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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 12, 17, 10:47 am
  #751  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Originally Posted by awxm88 View Post
yes, sounds like we are in the same boat here. 24 hours is cutting it wayyyy too close but what other option do we have?

that said, I called the USA office and they seemed perfectly willing to rebook me on oman air straight away. but they didnt offer me the flights i wanted, so i declined for the moment and am hoping the qatar office (which approved my desired routing, just refused to do it till t-24) will play ball.
update: don't think the 24 hours thing is a hard and fast rule. called up the qatar office today and got a very cheerful CSO who did the rebooking, no questions asked. got the e ticket 1 min after we ended the call.
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Old Jun 12, 17, 11:00 am
  #752  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Al Baker adressing the situation in a short video interview with CNN

http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/12/news...re-gulf-crisis
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Old Jun 12, 17, 3:44 pm
  #753  
 
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CAI-LHR-DOH been offered as alternative for ex-CAI

CAI-LHR-DOH been offered as alternative for CAI-DOH:

Just to share what been offered by QR..I have CAI-OSL with a 7 days DOH stop over. Since during the STO i do have other flights to other ME countries who sanctioned QR - those on diff PNR's , i tried and failed to seek more clarity regards which potential solution they would offer -1st leg is in 4 days hence called QR in Americas (tried once at DOH and been told to wait for the 3day window - no further comments).. While on phone with Americas QR customer support i believe that due to nature of my ticket multi cities & Stop-over DOH, the operator insisted in 'Full Refund' which i dont want for now (running out of time so forced myself today and already booked a plan B but will wait to get QR solution) for which they tried a couple of inconvenient MCT-DOH and DOH-KWI which wouldnt work due to my DXB connections, availability and timing. so they end up offering J BA CAI-DOH via London as alternative for the CAI-DOH! Both BA tickets but the LHR-DOH to be on QR metal and DOH-OSL per booked ticket.. found it interesting however due to time limitation, office needs and many fights in pipeline i end up not taking...

Last edited by Bubus78; Jun 12, 17 at 3:52 pm
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Old Jun 12, 17, 6:59 pm
  #754  
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J BA CAI-DOH via London as alternative for the CAI-DOH! Both BA tickets but the LHR-DOH to be on QR metal
Nice, I would do that
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Old Jun 13, 17, 12:05 am
  #755  
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Does anyone have experience with changes in Y? I guess its limited to only refunds? Got a QR trip to HKG from DXB later in the year. This is looking like it may well drag on and just wonder if I need to look at other options.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 12:49 am
  #756  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Originally Posted by Bubus78 View Post
CAI-LHR-DOH been offered as alternative for CAI-DOH:

Just to share what been offered by QR..I have CAI-OSL with a 7 days DOH stop over. Since during the STO i do have other flights to other ME countries who sanctioned QR - those on diff PNR's , i tried and failed to seek more clarity regards which potential solution they would offer -1st leg is in 4 days hence called QR in Americas (tried once at DOH and been told to wait for the 3day window - no further comments).. While on phone with Americas QR customer support i believe that due to nature of my ticket multi cities & Stop-over DOH, the operator insisted in 'Full Refund' which i dont want for now (running out of time so forced myself today and already booked a plan B but will wait to get QR solution) for which they tried a couple of inconvenient MCT-DOH and DOH-KWI which wouldnt work due to my DXB connections, availability and timing. so they end up offering J BA CAI-DOH via London as alternative for the CAI-DOH! Both BA tickets but the LHR-DOH to be on QR metal and DOH-OSL per booked ticket.. found it interesting however due to time limitation, office needs and many fights in pipeline i end up not taking...


How much in advance where you able to do that? Have similar routing Cai-Doh-Bkk in F/C
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Old Jun 13, 17, 1:00 am
  #757  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Originally Posted by schlingu View Post
How much in advance where you able to do that? Have similar routing Cai-Doh-Bkk in F/C
This was offered over the phone 4 days prior to 1st segment CAI-DOH.
The LHR option doesnt work for me since have strict work timelines and couple flights before/after, plus they couldnt accommodate any flex dates and only one potential CAI-LHR-DOH flight could be offered which would translate to flying all day for no reason ....
I asked and does seems they were ok to scrap CAI both ways from the itinerary and even tried MCT and/or KWI as starting / end journey.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 1:50 am
  #758  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
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I get a rerouting from CAI-DOH-DPS to CAI-LHR-DOH-DPS on June 7th for my flight mid July including QSuites and hightes booking classes. So if you get connected to the right agent...
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Old Jun 13, 17, 2:28 am
  #759  
 
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Originally Posted by ICPUI View Post
I get a rerouting from CAI-DOH-DPS to CAI-LHR-DOH-DPS on June 7th for my flight mid July including QSuites and hightes booking classes. So if you get connected to the right agent...

Sounds very tempting and would be my favourite at this time. which number did you call? i could visit the city office of qatar here in zurich but am not sure if they are willing to change my reservations so far in advance
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Old Jun 13, 17, 2:35 am
  #760  
 
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Originally Posted by SullyofDoha View Post
12 hours in Kuwait is going to suck! Sorry to read :/
Your wonderful words on Kuwait encouraged me to ask QR to put me on the afternoon flight from DOH to KWI meaning 11 hours in the DOH first Class Lounge rather than 12 hours in whatever they have at KWI.
They tried to pull the "you have already accepted yesterday your free routing change so will have to pay $US80 change fee" trick. Needless to say I convinced them otherwise
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Old Jun 13, 17, 2:42 am
  #761  
 
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Originally Posted by schlingu View Post
Sounds very tempting and would be my favourite at this time. which number did you call? i could visit the city office of qatar here in zurich but am not sure if they are willing to change my reservations so far in advance
Im also living in Switzerland and I just called the swiss QRPC support number.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 4:06 am
  #762  
 
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Originally Posted by ICPUI View Post
Im also living in Switzerland and I just called the swiss QRPC support number.
Did they allow a >24h stopover in London?
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Old Jun 13, 17, 4:17 am
  #763  
 
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Originally Posted by Vitriol01 View Post
Did they allow a >24h stopover in London?
I didnt ask, I have a overnight layover on the way back in London. But I dont think they allow any stopovers if its not allowed in you fare rules.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 5:01 am
  #764  
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QR may have just found some new customers.

The showdown between Qatar and its neighbors has disrupted trade, split families and threatened to alter long-standing geopolitical alliances. It’s also prompted one Qatari businessman to fly 4,000 cows to the Gulf desert in an act of resistance and opportunity to fill the void left by a collapse in the supply of fresh milk.

It will take as many as 60 flights for Qatar Airways to deliver the 590-kilogram beasts that Moutaz Al Khayyat, chairman of Power International Holding, bought in Australia and the U.S.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...eat-the-saudis
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Old Jun 13, 17, 5:10 am
  #765  
 
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Originally Posted by Vitriol01 View Post
Did they allow a >24h stopover in London?
What i got as potential offer was with no stopover in London and had to stick to 1st segment dates.. maybe one can 'negotiate' better tho since that didnt appeal that much to me...
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