Qatar Airways Connecting Flights


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This is a Qatar Airways connecting flights guide.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to book a connecting flight with Qatar Airways. The guide also covers passenger rights and baggage rules, as well as includes information about flight delay and cancellation compensation. Qatar Airways is the flag carrier airline of Qatar. Headquartered in Doha, the airline flies to more than 90 countries. It has been voted ‘the best airline in the world’ multiple times.


Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.


Qatar Airlines Plane
Photo by Reto Bürkler 

1

Is It Protected?

Yes, it’s a protected connection.

Traditional airlines sell airline-protected connecting flights. It’s more convenient and more safe than self-transfer flights. You don’t need a visa for connecting flights like this.

Unless you book flights separately.

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2

Baggage Rules

Airline takes care of your baggage.

Mostly, you will check in baggage only once — you won’t have to recheck baggage for every flight. This is how it works with traditional airlines and airline-protected connecting flights.

Baggage allowance depends on the ticket, destination and occasionally some other factors. 


3

Travel Insurance

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1. Qatar Airways Connecting Flights

Qatar Airways is a full-service traditional airline.

Being a full-service traditional airline, Qatar Airways sells protected connecting flights. As the name suggests, full-service airlines offer services that low-cost airlines don’t offer to their customers. Besides that, traditional airlines offer connecting flights, which also aren’t common in low-cost airline industry. These are the main reasons why so many choose to fly with traditional airlines.

Airline-protected connecting flights are:

  • More safe. Your airline takes care of flight problems.
  • More convenient. Baggage transfer is automatic.
  • Easier to book. You book several flights as a single journey.

Yes, Qatar Airways sells airline-protected connecting flights.

1.1 Connecting Flights, One Airline

You have booked a connecting flight with Qatar Airways.

Keep in mind that not always your flights will be operated by Qatar Airways. But in many situations, you will fly with Qatar Airways — on a Qatar Airways plane, manned by Qatar Airways crew. Note that it’s not the case with every Qatar Airways connecting flight.

1.2 Qatar Airways Codeshare Partners

Sometimes airlines share their flights.

You have a connecting flight with Qatar Airways. But it could be operated by one of its partners. There may be only one flight operated by a partner airline, or your connecting flight can be wholly operated by a partner/partners.

This is done to provide a wider flight network. Just because Qatar Airways doesn’t operate this particular flight, the company shares a flight with another airline, which has a flight to this particular destination. Connecting flights with different airlines is very common in aviation industry. These kind of flights are called codeshare flights, and the airlines collaborating — codeshare partners.

What you should know is that:

  • If you miss your connecting flight due to delay or cancellation of the previous flight, Qatar Airways has to provide you with a new flight. Contact Qatar Airways to find out what are your options. As long as it’s a Qatar Airways connection booked from Qatar Airways (they are called marketing airline), they are responsible for finding solutions.
  • If your flight is heavily delayed, cancelled or overbooked, compensation is paid by airline operating this particular flight. If it’s operated by some other airline, not Qatar Airways, then they are called operating airline — they have to pay compensation when it’s due.

See a list of Qatar Airways codeshare partners here.

Doha Airport sculpture
A sculpture in Hamad International Airport in Doha

2. What If Qatar Airways Cancels a Flight?

Why flights get cancelled?

There are a number of reasons why airlines cancel their flights. The most common reasons are: bad weather, technical problems, airport congestion, staff shortage and security issues at the airport.

2.1 One of Your Flights Is Cancelled

Qatar Airways is a Qatari airline (non-European).

Despite this fact, on some of their flights you are still protected by the EU law. According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

However, this applies only to their flights departing from Europe.

If your Qatar Airways flight is cancelled, and as a result you miss your Qatar Airways connection, it’s the airline’s responsibility to offer you a new flight, or a full refund. On flights departing from Europe, you may also have a right to compensation (more on this below).


Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.


2.2 All Your Flights Are Cancelled

Overall, for you as a passenger, the options are the same.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, Qatar Airways must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport if it’s a last-minute cancellation and you are already at the airport (you have a right to care).

This applies to all their flights departing from Europe.

Refund must be paid within seven days.

You may have a right to EU flight cancellation compensation.

2.3 Qatar Airways Refund for Cancellation

Yes, you have a right to ask for a refund.

If you don’t wish to travel anymore, or the new flight you were offered doesn’t fit your travel plans, you may request a full refund. A refund must be paid, in full, within 7 days. It has to be paid by bank transfer. You don’t have to accept any vouchers or gift cards.

But again, these rules apply only to flights departing from Europe. With European airlines you have the same rights also on flights departing from countries in Asia, Africa, Oceania, Americas, etc.

Hong Kong airport layover
Hong Kong airport

3. Qatar Airways Missed Connecting Flight

Why people miss their connections?

There are a number of reasons. It can be a simple mistake — waiting at the wrong gate, falling asleep while waiting for your flight, mixing up AM with PM on a ticket, etc. Or it can be through no fault of your own — delay or cancellation of the previous flight, long lines, airport congestion, etc.

3.1 What Happens If You Miss Qatar Airways Connection?

If it’s your fault that it happened — it’s your responsibility.

If it’s not your fault, then your airline has to take care of that. If you booked a flight from Qatar Airways, it doesn’t even matter if the flight is operated by Qatar Airways or not, you should contact Qatar Airways. It’s the airline’s responsibility to find a solution (in most cases — new flight). You missed a connecting flight through no fault of your own, Qatar Airways must offer you a solution.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Take you to your final destination as soon as possible.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

Again, the last two points apply only to flights from Europe.

On other routes, they anyway have to offer you a new flight.

Read more: Missed Connecting Flight Due to Delay 

3.2 Right to Compensation from Qatar Airways

Sometimes you have a right to compensation.

If your Qatar Airways flight:

  • Departs from the EU, EEA or UK
  • Is 3+ hours late and
  • Is delayed or cancelled due to the fault of the airline

Then you may be entitled to compensation from Qatar Airways.

Flight cancelled less than 2 weeks before the trip?

You might be entitled to flight cancellation compensation, too.

GET FLIGHT COMPENSATION

File a Claim Online

3.3 Right to Care from Qatar Airways

On Qatar Airways flights from Europe you have a right to care.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004 airline should provide:

  • Free food and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time.
  • Free hotel accommodation if a stay of one or more nights is necessary;
  • Free airport transfer to hotel and back.
  • Plus, two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails. So that you can notify your loved ones. 

In case of Qatar Airways, the regulation applies only to flights departing from European airports. With European airlines it applies to all flights.


When it comes to air passenger rights, unless otherwise stated, we talk about air passenger rights in the EU, EEA and UK. When we say Europe or European, we mean EU, EEA or UK. This is done for the simplicity, since the according laws in these countries are about the same.


Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport

4. How to Book Connecting Flights with Qatar Airways?

You can do it directly from Qatar Airways or via a third-party.

Generally speaking, these are two best options that you have. You can either go to the website of Qatar Airways and book Qatar Airways flights there, or you can book via a third-party booking website (kiwi.com, edreams.com, etc.).


How to Book?

Airline website (directly).

This is the easiest way to book a connecting flight. It’s also the safest way to book a connection. You make a single booking, have a single reservation code and the booking includes several flights. Sometimes they are all with one airline, other times – two or more. Anyway, in this case, you can be 100% sure that you have a proper connecting flight.

Other Option

Flight booking websites.

Few examples: skyscanner.net, expedia.com, momondo.com.

Pay attention to the details. Because some of these sites are only search engines, and sellers are other websites. Apart from that, they often sell both airline-protected connecting flights and self-transfer flights. If it’s a self-transfer, know that it comes with its own risks, and there are things you should take into account. Self-transfer is not the same thing as airline-protected transfer. 

For extra protection, buy also a travel insurance covering flight disruptions, or book with sites like kiwi.com, who offer extra protection.

With kiwi.com you are more protected than normally.


Read more: How to Book Connecting Flights?

Two backpacks

5. Qatar Airways Connecting Flights: Baggage

Since Qatar Airways is a traditional airline, everything’s very easy.

Baggage rules on connecting flights with Qatar Airways are simple.

In short, Qatar Airways takes care of your baggage. You check in your bag before the first flight. And in most cases it is checked all the way to your final destination. You don’t have to collect and recheck it after every flight. Unless you have a self-transfer flight (two or more flights booked separately), or you’re traveling through a country that requires everyone to collect and recheck their baggage (e.g., the United States).

If you aren’t sure, ask staff at the check-in counter.

5.1 Baggage Transfer: Different Airlines

What happens if there are several airlines?

What if one of your flights is operated by different airline, not Qatar Airways? As we already talked, you may experience this, because Qatar Airways does share some of its flights with its codeshare partners. In this situation the rules are the same — your baggage is being taken care of by an airline. Most likely, you won’t need to worry about it.

Read more:

5.2 Qatar Airways Free Baggage Allowance

Baggage allowance varies — it’s not the same on all flights.

Baggage allowance depends on the airline, destination and occasionally some other factors. When it comes to baggage allowance, Qatar Airways is quite generous. Even cheapest of flights come with free baggage allowance, plus a cabin bag. Check your Qatar Airways booking confirmation to see what is your baggage allowance.

Baggage allowance usually depends on the airline, destination and occasionally some other factors. When it comes to free baggage allowance, Qatar Airways is quite generous (very generous).

5.3 Economy Light

This is the cheapest option for long-haul flights.

Economy Light usually comes without free baggage allowance.

But not with Qatar Airways. They also offer “Economy Light” fares, but they include free checked baggage. We see this all across the industry. Full-service traditional airlines are offering also tickets without free checked baggage allowance. Qatar Airways do it their own way — they include free baggage.

However, their baggage policy can change. So, make sure you check what is included in the fare, at the time when you are making a booking.

Kuala Lumpur Skyline
A view of Kuala Lumpur skyline from a rooftop pool

6. Connecting Flight Examples

Here are two connecting flight examples with Qatar Airways.

6.1 Protected Connecting Flights with Qatar Airways (Most Common)

For this example I’ll be using the website of Qatar Airways.

Let’s say, I want to fly from Madrid to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

I was searching for flights for September 4.

These are the options:

Madrid - Kuala Lumpur Connecting Flight with Qatar Airways
Madrid – Kuala Lumpur Connecting Flight with Qatar Airways

On their website Qatar Airways sells only protected connecting flights. However, as we can see, not all of the flights are operated by Qatar Airways. For example, the last connecting flight on the list is operated by Iberia and Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways codeshare partners. If this matters to you, if you want to be on an a Qatar Airways airplane, you must pay attention to details like these.

Pay attention also to the total flight duration, number of stops and the price. As you can see the cheapest options are No 2 and 3. They both are operated by Qatar Airways, and there’s one stop (layover). Connecting flight No 2 takes 18 hours, but No 3 is longer — it takes 23 hours to get from Madrid to Kuala Lumpur. 

6.2 Self-Transfer Flights with Qatar Airways

Now, let’s assume, that you are traveling to Penang, an island on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, and a very popular tourist destination.

You plan to fly from Madrid to Kuala Lumpur, and from KL to Penang. But before that you want to spend a day or two in KL — to explore the colorful and multicultural capital of Malaysia.

  1. You book a connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur, like in the example above. For example, you’re taking one of the cheapest options, the second one, which arrives in KL at 9:25 am. 
  2. And then you go to kiwi.com, skyscanner.net or some other flight search website, and book a flight from KL to Penang. Leaving yourself, let’s say, 2 days in KL. You may also book this flight directly from an airline. For example, Air Asia operates daily flights from KL to Penang.

Madrid — Kuala Lumpur is an airline-protected connecting flight. If your first flight is delayed or cancelled, Qatar Airways will take care of that. Most likely they will put you on another flight for free. However, the last flight, KL – Penang, is a separate flight. Because you wanted this stopover in Kuala Lumpur.

With Qatar Airways, you can also book safe stopovers. Just choose the multi-city option on their website, when searching for flights.

What is your experience with Qatar Airways? Have ever missed connecting flight with Qatar Airways? How did the airline solve this? Did you receive compensation from Qatar Airways?

Featured photo by Reto Bürkler


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