Since adopting the Avios currency, there have been many sweet spots with Qatar Airways Privilege Club, but I noticed what appears to be a silent devaluation of the program.
Indeed, when viewing their calendar, I can see that the coveted fare looks available, and every day seems to be marked as ‘‘off-peak’’. However, when clicking on any given dates, only mostly the expensive ‘‘flexi awards’’ can be selected for business class.
For example, I selected July 16th, 2024, on the calendar, and the business class saver award should be available. But, as we can see, it’s a different story when I come to choose the flight.
Therefore, I dug a little deeper and here are the changes I noticed with Qatar Airways Privilege Club.
Qatar Airways Devaluation - North America to Doha
When launched, a one-way ticket between Montreal (YUL) and Doha (DOH) costs:
- 35,000 Avios miles in economy class
- 70,000 Avios miles in business class (subject to availability)
- 140,000 Avios miles in business class (flexible: “Flexi-Awards”)
I’ve had no trouble finding award fares at 35,000 Avios in economy class on that route (and among other itineraries from North America to Doha). On the other hand, the 70,000 Avios fares in business class are very hard to get.
However, it remains possible on some dates. Have they all been claimed already, or are they not releasing them anymore? The lack of availability looks a Qatar Airways devaluation.
This is a bummer because it was doable to book a one-way business class from all the following North American cities to Doha at the sweet price of 70,000 Avios and there was plenty of space.
However, it’s mostly under ‘‘Flexi-Awards’’ at 140,000 Avios now; the serious lack of availability seems to translate to an unofficial devaluation of the program.
Qatar Airways Devaluation - Last-minute flights and other discrepancies
I observed an increase in the amount of Avios required for last-minute flights from North America or Europe to Doha, both in economy and for business class seats.
The Montreal to Doha route is usually set at 35,000 Avios in economy, and departures within this month cost 47,500 Avios.
What I find odd is that the 47,500 Avios price from Montreal to Doha can also be found in July 2024, which is a year out. I noticed the same thing when searching for flights out of New York.
Similarly, the business class ‘‘saver’’ level for that journey is supposed to be at 70,000 Avios, but I found departures at 94,500 Avios within this month.
As a mentioned before, the saver price is hard to get nowadays, so 94,500 Avios is still a better deal than the Flexi-awards.
The same can be seen for routes between Europe and Doha:
- Last-minute economy awards are priced at 24,500 Avios instead of 21,500 Avios.
- Last-minute business class awards are priced at 54,000 Avios instead of 43,000 Avios.
A good thing is that a connecting flight from North America to elsewhere does not seem to be affected by the last-minute pricing. Indeed, we can fly from Montreal to Thailand for 47,500 Avios in economy whether you are going this month or next summer.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club didn’t issue any official notice of a devaluation. However, award prices seem to be all over the board when you search and play around with dates and destinations.
I wonder if they are currently revamping their award prices, but I find it illogical that you can book a YUL-DOH route at the same price as the YUL-DOH-BKK for summer 2024.
There is also the inconsistency in their flexible calendar dates showing, which makes me wonder if they are working on a significant change in their program.
As always, earn and burn your points when you can, as you are constantly at the mercy of devaluations, whether it’s costing you more points and miles or being unable to get your hands on any ‘‘saver’’ availability anymore.
You can earn a great number of Avios very quickly with the following cards in Canada: