United to terminate relationship with Qatar Airways as of September 14, 2012

In mid-April I posted about United’s website now displaying Qatar Airways award availability. While Qatar Airways isn’t a part of the Star Alliance, they have been partners with United for a long time, so being able to search their award space online was really useful. They have a fantastic, fully flat business class product, and allow for some for the easiest connection options to the Middle East, including to the Maldives.

Unfortunately it looks like as of September 14, 2012, they’ll be terminating that relationship, per this notice posted on united.com:

Effective June 15, 2012, United will terminate its codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways. Reservations booked through United for Qatar Airways-operated flights scheduled to depart on or before September 14, 2012, will be honored as ticketed. Customers booked through United on Qatar Airways-operated flights scheduled to depart on or after September 15, 2012, will be accommodated on their scheduled flights with new flight numbers. Customers will be able to accrue mileage on Qatar Airways codeshare and interline flights until September 14, 2012. Award travel ticketed on or before September 14, 2012, will be honored as ticketed and valid for one year.

That’s a really sad loss. First the the “new” United lost Emirates, which partnered with both Continental and United. Then the “new” United lost Virgin Atlantic, one of Continental’s partners. And now this…

Keep in mind that you should still be able to ticket awards through September 14, even for travel on subsequent dates, assuming United doesn’t yank the inventory in advance.

Comments

  1. This is very sad. A quick scan last night and it looked like inventory that I had been looking at was drying up. One day mileage plus will take a step forward rather than back, not this day.

  2. Might be driven by Qatar and Star Alliance. Qatar has also stopped cooperating with Miles & More end of last year, maybe this is a response to a) more Star presence in that area and b) Qatar going after more and more markets that Star would prefer them out of.

    My two cents. On the spending side, of course a bummer. Will likely be trying them in August (paid C though, no award) and already look forward to it.

  3. Are you sure one can ticket awards through 9/14? What does it mean that the relationship ends 6/15?

  4. So will anything actually happens that effects us (the customer) on June 15th. I’m looking to book an award flight through United on Qatar for Dec/Jan 2013. I want to confirm that I have until September 14th to do this? Thanks

  5. @ snic — Yep, it’s just codesharing that ends in June.

    @ Adam — You do have till September 14. In June they’ll only stop codesharing, though awards can be ticketed through September.

  6. I hope so. I’ve been reading some feeds on flyertalk and people are saying agents will not book for them on the phone. Have you heard anything like this?

  7. Any word on using US Divident miles for Qatar awards? That seems to have suspended for a while as well. The way things are going, it would not be surprising if it becomes permanent.

  8. @ Adam — Haven’t had any issues booking for my clients.

    @ Murad — The partnership has been “suspended” for as long as I can remember, and I suspect that won’t change anytime soon.

  9. My question is – if I fly on Qatar on Sep 14h, can I credit flight miles on Mileage Plus?

    How about if flight leaves on Sep 15th?

  10. @ invisible — Flights on/before the 14th qualify for mileage accrual. Flights after the 14th don’t.

  11. First Emirates left, now Qatar. Strange that within two years two major Middle-East carriers left, or were asked to leave Star Alliance. Which airlines will be left in the ME that are in the SA network?

  12. Had a Qatar flight blocked for 12/08 as of yest night, so I could move my miles around and today nothing’s showing up on united.com related to what I had blocked. I wonder if calling united would help in any way?

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