American and Qatar Introduce Reciprocal Earning and Redeeming of Miles

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Earlier this month, Oneworld announced that Qatar Airways would officially be joining the alliance on October 30, 2013, and the week before that, Qatar and British Airways announced reciprocal frequent flyer mileage earning that began September 2 with reciprocal award redemptions becoming possible October 1.

Qatar Airlines
Qatar Airlines

As the official join date approaches, American Airlines and Qatar Airways just announced that starting today, members of each other’s frequent flyer programs could earn and redeem their miles on the other airline. So AAdvantage members can earn and redeem their American miles on Qatar, and Qatar Privilege Club members can earn and redeem QMiles on American.

I'd like to try out Qatar's new B787 business class.
I’d like to try out Qatar’s new B787 business class.

I called American to see if I could book an award yet (I’m interested in trying out their new B787 business class) but award travel is not available to book at this time.

I checked too, but some of you might have noticed that the site was acting wonky. I was, however, able to access the airline partner page for Qatar on, which you can see here, and you’ll notice that not all tickets earn at least 100% miles. In fact, discount economy tickets only earn between 25-75% of miles flown:

American Qatar earningSo only full-fare Economy Y and B fares earn 100% of miles and all the rest earn less than that, while business class will give you a 25% miles bonus and first class will be a 50% bonus. That’s in line with Qatar’s earning chart for American flights:

Qatar American earning

If you’ve got QMiles, you could consider using them for some good-value short-haul redemptions and it’s worth checking out the Qatar redemption chart, which is distance-based.

Qatar partners redeem

The airline is also a 1:1 transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest, as are partners American and British Airways. Qatar currently flies to 130 destinations in more than 70 countries including some interesting ones like Rwanda, Iran, Oman, Chengdu, Sri Lanka and the Maldives; and serves American’s hubs at New York JFK and Chicago O’Hare as well as Houston and Washington DC with service planned to begin to Philadelphia in April 2014.

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