a group of people sitting in a chair in a plane

Qatar Airways was one of the first airlines to “unbundle” its business class fares, which removed airport lounge access from the most competitively priced tickets. Now, those tickets have lounge access again, but a new fare has been added, which does not.

For anyone currently holding a Qatar Airways booking in “R” class, lounge access has likely been reinstated on your ticket, but new “P” fares have entered the arena, and they bring new options to the business class experience.

a seat and a monitor in the middle of a plane

Qatar Airways Reinstates Lounge Access on “R” Fares

People weren’t exactly thrilled when Qatar Airways removed lounge access from their lowest priced business class fares. If you wanted the best price for a Qatar Airways trip, it meant missing out on the Al Mourjan Lounge in Doha, and any other lounges along the way.

If you had Oneworld “Sapphire” or above elite status, access would only be provided to an inferior lounge space, with far fewer amenities.

The allure was the notion that Qatar Airways would offer “cheaper” deals than ever, as a result of the decreased perks, but in reality, rarely were any new savings to be found. Speaking anecdotally from GSTP data, fewer readers continued buying Qatar Airways business fares after the changes were introduced.

New Business Class “P” Fares

Qatar is now responding to that sentiment by creating a lower level fare, called “Lite”, which books into “P” class, and has “upgraded” people holding previously booked “R” class tickets, and all newly issued “R” class tickets with lounge access.

a table with text and numbers

Qatar Airways will now have 4 business class fares, instead of 3, with: Lite, Classic, Comfort and Elite.

Will I get complimentary access if I booked Business Classic (RBD R) prior to 4 September 2021, but am travelling post 1 October 2021?

Yes, we will give customers access to the more generous and updated Business Classic attributes and will provide complimentary lounge access.Qatar Airways

Going forward, the only Qatar Airways fare which won’t include airport lounge access automatically will be Qatar Airways ‘Business Lite’ P class fares. These will be easily identified at various stages of booking, particularly when booking direct with Qatar.

All the new Qatar Airways fare families, including changes to economy class and other points earning moves and FAQ’s can be viewed on the Qatar Airways ‘New Fare Family’ page.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Join the Conversation


  1. I think when the figures came in, despite massively suppressed travel at the moment, it was pretty clear that Elites were calling them out on the fact that unbundled fares hadn’t actually dripped appreciably am even the bulshy CEO knew that it was a mis-played game when ( accounting for current circumstances) the J bookings took a nosedive.

    Whilst not a fan myself ( simply because when airlines come up with this idea they rarely discount decently in return) I think generally people are ok with the concept IF that fare is markedly cheaper and whilst yes they were, the overall loss V ‘discounted’ fare didn’t stack up even remotely.

    Whilst Qatar have always been tight on OW access I’d also guess that BAEC opening up to QF fliers probably played a part as they need to counteract the, relative, ease of status is to earn when Aussies are actually allowed to leave their homeland again.

  2. I believe QR also reinstated the ability to select seats in advance that had also been removed when they introduced these oh so obviously undiscounted R fares with fewer services, with the next fare up often costing over US$1k for lounge access and seat selections. Both of these items would have been important to me, especially not knowing if OW elite status might not be extended while being unable to travel. I didn’t want to risk being stuck in a middle quad QSuite seat and lose out on a decent lounge (which, though better from other options, was often crowded), so I’m one of those that refused to book with them while they were playing this game. What is less clear now is whether they have re-started providing free Stopover Hotel rooms for business class travelers with > 8 hour connections at DOH (with meal voucher if >11 hours). It was always a nuisance to have to call to get this perk and it clearly wasn’t available when airport exit was not permitted to foreigners during the pandemic. But it was sure nice to get a real hotel room for rest in between flights. Website still shows those as suspended: https://qatarairways.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/206466318-What-if-I-have-a-transit-time-of-over-8-hours-in-Doha-

  3. Wondering how this will impact on my ‘U’ Class Business Awards Seats via Doha in a weeks time? Any idea if ‘U’ class tickets are also being deniewd entry to the lounge?

      1. I’d booked a Qsuite ticket using American’s AAdvantage miles, the fare class is “U”. I called the QR office in USA, and select the seating, and asked the agent is this fare class U include lounge access, she said it does. Hope it will stick and the policy won’t change. Can Qatar Airways, please, don’t change the lounge access and confuse most business customers. Give lounge access to all Biz class customers. Limiting lounge access will simply add confusion and turn away customers. Hope Qatar Airways management get the message….

        1. @Andrea

          Anything to report from your ‘U’ class ticket booked with AA miles – did you manage to get access to QR lounges (including Al Mourjan in Doha)?

  4. I’ve traveled Qatar biz class several times & truly loved the lounge access. Packed a change of clothes in carry on to take advantage of the lovely showers in the lounge before the next flight. Have also loved the free hotel stays on long layovers in Doha. Have also left the airport to explore Doha on a long layover. Not a fan of losing (potentially) lounge access if getting a cheaper fare. Hoping Silver status will still allow lounge access despite fare class.

    1. I am travelling to zurich business class from Australia. I have a 4 hour wait until my family arrive. I thought I would spend that time in the business lounge but now people are
      telling me that we are not allowed to do that. I am travelling both ways to Europe business
      class and have paid full fare. If this information helps.
      Can you please help me with my query. Thank you

  5. @Hudson silver status won’t get you into the lounge with lower fare,due to the “pandemic ” qatar has allowed silver members to enter, due to the other lounge being unavailable,however once the grace period ends so will the access

  6. We bought two business class R tickets from Johannesburg to Larnaca cyprus. My booking reference is I would like to know if we have access to Al Mourjan lounge and why cant I reserve seats in the airplane ? How far in advance will I be able to reserve seats? Thank you

  7. The link to Qatars ‘new fare family’ doesnt seem to work. But anyway, it is still not clear if lounge access is allowed by virtue of other One World airlines top level frequent flyer membership (in my case Qantas Platinum).
    In my opinion Qatar need to clear this all up, uncertainty will lose business in itself, lounge restrictions more so.

  8. Just flew back on an AA award ticket including travel on QR (CMB-DOH). Don’t know if it was QR or UL that was responsible, but UL agents in the lounge denied access to their business class lounge in Colombo prior to the QR business class flight booked with the miles.

  9. I have a Buss class ticket with the low fare..How do I pay and get access to the Doha Business class lounge

  10. Qatar new business class fare structure is still very unclear and messy.

    I have booked and paid business class Europe to Australia in July. Outward is ‘I’ class. Lounge access is allowed.

    Return is ‘P’ or Lite class, no lounge access is permitted. My assumption is that this means Doha, ie Qatar’s own lounges.

    What I am trying to work out definitively is whether I can use the other ‘Q’ airline, Qantas, lounges by virtue of one world Emerald status? Even Qatar dont seem to be able to answer that one.

    Any ideas anyone?

    By the way seat selection was available in both directions.

    1. Yep, it’s a mess, and I’d argue why it shouldn’t exist as it does. You can indeed still access Oneworld lounges, like Qantas, but Qatar will say not good enough on certain fares for their own premium lounges. Sadly, expect more of this.

  11. I have a (P) class fare departing JFK. Will I be able to use the Flagship Lounge? I can’t understand if lounge access is only restricted at Qatar Airways lounges or all others. I don’t have any OneWorld status.

  12. Hello please can your help I booked a QR flight to CMB from LHR in the BA website the ticket has the prefix 125- . I am a BA silver but presumably I still have access to the Al Mourjan lounge? Thank you

  13. Hi to other travellers,
    We are arriving at Zurich airport 4 hours ahead of other family members. We would like to access the Qatar business lounge at Zurich airport. Is it true that we can pick up our bags, not clear customs but go straight to the Business Lounge and wait there? Thank you in advance to those who reply.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *