Award Alert: Qatar Airways with AA Miles!

As you may or may not know Qatar Airways is joining oneworld and recently entered into a partnership with AA. The award space has finally been loaded into the system, and there is good news and some bad news.

First of all the space is not searchable online as neither or any other site can search partner space online. With Qatar directly you can although you need to have enough Q miles to even see space. So you are currently stuck with having to call the phone center to see whether dates have space. I don’t have quite the patience nor the time to go ask the call center agents to search for a month of award space so I can see what the availability is like, but I’m fairly sure that it can’t be too bad given that Qatar doesn’t have that many partners. Hopefully when British Airways allows QR redemptions space will be available online but at the moment the only way is to call.

The bad thing is that they are (perhaps mistakenly) charging YQ on these awards. For example, here is a dummy award I held online:

Sample Award

Sample Award

The agent mentioned that taxes and fees for this one way would be $247, $221 in YQ which I believe should be equivalent to a paid fare. I am fairly sure that this could be an error (I hope it is, certainly) so waiting a few days/weeks would save you a lot of money. Of  course it also seems that my booking is weird as the fare bucket is business class yet the cabin class shows as economy. That is probably a glitch that I hope will be fixed soon.

I am hoping these glitches are fixed soon and in any case this is a great addition to redeeming AA miles. Qatar Airways has direct flights from Doha to Montreal, Philadelphia, NYC, Washington DC, Chicago, and Houston, with 2-2-2 full flat beds on their 77w’s. They also fly the 787 to select European destinations including London, Munich, and several other cities, which features probably the one best business class products out there in a reverse herringbone configuration:

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QR Business Class 787

Reverse herringbone on a 787 with pajamas and dine on demand sounds extremely appealing. They also fly First Class their A340’s to some European destinations as well but I’m waiting for their A380.

A quick reminder that QR awards are currently bookable with AA miles using all partner awards and not with the oneworld explorer chart quite yet (as obviously QR has not joined oneworld yet). The award chart is here. I’ll update when some of the issues above are addressed.

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  1. Awesome find! I’m curious though — do people ever redeem AA miles for flights on AA? 😉
    Also, given they provide pajamas and dine on demand in business class, that sounds like first class service to me! Just like you, I’m waiting for the A380 to come out in late 2014!

  2. I am not very excited until they resolve the issue of taxes etc. Until then like BA to LHR, it is thanks but no thanks. Nice to have an option at least but meh.

    • Do you know which aircraft have the fully flat seats. I believe all there 77W do but am not sure. Also as you say the 787 does.

      Also any guess on when we won’t have to trust a phone CSR to tell us availability and will be able to actually look it up online?

      • Yes, all their 77w should have full flat, as well as their 787’s. And for the moment unfortunately you have to trust the CSR as they is no way to search online AFAIK.

  3. I suspect we may see some improvements once their joining oneworld actually happens in late october. At least then they should be searchable on BA and AA’s web sites, one hopes… and the YQ gets resolved.

  4. I have a question. I have some friends who really want to go to Africa this winter (Tanzania) and they have 100,000 plus AA miles. I looked into it and it seemed that AA miles were not the miles to have to get to Africa. Now that Qatar has joined Oneworld, is it easier to get to Africa using AA miles? For example, ORD-DOH-DAR for 37,500 AA miles in coach?

    • Unfortunately not, because AA doesn’t allow connecting in the Middle East to go to Africa, only in Europe. So ORD-DOH-DAR would unfortunately require two awards.

      • So how would you suggest using AA miles to get to Tanzania? Would Qatar work for one of the awards? They have 150,000 AA miles and not much else. Also about 70,000 Avios. They are fine with coach. Thanks for the response!!

        • I don’t think oneworld serves Dar es Salaam at the moment so avios can’t be used. Unfortunately you will have to do two awards each way (or four roundtrip).

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