With British Airways cancelling flights from Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong from early April, the airline member is now able to rebook passengers onto Qatar Airways.
Guidelines sent to travel agents on March 30 avdise that rebooking is available for "any cancelled British Airways service where QR (Qatar Airways) also operate the route via DOH, e.g. SYD-LHR rebook onto SYD-DOH-LHR" (those being the airport codes for Sydney, Qatar's Doha hub, and London Heathrow).
This in't limited to Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong, of course – it applies to any destinations which BA is suspending but to which Qatar Airways will continue to fly.
The Gulf carrier is not just a fellow member of the Oneworld airline alliance – it also holds a 25% stage in British Airways parent company IAG – and unlike Singapore and Hong Kong, its home base at Doha's Hamad International Airport still permits transit passengers to hop between connecting flights.
Qatar Airways this week ramped up its worldwide flights – in the case of Sydney, which BA will halt from April 9 to at least April 22, the airline is now running between two and three daily flights. Qatar is also maintaining daily flights from Singapore and Hong Kong.
Here's what you need to know about rebooking from a cancelled British Airways flight onto the equivalent route with Qatar Airways, according to BA's own guidelines
- rebooking is available for BA e-tickets beginning with '125' (such as 125-1234567891), with travel dates of 29 March to 30 June, 2020
- the rebooking on Qatar Airways must cover the same point of origin and destination as the original BA flight (for example, Sydney to London)
- passengers will be rebooked into the lowest available ticket class in the same cabin (note that passengers booked into BA First will find first class available only on Qatar Airways' Airbus A380s)
- if the same cabin class is not available, you'll be downgraded into the next lower cabin. As Qatar Airways doesn't have premium economy, this means that an over-booked business class cabin will see you bumped into economy
It's worth noting that access at Qatar Airways lounges is based on your class of travel, not your frequent flyer status – for example, only business class passengers can visit Qatar's Singapore and Doha business class lounges, although there are seperate lounges at Doha for BA's Silver and Gold frequent flyers who are travelling in economy.