Changing my travel dates for THAT epic Qatar Airways Business Class itinerary

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Mount Taranaki (Photo: newzealand.com)

Mount Taranaki (Photo: newzealand.com)

I posted about a trick that allowed me to change a 50-minutes Business Class flight to a 24 hours one with Qatar Airways’ ridiculously generous change policy in May 2020. In other words, the itinerary that costed me $944 was worth over $10,000 after the massive detour!


There has been a number of changes to that policy since then and it went from viral to boring as we all started accepting that we most probably will not be allowed to fly into Hanoi or Auckland this year.

But don’t cancel your bookings just yet!

Qatar Airways’ new change policy

Effective 1 October 2020, Qatar Airways is allowing travellers to make unlimited date changes for free till the end of 2021 (instead of 2020 previously). Like the previous one, this one is just as unclear (and that’s a good thing for us).

Here are the questions that came to my mind upon reading the new policy:

  1. What does “effective 1 October 2020” actually mean? Does this new policy only apply to bookings made from this date? Or can I see this policy as an update to the previous one and apply it to my existing booking?

  2. The new policy stated that I am allowed to change my original departing city to another country in the same region. Can I now change my departing city from Hanoi to Singapore? That would be so convenient! Regions are generously defined as “Africa, America, Australasia, Europe, Far East, Middle East and Indian Subcontinent”.

  3. My flight leg from DOH to AKL has had changes on flight times. As this itinerary has been impacted by an “involuntary change”, does it mean that I will not have to pay any fare difference if I decide to change my travel dates to some time next year?

I was alerted of a update in Qatar Airways’ change policy while I was in Malaysia a couple of weeks ago and calling Qatar Airways from Malaysia was very frustrating (thick foreign accents, impatient CSOs). Because of that, this call was at the very top of my todo list as I returned to Singapore yesterday.

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The call

The toll-free number from Singapore is 800 189 1060. There wasn’t any waiting time and my call was answered almost immediately. After the verification process, I mentioned that I wanted to change the dates of my current reservation. I also mentioned that I wanted to change my departing city from Hanoi to Singapore. He asked for the new dates and…it was done!

As the leg between SIN and DOH offers multiple Qatar Airways flights, I was also able to choose my preferred flights to allow for a more comfortable transit experience in DOH. The call lasted 12 minutes.

I put the CSO on hold until I have received the new booking details via email and see the change in my account on qatarairways.com. If you have to know, I went from fare class “I” (original 5th freedom booking) to “D” to “J”.

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My new itinerary

My new travel dates are now in July-August 2021, right in the middle of winter! It would be a nice birthday gift to myself (or from Qatar Airways?) if I actually get to do it.


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Bottom line

If you are still holding on to your booking, you should make the call very soon, just in case there are further negative changes to the current policy.

Will I get to fly this epic journey next year? Who knows. At this stage, it’s que sera sera for me. I’m just happy to get to travel for Malaysia for business at the moment. One step at a time!

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6 thoughts on “Changing my travel dates for THAT epic Qatar Airways Business Class itinerary”

  1. Hello!
    I just got off a very frustrating call with QR, where I tried to change my ticket purchased in early September (SIN-FRA) for SIN-AMS. They won’t let me change it without paying the fee difference, mentioning that as of October 1st the rules have changed as you mentioned.

    I kept telling them that when I booked the tickets, different policy applied, but absolutely no help at all. Could I bother you with some advice on what I could potentially do? Just keep calling until I have a helpful agent?

    Since I booked it in Business Promo I’m concerned with the clock ticking as those seats are quite limited. Thanks a looot for taking the time to help!

    Reply
    • Hi Tomas, definitely HUCA (hang up, call again). You could sense early on if the phone agent is helpful or not within the first 10 minutes.

      If you are calling from Singapore, try calling after hours. Your call should be redirected to their office in Doha.

      All the best!

      Reply
  2. How did you manage to change the original departing city? I saw the policy stating that changes can be made only to the destination city :/ Point me in the right (url) direction please!

    Reply
    • I’m guessing it’s because my "original travel has been impacted".

      "Rerouting is possible free of charge on Qatar Airways operated flights where Doha (DOH) is the transit point or the origin and destination."

      https://www.qatarairways.com/en/travel-with-confidence.html

      Reply
      • "Rerouting is not possible free of charge if the original booking was on a fifth freedom route not touching Doha (such as PNH-SGN and vice versa; GRU-EZE and vice versa)."

        Guess they missed this out with your booking, lucky!

        Reply

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