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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, AlexandriaBorg el Arab, Bahrain, Buraydah, Cairo, Dammam, DubaiAl Maktoum, DubaiInternational, 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 Aug 6, 17, 8:01 am
  #1291  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Programs: QR Privilege Gold
Posts: 55
Does anyone have any experience of what happens if you are booked with an award upgrade. Flying back to RUH from EDI and am upgraded on the EDI - DOH sector. If they rebook me on BA will they stick me back in economy? On the way out I was kept in J but I rerouted via KWI. Thanks!
QR27 is offline  
Old Aug 6, 17, 11:08 am
  #1292  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: AUH
Posts: 7,948
My revenue Y flight upgraded with Qpoints to J was re-routed to CX J.
stargold is offline  
Old Aug 6, 17, 11:57 am
  #1293  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: Eurobonus Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 3
I originally booked this trip for October with Qatar Airways:

ARN-DOH: Business on a 787
Two night stop-over in Doha
DOH-DXB: First on an A350

Then back the same route on a 787 both legs. I was really glad getting to fly those new aircraft!

I called Qatar Airways today and they offered me:

ARN-DOH: Business same date & flight
Two night stop-over in Doha
DOH-MCT: First on a QR 777
MCT-DXB: Economy on a WY 737

Then back from Dubai on British Airways:
DXB-LHR: Business on a 777
LHR-ARN: Business on an A320

I am not thrilled about the old aircraft and the economy leg MCT-DXB. Is this my best option or does anyone have any advice on other routes or airlines that I can suggest that might be accepted?
ctznkane is offline  
Old Aug 6, 17, 1:40 pm
  #1294  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Programs: AA (EXP), Hilton (Diamond), SPG (lowly Plat)
Posts: 8,707
Originally Posted by rjn21 View Post
I had Expertlyer open and could see all fare buckets were selling in first for my preferred MCT flights and in business for the existing HEL flights.
Originally Posted by rjn21 View Post
For people calling without prior access to expertflyer or similar to see route options, flight numbers, times, availability etc. to come up with a plan and live access on the call to look at any issue that arises, it must be tricky for both passenger and the agent to come up with a good solution.
Originally Posted by Phil the Flyer View Post
All the more reason, before contacting QR, to have studied various options (obviously access to EF helps, I've subscribed for many years at USD9.99/month) so you can agree with the booking agent a specific and detailed alternative itinerary that best suits you.
When checking availability for QR to rebook you, I recommend being sure to change the EF Point of Sale (PoS) to UAE. EF doesn't have Qatar as a PoS, but UAE seems to be close enough. I have run into situations where some flights have different availability with a UAE PoS versus a U.S. PoS.

By the way, Phil the Flyer, if you subscribe using the $100/year option, you'll save ~$20 versus the $10/month option.
anabolism is offline  
Old Aug 6, 17, 4:48 pm
  #1295  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 4,644
Originally Posted by ctznkane View Post
Two night stop-over in Doha
DOH-DXB: First on an A350

?
A350 does not have First.
worldtrav is offline  
Old Aug 6, 17, 5:07 pm
  #1296  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: Eurobonus Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by worldtrav View Post
A350 does not have First.
The booking says First but it's short haul and just business seats - I think it's a rate technical thing.
ctznkane is offline  
Old Aug 6, 17, 5:15 pm
  #1297  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Global
Posts: 5,578
Originally Posted by ctznkane View Post
The booking says First but it's short haul and just business seats - I think it's a rate technical thing.
I believe short haul business class labeled 'First' gets first lounge access and first ground services.
Global321 is offline  
Old Aug 6, 17, 5:43 pm
  #1298  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,944
Correct Global321 except that you have to be departing DOH in F to use Al Safwa lounge in DOH for regional flights. Passengers arriving in longhaul F and have less than eight hours scheduled transit also have access no matter their onward class of travel while passengers from shorthaul, regional, F do not.
remdk is offline  
Old Aug 6, 17, 6:37 pm
  #1299  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Doha, Qatar
Programs: Qatar Airways Privilege Club Platinum; Accor Le Club Platinum
Posts: 888
Originally Posted by jbflyboy84 View Post
Noted, will remember to hold people's hand next time and take them through step by step the intricacies of airline scheduling.

Or maybe I should just stop sharing information?
It would be a shame to miss out on your shared information. However, not everyone is as savvy at understanding the lingo as you are. I for one hope you continue to contribute. ^
SullyofDoha is offline  
Old Aug 6, 17, 6:38 pm
  #1300  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Programs: AA (EXP), Hilton (Diamond), SPG (lowly Plat)
Posts: 8,707
Originally Posted by jbflyboy84 View Post
Noted, will remember to hold people's hand next time and take them through step by step the intricacies of airline scheduling.

Or maybe I should just stop sharing information?
I stayed out of the acronym discussion until now. I think everyone appreciates when factual information is posted, as you did regarding the cancellations. I also think many of us FT regulars (myself included) tend to use more abbreviations than necessary, which can cause confusion. I think using fewer abbreviations, especially the less commonly seen ones, is a nice thing to do. I wouldn't characterize it as hand-holding, since not everyone is expected to be familiar with every abbreviation. I also know we tend to forget which ones others might not be familiar with.
anabolism is offline  
Old Aug 6, 17, 6:58 pm
  #1301  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 238
I will take the above 2 posts on-board SullyofDoha and Anabolism - was just trying to get the info to the board ASAP as succinctly as possible. Thank you for the level headed comments.
FlyerRed5 is offline  
Old Aug 6, 17, 11:30 pm
  #1302  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by ctznkane View Post
MCT-DXB: Economy on a WY 737
I am not thrilled about the old aircraft and the economy leg MCT-DXB.
I was rerouted AUH-BEY-MCT all in business by ME and QR but the flight time become 8 hours plus the availability is very limited, like only 2 flights per day and only 10 seats or so per flights for business. If you have time to spare you could request that, but if not, maybe ask if they can throw in lounge access for you to make up for it?

I request to be rerouted via MCT and they cannot book me on biz class as well. I think WY is becoming expensive as it is a shortest route between UAE and DOH, but once they fully operate at Sohar airport, things might change.

Edit: slightly good news. The first ease of Bahrain FIR airspace to Qatar is effective today, more airspace is scheduled to open effective August 17. I cannot open the below article cos it is banned in UAE but from the subject it is a good news

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/5592...tar-from-today

Last edited by Amame; Aug 7, 17 at 12:15 am Reason: Add new info.
Amame is offline  
Old Aug 7, 17, 3:30 am
  #1303  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,613
I called the hotline Hong kong, for changes. one booked via travel agent, one book via qatar online. They insisted i provide the platinum number before attending to me.

reissued from DOH to Cairo to Doh to Beirut. I never thought that DOH beirut is a first class itinerary. Always thought it is a business class until i saw the A. So i extended my stopover from 2 hours to 8 hours to enjoy the first class lounge (Al Safwa), hoping to get a room available?

Return journey, originally booked in S class, but now in B class. So extra Q points for the trip.

All in all, a very pain free experience. Both are done about 28 days to the original date of travel.
tboons is offline  
Old Aug 7, 17, 7:25 am
  #1304  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 376
Originally Posted by Amame View Post
I cannot open the below article cos it is banned in UAE but from the subject it is a good news
Thanks for this -- hoping my 4.5-hour DOH-BEY after August 17 will shrink down a bit.

Here's the relevant text from the article:

Bahrain is to ease airspace restrictions on Qatar from today following International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) directives to the effect, sources said.
While the first ease of Bahrain FIR airspace to Qatar is effective tomorrow, more airspace is scheduled to open effective August 17, a tweet from noted aviation analyst Alex Macheras said.
...[explains an FIR]...
On July 31, ICAO asked all member states to abide by and comply with the Chicago Convention...
The directive was issued after the ICAO Council Extraordinary Session was held at the ministerial level in Montreal, Canada last Monday to examine Qatars requirement.
sethweinstein is offline  
Old Aug 7, 17, 10:11 am
  #1305  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sweden
Posts: 63
Thumbs up

Originally Posted by remdk View Post
segra the most likely solution will be DOH-MCT-DXB unless Oman air have flights MCT-DWC. Be assured that QR will reroute you.
I called them and they reroute us over LHR^, All cred to QR for
the handling of this issue with the closed airspace etc.
segra is offline  

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