February 7, 2018
Qatar Airways is Restricting Ticket Upgrade Perks

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Qatar Airways implemented a very customer unfriendly change to its Privilege Club frequent flyer program a couple days ago. Members have always been able to use Qmiles or Qpoints to upgrade paid tickets from Economy to Business Class or from Business to First Class. Travelers would receive all the perks that come with the upgraded ticket class…until now.

Al Safwa lounge, Courtesy of Qatar Airways

Passengers who upgrade their paid tickets with Qmiles or Qpoints will now face the same baggage and lounge access policies as their original paid ticket class, not the upgraded ticket class. Economy passengers who upgrade to Business Class will not have access to the Al Mourjan lounge in Doha while passengers upgrading to First Class will not have access to the Al Safwa lounge in Doha.

Overall this is a terrible change and eliminates a major perk of upgrading your ticket. Lounge access and extra baggage allowance can be tremendously valuable, especially when you have a long connection. The only silver lining is that this only affects tickets upgraded through Qatar’s frequent flyer program. Award tickets are not affected by this change.