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A few weeks ago, I published a review of my amazing experience in Qatar Business Class Qsuites. I received a lot of messages inquiring how I booked these seats so I thought it would be helpful to develop a guide for those interested in this experience.
Not only does Qatar Airways have an unrivaled business and first-class product, but it’s also easy to book Qatar Airways with American miles. And the best part is there are minimal taxes and fees.
STEP 1: HOW MANY MILES?
Currently, American Airlines and Qatar Airways are partners in the Oneworld Airline Alliance. To determine how many miles American Airlines will charge to fly on their partner Qatar, visit American’s partner award chart, and simply select your departure region.
For example, per the chart below, departing from the “Contiguous 48 US States and Canada” to Doha (Middle East), it will cost 40,000 or 70,000 American miles (one-way) in economy and business class, respectively.
STEP 2: HOW TO SEARCH FOR SEATS?
Award space can be found using any partner in the Oneworld Alliance but again, for this example we will be using American miles to book a flight on Qatar Airways. If you’re not familiar with how to search for award flights, READ THIS first then:
- Go to this American Airlines Booking Page
- Select “one-way”
- Enter your origin, destination, and date
- And select “Begin Search”
Award availability will vary by route, and I’d recommend booking as early as possible.
Pro Tip: Sometimes, award searches can be “buggy” so I’d recommend searching for award space segment by segment. For example, if you are planning on flying from Los Angeles (LAX) to Bangkok (BKK) via Doha (DOH), first search LAX – DOH and then DOH – BKK. When searching for the entire route (LAX-BKK) as a whole, you won’t be given all the options.
CURRENT NORTH AMERICAN ROUTES
Currently in North America, Qatar Airways flies to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.
Currently, Qatar operates with a variety of planes, however, you will only find Qsuites on:
- Select 777-200s
- Select 777-300ERs
- Select A350-900s and on;
- All A350-1000s
However, as of 1 August 2020, all Qatar Airways flights to (and from) North America will feature Qsuites.
STEP 3: BOOK IT!
Once you’ve found Qatar Airways award availability, simply book it online. If you prefer, you can also call American Airlines at 800-882-8880 to book but AA will charge a fee for doing it over the phone.
Once you get an agent on the line, provide them with the dates, and flight numbers, and they will book it with your AAdvantage miles. On average, this will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes via phone however, its much easier to complete it on the website.
REAL LIFE EXAMPLE
Let’s work through a specific example. Say you want to fly from Los Angeles (LAX) to Doha (DOH) on November 4, 2020 but you have some flexibility in dates. Follow the steps again…
- Go to this American Airlines Booking Page
- Select one-way
- Enter your origin (LAX), destination (DOH), and date (11/04/20)
- And select “Begin Search”
The initial screen should look like this:
As you can, there is award availability on everyday of the week in Economy (the green boxes). However, we’re interested in which dates have award space in business class (Qsuites), on Qatar Airways.
- Select “Show Full Calendar”
- Select “Business/First MileSAAver” (the blue box)
- Change the number of stops to “Non-Stop Only”
And the calendar will now look like this:
Select a date (in this case, November 4th) and you will be presented with options:
I selected the “flight details” of Flight QR740 and voila…an A350-1000 (aka 351) is operating that ~16 hours flight for a grand price of 40k + $8 in economy and 70k + $8 in business class…
…$8 to fly all the way from Los Angeles to Doha?? …AH-MAY-ZING!!
In the example above, you will also notice the option of flying American Airlines from Los Angeles (LAX) to Doha (DOH) via Philadelphia (PHL) for the same price. If you don’t mind the connection, flight QR728 also features Qsuites.
The number of required miles for a redemption vary by route so here are some of my favorite redemptions:
US to Doha (Business Class):
Flying economy isn’t bad for 40k miles, but let’s be real…it’s definitely worth the extra 30k miles to upgrade to business class. Flying from the US to Doha in business class is a solid redemption at 70k miles. Additionally, it’ll also gives you access to the massive business class lounge in Doha.
Doha to Europe (Business and First Class):
Routes from Doha to London or Paris in business or first class cost 42.5k & 62.5k American miles, respectively.
Note: I flew from Stockholm, Sweden to Doha in MY REVIEW and it cost 42,500 American Airlines miles + SEK 410 (~$43USD) in business class.
However, flying First Class on the Qatar A380 (check routes) is another favorite. From Doha to Bangkok, London, Paris, or Sydney are great options. You’ll have the unique experience of using the onboard A380 bar in both business and first class, but the amenities in first class can’t be beat. Especially access to the Al-Safwa First Class lounge in Doha.
And no, I wasn’t joking, there is an actual walk-up bar on the plane…
Doha to Asia (First Class):
Flying First class to Bangkok or Guangzhou can be booked for only 50k miles and there is generally excellent award availability for several people.
Note: If you haven’t read my review of the Al Safwa First Class lounge you may want to do that. It’s quiet, massive, and quite an impressive space. Additionally, if your connection is greater than 8 hours, you can request a private room with a bathroom and shower at no extra charge. #WIN
HOW TO EARN AA MILES
There are many ways to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles. The easiest of which is to take advantage of the current sign up bonuses on the co-branded American Airlines credit cards (SEE THIS PAGE).
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard:
You will earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after making your first purchase in the first 90 days and paying the $99 annual fee. Plus you can earn an introductory Companion Certificate good for 1 guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees) after making your first purchase in the first 90 days and paying the $99 annual fee.
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard:
You will earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after spending $4,000 in the first 4 months of card membership. (Are you eligible for a business card?)
Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard:
You will earn 50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of card membership on the personal card.
Another option is transferring points from Marriott but it requires A LOT of points so I would not attempt this unless you have a surplus of Marriott points.
I mean…if you’re going to redeem your hard earned miles, you might as well fly with the airline that was voted “World’s Best Business Class Airline” for several years straight and “World’s Best Business Class Seat,” right?
Booking Qatar Airways flights with American Airlines AAdvantage miles is incredibly cheap and easy. I will admit that I use my AA miles more often on partner airlines than I do flying American itself because the quality and service of Qatar Airways is hard to beat.
Anyone planning on flying Qatar Airlines? What route appeals to you?