I ran a piece recently about the Qatar Airways / British Airways partnership, which is now in place for earning miles on each others planes. Qatar Privilege Club members can also redeem for BA flights from 1st October.
Some more Qatar / oneworld / BA information has dripped out over recent days, so it is worth summarising:
October 30th is the confirmed date for Qatar joining oneworld
As per this news release, you will be able to earn miles on all oneworld airlines (and use their miles on Qatar) from October 30th
No confirmation that you can use Avios on Qatar from October 1st
Whilst we know that Qatar members can redeem on BA early, from the 1st, we don’t know if this will be reciprocal or not. Hopefully it will.
Qatar has dropped fuel surcharges on award tickets via its own programme
This is interesting. Qatar announced in an email last week that it was dropping surcharges on tickets booked on Qatar flights via Qatar Privilege Club. The question now is whether BA will impose surcharges or not for Qatar redemptions.
Qatar has added an extra tier to its programme – Platinum level. This is presumably very annoying to existing Gold members.
Qatar Gold members presumably expected to become equal to a BA Gold (ie oneworld Emerald). However, with Qatar sneaking in a new top tier, a Qatar Gold member will only get the benefits of a BA Silver member. I would be very annoyed if this happened to me ….
Qatar routes flying the new B787
Courtesy of Flyertalk, the current cities running the new B787 with the new business class pictured above are (ex-Europe) Copenhagen, London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Munich, Oslo, Stockholm and Zurich. If you can’t get a seat from London, you may want to try a redemption from one of the other cities. Non-European routes with 787’s are Bangalore, Delhi, Jeddah and Riyadh. Fly Qatar on other routes, including from Manchester, and you will get older equipment with older seats.
You can use American Airlines miles on Qatar from September 23rd
Both AA and Qatar have confirmed that reciprocal booking will be available from September 23rd. Annoyingly, though, it is highly unlikely that they will be bookable on the AA website and it is not possible to check availability on the Qatar website unless you have enough Qatar miles to actually book. This is therefore likely to involve painful phone calls to AA, where the staff will try to persuade you that Qatar is not an AA partner and then tell you that seats are not available even though they probably are ….
I am personally keen to see Qatar tickets become available to BA members from October 1st, as there is a ticket I would like to book for someone to use during October! Let’s see.