatar. I would say give them a break. They have done nothing to cause themselves this nightmare

  3. Give who a break?? Is this a private company? NO! If the accusations are true they are guilty!

  4. What exactly do you expect them to do? Stop selling tickets? If that’s the case, might as well fold up shop now. They have to keep the cash flow going, as long as they can.

    This is a disaster for Qatar Airways.

  5. @ wpr8e — I expect them to do what I said above. 😉 At a minimum, they could put an obvious notice on their website indicating their policy, which they haven’t done. And I’m not sure I totally get the cash flow argument for selling tickets for travel in three days, which will almost certainly have to be canceled? This isn’t some private company, this is an airline owned entirely by the government of the country of the highest GDP per capita.

  6. @Norman – your information matches what Lucky said. So he already did his research.

    “While Emirates, Etihad, and Saudia, have canceled flights to Doha for at least several weeks”

  7. @ Carlos — I’m not sure I’m quite as sympathetic here. It’s one thing if they were a privately owned airline, but they’re wholly government owned.

  8. “I can’t even imagine what Qatar Airways is dealing with right now, as this no doubt has catastrophic effects for the airline” Well, kind of. If Qatar Airways is really subsidized by the Government and the Government is the one responsible for actions that made countries to cut ties with them then it is their decision to what is more important: the airline or the actions they are being accused of.

  9. I don’t think the situation will last for very long. The Americans will let the Saudis show some muscles, and then everyone will be told to behave again… The last thing ANYONE wants is things to escalate.

  10. as of now the website is not reachable from Europe:

    Access Denied

    You don’t have permission to access “http://www.qatarairways.com/” on this server.
    Reference #18.77fa6d68.1496762512.243e779d

  11. I agree with Lucky that QR is doing a poor job in relation to information.

    Their website should address the issue more clearly. They should be telling passengers how they are dealing with the situation.

    For instance, QR773 (DOH-GRU-EZE route) made an additional stop in ATH. It is currently en route from ATH to GRU, but of course it is severely delayed from its original SAT. QR774 doesn’t look like it is necessarily going to make an additional stop, but it seems to be taking a much longer route.

    QR’s website should have an alert saying, e.g. that QR773/774 flights will continue, but that additonal stops may be necessary, and delays are expected, but passengers can rest assured that QR will handle all connections/will accommodate passengers, etc., etc.

    This is the least that one could expect.

  12. I just looked at the Qatar Airways website and just like yesterday, there was a bold yellow banner at the top of the page highlighting the issue.

    I think their first priority is to repatriate stranded nationals in the affected countries – which they are doing.

    I’m no fan of Qatar or it’s airline but not quite sure why you would want them to advertise political turmoil on the front page of their website… it’s like asking American Airlines to have a huge advert on their site saying “hey, our president wants to ban muslims… you might not want to fly with us”.

  13. @Eric NYC

    Yeah, that’s because he updated it…when I first saw this article it reads “indefinitely”

  14. Well, you acknowledged this is political matter. You even know that Qatar is wholly owned by the government. It is obvious airline matters won’t be resolved prior to political (or maybe ideological to some extent) matters. It is also crystal clear that Arab Saudi, Bahrain and others put the pressure on Qatar Airways, not just Qatar government itself.

    Is it bad from the consumer side? Off course, consumer is always the victim.

    But with your knowledge, experience and intellectual I’m surprised that you didn’t expect this to happen

  15. No sympathy. The true test of an Airline (or Government) is how they handle a crisis. So far, badly.

  16. @Donna: Lol. If you are the government or the airlines, how do you handle it? Between keeping the supply of food and water and refunding passenger, which comes first? And that is what is on the table. Can we even imagine what’s under? Lol

  17. @ Lucky You continue to solidify that you have no idea how to actually run a business. You should stick to reviewing buffets and reverse herringbone seats.

    If they put a notice on their website that indicates what you requested, nobody is going to buy tickets from them going from today into the future. It’s a death spiral and becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. If they take a significant hit on future ticket sales, their business is over. Quickly. The State of Qatar is also significantly hurting right now (which is ignored by everyone here), and I suspect they’re in no mood to pump endless money into QR when they have other more pressing concerns to deal with.

    If this ends in a few days, harm is done but they haven’t handicapped themselves into the next 11 months by essentially freezing any future purchases.. If this drags on, selling tickets and then refunding/rerouting, etc., is a cost that they’ll deal with on a case by case basis.

    In the end they might end up shutting anyway, but there’s no reason to shoot yourself in the head prematurely

  18. @ wpr8e

    Did you happen to go to a certain “Public Ivy” in the Mid-Atlantic. Your username is very similar to such a school’s computing ID syntax which I haven’t seen elsewhere. Also, I admit I laughed out loud at this one: “You should stick to reviewing buffets and reverse herringbone seats”

  19. I’m due to fly JFK-DOH-CAI on Friday. I called them yesterday and the agent had no idea what she was doing but eventually booked me JFK-DOH-AMM-CAI. It was a painful process but eventually got it sorted. Have a lot of patience if you have to call them.

  20. @Lucky I understand that you’re trying to keep your comments and observations focused on the aviation aspect of this debacle, but in this case I think you have to take the whole situation into context– especially since QR is government owned. Qatar is in the midst of a HUGE national security crisis. I cannot overstate that enough. For a tiny country the size of Connecticut to be suddenly ambushed with broad diplomatic, air and land embargoes, they have a ton to deal with right now. They don’t even know what it will take to restore some sort of normalcy. So I appreciate you monitoring the situation, but just commenting on the appearance of their website and what booking dates looks like seems to be a little petty in the grand scheme of things.

    I called QR today to try to rebook a flight I’m taking later this month (HBE-DOH-HND). I was on hold for about 20 minutes, but then they immediately offered to reroute me through Amman on RJ to Doha so that I can take my QR flight to HND. Since it isn’t till the end of the month, I decided to wait and see what happens. They did tell me though that they obviously can’t book me on Emirates, Etihad or EgyptAir for obvious reasons (although it was showing up to them as an option).

  21. Quite pathetic Lucky and all those complaining here,have a thought for thousands of people who are given 48 hours to leave their residence,work,schools,business to return to their home countries,have a thought of the anxious Qataris&residents of Qatar fasting this month and worried about supply of food and goods,i wonder if BA or Air France were faced with such imminent disruption what tgey woukd have done??their planes woukd be grounded and panic at airports and of course blackout on any informations,ee ve seen how BA dealt with their IT problem last week.
    I am booked with Qatar Cairo to Maldives and i dont give a shit if am gonna do it or not.

  22. Lucky you’re overreacting, I am a constant follower of your blog.
    This piece is way out of reason, how many airlines have experience in a sudden blocus crisis?! Let’s be realistic.
    And the airline being a public sector company doesn’t mean they are privy of early political information.

    As previous readers have mentioned, please focus on service reviews.

  23. Tried to think of something lighthearted on the issue:

    Maybe if the key GCC leaders took a flight in those collaborative Q Suites, it could all be sorted out? Think of the marketing value that would have for QR!

  24. This couldn’t come to the the more perfect person for this. One of the most arrogant person as Akbar Al Baker. Grin on my face.

  25. They need to:
    1) Officially acknoledge on their site. At least have a small header at the top, just like back when Samsung recalled the Note 7. Perhaps maybe even a popup “Notice to customers flying bla bla”
    2) Have a travel waiver for all destinations through at least Ramadan season, maybe end of July, and to UAE, Saudi etc indefinitely. People may be scared to go there now even if tensions are cooled enough to restore flights.
    3) Stop selling DOH DXB/AUH/saudi tickets in the meantime. Or maybe add a warning.

  26. @Bman1132. Naah… if QR shutsdown, EK and EY can get its share of passenger. Maybe a lil bit sufficient to cover the loss of electronics ban.

  27. With all due respect, I think you are punching above your weight with this blog post.
    There are so many layers to this onion…

  28. Im sure they are being told by their government that this will be sorted out in a day or two. Im rather suprised by the extent of the actions being taken. Feels much more like something to get their attention and not punish them long term. I don’t see the logic of doing this more than a few days as it will further destabilize the region and that is bad for everyone.

  29. @trex make no mistake. They were told behind closed doors what they have to do to reverse this. That being said addressing a blogger’s flying concerns is incredibly low on their list of things to do.

  30. I think there is a lot more to this drama that we do not know. Qatar has very close ties to Saudi Arabia but the Saudis are frustrated by Al Jazeera News which has been very critical of most of the Arab regimes. At the same time, Qatar and Oman have refused to agree with the rest to unify against Iran. So, although Lucky has a disclaimer about politics, we are still dragged into the political arena on this forum. My advice will be to just relax and watch things being unfolded over the coming two weeks. The overcast skies will become sunny soon.

  31. @Cipta. Maybe the airline can acknowledge the problem and allow customers to cancel. Not too hard, even in a crisis.

  32. The Donald seems to take credit twitter for QR’s trouble:
    “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology,” President Trump said on Twitter. “Leaders pointed to Qatar — look!”

  33. @Donna. wpr8e has explained the propable reason why they aren’t doing so. But I don’t think you are at least able to digest that information, less to imagine yourself in their position. Lol

    QR admitting that they were banned would be the same as the Qatar Sovereignity admitting the reason of banning itself. You can at least understand this I hope…..

  34. Is it not expected that if I am booked on my return leg from IAH to Cairo through DOHA that they could change the leg from DOH to some other location they can fly. (without penalty)

    Thanks

  35. I’m sure I’m going to be hated for saying this:

    I just don’t care if an airline – whose country of origin/culture despises, and hates, homosexuality – is impacted because of this.

    One less airline to consider as a consumer. Good.

  36. Between terrorist-supporting governments, anti-woman and anti-gay policies, pure hatred for Israel and the USA, and active warzones, I simply don’t understand why anybody wishes to transit through this region. No 1st class suite is worth that price.

  37. I have been there many time in Doha with my wife and daughter and feel safe and at ease. Not the same when I walk at night in Houston, Cincinnati, Memphis, Dallas, Dayton, Atlanta and about 20 others.

  38. Out of interest I checked reward availability with ba today , Lhr to Dxb , and they are still showing partner options with Qatar, i.e. Lhr- Doha-Dxb , another ba IT glitch on the horizon?

  39. This event just happened few days ago and it’s huge, not easily resolved or getting answers to when it will be resolved. Even if Qatar is wholly government owned, their CEO may not even get answers he needed from his boss/governement to know what the timeline and all the impact he’s facing, not only from the customers first but also his employees. I bet Akbar is trying to get some answers or certain things cleared up first before he can tell all his staff on what to do to avoid giving out confusing and wrong informations that may lead to even more troubles. Given the seriousness of the whole situation, I may give them some time to react on what’s best to counter this problem. They may not react first enough and in the best way their customers wanted, but this is not a simple thing to deal with.

  40. I agree with Lucky, QR which is an otherwise top notch operation usually has done a miserable job of communicating with its customers.

    Those getting politically emotional about this post need to calm down this is a travel blog focused on airline service primarily; I think most people on here – including Lucky – understand that this is an epic security crisis for Qatar and they are trying to process the fallout from this embargo.

    His point, which is salient, is that amidst all this QR is acting as if nothing is wrong. Their flights globally are going to be severely restricted if this continues and in many cases timings and schedules already are, and yet there is no update at all.

    No one is asking them to commit “economic sucicide” as a business – the other GCC countries have for now done that for them – but it’s entirely fair to demand proper communication to passengers about their global operations being affected.

  41. Look, I just wanna fly their new J on the 77W, dine on some good food over Europe, explore the wonderful Doha F lounge again, eat well, and have a few stiff libations once Ramadan is over.

  42. The Financial Times has an article titled:

    “The $1bn hostage deal that enraged Qatar’s Gulf rivals”

    I haven’t read it because it’s behind a pay wall. But the ZeroHedge blog has what they claim is an excerpt that you can read for free by googling:

    “The Shocking Trigger Behind Today’s Gulf Scandal: Qatar Paid Al-Qaeda, Iran $1BN In Hostage Deal”

  43. @No Name Yes, that’s the one. But when I clicked on your link it took me to the subscription page, which only showed the title, along with payment options.

  44. @lucky lets not forget it is the USA who are prioritising Arms dollars here and Qatar Airways and people are the collateral damage.

    Follow the US petro dollars through Saudi and the USA are one of the biggest indirect funders of terrorism in the world.

    So a little more support for the people of Qatar wouldn’t be amiss.

  45. so its not only Qatar not doing anything, AA is refusing to re-book AA award tickets on Etihad for which space is available because they claim nothing is happening.

  46. Ultimately, they are Asian. Face & cash mean far more than life itself. FFS, it’s a thousand year old Hatfields vs. McCoys argument that’s caused the problem! Just something to think about the next time anyone makes a booking. Do you really want to fly McCoy Air???

  47. This post is yet another proof that you’re thoroughly unqualified to comment on anything beyond onboard service, mileage redemption and to shill credit cards. Take a pause before you further embarrass yourself with your naivete and lack of any real experience.

  48. Their stance is a political one, not one of service recovery.

    From this perspective, their actions make sense.

  49. @ Mohamed,
    I completely agree with you and with some other posters; and I fully disagree with Lucky and some others.

    Nobody is thinking on the much bigger picture here (the political one), and as you say, nobody is thinking on all those people who will need to re-organize their lives from night to day.
    Also agree with you on imagining how other airlines in the world would be handling something like this.

    And per what I have read and searched, the airline is trying to do their best and they are accommodating people and offering solutions, and that’s what matters.
    Yeah, maybe they should be giving more information, agree, but they are doing their job and we have to be a little more tolerant.

    I am flying with them from Jakarta to Paris, leaving JKT this Sunday at midnight, and I am absolutely relaxed that everything will be fine. I have been seeing that both flights, QR955 and QR039, have been consistently on time even modifying their routes slightly from the usual ones, in order to avoid blocked airspace.

    Lots of pesimistic people here and ones who get easily in panic for no founded reasons, when they are not flying to/from the affected countries.

    And Lucky, I have to tell you something: I always read your blogs, I enjoy them most of the times; some other times, I disagree in some things you say but it’s ok (I have the right to decide if continue reading them or not).

    But in this particular post, I think you are wrong. You should continue doing like in another post: giving suggestions and advice on what to do in this situation; but do not get into this.

    Can you imagine how much stuff they are dealing with now? Even I do not like Akbar Al Baker and his usual attitude, but I can imagine how tough this is going for him and his airline.

    You may ask me if I have interests on QR or something, and I will say “Absolutely NO”.
    But YES, I am a loyal customer of QR, Platinum for them for several years, who has ALWAYS received the best service, in the ground and in the air, or from their Customer Service; and I am very grateful for that and so I continue supporting them.

    And I am very sorry for what’s going on now and how bad this will affect the airline.

    But instead of digging into s..t and criticizing them for this or that, I prefer to be positive and optimistic that this situation hopefully will come to an end soon, especially for those thousands of people who are really affected now for this crisis, the ones who are really struggling now on what to do with their lives (not just with a flight) when they suddenly have to re-organize everything, as a result of this diplomatic bomb.

  50. @Ken Y.
    I was writing my post while you did yours so I did not read it until I finished and definitely we agree on what we say.
    100%

  51. BA and AA would not rebook or even change itineraries (Unless with RJ) for two distinct reasons:

    For BA: Qatar has a stake in BAs parent group, IAG. (at least from what I know of)
    For AA: Qatar Airways is a member of the Oneworld Alliance, Ethiad is not

    Long term or, they should line-up for another carrier in the region (*Oman Air*) to replace QR but short term cutting ties with QR would be catastrophic to the unity of Oneworld itself due to the influence QR holds over the majority of the alliance.

    Of course, any input into this opinion would be interesting and appreciated

  52. Hold your horses everyone —- FBI , CIA and UK investigarors have been in Qatar for quite some time investigating already proved Russian hacking and implementation of fake news
    in this issue ! The objective is to severely undermine US – Gulf States relations !

  53. Dear Lucky,
    As much as I like reading your trip reports and giving you credit for being great in determining which seat on what airline offers more privacy than a competitor, whether the reading light switch is better positioned on the left than on the right, stick to what you do best. But commenting on geopolitical issues, corporate airline matters and how an airline handles highly sensitive matters in an unprecedented political crisis, does certainly not rank among your skills.
    Your article is highly speculative, lets people come to wrong conclusions and has all the potential to create unnecessary panic among travelers.
    News on this crisis is flowing at the minute, people excel in throwing in more and more rumours. What we know: Diplomats are working on the matter, QR has access to international airspace, although limited, but they can and are flying, except for the destinations among the CCC countries which have banned them. There are delays, but operations are running. What we do not know: how long will this crisis last, what will happen next. This is something, I am pretty sure, nobody at QR could tell at this stage, so it is fully understandable that they will not enter into long term commitments as to ticket refunds, rebooking etc….however I am pretty sure that should this crisis persist, they will have to honour changes beyond the stipulated dates as well!
    In that sense, please refrain from writing speculative things, focus on your trip reports, which really are interesting. Lastly, were I Al Baker, I would consider suing you for spreading false rumours!

  54. I agree with Lucky. I know some commenters have said QR is busy focusing on other more important issues like getting expelled Qatari nationals back home, but surely QR is capable of multitasking.

    Right now on the front page of QR’s site is just this at the top in yellow: “Qatar Airways organises three charter flights to carry its passengers from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) via Muscat to Doha”.

    That’s all well and good, but they cancelled a bunch of flights. Why not mention this on the front page, and make it clear what users should do?

    Then let’s go to their Travel Alerts page:
    http://www.qatarairways.com/us/en/travel-alerts.page

    Their first item is about the execute order from March! Then below that, there is an alert about the situation, but it’s short and lacking in detail.

    Why not just state that flights QRxxx from A to B are cancelled on the following dates, and passengers can be rebooked by doing ….

    For example, when a major US carrier like United has issues due to an Northeast snowstorm that results in a bunch of airports closing, they are clear about routes, and rebooking procedures, and it’s all on the front page of their site and prominent.

    I don’t care about the politics. The point is QR has cancelled certain flights, at least for the next few days; others will take longer than planned due to new routings. Neither is clear and prominent on their site. They make it seem like they don’t care about the customer.

  55. I love you Lucky, but you reliably hate on Qatar Airways 🙂

    They do have a yellow banner at the top on many parts of their site; just not on the homepage.

    Every report I’ve seen has stated that they have answered phones in a surprisingly short amount of time and have been very accommodating with passengers.

    Unlike Etihad, this airline has their act together. Unlike Emirates, they have a solid and affordable business class product. They’re the Gulf Lufthansa. Cut them some slack 🙂

  56. I don’t know about Qatar the country. But, Qatar airways is going downhill. Screaming and lying to the passengers, I just can’t fly with them. They used to be good when I flew from IAH to dxb. I hope they start showing some respect. Maybe they will learn from this experience. Or maybe it’s just another nail in the coffin.

  57. supposed to fly Qatar phl to dps through doha mid july. very concerned. advice??

  58. @MEOW

    an Israeli plot, seriously get rational, since when do any of the countries have any form ever in history to have diplomatic relations?
    Maybe these countries have a fear of being destabilized dut to Qatar’s instigative fundings

  59. Have been a loyal QAirways passenger from ATL to Doha and Dubai for some time now. Business and Coach class beats Delta hands down in all Service and Pricing categories, hence the reason Delta bowed out on direct flights to the GCC region last year from ATL. Looking forward to Qatar resolving their political differences with their neighboring countries sometime within the coming weeks and with or without yellow banners, will continue to fly this best airline service iflying in the region without hesitation. Enjoy their flights and as always, Safe Travels!

  60. @MEOW

    “an Israeli plot, seriously get rational, since when do any of the countries have any form ever in history to have diplomatic relations?
    Maybe these countries have a fear of being destabilized dut to Qatar’s instigative fundings”

    Might be nice to inject facts here, Israel has had diplomatic and trade representation with Qatar and the UAE at points in their history. This in addition to other ongoing ME nations such as Egypt and Jordan, as well as predominately Muslim nations as Azerbaijan and Turkey.

  61. This will be temporary. I’m sure the Qatar govt will comply or reach a deal within days.

  62. @Jim are you seriously comparing a political issue with a weather issue? Whereby one held a LOT of interest above and under the table, the other one is a GOD given circumstances. The impact of any decision made thereto has a difference of the sky and the earth…..

  63. I think it’s hilarious that people here think that Lucky can’t be critical about Qatar Airway’s communication strategy (or lack thereof at time of posting).

    Some have said that the situation is fluid, and thus QR should be given slack. Sure, they should be given slack for not having all the answers (as Lucky said), but they shouldn’t be given slack for pretending something wasn’t existing, or for booking people on flights in 2-3 days.

    Further, while there are of course many other implications to the situation beyond QR, the reality is this blog is about travel – not about Qatar expats living in impacted countries. There’s no reason why Lucky would need to comment on that (and he didn’t).

    Next, to imply that somehow QR would be ‘too busy’ to communicate during this time is laughable. The employees of QR aren’t off dealing with other political matters. The communications and PR teams are still at the company and still doing their day jobs. As are thousands of other employees. And yes, those jobs involve keeping customers abreast of travel plans.

    That’s their job…working for a company…that’s in the travel airline business. Anything less, and they’re not doing their job…as an airline…for customers. Simple as that.

  64. I was booked ZNZ-DOH-DXB with ZNZ STD 17:40 on 5 June, the day the big mess started. I went to ZNZ airport 2 hrs prior, walked straight to the QR office there and was greeted by the most efficient airport manager ever! I was told immediately that I was rebooked already on WY via MCT next morning, that 5* hotel accomm was being sorted out, and I should wait at the airport’s cafeteria for max. 1 hr to then be taken to the hotel. Long story short, after 45 min all affected pax were on transportation to the hotel arranged by QR, spent the night and dinner/drinks at the 5* Park Hyatt at QR’s expense, and had return transportation next morning. By 19:30 the QR manager came to the hotel personally to hand over confirmation letters stating the disruption and confirming US$250 in compensation, since the new arrival time at DXB would be more than 8 hrs later! Yes, the number of pax affected on 5 June ex ZNZ was relatively small and easy to handle, but I was preparing for the worst given that I was in an African backwater at an absolutely rotten and primitive airport in all aspects. Bottom line: Whether QR’s product as such is really 5* is sometimes questionable, but I primarily judge an airline by its efficiency of handling disruptions, and for my part I have nothing but praise for QR in this particular case! The service and efficiency received this week was beyond 5*. My next QR trip ex DXB is on 11 July, let’s see what happens then…

  65. @ OSNT.
    Brilliant!! I’m happy you got everything sorted out so perfectly.
    That’s why I say that I continue supporting the airline, they are the best; regardless of what other people may say.

  66. I am astounded that the airline who wins SkyTrax Awards ahead of Air NZ and Emirates show no signs of concern. Moreover, flights destined to the UK, which would normally fly through Bahrain airspace now has to fly over Iran taking a further 2 hrs. Iran has not been the most stable of countries and thought of flying above the country provide worry, when questioned Qatar Airways tell you that they are not prepared to give a full refund, but charge a $700 cancellation fee. The airline is showing no sympathy for the customers, instead they only represent the income for the airline.

  67. I agree with Lucky. I’m booked on QR773 from São Paulo to BA at the end of July. Acccording to flight radar, after the crisis began, the flight was arriving over 2 hours late into SP every day. When I rang the airline, they told me the flights were on time. Eventually, on 1 July (nearly 1 month after crisis began) QR changed the schedule so the flight leaves DOH 1 hour earlier and arrives/leaves SP 30 mins later than original schedule. Until then, there was absolutely no information information given and I was assured that everything was OK.

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