Receiving an upgrade offer in your email is often a cause for excitement. In the case of Qatar Airways upgrade offers, you may want to take a step back. The reason is that the carrier’s upgrade offer come in an unbundled fashion.

Let’s look in detail what makes-up these offers. Here a 5 essential things you need to be aware of.

Ways To Book Your Upgrade

Qatar Airways allows travellers many ways to book their upgrade. They can do it because they received an offer from the airline or on ad hoc basis.

On qatarairways.com, by accessing your booking under My Trips tab. If you were sent an email offer then you’ll see it in your booking. If you were not sent an offer, you can inquire on phone.

Call Qatar Airways to inquire by giving your booking reference number. The agent will quote you a price for available upgrade options.

On the mobile app, go under My Trips. Add your booking reference if you’re not logged in under your QR Miles account. I earn British Airways Avios points, therefore I always type in my booking reference. You should see the upgrade offer.

Use your QMiles if you have enough for an upgrade to Business or First class. You can use the QCalculator to know how much QMiles you need.

You can inquire about an upgrade at the airport.

Qatar Airways Upgrade Offers Are Non-Negotiable

You better believe it. The upgrade offer you receive has to be accepted as is.

The upgrade offer only applies to a specific flight or part of the itinerary mentioned in the email offer. So forget about attempting to negotiate further on that front.

Also if you have more than one person on the booking reference the offer applies to all. That means, unbundling the upgrade to apply it to one or some individuals is impossible.

Finally, the upgrade offer has an expiry date. So in order to secure that business class seat you need to make the payment that’s requested. Yes you will have to pay on the spot to secure that upgrade. You can make a payment with the usual credit cards: Amex, Visa, Mastercard and Diners Club.

Your Qatar Airways Upgrade Won’t Earn You Business Class Miles

You have paid for an upgrade to business class but that won’t earn you business fare miles. Actually, you will earn miles based on the original booking fare in economy class. These fares are (from lowest to most flexible): O, T, Q, N, S, V, L, M, K, H, B, Y.

This applies to Qatar Airways Privilege Club members but also other oneworld frequent flyer programs. You can refer to my oneworld guide for more details on the alliance.

The Upgrade is Non-Refundable, Non-Transferable!

Indeed an upgrade purchase is non-refundable and non-transferable. Therefore, even if you cancel your upgrade, you won’t see any amount credited to your credit card.

Also, make sure you don’t cancel your trip and miss your flight. Your upgrade money will not be refunded.

Lounge access?

You guessed it. Qatar Airways does grant access to lounge access when upgrading a passenger for free or on a paid upgrade. The same goes if you are upgraded at the airport. You can forget accessing Al Mourjan Business Class or Al Safwa First Class Lounges in Doha.

The only exception is if you’re upgrading from Business to First class. You’ll have access to Business class lounges and not the First class ones.

The alternative is to buy a lounge access. Prices hover a little over $100. In the case of Al Mourjan Lounge it’s definitely worth it if you’re on a long layover (over 4-5h).

The Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card subsidizes my upgrade purchase

Whatever the upgrade amount, the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card can help pay for some of of my premium experience.

I can apply the 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points I receive after I hit the $1,000 spend requirement. These points represent an approximate amount of $300. It’s a welcome subsidy for a premium card that comes with lots of travel benefits.

Conclusion

One thing I took away from Qatar Airways Upgrade offer policy is that you need to make sure you fly. You cannot afford to miss, cancel or change your flight date.

Why?

Because you won’t get your upgrade money back. Also, you’ll have to pay for lounge access. So your decision to buy that upgrade has to be well thought out: QSuite seats? Long haul flight?