Qatar Airways Privilege Club is removing its junk “award booking fees”

Qatar Airways will remove the US$25-75 fee per award segment, but that doesn't make Privilege Club worth looking at.

Effective immediately, Qatar Airways Privilege Club will be removing its award booking fees. These were some of the most ridiculous charges in the world of frequent flyer programs, and members will no doubt be glad to see the back of them. 

Qatar Airways is removing award booking fees

Qatar Airways members previously had to pay a fee of US$25 to 75 per award segment booked.

Cabin Fee per segment
Economy US$25
Business US$50
First US$75

Considering that round-trip routings via Doha would involve 4 segments, this added an additional US$100 to 300 to award bookings, on top of fuel surcharges. 

Qatar Airways already has some of the highest fuel surcharges in the industry- a Singapore to Paris itinerary would have ~S$860 tacked on, for example. For them to impose a further “award booking fee” was just adding insult to injury.

Those won’t be an issue going forward, as per an eDM that went out to Qatar Airways Privilege Club members today:

As we continue to reinstate flights, with 59 destinations globally this June, we want to make it easier for you to use Qmiles to fly to those destinations when the moment is right to explore together again.

That’s why, we will no longer be applying Award Flight fees, usually USD 25 per segment in Economy, USD 50 per segment in Business, or USD 75 per segment in First. You can now choose to book using Qmiles, fee-free and with ease, at qmiles.com and the mobile app.

I’m still not interested in Qatar Privilege Club

qatar airways business class seat
Qatar Airways- great cabin, awful loyalty program

While it’s good that these junk fees are going away, it’s not enough to make me transfer miles into Qatar Privilege club. 

Fundamentally, I have no trust in the program. In May 2018, they massively devalued their award chart without notice, and before that, they made the very petty move of revoking lounge access to passengers who upgraded their tickets using miles.  There have been other bizarre decisions along the way, like removing the ability to book awards instantly over the phone and requiring customers to submit requests online, with waits of up to 96 hours for confirmation (which thankfully was reversed). 

I’m not aware of any sweet spots in the Qatar Airways award chart, and even if there were, the hefty fuel surcharges would likely eliminate any value. 

That said, I am looking forward to my insane Qatar Airways itinerary in December, assuming we’re able to fly by then…

Conclusion

Qatar Airways Premium Lounge Singapore Changi
Qatar Airways Premium Lounge Singapore Changi

I like Qatar Airways’ lounges and cabin products, but I have no interest in their loyalty program. It’s by far the worst of the Big 3 Gulf carriers. 

Even with award booking fees out of the picture, you’ll still have to contend with significant fuel surcharges when booking Qatar Airways award flights. Do yourself a favor, and transfer your precious credit card points elsewhere. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Wigand Weirich

Hi Aaron,
 
cannot agree to “significant fuel surcharges when booking Qatar Airways award flights”.
Might be the case versus the competition for flights out of Singapore, but if I compare QR to LH and BA here in Europe QR fuel surcharges are far below the competition.

emercycrite

Agreed, the fuel fines Qatar passes on to the Qantas FFP are egregious as well.

Ithh

The worst FFP among premium carriers.

emercycrite

Aaron, surprised you haven’t covered yet the recent devaluation Qantas made for Emirates award flights.

D K

Dear Aaron, you mentioned about Qatar Airway’s lack of redemption sweetspot in this article. I am sure that someone with your experience would have a mental mindmap of almost all the sweetspots across various mileage programs. I would like to ask if you could kindly consider sharing this knowledge in a dedicated section on “redemption sweetspots for frequent flyer programs”. I am sure this would benefit many of your loyal supporters who have amassed significant amounts of miles over the years. Thank you.

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