Qatar Airways set to join OneWorld on October 30, 2013

Last October Qatar Airways announced their intentions to join the OneWorld alliance, a process that generally takes 12-18 months. Ahead of the merger, they’ve already been codesharing with American since February, and have a reciprocal mileage earning partnership with British Airways since last week. As part of that, British Airways announced that redemptions on Qatar Airways would be possible as of October 1, 2013, which led to speculation that Qatar Airways would be joining OneWorld as of that date.

Well, Qatar Airways has just officially confirmed that they’ll be joining the OneWorld alliance as of October 30, 2013. On the whole that’s a pretty fast integration, in my opinion, though it’s not October 1.

I’m really excited for Qatar Airways to join OneWorld for a variety of reasons:

  • They’ll be great for American’s distanced based “Explorer” awards
  • It’s another great option for travel to the Maldives
  • British Airways Avios will be really useful for travel within the Middle East on Qatar Airways, given that they have a distance based award chart and many major Middle Eastern cities are within a few hundred miles of Doha
  • They have a pretty good fully flat business class product
  • Currently there’s no easy way to search Qatar Airways award space online, so hopefully that will change
  • Hopefully OneWorld Emerald members will get access to their awesome first class premium terminal in Doha
  • Their first class lounge is one of the only ones I know of that has a hot tub in it 😀

Qatar_Airways
Qatar Airways Doha first class terminal hot tub

On the whole this’ll be a great addition to OneWorld!

Comments

  1. Since Qatar will have a route to PHL in April. Do you think I can go Biz class from BSR-DOH-PHL-DTW on one ticket for 67.5K each. The last leg on AA/US if they merge.

  2. Since Qatar will have a new route to PHL in April. Can I do an award like this for 67.5K each: BSR-DOH-PHL-DTW. On the last leg its AA/US if they merge.

  3. You think there’s any chance of AA updating their award rules as a result of QR joining up? QR is a very convenient and comfortable way to reach both SE Asia and Africa from the US…

  4. @ John — Qatar flies to Houston, though not Dallas. Neither carrier has announced intentions to fly to Dallas.

  5. Thanks for the info!

    Does lax-mle still require two awards on AA?
    For what cities in the US can you fly to the Maldives on one AA award? Finally, if it were the same miles, would you go from the West Coast ofthe US to the Maldives via Cathay or Qatar?

  6. @ Beachfan — While Etihad doesn’t publish a fare between Los Angeles and Male, Qatar does, so it should be possible to do it on one award once they join.

    All else being equal I’d choose Cathay Pacific over Qatar since they fly a longhaul configured plane between Hong Kong and Male, while Qatar flies a regionally configured plane. So with Cathay Pacific you’d get a flat bed the whole way.

  7. Ability to search/book award space online would be nice. As a techie who prefers to do everything online, not having an easy way to do alliance/partnership-wide searches/bookings is lame.

    So I like United and British sites — they aren’t great paragons of modern design or usability but aren’t as backward as many others (ahem, Delta!).

  8. @Lucky

    you say “•They have a pretty good fully flat business class product” – how is their first? do they fly it to the US?

  9. @ Lantean — Unfortunately they only offer a first class product on a few flights, and none of them to the US have a first class.

    I flew Qatar Airways first class from London to Doha a couple of years ago. The reviews can be found here:
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2011/03/25/five-star-virgin-qatar-airways-first-class-from-london-lhr-to-doha-doh/
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2011/04/04/five-star-virgin-qatar-airways-first-class-from-doha-doh-to-london-lhr/

  10. Hilarious that they offer first class to London but not to the US. You’d think there’d be demand for it on a much longer flight.

  11. @ wwk5d — They have reverse herringbone on their 787s, though don’t believe they’ve announced that they’ll put it on their 777s, have they?

  12. Ben- What is the best way to search for Etihad award availability? When I use Etihad.com their website freezes up after about 3-4 searches. It is a very clunky/broken down site.

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