On Saturday I posted about Qatar Airways’ announcement that they’d announce service to Miami. 😉
Well, as of today that service is official, and it will operate beginning June 10, 2014, with the following schedule:
QR 777 Doha to Miami departing 8:40AM arriving 5:20PM
QR 778 Miami to Doha departing 9:15PM arriving 6:20PM (+1 day)
The new flight will fly 4x weekly, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays in each direction. It will be flown by a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, featuring 42 business class seats and 217 economy class seats. From Doha to Miami the flight time is blocked at 15hr40min, while from Miami to Doha the flight time is blocked at 14hr05min.
Miami is Qatar Airways’ sixth destination in the US, after Chicago, Houston, New York, Washington, and as of April 2014, Philadelphia.
It will be really interesting to see if the Philadelphia route sticks if the American/US Airways merger falls through.
Award availability on the new route is excellent, with four business class award seats available almost every day that the service operates. Economy class award space isn’t quite as good.
Redeeming miles for the new Qatar Airways Miami flight
Generally speaking your best bet for redeeming miles on this flight are through American AAdvantage. They charge 45,000 AAdvantage miles one-way in coach, or 67,500 AAdvantage miles one-way in business class. The biggest benefit compared to other airlines is that they don’t impose fuel surcharges for these redemptions.
The absolute best value, though, will be booking a distance based award through American AAdvantage, Just booking a standard roundtrip you’d pay 135,000 AAdvantage miles in business class, while if you booked a distance based award you’d pay 130,000 miles for flying up to 20,000 actual miles, and you’re allowed an unlimited number of stopovers. The only catch is that you have to at least incorporate one other OneWorld airline on the award. Miami to Doha roundtrip is 15,356 miles, so if you book a distance based award you not only pay 5,000 fewer miles for business class, but you can fly an additional 4,500+ miles on the award ticket and have as many stopovers as you’d like.
If redeeming British Airways Avios you’d be looking at paying 70,000 Avios in each direction for business class, plus about $400 per direction in taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges.
This is an exciting new route for those looking to travel to Latin America, given that it provides one of the most direct flight options between there and the Middle East.