[UPDATE] As of 10/25/18 you can now book Qatar Airways flights online with American AAdvantage miles.
If you’re going to redeem your hard earned miles, you might as well fly Qatar Airways, the best airline in the world for 2017. Not only does Qatar Airways have incredible business and first-class products, but it’s easy to book Qatar Airways with American miles. The best part is there are minimal taxes and fees. This is one my favorite uses of points and miles.
American Airlines has one award chart for all partner redemptions. Select your departure region to determine the number of points required. Routes from the United States to Doha, Qatar start at 40k AAdvantage miles in economy or 70k miles in business class.
Routes from Doha to London or Paris (flying the A380) in business or first class cost 42.5k & 62.5k AAdvantage miles, respectively. Qatar Airways has a massive network so it’s easy to get anywhere in the world on points.
How to Search
While you are using American miles to book, the award space on Qatar Airways is not searchable through the AAdvantage website. Award space can be found by searching for award tickets through partner British Airways. Award availability will vary by route, and I’d recommend booking as early as possible. Qatar Airways redemptions have incredibly low taxes & fees of $25-$50 per segment.
Thrifty Tip: Search for space segment by segment. If you are planning on going from Philadelphia to Bangkok, first search PHL – DOH and then DOH – BKK. This way you can build one itinerary when you call in to book.
How to Book
Once you’ve found Qatar Airways award availability, via British Airways, all you need to do is call American Airlines at 800-882-8880 to book. Once you get an agent on the line, feed them the flights and they will book it with your AAdvantage miles. There should not be any phone booking fees. My average booking has taken me around 15 minutes via phone.
It’s easy to build an entire trip by piecing together different segments. This winter, Mrs. TT and I are flying from Philadelphia to Doha in business class on the new A350, and then flying first class on the A380 from Doha to Bangkok, all for 120,000 American miles each + $53 in taxes & fees.
US to Doha (Business Class)
Flying from the US to Doha in business class is a solid redemption at 70k miles. The best use of miles will be flying the high-tech Airbus A350 from Boston, Miami, NYC, and Philadelphia. Other US cities fly the 777 product, which isn’t bad, but it doesn’t have WiFi and has older seats. Qatar’s best business class products are the 787 Dreamliner, A350, and A380.
Flying economy isn’t bad for 40k miles, but let’s be honest, it’s definitely worth the extra 30k miles to upgrade to business class. Flying business class also gives you access to the massive business class lounge in Doha.
Doha to Europe (First Class)
Flying First Class is my favorite redemption on Qatar Airways. Flying the A380 (check routes) from Doha to Bangkok, London, Paris, or Sydney are my top choices. You get to experience 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. A first class award ticket is 62.5k miles from Doha to Europe.
Doha to Asia (First Class)
Flying First class to Bangkok or Guangzhou can be booked for only 50k miles. There is also excellent award availability for several people.
Now let’s talk lounges. The Al-Safwa First Class lounge in Doha is my favorite lounge in the world. It’s a quiet and impressive space. There is plenty of seating as well as great dining options. If you have longer than a 8 hour connection, you can even request a private room with a bathroom and shower at no extra charge.
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. Both the personal and business versions of the co-branded Citi American Airlines AAdvantage cards are currently offering an increased sign-up bonus.
For a limited time, you will earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership, on the personal card and 70,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of card membership on the CitiBusiness card. These card offers can be found on our Top Credit Cards page.
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. The quality and service of Qatar Airways is hard to beat. If you would like to apply for a credit card, visit our Top Credit Cards page.