Qatar Airways reiterates its commitment to cash refunds after complaints – and improves its voucher offer

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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.”

Government to UK aviation industry: Drop Dead
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  1. Chechire Pete says:

    Last year I booked my first ever Iberia holiday, only because from Manchester it gave us more varied routing options to get to Alicante at Easter. However BA was who I paid, as they appear to underwrite the UK ABTA mechanism. The Iberia booking is the Master one, also showing the hotel. But it also generated 2 BA PNRs. One seems a dummy on the way out with 2 hops. The return is 3 hops and allows me to do seat selection (but not the outbound as we start with Iberia Express from Manchester direct to Madrid.)

    Just to compliance it further it’s an ‘Iberia’ holiday but all the ticketing is BA 125- number! Yesterday Iberia cancelled our outbound on 7th April but we only happened to notice this as we were checking our BA bookings! I’ve had no email about this, and in the Iberia booking it tells me it’s cancelled but I have no options at all!

    I’ve had dealings with Iberia before so won’t be even attempting to call their Spanish call centre. Last time I had a flight only problem and it took 3 months to resolve and I had to Acton a S75 with my MasterCard! I used my BA Amex this time, might just raise it with them directly this time.

    Wish me luck!

  2. Ken Anderson says:

    Hi. Booked on Qatar out of Dublin for Singapore on 2 April through a travel agent. Just checked Qatar website. No mention of the refund you mentioned in the article. Just the same offer of a voucher only for the amount I’ve already spent. Unable to get the leave to travel during the year validity of the voucher so want a refund. Qatars website States contact the travel agent if the booking was made through them. Do I need to attempt to check in for this flight online to prove I want to travel or do I just wait for confirmation that Qatar has cancelled the flight and then request refund from Travel agent? Can you post link to the Qatar statement about a full refund please. It would be very useful to be able to mail this to the travel agent. Thanks.

  3. Kenand says:

    The statement from Qatar about refunds is on their Twitter feed. @qrsupport.

  4. Qatar aren’t actually responding to people though, so it’s moot. I have no idea if I am getting a voucher I applied for 2 weeks ago and have chased daily.

  5. Vanessa says:

    I can’t seem to get through to any number to discuss Qatar refund/ voucher. UK, Doha and even Poland. The phoneline mostly just dropped. Any tips?

  6. Loads of bloggers/news outlets reporting the same as this article, but i cant find it anywhere from an official Qatarairways souce?! Feels like fake news, would be glad to be wrong, so please post a link of this from Qatarairways of the following

    “option of a ticket refund but for those who choose to receive a travel voucher for future use, passengers will receive the full unutilized value of their ticket plus an additional 10% of the fare cost as an added value offer. “

    • It was a cut and paste from the press release that Qatar Airways sent to us yesterday. Came from their regular PR company in London with a 2nd version coming in from Doha.

  7. BatterseaRun says:

    Qatar airways has cancelled 2 legs of my 4 leg return flight and is claiming my flight is not fully cancelled so is not eligible for the cash refund, they are trying to charge $300+ per ticket to refund.

    • At least if they have cancelled you should now be able to claim on travel insurance/credit card section 75?

    • @alastairtravel says:

      Are they offering alternatives on different flights – if so they are correct subject to certain limitations.

      If there are just no flights operating on your route then they should refund.

      • Fanosch says:

        Is there any industry standard, what is acceptable alternative? QR cancelled my original flights on RT PRG-SYD and offered alternative with arrival 47 hours later (20 hours layover in DOH) and return 5,5 hours later. For one week trip useless not mentioning both countries exit/entrance ban.

  8. I was hanging on to see if they’d cancel my flight (due to fly to Sydney tomorrow starting in Birmingham) and then apply for a cash refund rather than a voucher. Then suddenly last week I had an email saying my trip had been cancelled and giving me a voucher, I was given no option to ask for a cash refund.

    I’d also used some expiring QCredits to upgrade one leg of the trip to First and those appear to have been lost (I just got a refund receipt saying cost zero in relation to upgrade taxes). Does anyone know what the deal is with Qatar and QMiles / QCredit upgrades on cancelled flights rather than bookings?

    I have raised a support request with them asking for cash and for the QCredits back but other than a ticket number nothing yet.

  9. Richard says:

    Unable to cancel our flight to the Philippines this week. Given a voucher but this is only valid until 30th June 2020 so hopeless.

  10. 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.

    • 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!

  11. 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?

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