As you may know the state of Qatar has fallen out with a number of its neighbours, ostensibly for supporting terrorism by paying a huge ransom to get some of it’s royal family released by ISYS.
Neighbouring states have closed airspace and offices to Qatar Airways and have cancelled flights to and from the country.
This will cause havoc for me if it’s not fixed by the autumn as I have two big trips on Qatar Airways booked:
- Cairo – Doha – Bangkok
- Cairo – Doha – Abu Dhabi
The Cairo and Abu Dhabi flights are cancelled at present.
Unfortunately, Qatar Airways won’t do anything about this until three days before travel. So there is some risk in leaving it until the last minute as availability on other carriers may be spotty. I suspect QR will just want to issue refunds as the fares I have are pretty cheap.
So what to do?
Plan B – I’ve booked an Avios redemption with BA which will get me out of Cairo if I need it – it prevents me sitting around in Cairo for a week. I can cancel 24 hours before hand at no charge, and I hope QR will have decided its plans long before then. It means I am clogging up award availability but there are not a lot of choices.
Flyertalk has a thread on the issue – and contains some stories of people getting re-routed from Cairo, via London, Istanbul or Athens to Doha. Other people report QR pressing them to accept refunds, presumably in an effort to save money paying other airlines to carry their passengers.
I am planning on monitoring the thread on FT and waiting and watching – I am sure more will develop before I have to fly.