After having experience of “No Show” last year, which in fact change the flight around 3 hours before departure, this year I again changed the flight from Qatar for summer holiday. I and my family initially book the flight on 29 July 2014, but due to miscalculation of Eid day which actually would fall between 28 or 29 July 2014 we decided to change the flight before Eid.
I planned to go to Qatar Airways office to change the flight this morning, wake up in the morning (I hate dealing with crowd, that’s why choosing Saturday, a weekend day, morning time), drive to their main office on airport road (based on previous experience, dealing several time with their branch office near my compound was annoying, the CS was stupid and less cooperative!), and change the flight. I am preparing also to accept the fact that I have to pay some amount of money as the charge fee which might be not cheap since end of July is peak season.
However, based on last year experience, I start to think “Ok, booking Qatar airways through internet is a 5 star class service. Their service is one of the best I experience so far. Modifying the ticket in injury time also easy through phone call as per last year. I am wondering, is it possible to change via internet?”. I browsed the ticket confirmation sitting on my email since 2 months back and found the link to manage the booking.
After clicking the link “Manage My Booking”, I am sent to “my booking” page where I can find “Change Flights”. The link then brought me to another page to modify the flight dates. After choosing which flight I would like to modify, QA search for the days and fare. Here comes the details:
The option is based on availability, but as it says, option for ZERO QAR modification fee is there. As a note, my earlier booking was “Economy Restricted”, that is saying even with the lowest price people still have a chance to modify the flight schedule without any charge, as long as seat available. Before this, I heard rumour that “Economy Restricted” at least had to pay sum amount of money to change the flight schedule.
After few clicks and confirmation, QA sent new e-ticket with modified schedule to my email. Easy Peasy.
By using internet service, I can cancel my trip to QA ticket office and I can plan another activity for this morning. This is a new and very important thing for me at least. I am coming from the old days (and…emerging country :p) where modifying a flight ticket means we had to physically come to the ticket office, or at least talk to customer service by phone. I believe for more ‘complex’ scenario customer service involvement are required, i.e for my case above, I might want to change ticket for my wife and kids only. But since I modified for all (which is in one booking code) then it can be done without CS involvement.
I was curious about difference policy in economy class, there are: Economy Restricted, Economy Semi Flexible, Economy Flexible. To understand the difference, I played a bit with above option by choosing different option and see the result. Here’s the difference.
Above snapshot is for Economy Semi Flexible. The difference between Economy Restricted and Economy Semi Flexible are in “Cancellation before departure” and “Cancelation after departure”, the note written for Economy Restricted is “Maybe allowed with charges”. So difference between restricted and semi is in the words of: Maybe. Of course “Maybe” is depend on consideration taken by QA for cancelation, but in case we’re taking Semi Flexible then Cancellation would be always possible although with a charge. The interesting points are for the “Changes before/after departures”, on my case just now, no charges given. So the note given here is actually saying “in worst case, changes before departure will be allowed with charges”.
Of course for Economy Flexible, flexibilities are more for ticket holder.
I am a bit intrigued when reading policy above, asking myself “what is the difference between XXX after departure with XXX on no show?”. Doesn’t after departure means no show?! I got the answer after googling on flyertalk forum. The discussion describe what will happened if somebody want to cancel one route of return ticket. Supposed to be on my case, my ticket is a return: Qatar – Indonesia – Qatar, if I want to cancel my return flight Indonesia – Qatar later after arrive in Indonesia then the policy of XXX after departure will be applied. That is saying cancelation / changes after one of the departure happened on the booked ticket.
I remember above situation happened when my parents visited Qatar last year, they initially planned to stay in Qatar for 3 months so they bought a return ticket valid for 3 months from Indonesia, but then their stay in Qatar extended to 1 more additional month. I went to Etihad customer service, and the customer service there said not possible at all to change / cancel the ticket. I ended up buying a new one way ticket Qatar – Indonesia for my parents. I didn’t check the fare policy of Etihad at that time, maybe they don’t have policy of “Cancelation after departure?”
Satisfaction = High Quality Services
There is always more to pay with high quality service, the value given by QA services *in Qatar* (not sure if dealing with QA service in my own country) are worth every penny. I usually look into something not only based on its price, price is definitely very important to consider, in the case of QA, flight from Qatar to Indonesia would be cheaper if we’re using different airlines. However, for values such as direct flight (especially when flying with child), high class service offered by QA internet services, or “no show” case I experienced last year which was solved within a minute and required only one phone call, I would consider more QA than any other airlines.