Qatar has one of the best business class product in the world in its ‘QSuites’. These are revolutionary suites with doors and movable partitions that allow two and even four passengers to travel together in their own space.
Right now there’s fantastic award availability at the end of the booking window. You can use this for travel from the U.S. to Doha and beyond to the Mideast, India, the Maldives and even to Africa. This award space was first spotted by Thrifty Traveler‘s premium airfare deal alert service.
Qatar Airways has long made award space available in waves, usually booked far in advance. With the launch of Avios as their currency, they committed to release business class awards when opening their schedules. That entrenches the habit of making space available as soon as the booking window opens, for travel nearly a year out.
Finding Qatar Airways QSuites saver award space has gotten challenging online.
- It generally doesn’t show up on the American Airlines or Alaska Airlines websites except for travel within 30 days of departure. (Coach award seats still show up.)
- It is still bookable, however. Search the British Airways ba.com for space, and then call the airline to book.
Credit: Qatar Airways
Right now there’s wide open business class award space for two passengers to and from Atlanta; Boston; Chicago O’Hare; Dallas – Fort Worth; Houston Intercontinental; Los Angeles; Miami; New York JFK; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Seattle; and Washington Dulles.
Here’s a sample of September Chicago – Doha availability sourced via British Airways (though again, for eligible dates you can call up American to book).
Even though Qatar Airways publishes space 355 days out, American and Alaska will only give you access to travel 331 days out. That means right now you are limited to award bookings through the first half of September 2023 if you’re using AAdvantage (or miles.
Credit: Qatar Airways
However you can book seats farther out using British Airways Avios (bookable on their website!) or Qatar Airways Avios. And the price of those redemptions has gone down. British Airways is a transfer partner of Chase, American Express, Capital One and Bilt while Qatar is a transfer partner of Citi. And BA and Qatar have more closely aligned their pricing.
For instance Chicago – Doha in business class runs 70,000 British Airways Avios plus US$102. Meanwhile Chicago – Doha – Nairobi runs 85,000 Qatar Airways Avios and $202. (In this semi-distance based pricing, traveling all the way to Johannesburg bumps the price by 10,000 additional points.) (American AAdvantage charges 70,000 miles to the Mideast or to India and surrounding area, or 75,000 miles each way to Africa.)