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Starting from 13 August 2020, QR now has a new medical requirement

Starting from 13 August 2020, QR now has a new medical requirement

Old Aug 10, 20, 12:00 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Why are you assuming that high value customers want this? For someone traveling frequently for business, it's a time wasting hassle and will depress travel even more.
What makes you say that I am "assuming" anything?

I am not.

What you refer to as "time wasting" is "life saving".
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Old Aug 10, 20, 12:07 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by mr_botak View Post
Not for this (relatively) high value customer. I really don't see how three days out the test offers much re-assurance (not that personally I feel in any way I need re-assurance).
Clearly you are not fearing covid and must be in an age group that is less vulnerable.
I have seen people, even young people, get very painfully sick with potential sequels.
I need to travel but wishes to minimize risks.
To illustrate, I have flown six longhaul segments from March to July. Three more in Jan/Feb when covid was hitting China.
WIth frequent future flights, I am not going to take unnecessary risks, nor wish to be quarantined in dedicated facilities because I sat near a positive case.

I used to favor Qatar between Europe and Asia because of its outstanding product .
Unless they make sure that they apply a strict policy so that I don't board risky pax on my second segment, I will skip QR.
I guess my priorities have changed and I would be willing to pay more and get a lesser product .
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Old Aug 10, 20, 4:01 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by mr_botak View Post
Not for this (relatively) high value customer. I really don't see how three days out the test offers much re-assurance (not that personally I feel in any way I need re-assurance).
I have to agree. Flown with QR for 15 years, several flights a year, all business class. So presumably also relatively high value for QR.

I could live with many things - paying for tests, test on departure from home country of UK (where I know I can get 24hr results in private labs), etc. What will stop me booking is the requirement for test on return flights back home.

I can't, for example, go to Nepal or Sri Lanka on holiday if I don't know whether there is test slot availability (let's not forget a lot of these countries don't have well developed health systems) and how long results will take.

The risk of missing return flight is significant. As somebody who works and therefore has to be back at my desk by a given point in time (that's how I pay for QR's tickets), that's not the risk I can take.

Whilst QR seem to have tried to *not* hit destinations they've spent the past month marketing as holiday locations - eg no Tanzania or Kenya (where do you take the test on safari?), or Maldives, or Bali, or Seychelles on the list - the rapid introduction of this policy makes me very reluctant to book anything for Christmas for example to pretty much any destination.

Not that QR is unique - same policy will rule out switching to Emirates or Etihad, which are (at least from my perspective focused on practicality of the test) worse than QR in requiring it from all destinations. Although I appreciate some will consider them better for this. To each their own...

Now this previously very loyal flyer is in the market for a status match programme elsewhere
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Old Aug 10, 20, 4:37 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by marialdn View Post
I have to agree. Flown with QR for 15 years, several flights a year, all business class. So presumably also relatively high value for QR.

I could live with many things - paying for tests, test on departure from home country of UK (where I know I can get 24hr results in private labs), etc. What will stop me booking is the requirement for test on return flights back home.
I'm in a similar situation based on my previous travel pattern, but for now international travel is all on the back burner.

Whilst I like that QR is recognising which of their market is proving to be an issue in terms of contaigon risk, this is far from foolproof. One thing I would be very interested in how is handled in this system is wether this means pax show up with potentially valid paperwork or if the agents at checkin has a way of crossreferencing the tests with any of the preapproved labs. Some of the countries listed here do have big issues with faked paperwork, and I'd like to see those tests be valid to increase their value.

As much as the hub model QR and EK uses to provide connectivity, the risk of that model is now mixing markets where the virus spread is at different level when you mix everyone in Doha. For now, if there opened up a chance to go to Singapore for a relatively low impact holiday, I would be far more inclined to splash out a bit extra on a non-stop SQ flight rather than get mixed up in Doha.

And as a final note, to those up thread here worrying this being flawed. This is not the One Solution(tm) to rule them all, etc. this is all about risk management. Risk is everywhere, and we all layer our way of mitigating those risks with multiple layers, all day. This is no different, it is one of many layers of cheese used, in doing what is possible to void the holes in the cheese lining up.

-A
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Old Aug 10, 20, 4:47 pm
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by ph-ndr View Post
I'm in a similar situation based on my previous travel pattern, but for now international travel is all on the back burner.

Whilst I like that QR is recognising which of their market is proving to be an issue in terms of contaigon risk, this is far from foolproof. One thing I would be very interested in how is handled in this system is wether this means pax show up with potentially valid paperwork or if the agents at checkin has a way of crossreferencing the tests with any of the preapproved labs. Some of the countries listed here do have big issues with faked paperwork, and I'd like to see those tests be valid to increase their value.

As much as the hub model QR and EK uses to provide connectivity, the risk of that model is now mixing markets where the virus spread is at different level when you mix everyone in Doha. For now, if there opened up a chance to go to Singapore for a relatively low impact holiday, I would be far more inclined to splash out a bit extra on a non-stop SQ flight rather than get mixed up in Doha.

And as a final note, to those up thread here worrying this being flawed. This is not the One Solution(tm) to rule them all, etc. this is all about risk management. Risk is everywhere, and we all layer our way of mitigating those risks with multiple layers, all day. This is no different, it is one of many layers of cheese used, in doing what is possible to void the holes in the cheese lining up.

-A
I travelled with QR in July to Tanzania, experience still very good. Service pretty much BAU in business class.

Given Iím very low risk for the virus complications (young, female, no health issues or vulnerable relatives) Iíd have still stuck with QR even though Iíd run some contamination risk in Doha that I would not have with a direct flight.

But the test requirement on return flight? Just not viable... I even tried to get in touch with some of QRís recommended labs to see if I can prebook the test 2-3 weeks before (platinum status, excellent service, QSuite and a ton of Qmiles are hard to part from )

For this model to work, airports themselves need to run accredited clinics dedicated to pretty much travel only. Interestingly enough QRís sole lab in Cebu, Philippines, is run by the Cebu-Mactan airport, so I assume they would be keen to meet the requirements.

Maybe thatís a step in the right direction
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Old Aug 10, 20, 6:43 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by Donegal View Post
. . . . . and these three airlines now just introduce an immese level of bureacracy with no practical support for the customer. I believe they will in the end regret these ideas or at least the overall industry will suffer from even less demand.
I don't know about QR, but for EK and EY it's the government and not the airlines that have imposed this requirement.
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Old Aug 10, 20, 6:59 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by mr_botak View Post
Not for this (relatively) high value customer. I really don't see how three days out the test offers much re-assurance (not that personally I feel in any way I need re-assurance).
I also question the logic of sending passengers to places where there are known COVID cases to get the tests 72 hours before the flight.
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Old Aug 10, 20, 7:13 pm
  #23  
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For those with flights departing from MNL, one laboratory on QR's approved list, Asian Hospital, stated when called they are NOT doing testing for travel. Of all the others, none will guarantee results with 48 hours, the best some can promise is 72 hours. With a flight departing at 23:40 that means a high probability of waiting for your results on the day of departure. At what point can you reschedule your flight? You are asked to be at the airport for check in 3 hours prior to departure. Do you proceed to the airport without your test results and hope you get them once there? Qatar has not been answering their local number here in Manila either FWIW, so forced to call the Qatar number via Skype. Is it just me or are many of the agents hard to understand/language barrier? Another aside, no walk in appointments are being accepted at ANY of the approved laboratories, one must call and schedule in advance, and slots are limited. Finally, they are also requiring a note from a doctor requesting the test, one simply cannot make an appointment, show up and ask to be tested without a doctor's order in writing.
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Old Aug 10, 20, 10:04 pm
  #24  
 
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Does DOH offer similar RT-PCR tests? Would rather be tested be at the airport if doing a short turn around <72 hours in the specified locations.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 1:57 am
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by ALGU View Post
Does DOH offer similar RT-PCR tests? Would rather be tested be at the airport if doing a short turn around <72 hours in the specified locations.
Iíve not seen any testing at DOH when going through mid-July. QR do say however that if your return flight is within 48 hours of arrival they will not require the test (unless itís a requirement of the destination country).
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Old Aug 11, 20, 2:35 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by craig44485 View Post
Another aside, no walk in appointments are being accepted at ANY of the approved laboratories, one must call and schedule in advance, and slots are limited.
This is part of the issue. You have to prebook well in advance, particularly if you want to go early in 72-hour period to give yourself best shot at getting results in time.

Since QRís policy was announced, I did some armchair investigation for a potential Christmas trip to Nepal (or rather back from Nepal since U.K.-> Nepal would be easy). Experience is clinics named, at least some, are responsive but mostly via Facebook messenger (which is unusual for me, based in U.K.)

They understand the need for fast results for travel, in fact I have - admittedly for payment of a western-sized fee - been promised 24hr results (whatís delivered is another matter of course). Appointments can be made by phone including ahead of arrival into the country. No doctorís note needed.

In fact for any trip thatís a week or less, Iíd probably only consider a destination/airline combination with pre-flight test requirement if I could pre-arrange the test ahead of departure to the destination.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 9:25 am
  #27  
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Everyone is different in terms of trade off between risk and inconvenience, and I fully respect it.

The trend is clearly for countries to require pre-testing for passengers arriving from high-risk countries. This is progressively instituted by countries in Asia (many) and Europe (France, Portugal, ..).
Apologies for repetition but this is the future of longhaul travel. Even airlines militate for it.
It can create havoc in the early stages, but demand creates supply. Widespread testing with quick results will become available, even if mildly expensive. Germany is considering offering such service at FRA. Holiday destinations like Thailand know where their butter is. Unless covid recedes, I doubt that pre-testing for high-risk country, possibly all countries, will not be the norm.

Now to your point about holiday destinations. I doubt that you will consider going on vacation in a high-risk country. If it is high risk, covid is spreading rapidly and most attractions will be closed, that could be restaurants or even beaches.If you odn't want to go to Philippines currently simply because you will be required to do a pre-test, then maybe you forget that it is currently not a fun place to be. In other words if QR decides to add your holiday country to the list of high-risk countries that would be the lesser of your problems.
Of course, this is mostly academic as most of these high-risk countries are closed to tourism. The situation today is that most longhaul pax return to their home country, are dual-nationals, or a few exempt workers.
My main criticism is that the USA is excluded by Qatar from that list, clearly fo commercial reason.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 9:26 am
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
That is incorrect for Portugal.(Decree Law no. 7595-A / 2020, of July 31).
Except for flights arriving from EU+, Canada and Morroco,All passengers (including Portuguese citizens, residing in Portugal and their families) on the flights described in paragraphs c) and d) must present proof of laboratory testing (RT-PCR) for the screening of SARS-CoV-2, with a negative result, performed within 72 hours prior to the time of departure, or they will be denied boarding.

NOTE - The test must be a molecular RT-PCR test and rapid tests are not acceptable.

I for one, would not hesitate a moment if given the choice between an airline that implement strict testing requirement and a lax airline.
You can see that some flights arriving in Hong Kong had 30 pax tested positive on arrival (EK) or more than 10 (QR, EK). Those would probably have tested positive upon departure and we know that asymptomatic cases are contagious.
Until QR (and EK) require advance tests from all high-risk countries, I will not feel safe aboard.
There are rapid tests that use RT-PCR technology. I do not know about the availability world wide but I can get one from a lab locally in the Chicago area that will produce results within 5 - 10 minutes.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 10:25 am
  #29  
 
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What happens if the flight gets delayed and you go over your 72 hours or the flight goes tech or even cancelled and you are delayed 24 hours. Do you have to get a new test? Also what happens if you miss an onward connection which takes you over 72 hours?
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Old Aug 11, 20, 12:00 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
My main criticism is that the USA is excluded by Qatar from that list, clearly fo commercial reason.
Well, the US state department have been issuing travel advisories for countries that are some of the lowest rate of infections in the world, and I think there is more political concerns on leaving US off such a list than immediate commercial ones. But that's weering towards OMNI/PR.

-A
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