Let me tell you about one of the world’s best airlines, Qatar Airways. If you’re flying with them, you can expect plenty of legroom, comfortable seats, great in-flight entertainment, and even complimentary alcohol in economy class. You’ll also learn about their loyalty program, online check-in, baggage allowance, transit hotel options in Doha, and more.
It will be difficult for you to plan your dream trip to Qatar without these websites
Table of Contents
Qatar Airways: general information
Here are some important facts about Qatar Airways:
- It was founded in 1993 and is the national airline of Qatar.
- National airline of Qatar.
- Their hub is Hamad International Airport in Doha (IATA: DOH).
- Overview of modern Doha airport, duty free, where to relax, metro and more
- They fly to over 150 destinations worldwide with a fleet of more than 250 modern aircraft.
I won’t go into detail about the spacious seating and excellent dining, as these are expected from a top airline, and Qatar Airways’ awards speak for themselves. As of 2023, in their 30 years of operation, they have:
- Been recognized as a five-star airline for over 20 years.
- Won the title of best airline in the world seven times, most recently in 2022.
- Been awarded best business class in the world five times, most recently in 2022.
They have also won numerous other awards for punctuality, innovation, and more.
Important note:their extensive network of over 150 direct flights from Doha allows for easy travel to almost anywhere in the world with just one layover. For example, they currently offer direct flights to Doha from most European capitals, and from Doha, you can fly directly to almost any country in the world. This makes finding convenient flights with Qatar Airways a breeze.
- Look for tickets on Avisales, it will show all possible options.
- And here is an article about tickets to Doha: how to buy, what to look for, what subtleties there are.
Loyalty program: bonuses and miles
This is all the same as with other airlines, so I’ll just give a brief overview. However, there is one point that should be emphasized separately:
- Official website of the airline: https://www.qatarairways.com
- There is an app for iOS and Android.
Important:If you have bought tickets with Qatar Airways, be sure to sign up on the website or in the app on your phone in the loyalty program. It is intuitively clear, and you will be able to link your ticket (by ticket number), and after the flight, you will receive bonus miles.
- As with all airlines, bonus miles (or Qpoints) are earned for each flight. The logic is the same as with other airlines: the longer the flight, the more expensive the ticket, and the higher the class, the more miles you earn. But that’s not the point.
In all airlines, to buy the simplest bonus ticket for miles, you need to make 5-10 flights, and until there is a minimum threshold, already accumulated miles will just be dead weight on your account.
Qatar Airways credits miles the day after the flight. And Q points can be spent on tickets immediately on the next flight. There is no need to accumulate them.
Personal example:I have been to Qatar many times. One of my recent trips was from Doha to Belgrade (Serbia). And then, three months later, I bought a ticket from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Doha. And I immediately used all the miles from the previous flight. I got a discount on the ticket of about $20-25. I consider this a good cashback from a ticket to Serbia for $400 🙂 And the best part is that miles are credited after every flight, even if part of the ticket was purchased with miles from a previous flight. I hope I explained it clearly, I tried my best.
Therefore, I recommend Qatar Airways’ loyalty program to everyone. It really works, and you can spend miles on tickets after the first flight.
Flight Check-in, Baggage, Hand Luggage
- Self check-in for all international flights starts 48 hours before departure (2 days). I recommend checking in early as you can choose your seat for free. At the airport, you may end up being seated in a less desirable location.
- All fares, even in economy class, and for tickets purchased at heavily discounted rates, include:
- 30kg of checked in baggage!
- 2 free ticket changes, including transfer to another flight on another day, all without additional charges.
- Free ticket cancellation (WITHOUT A FEE, even in economy class). Refunds will be issued in the form of a voucher. Try to cancel the cheapest ticket with any airline in Europe, and there will be no option to do so, even with a penalty.
- Standard hand luggage weight limit is up to 7kg. You can bring a backpack and a laptop, for example. Nobody really checks the size and weight of hand luggage anywhere. We often bring extra bags and there are no questions asked.
On the airline’s website (link above), you can find all the information regarding hand luggage dimensions, sports equipment, and other items that you can bring on board, such as umbrellas or cats in carriers. However, the standard for hand luggage is usually as follows:
- The total weight of all the hand luggage you bring on board is up to 7kg.
- You can bring two bags: 55x40x25cm and 35x20x15cm. In this case, it’s a standard backpack and a laptop bag, for example. The sizes may change periodically, and the exact ones will be specified in your booking.
- But if you also have additional items like duty-free packages, a travel pillow, or a jacket, nobody will say a word.
I don’t know of any airline in the world that includes 30kg of baggage and free cancellation without a fee, even in the case of the cheapest ticket with a juicy discount.
Qatar Airways In-Flight Dining
The food is good and the type of meal served depends on the length of the flight and time of day. If it is a daytime flight of more than 4 hours, a full meal will be served, while a breakfast will be provided for morning flights.
On one of my flights, I flew to Doha during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The desserts were presented in the form of a football field with a ball.
Important thing to know about in-flight dining on Qatar Airways:Even in economy class, alcohol is served free of charge. It is effectively unlimited. You can easily ask the flight attendants to pour you any alcohol that they are carrying on the trolley. My wife and I usually take two beers and two wines before the meal, and then another drink after the meal. It is important to know that you can order more than one drink.
They have their own internal rules, but if you behave politely with the flight attendants, smile, and show that you are completely sober, then you can request drinks more than once or twice. I remember drinking a total of 8 cans of beer (0.33L) during a single long flight of 7 hours. What else can you do on a plane?
- Often on flights from Doha, Qatari national cuisine is served. If you come across such a menu, you are very lucky. Learn more about Qatari cuisine and what tourists should try in Doha.
Qatar Airways Transit Tours in Doha
For its passengers with transit times of more than 6 hours, Qatar Airways offers several excursions (for a fee). Here’s what you need to know about them:
- The official page where you can see the conditions, prices, and what excursions are available: https://www.qatarairways.com/en-us/offers/transit-tours.html
- The two most interesting tours are the city tour of Doha and a desert jeep tour to the Inland sea of Qatar.
- The prices are very high: if you buy a tour to the Inland sea yourself online, it costs 200 QAR (about $70), but with Qatar Airways, it costs 850 QAR. More than 4 times more expensive. The only advantage is for those tourists with short layovers who cannot afford to miss their flight. Qatar Airways guarantees that you will be able to return to the airport on time.
Check out the best tours in Qatar, prices, and tips in the article at the link.
- How to get to the Inland Sea, what it is, why UNESCO protects it, where to find an excursion that’s five times cheaper than Qatar Airways, and lots of photos – all in this article.
Free hotel in Doha during transit through Qatar
Qatar Airways offers a free 4- or 5-star hotel in Doha, such as the Hilton or Ritz-Carlton, but they only accommodate passengers in those two hotels. I’m sure everyone would love to spend a night in one of those hotels.
Qatar Airways has a program for travelers who are transiting through Doha, which includes free transfer to the hotel and accommodation in the hotel itself.
But to be honest, meeting the criteria for this program is quite difficult. I’ll list the main criteria below. If you meet them, there will be a link to the official information, where you can find out more and book a hotel.
Criteria for getting a free hotel in Doha from Qatar Airways:
- Your transit in Doha (based on the time between flights) must be more than 8 hours but less than 24 hours.
- Both flights must be operated by Qatar Airways. For example: London-Doha-Maldives, both flights are with Qatar Airways. If the first flight is London-Doha, for example with British Airways, you don’t meet these criteria.
- An important point: the rules of this program state that “Qatar Airways provides accommodation during transit at its discretion. Not all fares are eligible for this service.”
- This means that passengers who have purchased discounted economy class tickets are likely to be denied, while passengers in business class are unlikely to be denied. The more expensive your ticket, the less likely you are to be denied.
The most important point that many people don’t know:This point is always written in the smallest font: you can only claim free hotel accommodation if there is no other flight with a shorter layover in your schedule between your flights. If there is such a flight, even if all tickets were sold out three months in advance, you will be denied.
Therefore, it’s almost impossible to get a free hotel when transiting through Doha on popular routes, as Qatar Airways operates 5-6 flights daily on those routes. You can only meet all the criteria on those routes where the company has only one flight a day.
- If you are eligible, I recommend following the link and communicating with a company representative: https://www.qatarairways.com
If you have a short transit in Doha, read a separate article to find out the procedure and how to make a connecting flight in 45 minutes.
In conclusion, the national Qatari airline Qatar Airways is one of the best in the world for a reason. The way they treat their customers, baggage allowances, even in the cheapest tickets, the ability to cancel, food and alcohol on flights, comfortable seats – all of this is not just empty words. It’s truly comfortable to travel with this airline.
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Qatar
- Flights at the best prices with discounts
- Car rental: Discovery Cars (cheaper – only by bus)
- Hotels and apartments in Doha: Booking
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual sim card with internet in Montenegro