a seat and window in an airplane

This morning I detailed Qatar Airways generous new booking flexibility plans, which include both past and new bookings. TLDR – they’re great, and allow you to accept miles, a boosted voucher or even re-booking to another destination. When eyes shifted to the re-booking rules, there was a glaring option, which stated flights could be re-booked to any other destination within 5,000 miles?!

Considering you could buy a ticket to Singapore, and then immediately swap it for a ticket to Australia, or to New York, and swap for Sao Paulo that seemed WAY to good to be true. After reaching out to Qatar Airways, I can confirm that it is not (too good to be true)…

a close up of a signQatar Airways Confirms 5,000 – Not 500….

I never want to lead readers astray, so I noted that the Qatar Airways website states 5,000 miles, but I was pretty sure they meant 500, and would assume that to be the case. Not wanting to deprive anyone of a great deal, I did then get in touch to confirm “did you really mean 5,000, or is it actually 500?”

After my email stating…

Your new “travel with confidence” policy states tickets can be reissued for any destination within 5,000 miles of original ticket. Surely it’s meant to be 500? If it is 5,000 please do let me know.

Qatar Airways reverted back to me this morning with the following…

Dear Gilbert, 5,000 miles is the correct figure indeed.

Well then…

I won’t dive into the numerous possibilities this creates for bookings both past and present, but they’re very interesting to say the least. Could a Singapore ticket become Australia or New Zealand? New York become Sao Paulo? The devil is in the details here, and Qatar Airways policy currently states…

“You can change your travel date or destination free of charge, as often as you need. You can change your origin to another city within the same country or any other destination we fly to within a 5000 mile radius of your original destination.”

The terms and conditions go on to specify…

  • Rebooking fees will be waived if reservations are amended before departure (for travel on/before 31 December 2020).
  • Rerouting is possible free of charge on Qatar Airways operated flights only from the same country of origin and/or within 5000 (five thousand) miles radius from the original destination booked.

The big question is whether any fare difference, or fees would apply.

The answer seems to be no (pdf), but only for travel completed by the end of 2020. Multiple readers have confirmed successful re-booking where no fare difference applied, so long as the new trip was also for 2020. One managed to change a ticket to Hong Kong to a ticket for Sydney with no issue.

After that – aka 2021 travel – all typical fare differences and so forth would apply, but the 5,000 mile radius does exist.  It would be wonderful to have a kind reader give it a whirl on the phone, and see what they can find out, since this applies to previously booked tickets as well.

This makes me believe beyond most reasonable doubt that there are some really interesting options out there for people holding, or hoping to book Qatar Airways tickets. It’s all almost like a game within itself, and as the airline which previously launched quite a few “golden fare” promotions, perhaps this is their newest iteration.

I must say, I couldn’t believe my eyes when they confirmed five thousand means 5,000, not 500.

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...

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  1. Oooo, very interesting indeed. I’m booked Oslo to Singapore for the F1 in September (which won’t be happening). Only this morning I was wondering what I was going to do.

    I wonder if there’ll be a-n-y flexibility over the 500 mile starting point? Being able to bring that back to the UK (700miles ish) and i’d definitely go for that over and above a refund.

    1. So, i have successfully done this today. Changed a CWL-DOH to MAN-RGN rtn.

      You can change the dates, departure airport and arrival airport. I contacted customer service 5 minutes after making my booking

      The departure airport can only be changed to within the same country, but the arrival airport can be changed to within 5000 miles of the original arrival.

      Can confirm no fare difference and no fees for changing on the phone (although did have to wait 30 mins on hold)

  2. So does it mean that I can change my ticket from SOF (-DOH-) -> Bangkok to LON (within 5000miles) -> Bangkok? It seems like the terms allow for changing the origin by 5000miles…Am I reading it incorrectly?? a part of the terms say same country but it also says (or any destinations within 5000miles)

    1. I was just reading the Qatar site and unless I’m misunderstanding it’s a little ambiguous OR not as generous as it might seem. Their exact wording says “You can change your travel date or destination free of charge, as often as you need. You can change your origin to another city within the same country or any other destination we fly to within a 5,000 mile radius of your original destination.” Now… I’m UK based but am booked to fly Oslo-Doha-Sing. I may be reading this incorrectly but wouldn’t that suggest that I could ONLY change the destination to another city in Norway OR somewhere considerably less convenient and further away (i.e. within 5000 miles of singapore) given that Oslo is around 6000 miles from my final “destination”….Hmmmm, i’m confused! Maybe when I have some time i’ll call them or maybe someone will beat me to it.

  3. We were looking forward to experiencing q-suites for the 1st time with four tickets (Stockholm to Singapore and then Bangkok to Stockholm) that Qatar have already cancelled for July/Aug. I’d thought I’d leave any decision until last minute so any deadlines would include as many UK summer holidays as possible and this has thrown in another thing to contemplate.

    I’d love a q-suite trip to Oz as it would be somewhere we’d never be able to travel to in this class, but it does seem too good to be true (despite their confirmation to you). Also wondering if, as it’s an open jaw, we could make the final destination be in the UK?

    Lots of things to think about once I’ve finished booking my 4 alternative holidays for this summer!

  4. Just read the article again properly and seen travel has to be this year. As you were.

  5. Just rang call centre and when the rep said it was 500 milies, I asked her to chk and quoted the policy date change of yesterday. She went away and came back to say yes it was now 5000 miles. I have to say that the next bit she sounded less certain about – believe it is all v new to them… but she said 1) both the start and destination can be changed so long as new places are within 5000 miles of the original 2) that there will be no extra charge for same cabin etc. Er so it sounds like it is as good as the article was hoping… I have NOT asked them to go ahead because my flight early Aug SOF-DOH-SIN Class R was canceled a few days ago and that meant they were offering me a cash refund. While this sounds like a generous offer from Qatar I am not sure what Govts/ countries will be like with regard to entry eg Singapore could require quarantine…. so right now I’m not stopping the cash refund req. But sorely tempted with options as I’m based in London and the Sofia start was to take adv of good prices. The only way to test what I was told is to reverse the refund request and see if they can really rebook as LON-DOH-SIN , same cabin no extra costs…. or if when they try “the system says no” ! Sharing this as it sounds hopeful even if I cant confirm that it will def work.

    1. Excellent thanks Andrew.

      So given their “Hold on to your ticket” policy which states “Keep your ticket and use it when you are ready with our extended ticket validity, now valid for 2 years from the date of ticket issuance for greater flexibility.”

      It would seem like I’ll be able to put my ticket on “hold” then transfer a Oslo-doha-sing to a Lon-Doha-Sydney (or something like that, pending of of course confirmation on fare differences given Dave’s comments.

      1. The document states changes for travel in 2020 absolutely should not have fare difference. Anything which moves to 2021 travel would.

        1. Thanks @Gilbert.

          Hmmm, then this becomes a gamble on the depth and generosity of future Qatar sales.

  6. Please beware! A fare difference applies when trying to change tickets over the hotline. I commented this on your other post already, and it would be prudent to get written confirmation of this from Qatar before potentially misleading readers regarding this policy. The PDF is intended for travel agents and from calling the Qatar hotline multiple times I can assure you that the phone agents have no clue about this policy and are enforcing a fare difference.
    (Only exception: if the flight has been cancelled by Qatar Airways)

  7. The agent was aware of it when I called, but only the destination can be change, even with a multi-city booking, I couldn’t get them to change the last leg to re-route to LHR to OSL. A change from CPT to GRU or EZE could be interesting…

  8. I’ve spoken to Qatar twice over the last 2 days and got 2 different answers!!
    My flights are in August, Bucharest-Doha-Colombo and return.
    Yesterday I was told I could change my origin to Manchester at no extra cost, but this morning I am told that it’s only the destination that can be moved with the 5,000 mile limit.
    Seems the agents are unclear on the new policy
    I’ve only got the options of a refund or the vouchers+10%

  9. I’ve changed an Oslo-Doha-Singapore flight in business due to fly in July to a November /December flight Oslo-Doha-Sydney….no issues and no extra fees when I called Qatar today and they answered the call straight away (London Heathrow desk). Only thing they wouldn’t consider was to change origin point from Oslo to London but that’s what the t’s and c’s state anyway….superb service from Qatar!

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