Qatar Airways Extends Hotel Stopover Program Through December 31, 2018

One of the goals of the Gulf carriers is to develop the infrastructure of their home countries and put them on the map. One has to wonder where Doha would be without Qatar Airways, or where Dubai would be without Emirates. While these cities are known for being global hubs, the airlines are increasingly making an effort to have you actually visit, rather than just connect.

Last May Qatar Airways introduced a new program called +Qatar, where passengers traveling on Qatar Airways in all cabins can get a 96 hour Qatar visa at no cost (though in the meantime Qatar has rolled out visa-free entry for 80 nationalities), one free night of hotel, and more.

Originally the program was just supposed to be valid through September 30, 2017, though Qatar Airways has extended the program a few times since then, so it sure seems like this is starting to be a permanent feature. Until recently the +Qatar program was available for bookings through February 28, 2018, and for stays through April 30, 2018. It has now been extended for bookings through December 28, 2018, and for stays through December 31, 2018. That’s an extension of 10 months in terms of the booking window, so that’s significant, since in the past they only extended it for a few months at a time.

Through this offer you can get one night for free, and pay just $50 for the second night. The type of hotel you’re eligible for depends on the type of fare you book. Economy passengers are eligible for premium hotels (Holiday Inn, Radisson Blu, etc.), while business and first class passengers are eligible for luxury hotels (Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, etc.).

Several months ago I wrote about my experience booking a hotel through this program, which was surprisingly straightforward. My stay at the Westin Doha was pleasant, and the process was seamless. At check-in I was just asked to forward my email confirmation from Qatar Airways and provide my boarding passes, and I was given a free room for my one night stay.


My room at the Westin Doha

The only thing I’d note here is that while Qatar Airways lists all kinds of “luxury hotels,” in reality most of them are almost never available, so even if you’re in first class, don’t expect to stay at the Four Seasons or St. Regis using this program.

Here are the basic terms associated with the +Qatar program:

  • Booking validity: till 28 December 2018.
  • Stay Validity: must be completed on or before 31 December 2018.
  • Offer valid only for Qatar Airways confirmed ticket holders with minimum a transit time of 12 hours in Doha.
  • Qatar Airways E-ticket number start with “157” is required to be entered at the payment page. Maximum of one booking is allowed per E-ticket number.
  • passengers where Doha is their first departure point or final destination are not eligible for +Qatar offer.
  • Not applicable on codeshare flights.
  • Other terms and conditions apply. Please review at the time of booking.
  • A valid visa is required to enter the country. Nationals from a total of 80 countries can now take advantage of visa-free entry into Qatar. Entry into Qatar will be at the discretion of the immigration authorities. Discover Qatar is not responsible for the decision taken by the immigration authorities.
  • All +Qatar hotel bookings subject to availability.
  • All bookings are verified by our specialist team, and may automatically canceled if they don`t meet terms and conditions.
  • Check-in dates at hotel must match flight arrival date in Doha.


Museum of Islamic Art, Doha

Bottom line

At this point I think it’s safe to say that this feature is here to stay. Qatar Airways already publishes exceptional fares in many markets, and has the world’s best business class. So to get a free hotel on a Doha stopover is just the icing on the cake.

(Tip of the hat to Jake)

Comments

  1. An important thing to note here, Qatar used to only offer this to passengers with a 10 hour layover if there was no earlier connecting flight available. That distinction is missing from this language so it now appears if you voluntarily give yourself a 15 hour layover vs a 10 hour layover you qualify for a free hotel which IMO is worth it over spending 10 hours stuck in a terminal.

  2. AA awards aren’t eligible, best source of all info is the Qatar Airways Forum on Flyertalk.

  3. Remember, in terms of eligibility this is offered (and paid for) by the Qatar tourism commission, not Qatar airways so even if you don’t meet the requirements, it’s worth trying your luck applying online anyway as they don’t seem to be that strict on the conditions. I purposely chose a 27 hour stopover even when there were much shorter transits available and has no issues booking this. It was by far the easiest stopover I’ve ever had. Doha may not be the most exciting place in the world but my goodness it’s easy.

  4. I stayed at the Sharq last August. No listing for it, or any of the main 5stars anymore 🙁

  5. Hi Lucky,

    I booked the amazing QR deal from the U.S. to Bangkok that you posted two weeks or so ago. I assume it is too late to modify the booking to include this type of stopover, but it’s worth asking the question. Do you think there is anything I can do?

    Thanks

  6. I just spend 20 hrs in transit before flight to Sydney and got Oryx Rotana arriving 2 a.m. and had a nice room until 6 p.m. Was asking about check out time at my arrival and was told that The Discover Qatar deals guest could have the room 2 hours prior to departure. Was happy about the service.

  7. Just booked this yesterday. Connecting from India in DOH and simply moved the DOH-DFW flight to the next day. Once you get your ticket number, just enter it on the site and it gives you a list of properties. I had the choice of the Holiday Inn, Radisson, Intercontinental, Oryx, and two Millennium hotels. Went with the Intercontinental. We will see how this plays out, but it doesn’t seem like it could be any simpler.

    One note, the booking confirmation said it cannot be changed, so don’t book if you are holding out for a specific hotel and want to switch later.

  8. Not sure what I am doing wrong. I tried booking a BOM-DOH-JFK-BOM ticket with the multicity option with outbound in mid August and return mid December. The ticket prices out, but where do I get the ability to select a hotel etc.

  9. “All that glitters is not gold” and anything that Qatar Airways temptingly flashes with exotic diamond laden fingers in front of your mesmerised eyes is undoubtedly going to result in bitter disappointment.

  10. @Arzan its totally seperate from Qatar Airways you book the flights first then fill out a form on a website

  11. Unfortunately Qatar Airways seems to have doubled the price for the second night from USD 50 to USD 100 within the last couple of days. Of course there was no announcement, it just changed without warning. I had already looked everything up for my stopover in October and wanted to book 2 nights today – only to see that the price had doubled since I last checked on Sunday. Disappointing.

    What disappoints me the most is, that we are travelling as a couple in business class and each of our e-tickets is eligible for a 1-night free stay. However, I have been advised by Plus Qatar that I cannot book two separate free nights, but instead have to book one stay of 2-nights, for which I will have to pay the fee for the second night. The official reason is that in the FAQs is states that the hotel stay must begin on the day of arrival.

    @Lucky, please also note that the luxury hotels for business/first customers are no longer available. It is only the 10 hotels listed at the website, which are available.

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