Airline & Aviation News

Qatar Airways New Business Class Fares, Revamped For The 2nd Time

Last updated: October 06,2021
Originally Published: October 08,2021
by Jestan Mendame

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The Qatar Airways new business class fares are out and it’s the second time that the Doha-based carrier is revamping its fare structure. If you remember in November 2020, the airline introduced the Classic (R) business class fare which was an unbundled fare class that did not include lounge access. Not one year has passed since the last change and the airline is tinkering with its fare structure again.


Read More: How to Book Qatar Award Flights with Points and Miles (Qsuite and Business Class)


Qatar Airways New Business Class Fares
Image courtesy of Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways New Business Class Fares

On October 1, the airline added another fare class called the Business Class Lite or fare class P so there’s now a total of four business class fares: Lite (P), Classic (R), Comfort (I, D), and Elite (C, J). Adjustments were also made to the benefits of the existing three fare classes.

The latest fare class addition (P Class) will earn fewer miles and elite credits from the other fare classes. It won’t have free lounge access and route change either.

Take note that the Qatar Airways new business class fares only apply to revenue tickets and not to award tickets. Here are the updates below:

Lite Business Class Fare (P)

  • Earn 75% miles in the Privilege Club program
  • No advance seat selection
  • No lounge access (offered for purchase)
  • Changes and refunds to the original form of payment is allowed but comes with a fee.

Classic Business Class Fare (R)

  • Earn 125% miles in the Privilege Club program
  • No advance seat selection
  • Has lounge access
  • One complimentary ticket change
  • Refunds to the original form of payment is allowed but comes with a fee

Comfort business class fares (I,D)

  • Earn 175% miles in the Privilege Club program
  • Comes with advanced seat assignments
  • Has lounge access
  • Comes with two complimentary ticket changes
  • Refunds to the original form of payment is allowed but comes with a fee

Elite business class fares (C, J)

  • Earn 200% miles in the Privilege Club program
  • Comes with advanced seating assignments
  • Comes with lounge access
  • Include complimentary unlimited ticket changes
  • Refunds to the original form of payment is allowed at no cost

Read More: Qatar A350 Qsuite Flight Review During Covid-19, Worth it?


Miles Earning Also Adjusted For Partner Pograms

The adjustment for the mileage earning rates doesn’t just include the Privilege club but it also includes other partner programs, particularly Avios and AAdvantage.

British Airways Avios – Previously, all travelers regardless of the fare class will earn 125% Avios from miles flown on Qatar business class flights. However, the newly added P class now earns just 75% Avios on miles flown from Qatar business class flights; other fare classes which are the J, C, D, I, and R fares still earn 125% Avios.

Qatar Airways Lounge

American Airlines AAdvantage – In the old fare structure, all fare classes including the cheapest fare (R class) earned 100% base miles on Qatar business class flights. But the new structure now includes the P class as the cheapest fare which only earns 75% base miles.

Why Is Qatar Airways Revamping The Fares?

On the surface, the addition of the Lite business class fare may look like it’s the airline’s way of giving the customers what they want – reduced prices and freedom of choosing basic services on business class flights. That’s not the case at all!

The Qatar Airways new business class fares are a way of cutting down costs because the airline is offering fewer benefits at prices that customers have been paying in the past. To simply put it, the prices remain the same but the inclusions you’re paying for are reduced. It also makes you think that they could be creating decoy effects since the price differences for each fair aren’t that significant.

For example, the price difference between Lite business class fares and Classic business fares may not vary greatly but the benefits do – 75% base miles with no lounge access for Lite fares and 125% miles with lounge access for Classic fares. People are convinced that if they get the Classic fares, they got the better end of the deal but in reality, the Lite fares were only used as a decoy to help sell the Classic fares.

The new fare class is basically a downgrade for customers who were used to booking the Classic business fares in the old fare class.

Qatar Airways’ Loses $4.1 Billion In 2021-2021

In its 2020-2021 financial reports, Qatar Airways reported a net loss of $4.1 billion with $2.3 billion of that amount being a one-time impairment charge due to the grounding of the A380 and A330 fleets. The rest of the $288.3 million from the total amount were losses from operations during the peak of the pandemic.

Here are some comparisons from Qatar Airway’s 2019-2020 financials and 2020-2021 financials:

  • 2019 -2020 – 50,110 employees, 258 aircraft , and 32.364 million passengers
  • 2020-2021 – 36,707 employees, 250 aircraft, and 5.829 million passengers

You can see why the airline is trying to restructure its fare classes because there’s been a significant drop in numbers just in the last two years. However, the company is hopeful that they can weather the storm in the following months to come.

“There are three words that I believe best describe Qatar Airways Group’s response in the past year – strength, resilience, and commitment,” said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, “Strength to not shy away from taking a risk or avoiding difficult decisions, resilience in remaining focused and not allowing events to overcome us, and commitment by never reneging on our promises to customers, partners, and employees.”

It’s also worth noting that Qatar Airlines have received $3 billion in government support for the past year. Since Qatar Airways is a state-owned airline, the Qatari government decided to give the cash support as a form of “equity injection.”

Bottomline

Qatar Airways has made adjustments in its fare structure in late 2020 but it wasn’t that drastic. The feature features were reduced but the mileage earning rate for the fare classes remained the same. However, this recent restructuring is different because the mileage earning rate for the Privilege Club, AAdvantage, and Avios have been reduced.

While adding the unbundled Lite business class fare (P) could mean cheaper prices for business-class flights, travelers still need to double-check the prices. Don’t be too hasty booking those Lite fares because its prices compared to Classic fares are sometimes not too significant.

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