Usually, the word ‘miles’ is associated with an airline promotion involving a frequent flyer program, and perhaps some sort of bonus. This Qatar Airways ‘promotion’ has nothing to do with this. In fact, Qatar Airways’ “5,000 mile promotion” refers to it’s new, and very generous and flexible booking policy. In essence, the airline is allowing its customers to change their destination by up to 5,000 miles, free of charge. That’s one-fifth of the Earth’s circumference, or just under twice the width of the continental United States.
Too good to be true?!
God Save the Points notes that a reader has confirmed a successful rebooking of a Hong Kong flight to a ticket for Sydney with no issue. One Mile at a Time notes that a Philadelphia to Kiev trip was successfully rebooked as a Chicago to Hong Kong itinerary.
The airline’s “Travel with Confidence” options include the following:
- The original form of payment is refunded if the flight is canceled.
- Tickets can be exchanged for a future travel voucher with a 10% additional value. Vouchers are now valid for two years from the date of voucher issuance.
- Ticket validity can be extended for 2 years from the date of ticket issuance.
- Tickets can be exchanged for Qmiles at a rate of $1 for 100 Qmiles.
But of course, the policy that is creating all the buzz is its 5,000 mile rebooking option. Here are the airline’s exact words:
“You can change your travel date or destination free of charge, as often as you need, for travel until 31 December 2020. You can change your origin to another city within the same country or any other destination we fly to within a 5,000 mile radius of your original destination.”
Where can you fly?
The policy seems all the sweeter once you plot out 5,000 miles from any given location. For your convenience, here’s what we’ve calculated using GCMap.com:
Now the one part of the world where 5,000 miles may not offer as much ‘diversity’ is Oceania. That’s because it’s largely surrounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans and Antarctica. As you can see below, rebooking a flight to Sydney can get you as far as perhaps Tokyo and Chiang Mai.
The big question, as other travel sites point out, is whether fare differences or other fees would apply. The answer is to that question is a resounding ‘No’. However, as stated above and on the airline’s website, this only applies to travel completed by the end of 2020.
With this 5,000 rebooking policy and its other “Travel with Confidence” booking features, Qatar Airways is hoping to capture as much post-COVID-19 travel as it possibly can. Already, the airline has positioned itself as one of the main providers of repatriation flights and has managed to keep going despite its home country banning entry of foreigners.
Does the 5,000 mile policy convince you to book a flight with Qatar Airways? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!