Qatar opens first class lounge to Platinum business class flyers

Qatar Airways' flagship first class lounge is now open to Platinum-grade frequent flyers, as long as they're in business class.

By David Flynn, October 16 2019

Qatar Airways' opulent Al Safwa first class lounge at Doha is now open to Platinum members of the airlines's Privilege Club frequent flyer program, provided they're travelling in business class with Qatar or a Oneworld member airline.

Access to this lush lounge was originally restricted to Qatar Airways' first class passengers, with the option for paid access at QAR600 (A$244) added in February 2019.

That fee is now effectively waived for business class passengers holding a Privilege Club Platinum card and, even more pleasing, includes two guests (as long as they're also in business class).

This eye-catching waterfall is a centrepiece of Qatar Airways' Al Safwa first class lounge.
This eye-catching waterfall is a centrepiece of Qatar Airways' Al Safwa first class lounge.

The sprawling Al Safwa first class lounge features an à la carte restaurant, nap rooms, day spa and jacuzzi.

Qatar Airways describes the Al Safwa First Lounge as "a gleaming example of Arabian grandeur and elite exclusivity in a refined setting. Inspired by the design of Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art, Al Safwa First Lounge encapsulates its cultural surroundings with simplicity and grace."

“We take tremendous pride in exceeding our passengers’ expectations," says Qatar Airways Group Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Simon Talling-Smith, "and this enhancement to our Privilege Club offering is yet another example of our promise to reward our loyal Platinum customers for their continued support."

A centrepiece of this luxuriously-appointed oasis is a grand water fountain, while the overall space is clad in sandstone with marble detailing, while culturally-curious visitors can peruse the showcase of Islamic fine art and artefacts on loan from the Museum of Islamic Art.

The Al Safwa lounge's dining room is a 250-seat à la carte restaurant.
The Al Safwa lounge's dining room is a 250-seat à la carte restaurant.

However, a spokesperson for Qatar Airways has confirmed to Executive Traveller that this 'Platinum-in business-class' access applies only to Platinum members of the airline's own Privilege Club rewards program – it doesn't extend to the equivalent Emerald tier of other Oneworld member airlines such as Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum, Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club Diamond and British Airways' Executive Club Gold.

An additional benefit now offered to Privilege Club Platinum members is a bonus serve of Qcredits, which can be redeemed for upgrades, additional checked luggage, fees for points-based award bookings and lounge access for guests.

Platinum members already receive 60 Qcredits when they retain their status or are upgraded from Gold, and will now pocket an additional 10 Qcredits for every 100 QPoints they earn, above 600 QPoints, within a 12 month window (Qpoints are the airline's status-based currency).

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Aidan

Aidan

05 Dec 2018

Total posts 133

A move in the right direction. Next up Oneworld Emerald, hopefully.

Jackson

Jackson

25 Feb 2015

Total posts 20

Yep agreed. Can't help but sigh and roll my eyes though. What's our guess...2, 3 or more years till they actually start acting as a team player in line with other OW carriers (CX, QF, MH, AY) as far as first lounge access for ALL OW Emeralds...

PeterLoh

PeterLoh

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 582

BA has never "acted as a team player" in regards to their Concorde Room at Heathrow, so if that's any indication on whether QR will play ball for oneworld Emerald access to Al Safwa, I'd venture a guess at never.

Joe

Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 387

The lounge is exquisite, has superb sleeping rooms and defiantly feels exclusive, however it has the atmosphere of a cemetary-something is just missing. The food is very good but the lounge gives the impression the food should be a notch or two higher in standard than it actually is. Also no spa services unless you pay...that's pathetic and ill thought by Qatar.

pb2492

pb2492

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 May 2019

Total posts 2

I think the charge is QAR650 now? I asked at the business lounge desk when I visited last month but only had an hour or so and didn't bother going.

Also, Al Mourjan lounge has really gone downhill (e.g. they removed the spa, breakfast is a 3* hotel spread). I would recommend anyone else there flying QR business takes up the Al Safwa option for more than an hour transit.

JAKJ

JAKJ

17 Oct 2019

Total posts 3

No thank you, as OWE will stick with airlines that respect the alliance. Cathay or Qantas for me.

Ridiculous not opening up to OWE if they are doing so for their own Platinums.

P

P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 16

Doha is hardly a destination many would aspire too. If flying OW to Europe there are better options. Which makes the business decision to exclude OW Emerald odd. Surely they want more Business class customers to offset their huge losses.

Frank

Frank

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Sep 2013

Total posts 176

Depends where your'e flying from. For us in Perth it is a perfect fit, not as a destination in itself, but is a seamless transiting point for both Europe and the US.

P

P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 16

Yes and because its only a transit point they need to make transit facilities as attractive as possible. Its an important part of the overall package.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qatar opens first class lounge to Platinum business class flyers