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Last October, Qatar Airways announced it expected to join Oneworld in October 2013 sometime. While the airline has a codesharing agreement with American Airlines already, and last week, Qatar and British Airways announced reciprocal frequent flyer mileage earning would begin September 2, there was still no exact date for Qatar’s official Oneworld join date.
Well, no more need to speculate. According to this Oneworld announcement, Qatar Airways’ official join date will be October 30, 2013, and Oneworld flyers will be able to earn and redeem their miles on the airline starting then.
All in all, this is good news since Qatar is one of the Middle East’s premier carriers, and this opens up more flights to the 130 destinations it serves – including the Maldives and several cities within Southeast Asia – to Oneworld members, including those with their miles on American and British Airways.
The airline’s hub in Doha is also expanding and will be opening an enormous new airport with a capacity for 50 million annual passengers, making it another major Middle East hub to join Dubai and Abu Dhabi and a convenient transfer point between North America and destinations in Asia and the South Pacific.
The airline is also a 1:1 transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest, as are partners American and British Airways. However, I’m more excited by the fact that we’ll be able to redeem British Airways Avios on the airline since it’s a transfer partner of both Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards (which sometimes runs transfer bonuses), and that means there will be even more flexibility to use my transferable points to fly another great airline product to even more destinations.
Currently, Qatar flies to Chicago, Houston, New York JFK, Washington DC Dulles, and Montreal in North America with service to Philadelphia to start next year.