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.