Qatar Airways has paid more than one billion and 200 million US dollars to date to more than 600,000 passengers since last March, as part of the airline’s efforts to fulfill its pledges and obligations towards travelers who wish to change their travel plans due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected global travel.
According to a statement by the national carrier on its website, Qatar Airways has received an unprecedented number of refund requests for tickets, in conjunction with the difficulties facing airlines and travelers due to travel restrictions imposed by countries around the world to limit the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Qatari carrier has worked hard to process all refund requests since March 2020, processing 96% of requests, and is currently completing all new customer refund requests to the original payment method in less than 30 days.
The national carrier introduced a flexible reservation policy that was highly appreciated by travelers, and Qatar Airways airline tickets are now valid for two years from the date of issue.
Passengers have the ability to change their travel date an unlimited number of times, and they will also be able to change their travel destination as long as it is less than 5000 miles from the original destination, and they will be able to exchange tickets for a travel voucher worth 110% of the value of the original ticket for use at a later date, or They can exchange it for Qmiles.
More than a third of Qatar Airways customers, or 36%, have chosen one of these options rather than receiving a refund.
His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways Group, said: “With the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on global travel, travelers have had to change their plans at short notice, and it was difficult for them to plan for the future inevitably or for sure. Passengers need it and what they deserve is the ultimate in flexibility and credibility, so we hope that they find in Qatar Airways the airline they can trust. ”
His Excellency added: “The sums that we have paid in ticket refunds have had a major impact on our financial results, but on the other hand, it is our duty to do what is right and in the best interests of our customers and business partners. As a leading airline, we have sufficient strength to mitigate the impact. Resulting from this “.
Qatar Airways has taken a number of important measures to ensure the management of the unprecedented number of refund requests for travelers who need to change their travel plans in light of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, which reached more than 10,000 refund requests per day, during the height of the crisis.
The first action taken by the Qatari carrier was to increase its automation capacity, so that customers could request ticket refunds online, so that the largest number of requests could be processed automatically. The Qatari carrier has also automatically issued travel vouchers, so that customers can obtain their travel voucher within 72 hours of ordering it online.
In terms of personnel, Qatar Airways has redeployed its personnel from other disciplines – such as cabin crew and ground service personnel – to join the airline’s global network of customer contact centers, to help manage the large volume of online requests and customer phone calls.
Qatar Airways has also made every effort to make the re-value and rebooking process as easy as possible for its commercial partners, while continuing to follow the standard GDS approach in the aviation sector, which is a highly automated and easy-to-use process for travel agents to refund tickets.
Although Qatar Airways is now witnessing a decrease in the number of ticket refund requests; However, it will remain committed to fulfilling its pledges and policies in dealing with travelers and business partners.
The Qatari carrier is one of the few international airlines that has never stopped its flights throughout this crisis, and it continues to use its full fleet of Boeing 787s, which number up to 30, and its Airbus A350 aircraft, which number up to 49.