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Qatar Airways Is Introducing New Fare Classes — What to Know Before You Book

Travel + Leisure logo Travel + Leisure 9/28/2021 Alison Fox
AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images © Provided by Travel + Leisure AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Qatar Airways is giving customers more flexibility with flight costs with the introduction of its new Economy Lite and Business Lite fares coming next month.

The new unbundled fares will go into effect on flights starting Oct. 1, according to the airline, bringing the company more in line with many United States airlines that offer a "basic economy" option. However, the fares still come with many perks like free checked baggage.

"Qatar Airways is adding additional options in a bid to offer greater choice to its passengers," the airline wrote on its website. "Each fare family offers passengers a clear, distinct set of products and services designed to meet the specific needs of its broad customer base."

The new unbundled fares will go into effect on flights starting Oct. 1. © AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images The new unbundled fares will go into effect on flights starting Oct. 1.

In Economy Lite, passengers are allowed one checked bag up to 20 kilograms (or about 44 pounds) for less than Qatar's Classic economy ticket which includes a free checked bag up to 25 kilograms (about 55 pounds).

Travelers in Economy Lite can also pick their seats when they check-in online, but fares are nonrefundable.

In Business Lite, passengers get the same number of checked bags as other business fares, but do not get complimentary access to the airline's business class lounge (the one in Doha is one of the best in the world). Instead, passengers can purchase access to the lounge.

However, Qatar will still grant complimentary lounge access to passengers in Business Lite if they are an elite member of either the carrier's frequent flyer program or a Oneworld frequent flyer program.

This year, Qatar Airways was voted as both the No. 1 airline in the world and voted as having the best business class in the world with its Qsuites. Its Hamad International Airport in Doha is also considered one of Travel Leisure's top international airports.

In July, Qatar reopened its borders to fully vaccinated U.S. travelers, requiring them to get a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of traveling to the country and register on Qatar's 'Ehteraz' website.

Qatar is considered a "Level 3" country by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicating a "high" level of COVID-19 transmission.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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