Qatar Airways has a Student Club. It is a modification of the Privilege Club frequent flyer program, aimed at students between the ages of 18 and 30. Student discounts include additional baggage allowance, free Wi-Fi and a one-time status upgrade once you have successfully completed your studies.
With free registration, entitled people get access to the following advantages:
- Additional baggage allowance (10 kg or one piece, from Burgundy status)
- Complimentary Super Wi-Fi (where available, for bookings made on qatarairways.com only)
- Status upgrade upon completion of studies
- Companion benefits
- For up to 3 flight tickets, you also get:
- Between 10% and 20% discount on the base fare (excl. taxes, fees & fuel surcharge)
- One free date change (fare difference applies)
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Almost all of the above benefits have a few caveats. Here are the most important details:
Additional Baggage Allowance
You will receive an additional baggage allowance of 10 kg (weight concept) or one additional piece of baggage (piece concept, on flights to North America) on all flights with Qatar Airways from Burgundy status onward. “Members of Silver, Gold or Platinum status may continue to take advantage of their respective statuses in terms of baggage allowance in accordance with the current Privilege Club Terms and Conditions.”
Where you booked the flight is apparently irrelevant to this benefit. If it was not included in the booking, you can show the digital Student Club card and a student ID card at check-in, and you will still get the free baggage allowance. According to the website, however, this only applies to “non-discounted published fares”.
As a Student Club member, you get free Super WiFi on all flights equipped with it. For this, you must have booked the flight on qatarairways.com and not through third parties. The voucher will then be displayed in the member dashboard 48 hours before departure.
Status Upgrade upon Graduation
As a gift for passing the final exams, you will receive a one-time upgrade from Qatar to your frequent flyer status. If you have already reached the highest level (platinum), the status will be extended by one year. If you have not earned any status before, you still receive silver status (= Oneworld Ruby) for at least one year. A nice gift, but nothing to book extra flights for.
Unfortunately, there is an important limitation here as well: the benefit is only available if you have flown at least one return flight with Qatar Airways every calendar year. These cannot be award flights.
In the past, Qatar Airways has often been quite “forgetful” about Privilege Club promotions. You may need to actively approach Qatar Airways to receive the status upgrade if you have met all the requirements.
You can make a booking with up to three companions, who will then also benefit from reduced rates. Individuals must be at least 18 years old and register at the Privilege Club. They can also be relatives. It is important that the entire journey is flown together.
Three Coupons for up to 20% Discount and Date Changes
There are two other benefits for Student Club members. However, these are linked to the condition that you’ll have to use one of the three vouchers that Qatar will send you. You should automatically receive them via email:
- 10% coupon at the time of registration
- 15% coupon after the first trip
- 20% coupon after the second trip
The discount is applied directly in each case. However, the discount only applies to economy class and does not apply to taxes & fees or the fuel surcharge. Since the latter two make up the majority of the ticket price, there is little savings potential here. But still better than nothing.
You can also change the date of your booking once. Unfortunately, the fare difference between the new and old tickets applies, if there is one. This advantage only applies if you used one of the three vouchers for the booking.
Membership at the Student Club is subject to the following conditions:
- Age between 18 and 30 years
- The person is currently studying at a recognized university (university or college)
- Proof of student status must be presented
- Membership runs until graduation or age 30
- Maximum term of membership: 7 years
- This applies to people from and in the following countries: Angola, Armenia, Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, South Korea, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam, Cyprus
Signing up at the Student Club
According to Qatar Airways, student membership requires Privilege Club membership. However, there is a registration form that you can use to register for both programs at the same time:
There you have to upload your personal data as well as the university or college, the expected date of graduation and a certificate of enrolment. You can then use the account you created to log in to the Qatar website.
If you already have a Privilege Club account, the form above will not work. However, when I logged into the website with my Qatar account, a pop-up automatically appeared asking if I would like to switch to the Student Club. Shortly thereafter, the welcome email with a 10% voucher arrived in the inbox:
Interestingly, a certificate of enrolment was not even required in this way, but the account was switched directly. However, you should only change your account if you belong to the group of users entitled to participate because according to the website, the proof is also required at check-in.
In recent years, three airlines – Emirates, Etihad and Qatar – have published discount vouchers for students at the same time and thus courted the favour of the students. Qatar goes one step further and wants to offer them permanent benefits with the Student Club.
These don’t knock anyone off their feet and almost all have a few snags, but you can certainly save a few euros thanks to them. So if you belong to the group of those entitled, you are not doing anything wrong with the free registration. You can then still decide later whether and what you’ll book.
Cover Picture: Photo by Saif Zaman ( আয়ান ) on Unsplash