Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: the Mariner Lounge at Doha’s Hamad Airport – an exclusive lounge for seafarers!

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

This is our review of the Mariner Lounge at Hamad International Airport in Doha.

In theory this review is not relevant for 99.9% of our readers. In reality I know that quite a lot of you will be interested to see what is inside (presumably) the only airport lounge in the world exclusively for seafarers.

The website for the lounge is here.

Mariner Lounge Doha Airport Qatar Airways

Whilst in the airport last month I was given a tour of the three new oneworld airport lounges that have recently opened. These reviews are to come. I was also offered the chance to see the Mariner Lounge and I couldn’t resist.

Why does Doha’s airport have a Mariner Lounge?

This is an interesting story, and one which shows a genuine bit of business ingenuity.

The majority of crew working on cargo ships, and the ‘back of house’ crew on cruise ships, come from the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Russia and Ukraine.  There are around 1.6 million people globally working as seafarers.

The major Middle Eastern airlines have a decent share of the market for moving these 1.6 million people to and from their vessels. It is an attractive sector to target, and Qatar Airways decided that offering a dedicated lounge for seafarers in Doha would attract the major ship operators who buy the tickets.

Where is the Mariner Lounge at Doha Airport?

It is tucked away near the Oryx Lounge, which is used by Air Canada, Air France, KLM and American Airlines amongst others, and the Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre.

We’re going totally off topic now, but here is the swimming pool in the Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre which you can access (6am to 2am) on a pay as you go basis or by checking into the transit hotel:

Swimming pool Doha Hamad Airport

Back to the Mariner Lounge ….

The Mariner Lounge is exceptionally smart, especially when you consider that virtually everyone visiting it will be on a discounted economy ticket.

The lounge was originally built for another purpose but became redundant at some point, turning into the Mariner Lounge.

Here is the classy reception:

Mariner Lounge Doha Hamad Airport Qatar Airways

Here’s a wide shot:

Mariner Lounge Doha Hamad Airport Qatar Airways

The seating is very smart:

Mariner Lounge Doha Hamad Airport Qatar Airways

and

Mariner Lounge Doha Hamad Airport Qatar Airways

(Whilst the lounge does not look busy, this was the same for the entire airport. I was there in the late morning when there is a lull between the ‘banks’ of departures.

Whilst it’s not overrun with food, there was a decent selection of hot and cold snacks available:

Mariner Lounge Doha Hamad Airport Qatar Airways

and

Mariner Lounge Doha Hamad Airport Qatar Airways

How do you get into the Mariner Lounge?

According to the Qatar Airways website, access is available to:

Seafarers and offshore workers who travel on Qatar Airways flights and show valid documentation

I was told that the primary access routes are by flying on a ticket in a specific fare class allocated to the shipping companies or showing (for UK citizens) a seaman’s card or equivalent.

In reality it is very unlikely that you will ever see inside it but at least you now know what you’re missing!

You can find out more about the Mariner Lounge on the Qatar Airways website here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (14)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Jim says:

    Here in the U.K., we have similar styled Mariner lounges. They are branded as Aspire lounges, and our major airline, British Airways, uses them, as does KLM and Air France, our other two major airlines. I wish I could live in Doha, but my leg was amputated last month after a fall at work, and my visa was rescinded. So I’m back to Sheffield. However, entered your competitions, so maybe I will be allowed to return! I have 980 Avios points at the moment. I’m hoping I will be able to use them at some point. Maybe on some wired Apple earphones as the last set of Apple wireless earpods I bought in Doha turned out to be fake.

  • Nick says:

    Specialist Marine fares are interesting across the airline world. They obviously need to have higher flexibility than most, and are automatically pushed to the highest ‘no offload, must fly’ status regardless of how cheap they were. Yet they’re entirely economy based because that’s the shipping companies’ policy. Don’t know about QR but most airlines issue them as a net fare rather than into a specific fare class.

    For BA’s there’s also an extra rule on GIB flights… if the weather forecast is bad, any EU seafarers with no access to Schengen are automatically offloaded and have to wait in London, just in case the flight has to divert to Spain (the Spanish are somewhat less flexible, and do not allow transit in this situation)

  • ChrisM says:

    Well this has come at an opportune moment! Will Qatar transit passengers be allowed in? As that’s what we’ll be. We’re in Business Class and this has been booked by our cruise line BUT we only have a 2 hour 25 min transfer time, and it’s our first time in Hamad Airport. So many lounges …. So little time.

    • ChrisM says:

      D’OH! just re-read the article – is it only for seafarers – as in workers? Not lowly passengers. Bah

      • VALittleRed says:

        Presume you will have access to the Al Morjan lounge as you’re travelling in business unless this is excluded on your ticket purchased by the cruise line.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        If you’re in business class you’d be better off with a proper business class lounge as the selection of food and drink will be significantly better

        • Andrew J says:

          Alcohol for a start by the looks of the offering in the Mariner lounge.

  • TheRiverCard says:

    “In reality I know that quite a lot of you will be interested to see what is inside…”

    And you weren’t wrong! Thank you foe the interesting read

  • NorskSaint says:

    Great to see. Working in shipping, the average joe wouldn’t realise the thousands of crew being moved around the world. During covid Qatar were one of the very few airlines and countries that went out of their way to help mariners be moved, the UK and Greece were to other notable countries that aided movement, rather than hindered. I know we have actively partnered with QR since to move crew around and this is a welcome addition to the airport and their experience

  • QFFlyer says:

    Interesting read, thanks for sharing.

    Also petty feedback, but the first photo is really testing my OCD, why couldn’t it have been straightened first 🤦‍♂️ 😂

  • Paul says:

    So a little tip from me, drop by the wellness centre and book in for a 30 minute massage and you’ll get access to the pool and jacuzzi for 3 hours included! No need to stay at the hotel.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.