How To Redeem American Miles On Qatar Airways

Reader Tar_00 posed a question in the “Ask Lucky” forum about how to search Qatar Airways award space for the purposes of redeeming American AAdvantage miles.

Qatar Airways joined oneworld in late 2013, which was an exciting development. They continue to be the only one of the “big three” Gulf carriers which belongs to an alliance. Their joining certainly increased the value of oneworld miles for travel to the Middle East.

Qatar-Airways-A380-First-Class-113

With that in mind, Qatar Airways has a pretty good route network to the United States. Qatar flies from their hub in Doha to:

  • Atlanta (as of June 1, 2016)
  • Boston (as of March 16, 2016)
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles (as of January 1, 2016)
  • Miami
  • New York JFK (2x daily as of March 1, 2016)
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington Dulles

So what’s the best way to search Qatar Airways award availability? Generally speaking, your best bet is using the British Airways award search tool to look for Qatar award space. To access the tool, simply log-in on this page (if you don’t yet have an Executive Club account, you can sign-up for one for free).

Qatar Airways makes the same award space available to all their partner airlines, so the space shown on British Airways’ site should also be bookable using American miles.

The great news is that Qatar Airways releases a ton of business class award availability. As a general rule of thumb, Qatar make four business class award seats available per flight to/from the US.

How good is availability? Picking a random date (June 1 of next year), there are four business class award seats available on all their flights from the US to Doha.

This includes their Atlanta to Doha flight:

DOHATL

Their Chicago to Doha flight:

DOHORD

Their Dallas to Doha flight:

DOHDFW

Their Houston to Doha flight:

DOHIAH

Their Los Angeles to Doha flight:

DOHLAX

Their New York to Doha flights:

DOHJFK

And their Washington to Doha flight:

DOHIAD

So availability really is excellent. Admittedly they don’t make four business class award seats available on every flight throughout the year, but I’d say I see it more often than not on US flights. So that makes them a great option for those looking for more than two seats per flight.

Once you’ve found award space through the British Airways website, you’ll want to call American to book, since they don’t display Qatar Airways award availability on aa.com. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t pay the phone ticketing fee for this reservation, given that this award can’t be booked online.

AAdvantage-Processing-Fee

As of now, most of Qatar Airways’ US routes are operated by Boeing 777s, featuring fully flat forward facing business class seats.

Qatar-Airways-777-Business-Class-01

Qatar-777-1

Qatar-Airways-777-Business-Class-03

It’s not the best hard product in the world, though Qatar Airways does have an excellent soft product, from their food to their drinks to their small touches (like pajamas, turndown service, etc.).

Qatar-Airways-777-Business-Class-30

It is worth noting that the 777 will apparently be the first Qatar Airways aircraft to get the new “super business class,” if/when that happens. I wouldn’t be holding my breath.

Qatar Airways’ new routes to Boston and New York will be operated by the Airbus A350, which features a far superior business class hard product. These planes have reverse herringbone seats in business class, which are spectacular. And that doesn’t even account for the fact that the A350 is much quieter.

Qatar-Airways-A350-Business-Class-30

Qatar-Airways-A350-Business-Class-01

Qatar-Airways-A350-Business-Class-03

Bottom line

While my preferred option for redeeming American miles to the Middle East continues to be for travel in Etihad Airways first class, you can’t beat the fact that Qatar Airways makes four business class award seats on most of their flights out of the US. With Qatar’s expanding network out of the US — including now direct from the West Coast to Doha — they’re a pretty great option to have.

Have you redeemed American miles for travel on Qatar Airways?

Comments

  1. Very timely post…I’m looking for space next July to S. Africa via DOH. I need 3 seats, and every date and gateway from the U.S. to DOH seems to only show 2 available seats. Do they typically release 2 and then others once those have been filled? Also…Any possibility that they plan to fly the A380 to the U.S.? Thanks, Charlie

  2. Can you still book 1 First class + 1 business class on the same first class booking if you want to go say Del – DOH – CDG? With only 1 leg having first class availability?

  3. Just redeemed 97,500 AA miles for a one way, Miami to Bangkok. Biz class. Used the BA website, then called American. About 12 minutes on the phone, no fees, and about $6 dollars in taxes. Looking forward to the lounge / 3 hour layover!

    Thanks to you Ben!

  4. Is it possible to redeem AA miles for travel in QR First Class as well? Any experience on availability across the North Atlantic?

  5. Hey Ben,

    Huge fan of the blog! – wondering if you might be able to offer a suggestion for a booking. I wasn’t successful in getting assistance from the points pro on a booking I submitted. I am looking to make booking for first week of Jan from AUH-NYC in business. I did find availability on Ethiad from AUH-FCO, for 30,000 each, and separately on Alitalia from FCO-JFK for 46,000. Wondering if booking these two separate awards is the best use of miles. Availability in the first week of Jan looks rough, though I would prefer to try and book something more direct on Ethiad, Qatar or Emirates to better experience the service on a longer journey. Anyway any advice would be greatly appreciate – the Qatar post is super helpful, though no availability for the week I need.

    Cheers,

  6. Lucky,

    How many AA miles needed for business class on Qatar award seat from US to Doha?
    Is it the same miles if we redeem on Etihad business? If so, which one would you choose between those two?

  7. Ben, do you know if they release more award space as the date approaches?There are two seats available to DOH-LAX but I need a third for my son.

  8. Any fuel surcharges?
    When using Avois for Qatar award, there is fuel surcharge, but not sure if AA also charges it for Qatar redemption.

    I have seen Etihad more readily available vs Qatar as supposedly there are no blackout with Etihad (partner and not alliance) when using AA miles.

  9. I flew Qatar Airways ; Dallas – Doha – Bahrain/ Dammam – Doha – Dallas in Business for the long haul and First for the short legs, Doha – BAH and also First DMM – Doha. Incredible service, drinks, food. and all for 67,500 AAdvantage miles each way. A bargain considering what you get. The two level business class lounge in Doha is the size of some airport terminals I’ve been in. They had both a buffet for Breakfast food (eggs cooked to order), Arabic food, European food, English breakfast, and in another part of the lounge, Lunch type food including sandwiches cooked to order. If you fly Qatar, remember that meal service is ‘dine on demand’. I ordered what I wanted when I wanted in any order I wanted. I even ordered an omelet without sausage and onions. Even at their best, I don’t remember any of the US carriers having this level of service, even in First Class. I do see complaints about Qatar occasionally on blogs, but I’ve flown several times with them and it’s always been great. Even their Coach product is great in my book.

  10. Have BA Exec act but when I search for LAX>DOHA flights for June 2016 – I find the available Biz class seats however BA brings up an error message saying I need to call them to book. What’s up?

  11. QR also fly DOH/MEL and DOH/PER its a nice way to visit Europe then to visit beautiful Australia and fly direct back to the USA out of many OZ ports.

  12. AA agent said: award flight JFK-DOH-DPS cannot be booked as 1 award ticket b/s it has 2 regents (even connection time in DOH is 2 hours). So it will be about 97K AA miles in bus 🙁 . I just left it on hold, my date doesn’t have any Cathay/JAL availability. I am planning to call again. Any advice? Thank you.

  13. Tatyana, you can’t go to Asia on one AAward via the Atlantic so it prices out as one award. You have to go via the Pacific. Similarly you can’t go to India via the Pacific, only the Atlantic. Weird routing rules.

  14. Is there anyway to book a Qatar flight with AA before the 331 days that AA “sees” award availability? I tried to book a flight that was seen on the BA sight that was 340 days out but the AA agent on the phone said because they can’t see it, I can’t get it. Is there a work around. It seems to me that BA and Qatar frequent flyers have an edge on us who have to wait for AA to “see” the awards.

  15. I have not been able to find a direct flight from NYC to Doha on BA site. I have chase points and the only way to redeem them on Qatar is via BA avois. Has the policy changed i.e. Not to show direct flights to Doha on BA site?

  16. LAX to DOH Oct. 16, 2016 + several many dates I checked = only economy available 🙁

    DFW to DOH Sept. 16, 2016 + Oct. 17 thru 20th = 2 biz seats available (Monday thru Thursday).

  17. Does the comment in response to Tatyana mean that you can’t book IAD-DOH-KUL on one AAward through DOH on Qatar in business using AA miles? The one way would be two awards?

  18. Lately, the BA site doesn’t engage Qatar Airways routes. So, you can’t use that to check availability. For AA rewards, you have to call the AAdvantage line and hope you get someone good. It is a pain in the but. I have looked for a workaround, but no dice so far.

    Grrrr.

  19. When and how did you pick your seat? We booked business class from 2 different AA accounts. I want to make sure we are sitting beside each other.

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