Well, its progress of a sort, I suppose! Yesterday, Qatar Airways redemptions were loaded onto ba.com. This gives Avios collectors (and American Airlines members) a head start at making redemptions, ahead of Qatar’s official entry into the oneworld alliance at the end of the month.
For some reason, whilst you can search Qatar availability on ba.com, you cannot book it. You get an error message asking you to call your local BA service centre to complete the booking. You can, at least, use ba.com to find out what seats are available before you ring.
The key thing to remember when searching for Qatar redemptions is that they fly from lots of places, not just London! Manchester is the other UK departure point. Their interactive route map is here.
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, Paris or Brussels and you will get older equipment with older seats.
There are some good deals to be booked.
I did a random search last night. Fancy Christmas in Australia? Imagine you can’t get seats?
There are 4 seats from Manchester to Perth in Business Class on December 8th, for example.
My gut feeling is that getting TO Doha will be a doddle if you are happy to start from anywhere in Europe. Focus on getting seats for the ‘Doha to Your Destination’ leg and then add on the ‘Europe to Doha’ bit afterwards. Happy hunting!