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.
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.
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.