Qatar Airways’s frequent flyer program called Privilege Club used to be a program worth considering. Pricing on award bookings we acceptable, fuel surcharges weren’t through the roof; life was pretty good! Then came 2018 and just like that, the program saw a massive devaluation of more than 40%, rendering it close to useless for most people.
This has all changed as of a few days ago! It appears Qatar Airways has done a complete 180 backflip and brought back reward rates pre-2018 devaluation.
This is in addition to the airline backtracking on its idea to remove lounge access for those flying on redemption tickets. No fear, you can still access the excellent network of Qatar Airways and One World lounges when flying on points!
To give you an example, you can now fly from Perth to Amsterdam for just 90,000 Qmiles in business. That’s outstanding value!
Even better is the Sydney to London cost, just 90,000 Qmiles as well! Or Sydney to JFK for just 120,000 Qmiles. It’s really not bad! And all this onboard the excellent Qatar Airways Qsuites (mostly)
Considering that many of you reading this would have snapped up a free status match to Qatar Airways Privilege Club, the program is now even more attractive if you think about it!
Fuel surcharges; gone!
It appears that Privilege Club isn’t adding on extra fuel surcharges as many other programs do. This means if you are departing out of a country with low passenger taxes, your redemption would be pretty cost-effective. In case of Australia, it’s a huge saving of more than $450 on a one-way redemption booking.
Talking about money savings, cancelling a Qatar Airways redemption booking is just US$25 when you cancel at least 24 hours before departure.
Researching & Booking
While you don’t need anything to use the QCalculator, you do need miles in your account to make a live dummy search. In this case, you could do preliminary research via other One World airline booking portals (Advantage, Qantas or BA) to get an idea of availability. That said, it’s safe to say that QR will have more availability for its own members so just transfer a few points across and you will be able to research via Qatar Airways direct. Alternatively, you can also use Expert Flyer to research availability like a pro.
To figure out how much passenger departure tax and surcharges you will be on the hook for, you can price up the flight via ITA Matrix and calculate the damage based on their fare breakdown (ignore the YQ and YR; this is not passed on). On a flight from Sydney to London, you would be looking at $150.98 in business class. Other carriers such as Qantas charge $500+ for the same redemption!
Summing up – Qatar Airways Privilege Club
As it stands, Qatar Airways Privilege Club is now one of the most valuable frequent flyer programs when it comes to redeeming Qatar Airways operated flights. However, we should always learn from history and last time around Qatar Airways devalued their program overnight with no warning so only send points across when it is time to redeem a flight.