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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
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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
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Old Jun 6, 17, 4:46 pm
  #496  
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Originally Posted by Keter View Post
I think Bahrain airspace lost its color and took part of the neutral airspace.
Yes, and part of Qatar's airspace.

Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
In theory: yes. I would however think that it is practically impossible to intercept aircraft on such a short stretch. Another point is: What if QR would simply continue flying. I doubt that Bahrain is going to shoot down passenger jets that will carry numerous foreigners.
Rather possible, given their air and air defense assets are poised for short stretch concerns.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 5:03 pm
  #497  
 
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All the this Bahraini airspace stuff is a nonsense. Bahrain had been allowed to control the airspace over Qatar's territorial waters in the Gulf, in the interests of GCC airspace efficiency. (and giving the virtually bankrupt Bahranias something to do)

Do you seriously think that Qatar would allow Bahrani ATC to exclude Qatari aircraft from Qatari sovereign waters (/air)? Or would Bahrain's ATC rights over Qatar's EEZ be removed, and a functional corridor setup from Doha to Iranian airspace using Qatar and Iranian territorial waters only? ... which is exactly what's happened
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Old Jun 6, 17, 5:37 pm
  #498  
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Originally Posted by Global321 View Post
I understand your disappointment, but, airlines virtually never refund or reimburse for any travel outside the flight. (Maybe a token amount for goodwill, but that is it.) And from QR POV, they are ready willing and able to fly your flights.
Originally Posted by FlyingSalami View Post
Not really, as per conditions of carriage, they are not obligated to pay out for hotels and over expenses for the holiday, that is what travel insurance is for, and flexible hotel bookings, unless the question meant it was a Qatar holiday package, which means they should cover costs like any other airline, right?
What 3544quebec said:

Originally Posted by 3544quebec View Post
I don't think danger was referring to them not paying ancillary costs but the fact that they didn't just answer their own question directly and say "no we don't reimburse other costs" as pandaperth indicated more succinctly
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Old Jun 6, 17, 5:40 pm
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Originally Posted by alexwuk View Post
All the this Bahraini airspace stuff is a nonsense. Bahrain had been allowed to control the airspace over Qatar's territorial waters in the Gulf, in the interests of GCC airspace efficiency. (and giving the virtually bankrupt Bahranias something to do)

Do you seriously think that Qatar would allow Bahrani ATC to exclude Qatari aircraft from Qatari sovereign waters (/air)? Or would Bahrain's ATC rights over Qatar's EEZ be removed, and a functional corridor setup from Doha to Iranian airspace using Qatar and Iranian territorial waters only? ... which is exactly what's happened
This is my understanding too.

Qatar had historically given the responsibility to control Qatari airspace to Bahrain ATC, and for now, seem happy to comply with the Bahraini restriction of one corridor in, one corridor out. Probably because ATC arrangements are hard to change quickly and it's just one less thing to worry about for the time being.

However, if Bahrain try something as stupid as blocking QR flights from Qatari airspace altogether, then of course the agreement for Bahraini management of Qatari airspace will be immediately rescinded, and Qatar will make its own arrangements going forward.

The notion that Qatar will sit by and let itself be blockaded from its own air and sea access routes is interesting, to say the least.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 5:49 pm
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Maybe there is some substance to the claim by Qatar that a fake news story is to blame for this diplomatic crisis.

US suspects Russia planted fake news in Qatar
http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecur...n-qatar-report
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Old Jun 6, 17, 5:58 pm
  #501  
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Originally Posted by StormDog View Post
I've just checked through the majority of departures for the last 6-8 hours - Almost all movements are close to schedule which is pretty impressive given the restrictions.
Yes, so far, the lack of true horror stories is very impressive given the severity of the disruption.

Originally Posted by LukeO9 View Post
Maybe there is some substance to the claim by Qatar that a fake news story is to blame for this diplomatic crisis.

US suspects Russia planted fake news in Qatar
http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecur...n-qatar-report
This story has more twists than a pretzel. Seems like a far-fetched theory, but who knows.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 6:17 pm
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http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/06/politi...sis/index.html

Russia did it! Smoking bomb right there. More twists than a pretzel? More twists than my 20-year-old Romanian gymnast girlfriend*!

*Note: does not exist except in the hours of REM sleep
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Old Jun 6, 17, 7:59 pm
  #503  
 
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Anyone know how QR re-route DOH-DXB?
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Old Jun 6, 17, 8:07 pm
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Originally Posted by soonyeap View Post
Anyone know how QR re-route DOH-DXB?
...and/or DOH-AUH ?
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Old Jun 6, 17, 9:13 pm
  #505  
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Originally Posted by soonyeap View Post
Anyone know how QR re-route DOH-DXB?
I was offered the following options:

DOH - IST - DXB, DOH - AMM - DXB, DOH - BOM - DXB and DOH - TUN - DXB

I think if DOH - KWI - DXB, DOH - MCT - DXB are available, they will put you on that. But they are full on the days that I need.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 9:29 pm
  #506  
 
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I was supposed to go JNB-DXB on QR any idea the route that I will take?
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Old Jun 6, 17, 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by mlqsko View Post
QR have cancelled flights before this mess for a number of reasons - technical, crew, etc. As long as you're not flying to/from the banned countries, chillax.
Originally Posted by Global321 View Post
In this situation, two weeks is a lifetime. This could be over, it could be escalated, it could be... anything.

Don't worry yet.
Originally Posted by remdk View Post
hightide cancellations do occur from time to time. Todays cancellation could be due to there not being a suitable aircraft available due to the current situation
Or more likely one of the usual flock of cancellations to predominately Muslim countries during Ramadan.
Ok, thanks for the information you guys

BTW: Under the wiki information, it is stated that RJ is no longer selling DOH-AMM flights. I tried a dummy booking but it looks like it's still working.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 10:04 pm
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Originally Posted by hightide View Post
RJ is no longer selling DOH-AMM flights. I tried a dummy booking but it looks like it's still working.
If true, maybe an arrangement that QR does RJs AMM-DOH while RJ does QRs CAI-AMM has been made.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 10:55 pm
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I know this might sound stupid, but if the ban is on Qatari Aircrafts... why not use the LATAM 350 DOH to CAI above saudi??? there must be a legal trick to use this plane for the best at this current time.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 11:08 pm
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What's your guys' latest take on QR flights from Doha to the Maldives? Assuming that Maldives is just voicing support for KSA, but obviously wanting to keep its relationship with Qatar Airways intact for tourism revenue. Feel like if Maldives were going to ban QR, they would have done so by now...

This concerns me as I have a flight to MLE via DOH from the US a month from Friday.

Fairly off topic, but what about Yemen? Flights still operational, it seems?
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