Qatar Airways and Avios – earn from Monday, redeem from 1st October (they do The Maldives for a start …)

Qatar Airways sent an email to its frequent flyer members this week which appears to confirm the entry date of Qatar into the oneworld alliance.  More interestingly, it confirmed that it is bringing forward its partnership with British Airways.

Qatar and BA

The first point is that Qatar’s partnership with British Airways is kicking off in advance of their entry into oneworld – next Monday, to be precise.  As they write:

Effective 2nd September 2013, Qatar Airways and British Airways will enter into a frequent flyer partnership. As a Privilege Club member, you will now have the opportunity to earn Qmiles on all qualifying British Airways flights.  Qmiles can be earned on all flights with a British Airways flight number and being operated by British Airways. You will earn up to 150% of Qmiles flown depending on the booking class (type of fare) you purchase.

Now, whilst it is not specifically stated, I would expect the arrangement to work both ways from the same date.  It is therefore likely that you will be able to earn Avios points when flying on Qatar Airways on or after Monday 2nd.  You probably won’t earn tier points until the formal entry into oneworld, however.

Which brings us to the second quote ….

You will also be able to redeem your Qmiles for award tickets on all British Airways flights effective 1st October 2013.

This implies very strongly that 1st October is the day Qatar is joining oneworld.  This means that, from that day, you will be able to redeem your Avios points on Qatar Airways flights.

Here is the business class cabin on Qatar’s new Boeing 787’s:

Qatar 787 business class seat

And here is some background on the route network:

Qatar Airways’ network serves 120 destinations in 70 countries in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australasia, including oneworld hubs Amman, Berlin Tegel, Buenos Aires Ezeiza, Hong Kong, London Heathrow, Madrid, Melbourne, Moscow Domodedovo, New York JFK, Osaka Kansai, Sydney, Tokyo Narita, and the Kuala Lumpur.

Fifteen of its destinations and three countries – Iran, Rwanda and the Seychelles – will be new to the one world map. More significantly, Qatar Airways will substantially strengthen oneworld’s customer offering by providing superior routing alternatives across many hundreds of city pairs. For example, passengers flying between Asia and Southern Europe or between Asia and Africa will now have convenient one-stop connections not previously available within the oneworld network.

One of the most popular redemptions will probably be to The Maldives, given how tricky it is to get BA reward flights.  Qatar offers a good routing, with a total travel time from London of 12 hours.  There is an option to arrive at 2pm as well, which is a lot better than arriving in the early morning and not being able to access your accommodation.  The BA flight, by comparison, arrives at 10am and takes 10 hours.

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  1. Qatar also offers a much needed One World option from Manchester which BA has virtually abandoned.

  2. Eric OMara says:

    They also do GOA, my favourite destination. This means I could possibly bybass Mumbai . I hate that airport.

  3. Great news.

  4. Phillip says:

    Have Qatar anounced any plans/schedules for upgrading to the new Business Class fleet-wide?

  5. Any idea how would it work with taxes when redeeeming Avios on Quatar flight to Maldives for example?

    • It should be £391 according to ITA Matrix. £196 of that is QR’s fuel surcharge.

    • Also any way to find what the taxes would be on redemptions when traveling from different airport(e.g. Berlin)?

      • Just do a search on Qatar’s website. Doesn’t matter what fare you pick. When you get to stage 3, click on “Price and tax breakdown” on the right. €370 from Berlin to Maldives. (And 100k avios.)

      • Dummy booking for cash on Expedia

    • No. You could do a dummy booking for cash on Expedia and see what the taxes are shown as, but there is no certainty the same figure will apply to a redemption.

  6. The A330s are going to be made into cargo aircraft in a few years. The Qatar 777 is excellent in both business and economy. The business class on the 777 beats BA club world anyday. The economy cabin on the 777 is one of the best around, 3-3-3 seating with 34″ sear pitch. The business class on the dreamliner is actually of a standard of a first class cabin. Plus have you seen Qatar’s lounge at LHR!

  7. Also worth considering that if you hop to FRA, BER, GVA, etc. you get under the 3000 mile threshold to DOH, so you save 30k Avios on a J return, plus the APD.

    • Good spot. Need to take a look at that once we know the fuel numbers.

      Do you know offhand if they run ‘proper’ long haul planes on those routes, given shorter flight time?

  8. My sources at QR told me the OW joining is going to be on 30th October 2013

  9. Thanks 🙂

  10. Sctravel says:

    Great news. I flew QR for the first time last month – to Cambodia via Doha – and have to say it was one of, if not the best, airline I’ve been on. And this was an economy ticket. Their 3-3-3 seating in the 787 was surprisingly spacious too.

    I’m flying from BKK to LHR via Doha with them in a couple of weeks. Would it be possible for me to get the avios for this – flight already booked and is a return leg? I collected QR miles on the outward.

    Another note – Doha is awaiting the opening of a brand new airport. It’s been delayed a few times but I imagine we can expect something pretty nice.

    • Yes, you should be fine to collect Avios, assuming the partnership starting on Monday works both ways. You will need to swap over whatever existing FF number is in your booking. On the other hand, depending on how many QF miles you got for the outbound, you might want to top up that pile so that you have enough for a BA redemption (assuming you have a particular redemption in mind).

      • Thywillbedone says:

        Does this mean that if I am flying Qatar (after they have joined fully oneworld) that I have to give them my BAEC number in order that I collect BA tier points for those flights? I have a j class return flight with QR in early Nov and if they are joined to OW by then I want to get tier points rather than qpoints as it will get me to BA Silver.

        • Yes. You’ll need to get your Qmiles number out of the booking and replace it – make sure your boarding pass reflects the correct number and you’ll be fine.

        • Thywillbedone says:

          Thank you sir – it hadn’t occurred to me before your post.

  11. Lady London says:

    I could imagine BA has been keen to do this after Emirates paired up with Qantas. Perhaps when BA announces their side, they might promote ease routes to Australia?

    Qatar highly rated in both classes. Swissair better watch out where they compete. Qatar seems to have newer planes overall as well.

    If MUC FRA etc are 787 Dreamliner, I don’t think I’ll be using those flights anytime soon. Still doubtful about the electrical safety of the Dreamliner.

    But overall excellent news.

    • Raffles says:

      What is good about Qatar is that they fly to Perth and Melbourne – but not Sydney, which BA covers already – so its a good fit.

  12. andrew schofield says:

    Hi raffles. I am a gold on Qatar Airways – will this mean I will be able to get the equivalent of gold status on BA in the same way other OneWorld partners work?


    • Raffles says:

      Yes, Gold is the top tier in Qmiles, so you will automatically get all the benefits of BA Gold including access to the Galleries First lounge in Terminal 5.

      • Not specifically all the benefits of BA Gold, but all the benefits of a oneworld Emerald.

  13. Any likelihood of Avios for upgrade options with QR?

  14. littlefish says:

    I see QR have a website which makes seem 5*. Looks an interesting airline but a pretty basic fail that I can’t proceed to stage 2 of the booking process as link is stuck under a mis-aligned Day 7 price comparison.
    I therefore fear upgrades and redemptions might be yet more faff, in due course. Pass for now.
    Will keep abreast of how their OW integration and fleet developments and route timings improve.

  15. Interestingly Qatar Airways regularly have ‘Easy Deals’ promotions whereby you can redeem Qmiles to many destinations for half the normal requirement. What are the chances of these being bookable using Avios?

  16. This will also bring Karachi and Islamabd as oneworld destinations (flying from/to Europe)