How to Make the Most of Qatar Airways Economy Class

Qatar Airways economy cabins have four fare classes, but the cheapest promo fare isn't always available.

Bethany WalshMay 17, 2021
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Economy class is the most affordable way to fly on Qatar Airways, which offers service from nine U.S. cities. The airline has a major hub in Doha, the capital of Qatar, providing U.S. travelers with a reasonably priced option into the Middle East region for their trip.

Here’s a rundown of what you can expect if you’re looking to book an economy class fare with Qatar.

What to expect when flying economy with Qatar Airways

Baggage allowance on Qatar

One major reason people will choose a higher fare class is to save money on checked bags, but since Qatar Airways has a unique set of rules when it comes to baggage allowance, it’s worth describing in more detail.

The specific number and weight of bags you’re allowed to carry with you on your trip depends on the route you’re flying and the cabin class of the original ticket you purchased (even if you’ve later upgraded your ticket).

On certain routes, there is a maximum weight allowed, on others it’s a bag limit. Here’s a chart for reference.

Route

Classic

Convenience

Comfort

To/From Africa/Americas

2 bags/50 pounds each

2 bags/50 pounds each

2 bags/50 pounds each

All other routes

55 pound total combined weight — as many bags as you want.

66 pound total combined weight — as many bags as you want.

77 pound total combined weight — as many bags as you want.

For the routes subject to weight limits, there is no limit in terms of the number of bags you can bring. The combined weight must be under the weight limit.

Boarding

Qatar boards in zones with economy generally going toward the end. If you have Oneworld Sapphire Status and fly economy, you'll still get access to priority boarding. Your preference to board early may largely depend on if you need overhead bin space for your single carry-on (more on that below) or if you prefer to be the last to board (to spend as little time as possible in your economy seat).

Seats

The size of the current Qatar Airways economy class seats are about average compared with those on other long haul economy flights. The good news is Qatar has plans to roll out a swanky new economy experience that will likely make it one of the better non-premium cabin experiences. More details to come as Qatar releases its new seats and new experience.

Upgraded economy tickets

Qatar Airways economy cabins have four fare classes to choose from including promo, classic, convenience and comfort. Promo fares are just that — promotions — so they’re not always available. They also have the most restrictive fare rules.

  • Classic fares are the next cheapest, but they come with a price: You cannot choose your own seat. These tickets also earn the least award miles.

  • Convenience fares allow you to choose your seat and earn more miles.

  • Comfort fares allow you to earn the most miles, choose a preferred seat and have the best upgrade rates.

Tips for Qatar economy flights

Avoid economy if you think you may want to upgrade later

Qatar Airways baggage allowance and lounge access are based on the original ticket rules. This means that if you originally book a cheap economy class ticket and later upgrade it, you still won’t get lounge access or added baggage weight limits.

Leave the snacks at home

Qatar Airways economy class service includes snacks and drinks in addition to meals so you can save yourself some money and not worry about bringing food for the flight.

Pack only one bag to carry on

When it comes to carry-on items, Qatar baggage rules are a bit different from most airlines (which typically allow travelers to bring one carry-on bag plus a personal item).

Qatar Airways economy class flyers are limited to one carry-on item; any additional items are required to be checked in. To save some money, be sure to pack smartly.

Join the Qatar Airways Student Club

Qatar Airways is one of the few airlines that have a student program with perks like added baggage allowances and free Wi-Fi. The coolest perk of the program is an upgrade to the next level of tier status as a graduation gift.

The bottom line

If you find yourself flying from the U.S. to Doha, Qatar will likely be one of your best airline options. Qatar is great for budget travelers since it’s known for having reasonable cash fares and great partner award prices. It’s certainly worth a look since it doesn't nickel and dime economy passengers, and it offers simple comforts that come in handy on long flights.


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