The beauty of points and miles is that you can use one airline’s miles to book a flight on a different partner airline. AAdvantage miles aren’t just good for American flights. One of our favorite uses of AAdvantage miles is for flights on Qatar Airways.
It's one of the world’s best airlines with new, fully enclosed QSuites in business class on some planes, onboard bars on the Airbus A380 and spacious lounges. It’s an incredible experience from the front of the plane to the back.
But like some of the best partnerships out there, it hasn’t been so simple to actually book Qatar Airways flights with American miles. Qatar’s flights don’t show up at AA.com, but rather at British Airways's site. And you’d have to call American to actually book the flight – it wasn’t available online.
Not anymore. Qatar Airways flights are now bookable directly through American Airlines, along with Air Tahiti Nui and SriLankan.
Air Tahiti Nui is one of the few ways to get to the tropical paradise of Tahiti using points and miles. And SriLankan is another solid OneWorld partner airline. But the addition of Qatar to American’s booking engine is huge.
This is a win for frequent flyers, though it comes with a potential downside. A far easier booking process means that Qatar’s generous award availability could get tighter as more people catch on.
But for now, award availability is more or less wide open to fly business class to Doha (DOH) from any of Qatar’s 10 U.S. gateways. At just 70,000 AAdvantage miles, it’s one of our favorite redemptions. You could also spend 40,000 AAdvantage miles to fly economy one way.
Here’s a glimpse at the flight from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Doha (DOH). It’s one of several routes that allow you to try out QSuites.
Or you could fly out of Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD), where availability is also solid.
Travelers from the West Coast are in luck too, as there’s plenty of availability out of Los Angeles (LAX).
And if you’re not interested in spending time in Qatar, it’s a great way to connect elsewhere in the Middle East, Europe or Asia. Book first class onward, and you can get into Qatar’s incredible Al Safwa lounge during your DOH layover.
Removing the hurdles to book Qatar Airways flights using AAdvantage miles is a welcome development. We’ll be interested to see if availability suffers as a result.
H/T: One Mile at a Time
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.