I had reserved two tickets on 2 Sep 2018 for the US from Qatar Airways. Since my visa had not been issued for Travel Ban, I requested them to hold the tickets. Currently, I want to change these two held tickets to one ticket to Canada for next Dec 2020. I contacted Qatar Airways' agent in Canada for this end, but he could not access my booking reference to see my credit and from which use to book a new ticket. Also, other agents said that your tickets and credits are lost and you can't even refund it after one year on holding!

Is this legal? They did not contact me to provide them my account to pay back my money! Is there any who has this condition? I could not find any rules about this situation.

  • 3
    Most tickets have a maximum validity which is usually one year (after the original first departure I believe). They usually can’t be exchanged beyond that date, and if not used by that date are voided, unless the ticket was refundable AND you asked for a refund before the ticket expired. This should all be described in the conditions of carriage (the airline’s terms and conditions).
    – jcaron
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 10:05
  • @jcaron Thank you for your comment. Yes, I found the terms and conditions in Qatar Airways mentioning that they may refuse the refund for expired booking! Article 11 sec 6.1 : qatarairways.com/en/legal/conditions-of-carriage.html Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 11:25

1 Answer 1


Changes are you ticket is gone, but that depends very much on what exact type of ticket it was in the first place and what the specific fare rules were.

First of all, you have gotten a full rundown of the ticket rules when you booked the ticket (and you actually did agree to these rules). If you still have those, read them carefully.

There are generally three types of tickets

  1. Normal tickets: not refundable, change for a fee (or not at all)
  2. Flex tickets: not refundable, no fee for a change, but you still need to pay for any change in ticket price
  3. Refundable: you can cancel an get your money back.

Most tickets are "normal" tickets these days since the surcharge for flex and fully refundable tickets is prohibitively expensive and "fully refundable" is often not available at all.

The details matter here, so you really need to read the fine print. Example: Qatar currently offers "cancellation for a fee" even for their Economy Saver ticket, but the fee is larger than the ticket price, so this is worthless. Same for flex tickets: the price difference is often MUCH larger than the change fee, so it makes no sense to buy a flex ticket.

Normal and flex tickets do expire. Pre-Covid the was 9 month to a year from date of original travel, but could be different now (Qatar offers two years at the moment). For fully refundable tickets it really depends on the exact wording in the rules. If they expire, they are either forfeit or automatically refunded.

  • Thank you. 3 days before departure, I requested to hold my ticket since the No-Show penalties are much more than the changes in my fare. They said in the rules: "11.6.1 After the expiry of the validity of the Ticket, we may refuse refund when your application is made later than the time prescribed in our regulations" Is there a way for me persuading them not to use the word "may" in their rules? Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 5:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .