Qatar Awards Are Again Bookable With American Miles

For the past three weeks or so, American AAdvantage hasn’t had access to many Qatar Airways award seats. While not all flights were blocked, it seemed like a majority of flights between the US and Doha were impacted (the issue wasn’t quite as prevalent for flights between Doha and other points), in both economy and business class.

I reached out to American as soon as I heard about it, and they told me that they were working on a fix. I’m happy to report that it looks like this issue is now fixed — as of today, American AAdvantage miles should once again be fully redeemable for travel on Qatar Airways.

However, do note that at times there are some discrepancies in availability between what British Airways shows online and what American agents can see over the phone, given that Qatar awards can’t be booked at aa.com. When that’s the case, what BA’s site shows is often phantom space. However, that was also the case before this issue occurred.

Ultimately I still don’t know what exactly caused this issue. American told me it was a glitch that they were working on fixing, rather than anything intentional. I certainly give them the benefit of the doubt here, given how common these outages are among airlines.

I think a lot of confusion was caused by the fact that American and Qatar Airways are ending their codeshare agreement as of March 2018. I guess a memo went out about that, and I think a lot of phone representatives misinterpreted that to mean that you can no longer redeem American miles on Qatar. That’s absolutely not the case, at least not as of now (and as usual, phone agents aren’t always the best source of information).

Were you waiting to ticket a Qatar award, and if so, can American finally see the space you were looking for?

Comments

  1. Lucky,

    I’ve seen phantom spaces on EY website recently. When I called aa to book, they couldn’t see what was displayed on Etihad guest award (saver). Any advice?

  2. Put a business flicket on hold SEZ-DOH-DFW a few days ago, and ticketed today, with no problems at all either time.

  3. @JS — call the AA office in Australia. This has been an issue with AA US reservations for years now. IME, the AA office in Australia can see and book EY award space, while the AA reservations desk in the US just can’t see (or doesn’t know how to see) that same EY space. I’ve booked several EY tickets with AA miles thru the AA office in Australia via Skype.

  4. @ Ben — I successfully booked two business class awards ATL-DOH-CPT-DOH-ATL on QR using AA miles on July 30. The AA agent had no issues booking the space, which I had located using BA via KVS Tool. I wasn’t even aware of this problem. Maybe I was just lucky!

  5. Couldn’t book today (8/5) over the phone. Qatar availability showed up on Qantas site and the AA agent verified it. 30+ mins with 2 agents each going to the help desk. Both were fruitless and didn’t have any answers. Advised me to call back another day.

  6. AA call centre south pacific just brilliant.
    Outstanding customer service.
    Just booked middle east to abu dhabi to sydney to melbourne EY QF ticket for 100k points and $80 aussie dollars.
    Long haul is first apartment
    Also any advice for abu dhabi first lounge as i have a seven hour transit.
    Is it worth staying in lounge or taking hotel
    Would appreciate any advice
    Thanks

  7. @T.

    Qatar’s only longhaul plane with a separate first class cabin is the A380* and they don’t fly it to the US.

    *Qatar markets their Business Class as First for flights within the Middle East and those are sometimes served by longhaul aircraft.

  8. Just tried to book again today ,JNB to JFK business class 2 seats for June 2018. Same thing, they see the seats, but can’t ticket.

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