Qatar Airways Adds New Surcharge For Qsuites Tickets

Qatar Airways’ Qsuites business class is by far the best in the world, in my opinion, taking into account both the hard and soft product. Qatar Airways has perfected business class, plain and simple.

Qsuites first debuted last summer, and Qatar Airways has been reconfiguring the planes at a fairly slow pace, unfortunately. Up until now the airline hasn’t in any way adjusted fares for those booked in Qsuites. That’s to say that the fares have been the same as in their old business class, so the only difference is that there wasn’t as much availability in the “lower” fare classes (which makes sense, since a lot of people have specifically been seeking out Qsuites).


Qatar Airways Qsuite on 777-300ER

It looks like that’s changing. For tickets booked as of today, Qatar Airways has added a new $100 per segment surcharge per Qsuites flight. This extra $100 has been added to the base fare, and you should see that these fares are consistently $100 higher.

For example, here’s a comparison of their New York to Doha flights on their 777 and A350 (with the 777 featuring Qsuites, and the A350 not featuring Qsuites):

You’ll see this reflected in all other markets operated by Qsuites aircraft. Since this fee is per segment, that means the cost of a roundtrip Qsuites ticket could increase by as much as $400. For example, if you fly from London to Doha to Shanghai and all flights feature Qsuites, you’re suddenly paying $400 more.

As of now this surcharge has been added to the following flights, per vielfliegertreff.de:

DOH-LHR QR007 LHR-DOH QR008
DOH-CDG QR041 CDG-DOH QR042
DOH-JFK QR701 JFK-DOH QR702
DOH-BOM QR556 BOM-DOH QR557
DOH-IAD QR707 IAD-DOH QR708
DOH-BLR QR572 BLR-DOH QR573
DOH-LHR QR015 LHR-DOH QR016
DOH-LHR QR001 LHR-DOH QR002
DOH-ORD QR725 ORD-DOH QR726
DOH-FRA QR067 FRA-DOH QR068
DOH-FRA QR069 FRA-DOH QR070
DOH-PVG QR870 PVG-DOH QR871
DOH-IAH QR713 IAH-DOH QR714
DOH-LHR QR005 LHR-DOH QR006
DOH-SYD QR906 SYD-DOH QR907
DOH-CBR QR906 CBR-DOH QR907

Given that these surcharges are tied to flight numbers rather than specific equipment types (since Qatar doesn’t differentiate between Qsuites planes and non-Qsuites planes in the GDS, at least for 777s), this fee won’t always be charged correctly. For example, Qatar Airways will offer Qsuites to Houston every other day in June, yet the surcharge applies for travel even on days without Qsuites.

This new surcharge won’t be applied to award tickets. That’s because Qatar Airways is simply increasing the base fare on Qsuites tickets, and you’re not charged that when redeeming miles.

Personally I find this move disappointing on Qatar’s part. Logically you’d think an airline would let market conditions dictate the price for a new product. If Qsuites causes more people to book Qatar Airways then you should be selling more full fare business class tickets, and fewer discounted business class seats would be available. That would be a way to naturally increase business class yields. Artificially adding a surcharge seems silly.

Then again, Delta did exactly the same thing with their new business class suites, except Delta charged $250-500 per segment rather than $100, not to mention Qatar’s product is so much better than Delta’s.


Delta also has a surcharge for tickets in their new A350 business class

This also goes to show you that Qatar Airways really seems to be in a bind. They’re losing money, and as much US carriers like to claim the Gulf carriers have bottomless pockets, clearly they don’t.

Am I happy about this surcharge? Absolutely not. But I’d gladly pay $100 extra per segment to fly Qsuites, especially given how attractive Qatar Airways business class fares often are to begin with.

Will this new $100 surcharge impact whether or not you’d book Qsuites?

Comments

  1. With dynamic pricing, they could easily just price them higher without publicly separating out the cost.

  2. @ Leeza1 — This doesn’t apply to those redeeming miles. I’ll update the post to reflect that, thanks!

  3. I don’t actually have an issue with this. Airlines should be able to charge higher prices for better products.

    If I was booking a revenue fare I would happily pay the surcharge.

    It’s worth it.

  4. I think it’s their way of making which route and which plane is with Qsuites. Personally I find it reassuring. Would they refund the 100 USD if they swap the plane?

  5. So does that mean we get a $100 discount for routes where they use their outdated 777 business class cabin (where I am writing this comment from)?

    I love QR and fly them a lot, but the truth is their product is very variable and not universally good (though the service and soft product is).

  6. @Joe: No way, they are Middle Eastern, must never admit they got it wrong.

    Personally I don’t see the big deal between Q Suites and their Business Class on the A380 / A 350 / B 788. Apart from a dodgy sliding door for a bit of privacy for a few hours. Big bloody deal. I guess for the Yanks who have to tolerate the woeful UA AA DL, it’s good.

    By the way, did you know QR are having to replace those suite doors….. apparently the quality wasn’t great in the first place and are so fragile they are breaking so QR is in the middle of having to replace, more losses for QR, LOL.

    I have to say, I have flown QR close to a million miles in the past 3 years and the drop in the quality of service has been dramatic. The menus are always the same old boring items and lack any imagination. The excitement has gone. And for God’s sake, I used to actually get thanked for being a Platinum. I can’t remember the last time it happened. I struggle to know what the benefit is for being Platinum. Since the blockade the bastards are bleeding, so even Platinum’s are now just a number, a source of revenue. As for the on-ground capability, don’t even get me started. Appalling. They don’t even have a special number for Platinums.

    As an alternative, I flew WY the other night through MCT to get to FRA onboard the new B789 and wow. It reminded me of what QR once was. The aircraft was brilliant, the service amazing, the menu interesting and inspiring, the new airport in MCT is state of the art and passenger focussed, the new First lounge is simply breathtaking. And I was actually personally thanked by the Flight Supervisor for being a Sinbad Gold fella.

    And WY are not blockaded. You know the new laughable, money-grabbing USD 100 fee for the “Q-Suites” wank, you’re not paying for the seat, you’re paying for the blockade.

    Look out QR, WY are coming to get you. And with WY they can fly and land anywhere, even Saudia Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain.

    Flying WY over Saudia the other night took hours off the flight time to FRA. Yeah, yeah, I know they don’t have the network yet and are not part of an Alliance. But neither were QR once. I wish they WY were and then for me it would be bye, bye Big Al Baker and your debt ridden, blockaded, recalcitrant airline.

  7. @James: If I am reading this right, though, you will be charged extra based upon the flight number whether you are in the QSuites or not. Correct?

  8. No issue. It is a competitive market. Anyway I don’t really see the hype around the suites. Recently I had a couple of flights on the 777 and I found the seats perfect for a good sleep. I wouldn’t get out of my way to get a plastic sliding door.

    The only planes I avoid are 737’s for flights longer than 2 hours and all US airlines.

  9. Having just flown Q Suites for the first time yesterday (LHR-DOH), I must say that I was underwhelmed. The extra privacy afforded by the door is not that significant considering that anyone walking past the seat can look in over the partition, while on the other hand the partitions were high enough to force me to stand up every time I wanted to check the toilet availability signs, only to bang my head against the too-low window-side overhead bin (I’m not a tall guy). Worst, I found the floor space to be really tight, with no obvious place to park my shoes (and no shoe bin), never mind my briefcase. The floor had to be totally clear in order to open the bed, and there was no space under the footrest.

    Certainly a great product, and without doubt well-worth the (rather modest) $100 surcharge if the alternative is the older 777 seats, but not as mind-blowing as I expected given the glowing reviews here and elsewhere.

    I still find the soft product to be overall a great one (@Robbo: get a life). My one pet peeve: what’s with the lack of paper towels in the bathrooms?! has no one on QR tried to dry their hands and face with a tissue? this (at least used to be) something I only saw on mainland Chinese airlines (and, curiously, SQ in economy). Given the classiness of the QR business class, I would have expected real small towels or the thicker disposable paper ones, but frankly regular paper towels would do just fine.

  10. @OT: Telling me to get a life, seriously!

    Quote: anyone walking past the seat can look in over the partition ( LOL princess )

    Quote: the partitions were high enough to force me to stand up every time I wanted to check the toilet availability signs ( LOL princess )

    Quote: bang my head against the too-low window-side overhead bin ( LOL princess )

    Quote: no obvious place to park my shoes (and no shoe bin), never mind my briefcase ( LOL princess )

    Quote: what’s with the lack of paper towels in the bathrooms?! ( LOL princess )

    Quote: has no one on QR tried to dry their hands and face with a tissue? ( LOL princess )

    Quote: I would have expected real small towels or the thicker disposable paper ones ( LOL princess )

    Talk about getting a life lady, what are you thinking. Did you think about the drivel you complain about before you wrote it? If you were a bloke, I’d tell you to give yourself an almighty upper-cut, but I am too gentlemanly to tell a lady to do that to herself.

    When you have flown more than once on QR, then I will value your opinion. Until then, STFU. That’s all.

  11. I have flown Qatar, Emirates and *A (SAA/EVA) from CPT to LAX. (and also CX from JNB-LAX)

    From CPT it was a tie between *A and EK but the price on *A was 75000 and on EK (much more even before devaluation). (JNB was too much of a hassle).

    Q Suites might be nice but the rest of the experience (inedible menu and crap wine) eliminates Qatar.

    So who cares?

    Do not understand the love affair of others with Qatar. Mediocre!

  12. $100 no issue – $250-500 on Delta has caused my employer to use other airlines if there is no non-suites Delta options – they simply wont pay the surcharge to Delta (not least as it doesn’t seem to discount either)

  13. Same question as above – do they refund at the 100 if they swap the plane? .

    ..and they do carry out equipment swaps enough to be worth asking the question.

  14. @Adam: Thanks a lot, yeah, quite an achievement and delighted you are impressed. You should try it sometime.

    By the way, how is South-West, Frontier, Allegiant these days? Actually, bit of a whisper going round, you’ve upgraded to Jet Blue, is that true? Please tell us more.

    Now that’s what I really call impressive.

    And if you ever get over to Asia, try Air Asia dude, I am sure that will suit your needs.

  15. The Qatar menu is not inedible. The appetisers, soups and desserts are good. It’s the mains that are the “same old boring stuff”, but on the Asian routes, there’s still the chance that they’ve loaded one good Asian main option.

    I think the only instance a separate QSuites surcharge is warranted would be when the route offers a choice between QSuites and non-QSuites equipment. Especially since Qatar believe so much in origin destination theory.

  16. @Lucky NEWS ALERT
    QR has just made a huge Qmiles devaluation to the PrivilegeClub Program. You might want to check it out!

  17. @Lucky you always seem to mention QR having cheap business class fares, but when was the last time you saw one? I agree they *used* to sometimes have killer biz fares, but I haven’t seen anything like that in the past year or so. Correct me if I’m wrong, otherwise I think it might be time to stop giving them those kudos. And if I am wrong, please point me to the fares, as I’d really love to fly them again (originating at any of their U.S. gateways)!

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