Qatar Airways – self-confessed ‘Five Star’ airline is having trouble due to the current political problems in the Gulf. Banned from flying to several neighbouring states, including Egypt, passengers are having problems travelling with them in the local area.
When this issue came along, Qatar scrabbled to rebook passengers and there are reports of quite generous re-routings being offered. Royal Jordanian has recently refused to accept Qatar tickets forcing passengers on to Middle Eastern Airlines or Turkish.
In the past week, Qatar has been cancelling tickets (without notice) for future dates, including my tickets for October and November. Luckily, My Flights warned me and so I called Qatar yesterday.
Reports on Flyertalk indicate that the US office has been more generous than other stations with rebooking options, so I used Skype to call yesterday afternoon. The FT thread has lots of real world experiences from travellers so if you are involved in this too, it is worth subscribing to it.
The generosity reported wasn’t my experience – in summary:
- They could rebook me immediately on Turkish, except that they don’t have any space on my travel days
- Or, I could have a refund – that doesn’t really help
- Or, I can call back three days before travel and they can rebook me on MEA
- Or, I can call back one day before and might get BA, AirFrance, or some other airline, including Royal Jordanian
The one missing option – getting rebooked today.
It’s very unusual for an airline to cancel a ticket and then not reinstate it in my experience, but perhaps we live in difficult times.