How I’m Thinking About Changing My Qatar Airways Flight
This week you might have heard about Qatar Airways’ new change policy, which is incredibly generous. Back in December, I booked a great deal in business class in November 2020 from Washington, D.C. to Doha to Beirut and then returning Amman to Doha to Washington, D.C. in Q Suites. The flight is for my husband’s 30th, as he’s always wanted to see Petra and go to Lebanon. Now with this new policy, we’re thinking whether we might go somewhere else.
The New Change Policy
In case you aren’t familiar with the new policy from Qatar Airways, it gives you some options:
- Hold on to the value of your ticket for two years;
- Unlimited changes – change the date or destination within 5000 miles (free of charge!);
- Exchange for future travel with 10% additional value;
- Swap for Q Miles, Qatar Airways’ reward program; or
- Refund your ticket if your flight is cancelled.
This is incredibly generous for an airline, particularly the ability to change your destination. The policy allows you to fly anywhere within 5,000 miles of your original destination. The best part is there are no fees or fare difference charges. Flights booked before the new policy was announced are also eligible under the policy. Of course, you can always book now and then use the policy to get on a flight to a more expensive destination.
(UPDATE: Effective May 17, 2020 there is a change to this policy.)
Should We Change It?
So now we’re left wondering if we stay with what we have or try going somewhere else. The new policy gives us the chance to go many places in Asia, Europe, and Africa.
One of the places we’re considering is South Africa. But we’re also considering changing it to a place like Kenya or Tanzania where we can experience a safari. We’ve done a short-term safari in South Africa, but want to do one a little longer. My husband originally wanted to do a safari in Africa, so this just might be the chance.
There are two factors for us to consider: 1) This is completely up to my husband, since it’s his 30th after all! 2) The status of coronavirus as we get closer to November. We are likely going to wait to make any changes until we are closer and have a better grasp on the global situation. For example, Americans are currently not allowed in South Africa so it wouldn’t be prudent for us to rebook a flight to there. I’m also uncertain about the viability of a big international trip this year, although I hope I’m wrong.
Of course, there is a possibility that coronavirus could impact the trip in its entirety. There is no way to know what the status of the virus will be come November, either in the U.S. or any of the countries we’d like to visit. But we’re still going to look now to try and determine where we want to go.
Naturally, there’s always the possibility the policy will change and we will miss out. But Jordan/Lebanon are still at the high end of our list to visit so if that happens, we’ll still be happy.
We’re still not sure if we’ll make any changes, but it’s definitely a consideration. This is a pretty great policy, and it gives SO MANY option to travelers. If you’re planning on making changes or booking to make changes, let us know! We’d love to hear about how you’re capitalizing on this new policy.