This is pretty exciting news, discovered today by Thrifty Traveler.
In this article
Qatar QMiles are now Qatar Avios – And It’s Better Than Expected
This is huge for a few reasons. The main one is that American Airlines’ AAdvantage miles are very tough to earn. For a period of time last year, you could transfer from Citi’s ThankYou program to AA but that has ended, leaving AAdvantage credit cards as the main way (aside from actually flying ;-)) to rack up AAdvantage miles and that would be at the sacrifice of spending on better earning credit cards.
Avios, by contrast, are super easy to earn. Chase, Amex, Capital One, and Citi all provide paths to Avios, with the first three transferring to British Airways Avios and Citi transferring to Qatar directly.
The thing is, though, when you next log in to your Qatar QMiles account, you;ll be told they are now Avios and asked if you’d like to link you accounts. Linking my British Airways account to my Qatar Avios account took about 60 seconds.
So now, when I want to book with Avios, I can freely use either program (of course, you can also transfer your BA Avios to Iberia or Aer Lingus).
Back to booking QSuites….
Until today, there was no solid 2nd best way to book QSuites if you didn’t have AAdvantage miles. Alaska charges an arm and a leg to book QSuites, BA Avios were (until today!) exorbitant with taxes and fees, and Cathay Pacific passes along up near a thousand bucks in surcharges to book.
Now, you have not one, but two new ways to book QSuites.
Book QSuites with British Airways Avios
If you are flying just to Doha, from anywhere in the US, BA is pricing based on a fixed price (not distance based!!).
However, adding a segment, like to Male, adds quite a bit more….
But Qatar itself prices out even lower!
Book QSuites with Qatar Airways Avios
One segment or two, it seems that Qatar is the winner here!
Cancellations and Changes With Qatar
I assumed this might be the rub. With BA you can cancel for the cost of taxes or $55, whichever is lower.
So what is Qatar charging? Just $25 as long as it’s 24 hours out (or $100 within 24 hours). So, even this is amazing!
In trying to go back to run more searches, I’m finding that I cannot locate a search tool for non-Qatar flights. What I’d like to do next is see if there are any new / unexpected sweet spots for the Qatar version of Avios (like how Aer Lingus has a sweet spot for East Coast to Dublin). Stay tuned!
Campaign for new Qatar Avios Members
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New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.