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Qatar Airways - UAE, KSA, Bahrain and Egypt withdraw licenses and close airspace

Qatar Airways - UAE, KSA, Bahrain and Egypt withdraw licenses and close airspace

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Old Jul 21, 17, 3:19 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: plunet
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Wiki last updated: 21 July 2017 18:00 UTC

Summary of key traveller experiences and feedback on this forum since Mid-June
  • Policy statement (link) for the travel industry issued 15th June 2017
  • Refund is always an option, but very varied experiences of how quickly the refund is processed, from a few days to "still waiting". Some experiences of passengers being pressurised into taking refunds when this is not necessary if you can wait.
  • If you want to reroute from a closed destination to another middle east destination still served by QR, you might be able to do this as early as 30 days from 1st sector, although we have had reports of rerouting at 6 weeks out.
  • Where QR have to reroute onto other carriers, long haul reroutes typically onto BA, CX and TK seem to be quoted most often. In the Gulf region ME, KU, WY are quoted most often. Although RJ is a OneWorld carrier and should be a parter for QR, they are not accepting QR rerouted tickets.
  • Status of reservations for travel to affected destinations typically changes to "Unconfirmed" 7 days ahead of travel.
  • If your booking was via a 3rd party or agent you probably can't get Qatar to change the ticket until 72 hours before the first sector. 3rd parties and agents seem to be offering refunds rather than rerouting, although there has been some success if you can show them the QR rebooking policy document.
  • There has been a very mixed bag of reports of how QR are handling rebooking. Some people have no luck getting itineraries changed before 72 hours before departure, but others do. So some good advice is to always be polite but if you don't get what you want, then thank the agent for their time and HUACA (hang up and call again) - preferably after you have had a drink and have calmed down, and maybe calling a different office.

Some specific data points from other travellers:
(but there is a lot more valuable information if you can trawl back through the thread)

#753 CAI-LHR-DOH been offered as alternative for ex-CAI 4 days prior to 1st sector.
#772 KUL-DOH-LXR reroute to CAI and IST refused
#792 AUH-DOH-DPS by QR rebooked to DXB-HKG-DPS by CX
#794 Australia-DOH-HBE rebooked as DOH-BEY on QR on 2nd attempt.
#808 CAI>DOH>BOS>DOH>CAI rebooked to KRT and date change
#818 SYD-DOH-CAI changed to SYD-DOH-KWI-CAI, layovers optimed and +Qatar stopover
#830 and #840 Economy ICN-DOH-DXB rebooked onto CX ICN-HKG-DXB
#849 ex-CAI ininaries changed to ex-AMM but needed to HUACA a few times.
#856 CAI-DOH-BKK changed to FCO-DOH-BKK all on QR
#868 DFW-DOH-HBE changed to DFW-DOH-LCA all on QR 2 weeks out.
#906 Unable to get LXR-DOH-HKG-BNE rerouted until 72 hours prior
#927 CAI-DOH-BKK rebooked onto CAI-BAH-AMM on Gulf DOH-BKK (on QR) and return back to AMM
#966 DXB-DOH (award ticket) was changed to DXB-KWI-DOH on Kuwait+QR 48hrs in advance
#966 DOH-CAI (2 award tickets) were changed to DOH-BEY on QR 48 hours advance
#966 CAI-DOH-MUC (paid business) were changed to BEY-DOH-MUC 72 hours advance
#981 HKT-DOH-DWC (J/F tix) change to HKT-DOH-KWI all on QR 10 days out.
#985 ex-LXR ticket rerouted by OTA as CAI-BEY-DOH outside the 72 hr window
#1004 BKK-DOH-CAI in F rebooked as BKK-DOH-BEY in QR F, BEY-CAI in C on ME
#1005 HEL-DOH-DXB rebooked HEL-DOH-MCT on QR and MCT-DXB on Oman once ticket status went to unconfirmed.
#1057 MAN-DOH-DXB rebooked as MAN-LHR-DXB on BA (had to HUACA 3 times)
#1141 Multiple ex-CAI itineraries CAI-DOK-BKK return in J, CAI-DOH-LHR return in J, CAI-DOH-BKK single in F changed to all be ex-KWI. Had to HUACA 3 times.
#1157 LXR-DOH-NRT booked in January, flight changed to CAI-DOH-NRT
#1172 Rebooked CAI-(F)-DOH(J)-BKK to CAI-(C/ME)-BEY-(F)-DOH-(C)-BKK at 77hrs from departure
#1173 Rebooked at QR office HBE-DOH-DPS to HBE-IST-DOH-DPS on TK/TK/QR and improved timing on DOS-DPS segment

Offical guidance from QR website as of mid July:

Passengers who have purchased their tickets from Qatar Airways have the following options to refund their tickets:

For tickets booked on qatarairways.com, they can:
  1. Go to Refund requests;
  2. They can approach their nearest Qatar Airways Office; or
  3. They can call the Qatar Airways contact Centre at +974 4022 0072
For tickets booked through a Qatar Airways Office or through the Contact Centre, passengers can
  1. Contact their nearest Qatar Airways Office; or
  2. Call Qatar Airways Contact Centre on +974 4022 0072
The refund will be made to the original form of payment and the refund will be processed within 14 - 28 days.
Passengers who have purchased their Qatar Airways tickets through a Travel Agency can request their refund from the issuing Travel Agent.
Within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kingdom of Bahrain and Egypt please use: https://refundsapp1.blueivysync.com/...er-refund.html

This is a different web form as the Qatar website is blocked from some of these countries.
For further information and FAQs please visit: http://support.qatarairways.com/hc/e...002369667-FAQs
What Happened

On the 6th of June flights from Qatar to Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (and vice versa) were suspended.

This includes all Qatar flights between Doha and Abu Dhabi, Abha, Alexandria–Borg el Arab, Bahrain, Buraydah, Cairo, Dammam, Dubai–Al Maktoum, Dubai–International, Gassim, Hofuf, Jeddah, Luxor, Madinah, Ras Al Khaimah, Riyadh, Sharjah, Tabuk, Ta'if and Yanbu.

Adding to this at 00:00 (UTC) on the 6th of June restrictions were put in place limiting flights to Doha to one particular corridor through the airspace of Bahrain. This has since been relaxed to two specific corridors through Bahrain airspace with a second corridor up the Saudi Arabia the new addition.

All other flights to other Qatar Airways destinations including the Maldives are still operating although some have delays due to the extended time required to avoid restricted airspace.

There are a couple of routes that are having to make fuel stops in Athens or Muscat but this seems to be dependent on the type of aircraft as well.

Details on the Airspace can be found here - https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/f...ain-and-egypt/

What about my Flights to other destinations?

Flights to Europe, Asia, Pacific and Norte America are operating as per schedule with minimal delays. There is no need to contact QR regarding these services.

Flights between Doha and Souto America are facing delays due to longer times and/or need for a technical stop-over. Flights to GRU and EZE are 2hr to 5hrs longer.

Flight between Doha and Africa/Middle East have longer flights times due to the airspace restrictions. Some routes like Doha to Khartoum have felt the full force of the restrictions with the flight now taking 2hr 30 mins longer than normal.

Qatar has begun to re-time flights to ensure the network continues running smoothly. Changes have been since Monday 12 June 2017, so it is advised to check your flight status and times on the Qatar website.


What about my flight to a suspended destination?

If you are due to fly in the next few days, search for alternative routings and note them down.

24 hours before your scheduled departure time, contact your LOCAL QR office, and ask for their assistance. Advise them that you have found an alternative routing which you would be willing to accept and see if they will book it for you.

If you are due to fly more than 5 days from today, try and relax. Do not panic and please do not call QR as you are blocking the lines for those flying in the next 24 hours. At this stage, Qatar is only offering options to those who are traveling in the next 24 hours.

Currently, people in the thread have suggested that Qatar is rebooking on flights through Muscat, Kuwait, Amman, Istanbul, Mumbai, Beirut, Athens and Tunis.

You can only get a refund if your booking is to one of the destinations listed at the top! (The number of people asking QR on Twitter for a refund of other flights is amazing)

What about other airlines?

Most other carriers in and out of Doha are still operating except for Air Arabia, Air Arabia Egypt, Air Cairo, EgyptAir, Emirates, Etihad, FlyDubai, Rotana Jet and Saudia.

Most other carriers are using the new restricted routes into Doha although provided the aircraft is not registered in Qatar they are allowed to use the Saudi Arabia or Egypt Airspace.

Timeline of Events:


5 June 2017

- UAE, KSA, Bahrain and Egypt withdraw licenses and close airspace
- All MS flights between CAI and DOH was zeroed out
- All GF flights between BAH and DOH closed for sale
- All QR flights between DOH and CAI closed for sale
- All QR staff travel was canceled

6 June 2017

- Airspace Restriction came into effect at 00:00 (UTC)
- All QR flights between DOH and UAE/Bahrain/KSA closed for sale
- QR flights between DOH and MLE still bookable
- QR Charters 3 aircraft from Jeddah to Muscat

7 June 2017
- QR Charters an aircraft from Jeddah to Kuwait

8 June 2017
- Qatar Airways website blocked in the UAE
- Qatar Airways offices in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain close

11 June 2017
- Second flight corridor added along the Saudi Arabia Coast

13 June 2017
- UAE Relaxes rules allowing non Qatari registered aircraft to use their airspace to/from Qatar but they are still not allowing flights between the UAE and Qatar from any operators.
- Egypt Relaxes rules allowing non Qatari registered aircraft to use their airspace to/from Qatar. The new rules also allow for non Qatar or Egypt registered aircraft to operate flights between the two countries.

14 June 2017
- Agreement between QR and BA/A3 on reticketing passengers (link below)



Further information:
- QR Travel Alert http://support.qatarairways.com/hc/e...bile_site=true
- QR FAQs http://support.qatarairways.com/hc/e...002369667-FAQs
- QR Charter flights arranged from Jeddah KSA to Muscat Oman http://support.qatarairways.com/hc/e...Muscat-to-Doha
- QR agreement with BA & A3 to reticket their flights http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/qatar...r-help-qr.html
- Political background and latest updates: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40155829
Print Wikipost

Old Dec 7, 17, 10:56 am
  #1531  
 
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Originally Posted by tmac100 View Post
The blockade shows no signs of ending.
This is not a blockade. Aircraft and ships are free to come and go from Qatar. If it was a blockade, they would not be. There are travel restrictions but a blockade is a military action, whereas this is a diplomatic action.

That being said, I was hoping for a breakthrough at the meeting, accompanied by a business class sale to celebrate!
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Old Dec 7, 17, 11:40 am
  #1532  
 
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
This is not a blockade. Aircraft and ships are free to come and go from Qatar. If it was a blockade, they would not be. There are travel restrictions but a blockade is a military action, whereas this is a diplomatic action.
I'm sure posters here are using the word 'blockade' figuratively, in a forum where such use is not restricted by nomenclature / terminology.
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Old Dec 7, 17, 7:24 pm
  #1533  
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Originally Posted by husseinbadr View Post
Reluctantly, I'm now forced to give up on them, at least until this crisis is over.
I would (and still do) take QR whenever possible. To paraphrase Lee Iacocca, if you can find a better J class, book it!


Start at 0:38:

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Old Dec 7, 17, 9:00 pm
  #1534  
 
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
I would (and still do) take QR whenever possible.
Me too.
Good product.
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Last edited by msm2000uk; Dec 8, 17 at 12:30 am Reason: OMNI Comment
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Old Dec 8, 17, 3:36 am
  #1535  
 
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I've been waiting and hoping for months now that the problems would be resolved. I fly from London to DXB every month and Qatar always gave a good option when comparing fares. I found the A380 business product to be really good and the on-board lounge must surely be the best in the sky - certainly the best and most comfortable I've experienced. I didn't mind the stop in Doha and actually looked forward to it. One time I allowed myself enough time to even use the air side hotel swimming pool. The lounges in Doha are really great. The only minus was not having a car transportation option included in the fare like Emirates. Fingers crossed Qatar becomes available for UAE-bound traveller's again soon.
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Old Dec 8, 17, 6:49 pm
  #1536  
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Originally Posted by Brink View Post
I've been waiting and hoping for months now that the problems would be resolved. I fly from London to DXB every month and Qatar always gave a good option when comparing fares. I found the A380 business product to be really good and the on-board lounge must surely be the best in the sky - certainly the best and most comfortable I've experienced. I didn't mind the stop in Doha and actually looked forward to it. One time I allowed myself enough time to even use the air side hotel swimming pool. The lounges in Doha are really great. The only minus was not having a car transportation option included in the fare like Emirates. Fingers crossed Qatar becomes available for UAE-bound traveller's again soon.
Yes, I empathise with you. Most of my travel originated/ended in UAE, often with attractive fares. This “blockade” situation has caused me to have to book other carriers as its sometimes just too damn difficult to find a way with QR. I will hit Platinum soon too but will have great difficulty using the miles piled up in my account. Oh well, thats life, the OW Emerald will come in useful in HKG/LHR lounges.
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Old Dec 9, 17, 2:53 am
  #1537  
 
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Originally Posted by NoY View Post
Yes, I empathise with you........... Oh well, thats life, the OW Emerald will come in useful in HKG/LHR lounges.
I use Priority Pass as a standard lounge access at MENA airports (and elsewhere) when not flying on OW and *A airlines. Works for me in airports like DXB, MCT, YYZ, YWG, and others.

EK, EY, and QR have many connections to many places, but sometimes their hubs are inconvenient as compared to elsewhere, and sometimes they do not fly to my destination (even through their hub).

For me, OW Sapphire works with same lounge access and baggage benefits as Emerald - and *A Gold works weĺl too, especially when flying cheap seats domestically on AC.

I call my approach just using "multiple redundancies".

Last edited by tmac100; Dec 9, 17 at 3:00 am
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Old Dec 9, 17, 3:00 am
  #1538  
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Originally Posted by tmac100 View Post
I use Priority Pass as a standard lounge access at MENA airports (and elsewhere) when not flying on OW and *A airlines. Works for me in airports like DXB, MCT, YYZ, YWG, and others.

EK, EY, and QR have many connections to many places, but sometimes their hubs are inconvenient as compared to elsewhere, and sometimes they do not fly to my destination (even through their hub).

I call my approach just using "multiple redundancies".
I have Lounge Key & virtually always fly premium cabins so am always covered one way or another lounge-wise. However, I rate HKG First (CX) lounges as about the best in the world & the BA First Lounge at LHR a step above the dull Galleries lounges, so OW Emerald works well for me. Fortunate as my travels take me via those destinations regularly. I must admit I am getting jaded with the so-called “loyalty” game & may "play the field" going forward..
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Old Dec 9, 17, 3:10 am
  #1539  
 
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Yes to your approach. Loyalty works up to a point, but sometimes a change is necessary when one of the partner's circumstances/needs/offerings change.

Note, to all readers, read NOTHING into this opinion as we all live in a world of changing "flux"...
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Old Dec 9, 17, 6:53 am
  #1540  
 
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Just off the phone from Qatar in Poland. I had a First ticket ex CAI to BKK and was told when all this kicked off to "park" the ticket and I could use it when either the route was reinstated or fly from a nearby airport. Called today and asked to fly from AMM and was told after going through all the flight selection that the policy had changed and that the only option was a refund. I argued the case that in my notes on their side that it was agreed I could move the airport and the agent agreed with this but said the Supervisor was clear that the only option was a refund. Eventually got through to the supervisor who wouldn't budge and told me to contact customer care. We chatted a bit more and they agreed to contact Qatar HQ as I was promised the reroute and its noted. I won't hold my breath....

I have to say however the agent and the supervisor were lovely and I can't fault them. They agreed it was unfair but had strict guidelines.

Last edited by IrishStephen; Dec 9, 17 at 7:12 am Reason: text error
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Old Dec 9, 17, 6:54 pm
  #1541  
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Originally Posted by IrishStephen View Post
Just off the phone from Qatar in Poland. I had a First ticket ex CAI to BKK and was told when all this kicked off to "park" the ticket and I could use it when either the route was reinstated or fly from a nearby airport. Called today and asked to fly from AMM and was told after going through all the flight selection that the policy had changed and that the only option was a refund. I argued the case that in my notes on their side that it was agreed I could move the airport and the agent agreed with this but said the Supervisor was clear that the only option was a refund. Eventually got through to the supervisor who wouldn't budge and told me to contact customer care. We chatted a bit more and they agreed to contact Qatar HQ as I was promised the reroute and its noted. I won't hold my breath....

I have to say however the agent and the supervisor were lovely and I can't fault them. They agreed it was unfair but had strict guidelines.
Exactly what happened to me (see my previous few posts). If you can find suitable flights on QR metal they may well move you to those but I had to specifically request that. Good luck.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 12:22 pm
  #1542  
 
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Originally Posted by NoY View Post
Exactly what happened to me (see my previous few posts). If you can find suitable flights on QR metal they may well move you to those but I had to specifically request that. Good luck.
I actually gave them QR flight number and on their metal and they were not interested. Can I ask where you called?
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Old Dec 11, 17, 4:40 pm
  #1543  
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Originally Posted by IrishStephen View Post
I actually gave them QR flight number and on their metal and they were not interested. Can I ask where you called?
My first (unsuccessful) call was to HKG call centre who I had found very helpful in the past. This time? useless. Second call to Doha via the number from the website.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 6:35 pm
  #1544  
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FWIW, and although I don't have this specific problem, I've always found the U.S. QRPC call center helpful and accommodating.
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Old Dec 12, 17, 9:37 pm
  #1545  
 
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My last flight was rerouted by India call center while HKG call center said not possible. Do not remember the number now but you can get from the website.
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