QR to EK status

Old Jun 7, 17, 1:23 am
  #1  
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QR to EK status

With escalating issues in the Gulf and the effects to Qatar Airways, could this be a good time for EK to be poaching passengers and frequent travellers to the region?

As a PC Gold, I need to renew my membership within the next month, or go down to Silver. I'm wondering if it's worth me staying with QR or move over to EK - something I've been thinking about for a while, for no other reason than I'll be going to Dubai more than normal, at least once a month and can avoid the Doha stop.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 1:32 am
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Hi there, welcome to the dark side

of course in the EK forum you may find biased answers, mine will certainly be but I'll try lay it out as objectively as possible.

I think moving to EK if you are travelling to DXB specifically is a double-edged sword, because flying EK out of/in to DXB is expensive, due to the premium EK commands for direct flights without the stop, and the purchasing power in the market. So don't expect to be able to fly to DXB from your home country for the same price as you currently pay for QR. This is a rule of thumb, check ticket prices to confirm. An easy way around this is to book to a third country with an extended stopover in DXB which EK readily allows for free on many fares. Cheap markets for this tend to be India and other Asian destinations, though there are countless options.

You can give an EK status match a try, usually EK will award you one tier up from current, so they may bump you up to Silver immediately. No guarantees here of course.

The reasons I find EK superior to both EY and QR are primarily stability. EK is extremely large, has multiple daily flights on lots of routes, hundreds of aircraft, and is very well established with very strong processes in place.

We may not like those processes at times, and we may find EK colder and less personal, especially in on-board service, than QR or EY, but ultimately that stability, now more than ever, has value. I don't feel at risk with EK of them going away in the next year. While EY and QR are both established, relatively large airlines, QR has always been more of a gamble, policy-wise, than the very appeasing, neutral UAE, and EY has the baggage of their terrible investments and their very rapid expansions in recent years which in my experience often causes chaos with baggage loss and outstation service. Their aircraft are also woefully inconsistent, or used to be, I think this has cleared up a little.

In the end there's an argument to be made to not be loyal to anyone, and go for the cheapest fare, in the face of ongoing devaluations. Now there's an FT article that compares EK's recent unbundling to BA which is worrisome to say the least. For me EK offers the best timings on the routes I fly for often very good or the best pricing, with 3 daily flights to CPT and HYD where QR has one to both I think. I also found QR pricing less consistent (I have flown them a few times in the past when I was more price sensitive), I usually check their pricing whenever I book and they fluctuate from cheapest to a lot more expensive.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 2:20 am
  #3  
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Old Jun 7, 17, 8:24 am
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EK Skywards will match QR gold to one tier higher than you currently are on Skywards, so if you are blue you get silver etc., which is not the best but it gets you priority check in, boarding and access to EK Biz lounge in DXB which is good.

Worth considering.

As far as service goes, I find EK J to be vastly inferior to QR's. In economy it is much of a muchness. The benefit of flying EK in Y is that you get access to the proper lounge, whereas in DOH, you get the lesser lounge. QR has a better list of partners though.
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Old Jun 12, 17, 5:48 am
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Status match offer

I'd like to add EK offered to upgrade me from Blue to silver I'm just about to get PC platinum
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Old Jun 12, 17, 6:21 am
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Originally Posted by spec119 View Post
I'd like to add EK offered to upgrade me from Blue to silver I'm just about to get PC platinum
Thanks for the update ! Not much of a upgrade , but better then blue .
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Old Jun 12, 17, 7:19 am
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I'm in a worse situation as i'm based here in Dubai full time. I use to fly primarily to europe before but migrated from Lufthansa to Qatar Airways in late 2015 since my travel destinations went from 100% europe to 25% US, 25% Asia and 50% Europe. I'm currently gold on Qatar Airways and was running up to Platinum early august.

That's obviously not gonna happen anymore so I've got several options on the table:

1) Stick to the one world alliance with British Airways but I'd be facing some below gulf standard in Economy and business plus having to fork out a hefty premium on all european routes from here with them. On the plus side I have Sri lankan and Cathay to look back when flying to Asia.

2) Biting the bullet and chosing one of the big brothers here. I've compiled the ticket prices from all big 3 carriers since late 2015 and Qatar has come on top in terms of pricing with Emirates second and Etihad a lonely third. The gap in pricing between QR and EK is across 18 month nearly 30% higher !

Now I understand the premium direct flights should have but that's not a small price difference.

I'm currently on the fence and wanted to ask you guys when is Emirates normally running its special fare period during the year? (qatar was in Jan).

Thanks.
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Old Jun 12, 17, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by ostendadler View Post
I'm in a worse situation as i'm based here in Dubai full time. I use to fly primarily to europe before but migrated from Lufthansa to Qatar Airways in late 2015 since my travel destinations went from 100% europe to 25% US, 25% Asia and 50% Europe. I'm currently gold on Qatar Airways and was running up to Platinum early august.

That's obviously not gonna happen anymore so I've got several options on the table:

1) Stick to the one world alliance with British Airways but I'd be facing some below gulf standard in Economy and business plus having to fork out a hefty premium on all european routes from here with them. On the plus side I have Sri lankan and Cathay to look back when flying to Asia.

2) Biting the bullet and chosing one of the big brothers here. I've compiled the ticket prices from all big 3 carriers since late 2015 and Qatar has come on top in terms of pricing with Emirates second and Etihad a lonely third. The gap in pricing between QR and EK is across 18 month nearly 30% higher !

Now I understand the premium direct flights should have but that's not a small price difference.

I'm currently on the fence and wanted to ask you guys when is Emirates normally running its special fare period during the year? (qatar was in Jan).

Thanks.
EK does not have QR type sales to be honest and this year the prices are as high as I've seen them. With the QR situation I doubt they will come down in price as I guess demand will go up.
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Old Jun 12, 17, 1:11 pm
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on the LON-BKK route It seems you need to take a huge amount of flying to get an upgrade from Y to J with EK on QR flying on a Y ( Q class ) I just need 3 round trips with QR or am I missing something seems hugely different
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Old Jun 12, 17, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by spec119 View Post
on the LON-BKK route It seems you need to take a huge amount of flying to get an upgrade from Y to J with EK on QR flying on a Y ( Q class ) I just need 3 round trips with QR or am I missing something seems hugely different
Well it would depend which fare type you're flying. If it's a Special or Saver, you'd probably need something like 5 or 6 round-trips, if not more, to upgrade a Flex booking. If you're flying Flex Plus everytime then 3 returns might do it, if you get Silver or Gold bonuses, too.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by jah718 View Post
EK Skywards will match QR gold to one tier higher than you currently are on Skywards, so if you are blue you get silver etc., which is not the best but it gets you priority check in, boarding and access to EK Biz lounge in DXB which is good.

Worth considering.
My $0.02 on the matter:

I requested a status match from QR (Platinum) to EK. I had a J Flex ticket already booked on EK. They asked for statements from QR and AF (I mentioned in the request I am FB plat. too), which I provided, showing ~30 J flights per year between Africa, Europe and Asia. I recognise it's not a groundbreaking number of flights, but it's enough spend for Skyteam and OneWorld to think it's worth whatever the top tier in their programmes it worth. EK also wanted my job title.

I gave them all of the above, and they pointedly mentioned that they only 'match' to Silver (I was aware of this going in, fair enough). They have not explicitly said so, but the lack of match in the ~7 weeks it's been means it probably isn't going to happen.

I doubt this will materially impact them at all, but in the wait for a match to silver, I booked and additional 12 J flights (3 trips) (SQ, QR, KL) that probably would have gone to them if they'd matched.

I know that I would already be past silver if I'd booked those flights on EK, but that's not really the point. I suppose I just wanted some small indication that my custom was of interest to Emirates, which I saw a match as a proxy for. Oddly, in a year of 80% falls in revenue, and offers to sell Gold status for $800, it isn't.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by 255FlyerTZ View Post
My $0.02 on the matter:

I requested a status match from QR (Platinum) to EK. I had a J Flex ticket already booked on EK. They asked for statements from QR and AF (I mentioned in the request I am FB plat. too), which I provided, showing ~30 J flights per year between Africa, Europe and Asia. I recognise it's not a groundbreaking number of flights, but it's enough spend for Skyteam and OneWorld to think it's worth whatever the top tier in their programmes it worth. EK also wanted my job title.

I gave them all of the above, and they pointedly mentioned that they only 'match' to Silver (I was aware of this going in, fair enough). They have not explicitly said so, but the lack of match in the ~7 weeks it's been means it probably isn't going to happen.

I doubt this will materially impact them at all, but in the wait for a match to silver, I booked and additional 12 J flights (3 trips) (SQ, QR, KL) that probably would have gone to them if they'd matched.

I know that I would already be past silver if I'd booked those flights on EK, but that's not really the point. I suppose I just wanted some small indication that my custom was of interest to Emirates, which I saw a match as a proxy for. Oddly, in a year of 80% falls in revenue, and offers to sell Gold status for $800, it isn't.
After verifying your information they would've offered you the match to Silver, did you expicitly write back and confirm you would like it, and provide the Skywards number? A follow-up would probably yield results, things do get lost in big organisations, but the incremental benefits if you're already flying J aren't that significant so if you're just going with best price and schedule then​ that's probably a good strategy.
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Old Jun 16, 17, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
After verifying your information they would've offered you the match to Silver, did you expicitly write back and confirm you would like it, and provide the Skywards number? A follow-up would probably yield results, things do get lost in big organisations, but the incremental benefits if you're already flying J aren't that significant so if you're just going with best price and schedule then​ that's probably a good strategy.
So I sent the initial request from the 'contact' section while logged in to my skywards account. When nothing happened, I sent a follow up one and they said it would take 15 working days to decide. The email mentioned skywards number, and the booking ref I sent them has my number attached to it. As you say though, not much on the line.

I definitely agree that best strategy now is to just book whatever is interesting and appropriately priced. It's just hard to shake the old way of thinking that status and loyalty mattered, and to mentally readjust what it's actually worth (very, very little).
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Old Jun 16, 17, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by 255FlyerTZ View Post
So I sent the initial request from the 'contact' section while logged in to my skywards account. When nothing happened, I sent a follow up one and they said it would take 15 working days to decide. The email mentioned skywards number, and the booking ref I sent them has my number attached to it. As you say though, not much on the line.

I definitely agree that best strategy now is to just book whatever is interesting and appropriately priced. It's just hard to shake the old way of thinking that status and loyalty mattered, and to mentally readjust what it's actually worth (very, very little).

It's not worth little to everyone, but if you're already paying for J or F then there's really no point chasing loyalty status. For people like me who fly almost exclusively Y it makes a tremendous difference. Even just being able to flag down the Senior Cabin Manager who'd been super friendly and checking up on me frequently to organise a pen for my neighbour who'd been struggling to get someone's attention, these small thinks make a big difference.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
It's not worth little to everyone, but if you're already paying for J or F then there's really no point chasing loyalty status. For people like me who fly almost exclusively Y it makes a tremendous difference. Even just being able to flag down the Senior Cabin Manager who'd been super friendly and checking up on me frequently to organise a pen for my neighbour who'd been struggling to get someone's attention, these small thinks make a big difference.
I think that's the part that I struggled to reconcile - that even if I fly in Y, status didn't seem to have any meaningful impact on the travel experience, which is why don't value it very highly. By the sounds of it, EK did a better job of it for you than OW and Skyteam did for me.

I should also add, that, EK did status match me, but only after I flew the first segment of my ticket - smart move! I was very underwhelmed by EK J, but got an opportunity to upgrade one leg to F on miles, and I was really impressed (by service more than the bling!) I suppose the hardest thing for EK is that if they invest too much in J, it cannibalises their F product, which, in my opinion, manifests in a mediocre J product.
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