Qatar Airways will no longer permit workers at Australian flag carrier Qantas to take advantage of heavily discounted Business Class fares on its flights as a dispute over why the Doha-based airline had its bid for additional flying rights to Australia rejected.
It’s well known that one of the best benefits of working for an airline is getting access to super-cheap tickets, although the specific way these discounted tickets work can vary massively from airline to airline.
For example, some airlines will charge just the cost of taxes and fees, whereas others will charge 10% of the normal fare – what is known as an ID190 ticket or ‘industry discount of 90%’.
Some airlines will also upgrade staff members to the best available cabin, whereas others will restrict their First or Business Class cabins to managers and pilots. In any case, premium cabins are usually off-limits to staff members from other airlines.
But Qatar Airways was offering Qantas workers an ID90 discount on premium standby tickets – an almost unheard of perk, especially considering the fact that the two airlines haven’t had the best relationship in years gone by.
Now, Qatar Airways says it is ending the deal on September 18. The news comes just weeks after Qatar Airways was told that it would not be granted additional flying rights to Australia’s four largest international airports.
As the fallout of the controversial decision continues to make headlines, Qantas has taken flak over the fact that former CEO Alan Joyce admitted that it lobbied the Australian government over the issue and asked ministers to reject Qatar’s bid.
Joyce retired two months early last week as the dispute rumbled on, and Qantas had its brand trashed by local media over a number of other issues.
Qantas staffers aren’t, however, being refused access to Qatar Airways flights altogether. Because the two airlines are part of the Oneworld alliance, Qantas staff can still buy an ID90 standby ticket on Qatar Airways flights – but only in Economy.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.