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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
Print Wikipost

Old Jun 15, 17, 2:43 am
  #796  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Originally Posted by windeye View Post
It's a shame that CX refused my chauffeur request and class changed from R to U.
My recollection is that QR will arrange seating in your originally ticketed cabin, but not necessarily at the same fare class. And what with changing carriers and all, mileage earning may, of course, suffer.
Dr. HFH is offline  
Old Jun 15, 17, 3:10 am
  #797  
 
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Dr. HFH it is not normally possible to claim miles for a reroute. Reroutes are as windeye points out normally reclassed to ticket class U by the actual carrier. As many posters have pointed out you would have to retroclaim for the original routing! Where is there a loss of mileage etc. in that?
remdk is offline  
Old Jun 15, 17, 5:39 am
  #798  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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In a bit of a bind now. Flying DOH-MAD (QR151) in J on the 19th at 2:20PM. Was going to arrive in MAD earlier at 2050 but now rescheduled (I got an email...) to 2120 arrival. (+30 mins) As per flightaware (https://uk.flightaware.com/live/flight/QTR151) this flight has been delayed even further and last got in at 2132 and 2144. That would leave very less time for me to make the next flight.

Got a connecting MAD-LIS flight at 2255. With the earlier timing I had about 2 hours (and usually the QR flight arrived earlier...) for immigration, baggage, terminal switch, re-checkin. Now, it looks like I won't.

I called QR and asked them if they could put me on the earlier QR149 but they refused and said I could have it changed for USD 600. Apparently they only consider free changes for over 2 hours of delays for rescheduled flights.

So.. what are my options here? Try calling again? Do something else? I think I'll need to overnight in Madrid but not sure...
lhioseddy is offline  
Old Jun 15, 17, 6:11 am
  #799  
 
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qr should rebook you if it is on one ticket.
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Old Jun 15, 17, 6:23 am
  #800  
 
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Originally Posted by pbd456 View Post
qr should rebook you if it is on one ticket.
As he's talking about check-in in MAD, probably not?
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Old Jun 15, 17, 6:31 am
  #801  
 
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Originally Posted by lhioseddy View Post
In a bit of a bind now. Flying DOH-MAD (QR151) in J on the 19th at 2:20PM. Was going to arrive in MAD earlier at 2050 but now rescheduled (I got an email...) to 2120 arrival. (+30 mins) As per flightaware (https://uk.flightaware.com/live/flight/QTR151) this flight has been delayed even further and last got in at 2132 and 2144. That would leave very less time for me to make the next flight.

Got a connecting MAD-LIS flight at 2255. With the earlier timing I had about 2 hours (and usually the QR flight arrived earlier...) for immigration, baggage, terminal switch, re-checkin. Now, it looks like I won't.

I called QR and asked them if they could put me on the earlier QR149 but they refused and said I could have it changed for USD 600. Apparently they only consider free changes for over 2 hours of delays for rescheduled flights.

So.. what are my options here? Try calling again? Do something else? I think I'll need to overnight in Madrid but not sure...
HUCA is going to be your best - and perhaps only - option. I would explain honestly about your connecting flight and see if they will make 'a one-time exception'. You could also try different call centers.

Originally Posted by pbd456 View Post
qr should rebook you if it is on one ticket.
I believe OP is talking about different tickets.
Global321 is offline  
Old Jun 15, 17, 3:51 pm
  #802  
 
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Originally Posted by DanielW View Post
I am guessing this in Economy? My guess is that their default is to simply not confirm the flight, then refund the flight afterwards.
Well actually it was First (A) class. But still awful service.
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Old Jun 15, 17, 6:54 pm
  #803  
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Originally Posted by remdk View Post
Dr. HFH it is not normally possible to claim miles for a reroute. Reroutes are as windeye points out normally reclassed to ticket class U by the actual carrier. As many posters have pointed out you would have to retroclaim for the original routing! Where is there a loss of mileage etc. in that?
Agree completely. But then wouldn't you want to weigh ORC against the miles you would theoretically earn for the rerouted itinerary in whatever fare class to determine which might be preferable in any specific situation? And be prepared to argue your position to get the miles you want/earned/would have earned/deserve! I can imagine situations in which the rerouting is sufficiently longer that you would earn more miles there. Ugh. My head hurts!!!
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Old Jun 15, 17, 7:05 pm
  #804  
 
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
I can imagine situations in which the rerouting is sufficiently longer that you would earn more miles there.
I've read reports of QR offering to reroute CAI-DOH as CAI-LHR-DOH, which would earn far more miles.
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Old Jun 16, 17, 12:07 am
  #805  
 
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Originally Posted by anabolism View Post
I've read reports of QR offering to reroute CAI-DOH as CAI-LHR-DOH, which would earn far more miles.
Well, if they did that during the 24-hour window prior to your scheduled departure (which they say is the rule now), you'd probably miss any connection you had in DOH. Not particularly convenient I would think.
Grace B is offline  
Old Jun 16, 17, 3:25 am
  #806  
 
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Originally Posted by lhioseddy View Post
In a bit of a bind now. Flying DOH-MAD (QR151) in J on the 19th at 2:20PM. Was going to arrive in MAD earlier at 2050 but now rescheduled (I got an email...) to 2120 arrival. (+30 mins) As per flightaware (https://uk.flightaware.com/live/flight/QTR151) this flight has been delayed even further and last got in at 2132 and 2144. That would leave very less time for me to make the next flight.

Got a connecting MAD-LIS flight at 2255. With the earlier timing I had about 2 hours (and usually the QR flight arrived earlier...) for immigration, baggage, terminal switch, re-checkin. Now, it looks like I won't.

I called QR and asked them if they could put me on the earlier QR149 but they refused and said I could have it changed for USD 600. Apparently they only consider free changes for over 2 hours of delays for rescheduled flights.

So.. what are my options here? Try calling again? Do something else? I think I'll need to overnight in Madrid but not sure...
Even if you arrive on time or early, you will probably not make it. Even asuming your MAD-LIS departs from T4 and you have an EU passport. If your MAD-LIS flight is from T1-T3 there is simply no way to do it.
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Old Jun 16, 17, 5:28 am
  #807  
 
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Originally Posted by schrodingerdog View Post
Even if you arrive on time or early, you will probably not make it. Even asuming your MAD-LIS departs from T4 and you have an EU passport. If your MAD-LIS flight is from T1-T3 there is simply no way to do it.
Yes that's what I feared. However, I managed to find a solution that should be okay. Booked Iberia 3118 to Lisbon at 2310 hrs. Since it's a oneworld airline Qatar is now interlining bags even on separate PNRs (from: https://www.qatarairways.com/en/abou.../oneworld.html)

Qatar Airways is pleased to offer passengers the courtesy of through check of themselves and their bags to their final destination when travelling on multi-sector journeys involving connections onto other oneworld member airlines, even when the trip is booked using separate tickets.
Iberia leaves from T4. So now I just need to budget for immigration and maybe security in case that's needed again. I've done this trip several times before and it's been fairly smooth so as long as immigration isn't busy it should be fine *fingers crossed*
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Old Jun 16, 17, 2:44 pm
  #808  
 
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Data Point:

Had CAI>DOH>BOS>DOH>CAI booked in late July and late October. Mix of A and I class.

Call 1: USA QR - Told no changes, I offered to fly to new origin at my expense (suggested switching to KRT>DOH>LAX and she tried but said they would not be able to.

Call 2: Swiss QR - Asked for KRT>DOH>LAX and she checked and told me it would be ~3k Franc. I asked for waiver given the situation. Told only changes to a few select airports (AMM, BEY, LCA, IKA, SYZ, MCT to name a few).

Call 3: USA QR - Was offered to fly via BEY but asked for KRT. She said no. I mentioned I knew someone who had done so just yesterday. She asked for their PNR (I only gave name and date). She looked them up and placed me on hold. Agreed to do and move the departure back five days. Said LAX would require refare.

Overall a success. The flight I am on for KRT>DOH will missconnect at the moment but based on the KRT times a few days out, I will have to call back in and adjust again.
rivlinm is offline  
Old Jun 16, 17, 4:37 pm
  #809  
 
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Why would you keep calling QR for flights in late July?

You should have been told politely but firmly to wait it out and come back shortly before your departure, if still relevant. Most likely this will be resolved by end of next month.
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Old Jun 16, 17, 4:48 pm
  #810  
 
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With all due respect for those having travel plans ahead of me, I must disagree with your opinion.

In certain regions of the world, certain nationalities require advance planning. A Sudanese or Iranian visa can't just be bought at the local store on your way to the airport. When I do land back in the USA, I need to continue my travel and must book those flights now at reasonable prices, not <7 days out prices because I waited to plan a MONTH LONG trip until three days out.

I certainly agree it would be bad form calling on June 6th, but a random Friday morning 2 weeks later harms nearly no one. I'm not one to abuse situations or cause undue burden on those in dire need, but at some point it has to be 'reasonable' to sort out our own travel that is potentially altered by the political landscape.

Besides isn't maximizing air and travel plans the true 'spirit' of FT?

To each their own...but I wasn't willing to cause myself $300-400 in additional travel costs by sitting on the sidelines waiting for a solution.
rivlinm is offline  

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