Free elite status, in-flight Wi-Fi and more: Why you'll want to join Qatar Airways' new membership program for students
As business travel remains largely suppressed, travel companies are targeting more leisure travelers to drive demand. More specifically, many companies are betting on millennials and Gen Z to spearhead post-pandemic recovery. Among them: Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways has just introduced a new membership program exclusively for students. Dubbed Student Club, the new program offers students a number of benefits, ranging from special fares to excess baggage allowance, greater ticket flexibility, complimentary high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi, free elite status as a graduation gift and more.
Despite Qatar Airways being based in the Middle East, the program is available to students worldwide and is free to join. Here's everything you need to know about Qatar Airways' Student Club.
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How to join Qatar Airways Student Club
Student Club is available to students around the world free of charge. The only major requirements are that you must be pursuing a higher education degree and be between ages 18 and 30. It operates as a subset of Qatar Airways' Privilege Club loyalty program, so you'll still get Qmiles as usual if you join.
Joining is very easy and is done through Qatar Airways' website. Heck, you could even sign in using a social media account — very millennial and Gen Z friendly. You'll just need to provide your college or university's name, location, expected graduation date and a photo of your student ID or joining letter. The maximum duration for membership in the program is seven years.
Related: How to travel as a college student
Qatar Airways Student Club benefits
As a member of the Qatar Airways Student Club, you'll enjoy a number of exclusive benefits that will help you save money and make your travel experiences more enjoyable. For starters, you'll get access to special fares on flights. You'll get a 10% promo code off your first trip, 15% off your second and 20% off your third. Plus, student fares offer increased flexibility, including one free date change per ticket.
Once it's time to travel, base-level members will get to bring an additional 10 kgs (22 lbs) or one more piece of checked baggage, depending on the route. Then, onboard, you'll get complimentary access to Qatar Airways' high-speed Super Wi-Fi (as long as you booked your flight directly through the airline).
Related: Credit cards that offer free and discounted inflight Wi-Fi
Perhaps the most valuable benefit of the program comes when you graduate. As a "graduation gift," you'll get a Privilege Club tier upgrade so long as you've flown at least one paid round-trip journey per year as a Student Club member. So, if you don't already have status with the airline, you'll get free Silver elite status, unlocking perks like excess baggage allowance and lounge access. If you're already a top-tier Platinum member, your status will be extended for another year.
The airline says that it's also planning to introduce family benefits for when relatives come to visit you. Details are limited, but it seems that Student Club members will be able to designated flight companions to receive savings on airfare. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to earn 5,000 Qmiles for referring friends to Student Club.
Other benefits available to students
Qatar Airways joins a number of other airlines that are already marketing to younger travelers. For instance, now through at least Dec. 31, United MileagePlus members between the ages of 18 and 22 can save up to 10% on flights booked through United's mobile app. As of earlier this year, miles no longer expire for American Airlines AAdvantage members under 21. Additionally, airlines like Air Canada and Lufthansa have loyalty programs just for kids.
Related: Best credit cards for college students
Qatar Airways' new Student Club program offers valuable benefits and is free to join, so there’s no reason not to take advantage. Although most perks are for travel on Qatar Airways, the free elite status could get you benefits on partner airlines like American Airlines and British Airways. As travel companies shift their marketing strategies, it's likely we'll see more airlines introduce special perks for young travelers in the coming months.