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Qatar Airways reiterates its commitment to cash refunds after complaints

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It’s a tough competition out there to see which airline will be least responsive in failing to give customers the refund to which they are legally entitled for a cancelled flight.

The winner is probably Iberia I have not heard from a single reader who has managed to receive a cash refund from Iberia so far.

British Airways, as we have covered numerous times, will happily give you your cash refund if you call up, but is doing all it can online to block cash refunds and ‘persuade’ customers to take vouchers.  You can at least claim the voucher though.

Qatar Airways has also come in for substantial criticism.  Qatar was actually ahead of the pack in terms of offering a voucher on all flights, including ones booked before the crisis broke.  (Most airlines, including BA, were refusing to even allow changes to existing bookings.)

After offering its guarantee, Qatar Airways appeared to drop the ball.  I received multiple complaints from readers whose requests for a voucher were being turned down – even though it was company policy, with no exceptions – as well as readers whose flights from the EU were cancelled and wanted a cash refund instead.

Qatar Airways reiterates its commitment to cash refunds

Qatar Airways put out a statement this morning to address the issue.  

It has improved its offer.  If your flight is still operating but you choose to cancel for a Qatar Airways voucher, you will receive a 10% bonus on top of what you paid.

Qatar Airways has also confirmed that a full refund is possible for anyone whose flight has been cancelled, although customers are asked to wait 30 days for them to work through the backlog.  You also have the option of taking a voucher with the 10% bonus.

Qatar Airways is probably the biggest global airline still operating a decent schedule.  As of today it is still serving 70 cities worldwide and is adding bigger aircraft onto many routes as it picks up the slack left by other airlines cancelling flights.

Here is the full wording on refunds:

“Qatar Airways has amended its ‘Travel with Confidence’ and flight disruption policies to give customers even more flexibility. Customers who choose to receive a travel voucher for future use will receive the full unutilized value of their ticket plus an additional 10% of the fare cost as an added value offer. Customers also have the option for a refund back to the form of payment they used when purchasing their tickets – the administration of this refund will take up to 30 days to process. Vouchers for future travel continue to be the most expedient way of helping customers while we manage the backlog.

“We hugely appreciate the understanding and patience of our customers during a time of unprecedented call volumes and call centre closures due to government restrictions around the world.”

Comments (86)

  • Frosty says:

    How are you guys getting reply from Qatar? I submitted the request through their zendesk portal 3 weeks back and still havnt heard from them. My flight is tomorrow (one of the connecting flight is cancelled) but no reply.

    • Kay says:

      No reply, but we just contacted them on Tuesday (the 31st), the flight would be tomorrow. All our flights seem to be cancelled though, but SuperSaver has not informed us about any changes… We booked the tickets via SuperSaver and they told us to contact Qatar so we filled the form on their website to ask for vouchers.

      I wish the companies would communicate better, give some estimates to calm people down. I know they all ask not to call again after the request has been put through, but since it’s a lot of money I feel really anxious to act. Aargh!

      Good luck with your problem Frosty!

  • Anne says:

    Called Qatar Airlines in Doha today…. call answered after one ring! Requested a full refund for flights 21 April. Told this had been processed and would receive the full refund to my credit card in 30 days. Asked for email confirmation of this but was given a flat “no”. Concerned that there is no evidence of this call being made so just a waiting game?

  • Adam says:

    10% isn’t a bad offer. What are people’s thoughts. We have 8 of us in business due to fly to Bali in June which most probably not go ahead.

    We intend to travel next year around the same time, so if we took the voucher we can wait until a deal comes out to use them.

  • Christine says:

    I cancelled my Qatar business class flight to Rome on 11 March and requested a full refund (on advise from their representative) but have had no communication from them since. That is nearly 60 days and while I understand the volume they are dealing with, it does seem an inordinate amount of time without ANY communication from them. Has anyone actually received a refund from them since this began?

  • Stuart says:

    Do not get a voucher you can’t use them online and when you call they charge you an extra $1400 as you haven’t booked online

  • Kevin Dolan says:

    I have been waiting since mid March for a cash refund from Qatar Airways. They just keep saying they are really busy, and have had unprecedented amount of calls etc. The amount in question is over £5000 which is needed elsewhere given financial issues caused by the virus. Poor show, Qatar

  • Josiah Oliver says:

    I booked through Vayama on a Qatar airways flight to the Philippines. I have been trying to get a refund but no luck. Vayama tells me it is under Airline control and Qatar airways is adamant that all discussions about a refund must come from Vayama. Go figure, I have given up hope of receiving a dime.

  • GaryH says:

    I have a Business Class booking with QR EDI-DOH-BKK-DOH-EDI which was due to depart this weekend but has now obviously been cancelled. So I now have the choice of a refund or a voucher with 10% additional value, which will amount to an additional £400.00 or so. I fully intend to take this trip, perhaps around April 2021, which will be within the 12 month validity for travel however ongoing restrictions may prevent this or, at least, make it not a hugely enjoyable experience and so I may wish to delay the trip to a later date in 2021. I have checked with the QR call centre (got through very quickly) and was informed that the voucher is valid for a booking made within 12 months for travel up to 12 months beyond that date. I have, though, checked the voucher T&Cs on the QR website and found this: “If your ticket is fully unused, the full equivalent amount will be issued on a non- refundable voucher valid for travel within 12 months from the date of the voucher issuance.” Which says something rather different.

    Has anyone used the voucher option and received a voucher which clarifies the situation? Or does anyone have any other information which may prove useful in helping me to decide if the voucher option is worthwhile or not?

    Many thanks!