Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Qatar Airways | Privilege Club
Reload this Page >

Rapid antigen testing Trial at gate (doh-mle)

Rapid antigen testing Trial at gate (doh-mle)

Old Dec 3, 20, 1:26 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA Gold, UA Gold, HH Gold, Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 220
Rapid antigen testing Trial at gate (doh-mle)

so ive recently gotten word that as of this week, QR is performing rapid antigen tests before boarding on ALL passengers on the DOH-MLE flight.

anyone know what this is about? it’s not advertised anywhere so i’m shocked this is a “thing”. reports have shown that this extremely stressful with some individuals awaiting results up until 10 minutes before departure. this is also a bit redundant since all passengers already need to provide a rapid PCR test no older than 72H anyways, and had the passenger been infected with covid on the leg prior so Doh-Mle, it would be too novel and not even show up on the antigen test. so it seems like yet another unnecessary measure for a false sense of security

is this happening on any other routes?
rvlcr is offline  
Old Dec 3, 20, 2:39 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: TK M&S Elite Plus, QRPC Platinum, BAEC Gold, PC Bolbol, All Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy, BW Rewards
Posts: 8,759
I haven't heard of such testing at Doha for Malé flights.
I also couldn't find anything about this on the QR website.
ISTFlyer is offline  
Old Dec 3, 20, 2:56 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: North Texas
Programs: AAdvantage EXP 3.1MM, Hilton Gold, SPG Platinum
Posts: 425
Interesting. I hope this is either incorrect, or just a one-off. I’m flying that route in two weeks. By the time I board my DOH-MLE flight, it’ll be almost 4 days after my PCR test. Assuming it’s clear, being tested again, only to be found positive and denied boarding in DOH, would be heartbreaking (although understandable).

Incidentally, the window for PCR testing prior to arrival is the Maldives is now 96 hours, rather than 72 hours.
OWdevotee is offline  
Old Dec 3, 20, 3:28 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA Gold, UA Gold, HH Gold, Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 220
sorry, meant 96H.. it was 72 when we flew in october. anyways it appears to be very real, here are a few threads from TA:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi...-Maldives.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi...-Maldives.html
rvlcr is offline  
Old Dec 3, 20, 3:33 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: TK M&S Elite Plus, QRPC Platinum, BAEC Gold, PC Bolbol, All Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy, BW Rewards
Posts: 8,759
This is highly interesting.
I have also checked TIMATIC about the Maldives and there is no mention of a COVID test requirement other than the 96h before one.
ISTFlyer is offline  
Old Dec 3, 20, 3:41 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA Gold, UA Gold, HH Gold, Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 220
interesting and worrying that they’re deploying this new testing strategy with no notice or announcement or anything? will be interesting if other airlines will do this too since it appears to be a maldives requirement not a qatar one. i suspect this will be quite difficult to orchestrate at other airports that may not have as good of a testing infrastructure
rvlcr is offline  
Old Dec 3, 20, 6:46 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,104
What happens if rapid test is positive?

You've partially flown the flight all the way from US or Europe etc, so any refunds or vouchers will be negligible value.

Qatar bans entry of foreigners (or you might have a nationality that requires Qatar visa even under normal terms, so you can't enter Qatar)

Likely you can't be put on a flight back to where you boarded because firstly, you tested positive, but also, to be allowed entry back in your origin it will likely require a new pcr test, forms, approvals, whatever onerous requirements for entry are on that end.

So, what EXACTLY happens to someone who tests positive. They're stuck at Doha airport for two weeks?
dc10forlife likes this.
nomiiiii is offline  
Old Dec 3, 20, 11:01 pm
  #8  
343
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 113
I can confirm this testing. Flown yesterday MAD-DOH-MLE and nobody on check in process advised us regarding the antigen testing. When we arrived at DOH, a gate agent was waiting all passengers from our flight to scort us to MLE gate E23. This area is closed to only MLE flights. All passengers has to pass the test before boarding.

It is quite stressful since no previous communication from QR until you are there. And no questions where aswered, if you found possitive, has to quarentine on DOH or where?

If i was notified before checkin, i would cancel. Too risky.

PS: MLE is a paradise!
343 is offline  
Old Dec 4, 20, 1:40 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: LON
Programs: BAEC, Accor
Posts: 2,063
If someone did test positive, I would imagine the authorities would need to provide temporary admission into Qatar to get the test confirmed with a PCR test and if negative get you rebooked; and if you are positive provide a hotel room for self-isolation.

Whilst the border is closed to foreigners, I would be very surprised if there is not a process to exceptionally admit people who need urgent medical care.
plunet is offline  
Old Dec 4, 20, 1:59 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,104
Originally Posted by plunet View Post
If someone did test positive, I would imagine the authorities would need to provide temporary admission into Qatar to get the test confirmed with a PCR test and if negative get you rebooked; and if you are positive provide a hotel room for self-isolation.

Whilst the border is closed to foreigners, I would be very surprised if there is not a process to exceptionally admit people who need urgent medical care.
Its never this simple.

What if it is a boyfriend/girlfriend couple going to maldives on a romantic vacation, not legally married or legally related and just the boyfriend tested positive. Will the State of Qatar now admit this random stranger woman into their country also? Who is she and why should she be admitted? Is the girlfriend now going to sit and cry in the maldives resort by herself or buy a last minute expensive ticket back to her home country (she might not be able to if her home country has a covid test requirement which she has to first take in qatar to be allowed back, leaving going to maldives as her only choice)

Or a group of friends going, and the friend who did all the maldives resort bookings tested positive (so now the other friends don't technically have a reservation in Maldives, but will surely not be allowed into Qatar and be forced to either take the maldives flight or go back on an expensive ticket).

This will result in a lot of problems specially given the high false result rates of rapid tests
cheltzel, lhrhappy and rvlcr like this.
nomiiiii is offline  
Old Dec 4, 20, 5:02 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by rvlcr View Post
interesting and worrying that they’re deploying this new testing strategy with no notice or announcement or anything? will be interesting if other airlines will do this too since it appears to be a maldives requirement not a qatar one. i suspect this will be quite difficult to orchestrate at other airports that may not have as good of a testing infrastructure
How odd for this rapid testing to be a brand new, unannounced Maldives requirement that Qatar is the first to implement? Are we sure this is a Maldives issue and not a Qatar issue? Does this mean it's "safer" to fly other airlines to Male else be subjected to a rapid test in transit at Doha with Qatar? What's the point of getting a negative PCR test in advance when the rapid test at the transit airport is going to negate it?
traxtonus is offline  
Old Dec 4, 20, 8:52 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: SEA
Programs: AA LT PLT; HH Diamond; AS 75K
Posts: 2,567
Originally Posted by rvlcr View Post
so it seems like yet another unnecessary measure for a false sense of security
No, it isn't. A 72 hour window is a significant amount of time. You could have been infected at time of PCR and had a false negative or became infected following the test. If you are positive you shouldn't be in a confined space with other people. Your short period of a "stressful" time isn't unreasonable.

Good for QR.
tkelvin69 is offline  
Old Dec 4, 20, 8:56 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: SEA
Programs: AA LT PLT; HH Diamond; AS 75K
Posts: 2,567
Originally Posted by traxtonus View Post
What's the point of getting a negative PCR test in advance when the rapid test at the transit airport is going to negate it?
Uhh, to save live and prevent the spread of the virus???? Really, you don't get the amount of contact that takes place for most passengers in what could be 96 hours of exposure?
tkelvin69 is offline  
Old Dec 4, 20, 9:19 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: TK M&S Elite Plus, QRPC Platinum, BAEC Gold, PC Bolbol, All Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy, BW Rewards
Posts: 8,759
I don't think we have that many FT members from the Maldives but I would like to hear what a local is thinking about this.
Similar to the Greece incident back in June, QR might also have received fines from the Maldives government etc... if someone onboard a QR flight to the Maldives tested positive.

However, the most unethical part here is that QR should probably state that passengers would undergo from a rapid test at Doha rather than keeping their process silent.
ISTFlyer is offline  
Old Dec 4, 20, 11:15 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,104
Here is the mention on Qatar's website about the rapid antigen at gate:

https://www.qatarairwaysholidays.com...bble-holidays/
Full terms and conditions: https://www.qatarairwaysholidays.com...e-holidays-tcs

Of course, this seems like a major f-up by the ground staff because they're testing everyone not just people who have stupidly chosen this travel bubble holiday.

I think in the future we should have an alert for any qatar "travel bubble holidays" and avoid those routes proactively.
nomiiiii is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: