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Qatar Airways Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees, and More

Erin Miller's image
Erin Miller
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Erin Miller

Content Contributor

188 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 26U.S. States Visited: 28

An experienced points hacker, Erin is Alex’s partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points with in-depth guides and relationship management. Erin’s work has been cited in multiple major publicat...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

38 Published Articles 3340 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 48U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Qatar Airways was only established in 1997, but it has grown an extensive flight route consisting of 83 countries, with more being launched every year.

Consistently voted the world’s best airline in the yearly Skytrax awards, Qatar Airways is a 5-star airline that prides itself on its service and quality.

Basic Info

Airline: Qatar Airways

Website: QatarAirways.com

Category: International airline

Frequent Flyer Program: Privilege Club

Tagline: “Going Places Together”

Number of Passengers Annually: 29 million

Fleet: 235 aircraft

Main Hub: Hamad International Airport, Doha (DOH)

Destinations: 168 destinations across Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Indian Ocean, Middle East, South Asia, and the Americas

Qatar Airways Route Map
Qatar Airways Route Map. Image Credit: Qatar Airways

Frequent Flyer Program

The Privilege Club is Qatar Airways’ loyalty program that rewards members with Avios when they (or nominated family members) fly with Qatar Airways, Oneworld airlines, or certain airline partners.

A handy calculator allows passengers to work out how may Avios they will earn on their next flight, or when it comes to redeeming their Avios, how many are required to book a reward flight.

Once the member accrues a certain number of Avios, they can reach elite tier status, which offers benefits and privileges, such as excess baggage allowance, lounge access, and bonus mileage earnings.

Hot Tip: Check out all of Qatar Airways’ direct routes from the U.S. and you’ll see why you’ll want to earn lots of Qatar Airways Avios to redeem for award flights.

Ticketing Options

There are 4 fare types for every cabin class, ranging from Promo through to Flexi. Each fare type has different booking conditions for changes, cancellations, and refunds for no-shows.

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Qatar Airways Baggage and Other Fees/Add-Ons

For all flights, excluding the Americas, Qatar Airways’ weight concept has a generous allowance for economy passengers (66-99 pounds (30-45 kg)) and up to 143 pounds (65 kg) for business and first class.

Baggage Fees

Carry-On Allowance

Qatar Airways allows all passengers to bring 1 personal item into the cabin, which does not have a size or weight restriction, but the airline references items such as a handbag or small laptop bag. This personal item is in addition to:

  • Economy Class: 1 standard carry-on weighing 15 pounds (7 kg)
  • Business Class and First Class: 2 standard carry-on pieces with a combined weight of 33 pounds (15 kg)

Carry-on pieces must not exceed 20 x 15 x 10 inches (50 x 37 x 25 cm).

Checked Allowance

Depending on the flight route, Qatar Airways applies either a weight or piece concept for checked baggage.

Piece Concept Routes

Flights to and from Brazil, between Brazil and Argentina, and all other flights to and from Argentina, Canada, and the U.S.

  • Economy Class: 2 x 50 pound (23 kg) bags
  • Business Class and First Class: 2 x 70 pound (32 kg) bags

Each piece must not exceed the maximum linear dimensions of 62 inches (158 cm).

Weight Concept Routes

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Each piece must not exceed the maximum linear dimensions of 118 inches (300 cm).

Additional/Excess Baggage Fees

Excess luggage is available to purchase online in advance, offering savings of up to 20%.

  • For weight concept routes, excess luggage is charged per kilogram: $12-$55 purchased online and $15-$70 purchased via other channels.
  • For piece concept routes, an extra piece is charged at $200 purchased online and $250 purchased via other channels.
    • Overweight bags (50-70 pounds (24-32 kg)) are charged at $50 purchased online and $65 purchased offline.

Hot Tip: For more detailed information about baggage, read our dedicated article about Qatar Airways’ baggage policy and fees.

Other Fees and Add-Ons

Change/Cancellation Fees (Cash Tickets)

Tickets canceled or amended through the call center, at an airport ticket desk, or at a Qatar Airways ticket office are subject to a non-refundable service fee of $25.

Change and cancellation fees depend on the fare type and the cabin class and are displayed online during the booking process. We ran some searches and found these consistent fees (but they could differ for your particular circumstances):

  • Cancellation Fees: $90-$217
  • Change Fees: $66-$168

Hold Booking Fee: $10-$30

Seat Upgrade: $900-$1,999

Unaccompanied Minor: Charged at an adult fare

Lounge Access: $55-$124

Onboard Wi-Fi: $10-$20

Transportation of a Falcon: $115-$630

Qatar Airways Lounges

Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar (DOH)

  • Al Mourjan Business Lounge
  • Al Safwa First Lounge
  • Premium Arrival Lounge
  • Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge
  • Qatar Airways First Class Lounge

Other Qatar Airways Lounge Locations

Eligible Qatar Airways passengers have access to over 160 airport lounges throughout the world.

Inflight Inclusions, Amenities, and Seat Specs

Economy Class

Qatar Airways Economy Class
Qatar Airways economy class. Image Credit: Qatar Airways

Although it hasn’t launched yet, Qatar Airways has been promoting its new economy class that will introduce brand new seats with a 19-degree recline angle (that doesn’t impose on the passenger behind), additional legroom, and a 13.3-inch 4K screen for inflight entertainment. A launch hasn’t been confirmed yet, so watch this space for updates!

Amenities Include:

  • Widest seats of any economy cabin (on select long-haul flights)
  • Soft blanket and pillow
  • Amenity kit (on select long-haul flights)
  • Complimentary snacks, meals, and beverages including alcohol (number of meals depends on flight duration)
  • Personal screen with Oryx One entertainment system
  • Laptop and USB power charging points
  • Free Wi-Fi for at least 30 minutes (unlimited Super Wi-Fi available on selected flights for passengers that book directly with the airline)

Business Class

Qatar Airways Airbus A350 Business Class - Flat Bed
Qatar Airways Airbus A350 Business Class – Flat Bed. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Qatar Airways was awarded World’s Best Business Class in the 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards. The airline has 2 fits for its business class offering — its original business class and the newer QSuites.

QSuites Seats 11F & 11E
The fantastic QSuites product which eventually replace all of the older business class seats. Image property of Upgraded Points.

Amenities Include:

  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Access to a Qatar Airways Lounge (where available and excluding Classic fares)
  • A personal cabin with a lie-flat bed and optional privacy dividers for adjacent seats
  • Pajamas and an amenity kit with earplugs, socks, eye mask, Monte Vibiano lip balm, moisturizer, and facial mist
  • Up to a 21.5-inch touchscreen with the Oryx One entertainment system
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • 1-hour complimentary Wi-Fi (unlimited Super Wi-Fi available on selected flights for passengers that book directly with the airline)
  • On-demand à la carte menu and fine wines

Hot Tip: Are you considering a business class reward booking? Find out the best ways to book Qatar Airways QSuites with points and miles

First Class

Qatar Airways A380 First Class Seat
Qatar Airways A380 First Class Seat. Image Credit: Greg Stone.

Qatar Airways has 2 fits for its first class offering — its open cabins onboard the A380 located on the upper deck and lie-flat seats on its smaller aircraft.

Amenities Include:

  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Access to a Qatar Airways Lounge (where available)
  • Seat that converts into a lie-flat bed
  • Pajamas and slippers designed by The White Company
  • Bric’s amenity kit with leather luggage tag, socks, eyeshade, and Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio facial mist, cream, anti-aging moisturizer, and lip balm
  • 26-inch touchscreen with the Oryx One entertainment system
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Onboard bar (A380 only)
  • 1-hour complimentary Wi-Fi (unlimited Super Wi-Fi available on selected flights for passengers that book directly with the airline)
  • On-demand à la carte menu and fine wines

Hot Tip: Want to explore what it’s like to fly first class with Qatar Airways? Read all about Greg’s experience when flying from Sydney to Doha on the A380.

Qatar Airways Fleet
Qatar Airways fleet. Image Credit: Qatar Airways

Seat Specs

Qatar Airways has a large fleet of 235, consisting of passenger and cargo aircraft.

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Qatar Airways Customer Satisfaction

It’s mostly all praise on social media and review sites for Qatar Airways with complaints far and few between. Flight attendants always get a huge shout out from passengers for their exceptional service and are widely respected within the industry.

The expectation is high when flying Qatar Airways, and quite rightly so, being a 5-star airline. The only issue with launching an incredible product offering such as the QSuites — where it’s not available across the entire fleet — is that unforeseeable aircraft changes can leave passengers feeling disappointed and short-changed.

Most Common Complaints

No official statistics can be found on Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority website.

Consumer Ranking, Ratings, Etc.

Skytrax Ranking: 5-star airline (out of 5)

Skytrax Customer Rating: 7/10

Tripadvisor Airline Review Rate: 4/5 (average from 28,950 reviews)

Kayak Customer Rating: 8.3/10 (average from 10,535 reviews)

AirHelp.com Overall Rating: 8.23/10 (top airline)

Safety and Performance

Qatar Airways has a 7/7 safety record as awarded by AirlineRatings.com. This website analyzes data from the World’s Aviation Governing Body, government, and crash records, in addition to whether an airline has an IATA Operational Safety Audit Certification.

Recent Awards

2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards

  • World’s Best Airline
  • World’s Best Business Class
  • Best Airline in the Middle East
  • Best Business Class Seat

2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards

  • World’s Top 10 Airline
  • Best Airline: Middle East
  • World’s Best Business Class

2019 Airline Passenger Experience Association (Apex) 

  • Best Seat Comfort
  • Best Cabin Service
  • Best Food and Beverage

Final Thoughts

Qatar Airways excels in providing a 5-star product and excellent customer service, but its reputation in the media hasn’t performed so well in recent years.

Reports on its strict rules and monitoring of employees (on- and off-duty) and sexist comments from prominent members of its leadership team could put the airline’s ethics into question. As the national carrier, Qatar Airways has had a difficult few years with the political blockade that closed airspace to the airline around some of Qatar’s neighboring countries from June 2017 to January 2021.

Despite these challenges, the airline’s reputation in the aviation industry has not faltered, winning the accolade of the world’s best airline in the 2019 Skytrax Awards.

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About Erin Miller

An experienced points hacker, Erin is Alex’s partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points with in-depth guides and relationship management. Erin’s work has been cited in multiple major publications.

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