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Monday, March 8, 2021

Qatar Airways says global airlines cheating passengers with ‘premium economy’

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Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al Baker said airlines around the world are cheating passengers with “premium economy” options.

The economy class seat of Qatar Airways and the standards of inflight service is far ahead of premium economy, said CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar al Baker, in an interview for the Future Travel Experience Expo.

“I have always mentioned that we will never introduce a premium economy in Qatar Airways,” he said when asked about whether the national carrier would be considering the premium economy class. 

“99 out of 100 of those products are very uncomfortable. Airlines are pulling the wool over your eyes. They are giving the same service, just a little bit higher quantity of food and beverage, and just putting it in a fancy nice glass, or a larger tray with actually the same kind of amenities that somebody, paying half your fare, is sitting behind you and enjoying,” said al Baker.

Read also: Saudi’s Al Arabiya to be tried in UK court over ‘false’ Qatar Airways video

“Why should we, when we give such high standards of inflight service in economy, try to repackage it and call it ‘premium’ economy?” he added.

Around the world, Premium Economy has been picked up well by passengers who want comfort but do not want to pay exorbitant prices for business class. 

Emirates will be introducing the Middle East’s first-ever ‘Premium Economy’ class in one of its three new A380’s. 

The airline has chosen the RECARO PL3530 seat. This is ultimately mildly more spacious than some other premium economy seats on airlines around the world, however, disappointing compared to the HAECO seat that customers and experts were expecting. 

The comments came just weeks after the flagship carrier launched a first of its kind program for students, offering exclusive offers and benefits in a brand new loyalty program, the Student Club, the latest addition to the airline’s Privilege Club program. 

Members will receive benefits such as special fares, extra baggage allowance, free Wi-Fi access onboard, and will automatically be enrolled into the Privilege Club program. In addition members will receive a tier upgrade as a graduation gift and 5,000 Qmiles if they refer a friend to the Student Club, QA said. 

That came after it introduced new travel options that would allow customers more flexibility when picking airfares to attract a wider range of travellers. 

In recent months Qatar Airways also ran campaigns giving free tickets to frontline workers and teachers as it paid tribute to their work whilst attempting to attract passengers back onboard its aircrafts. 


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