Qatar and British Airways Announce Reciprocal Frequent Flyer Benefits – Redemptions (Hopefully) Coming Soon
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Back in October 2012, Oneworld announced that it had invited Qatar Airways to join the alliance, and the airline originally set a date around the first quarter of 2014 for its entry date into Oneworld. However, the transition into the alliance has been going faster than expected, with the establishment of new codeshares including several with American Airlines dating back to March, and the announcement earlier this summer that the Qatar would become an official Oneworld member in October 2013 – so it looks like we’ve only got about a month or so to wait until it’s official.
However, before the official entry, Qatar Airways announced that its Privilege Club and British Airways’ Executive Club have inked a deal where Qatar’s members can earn miles on British Airways flights starting this week – though they will not earn elite miles/credit until the airline officially joins Oneworld in October. Here is the earning chart.
Though British Airways has not issued a formal announcement, a BA rep confirmed that also starting September 2, British Airways Executive Club members could earn Avios on Qatar flights, and the airline has posted the following earning chart.
For now, the official announcement from Qatar goes:
It looks like we’ll still have to wait until October 1 (hopefully!) to redeem Qmiles on British Airways – and even better, to redeem British Airways Avios on Qatar Airways – as well as to earn elite credit with either airline, but at least members of both airlines’ frequent flyer programs can start getting credit for flights on both airlines now.
Qatar serves over 120 destinations in 70 countries including a few that Oneworld members currently don’t have access to on the alliance’s network – such as Iran and Rwanda – so this is an exciting new addition. Not to mention the fact that the airline’s hub, Doha, expects to open 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.
I’ve never flown Qatar, but I would like to try out its new Boeing 787 business class – maybe to the Maldives, which can be hard to get to on other carriers – and the airline is a 1:1 transfer partner of the Starwood Preferred Guest program. However, I’m more excited to be able to redeem BA Avios on the airline since it’s a transfer partner of both Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards (though there hasn’t been a transfer bonus in a long time now), which means there will be even more flexibility to use my transferable points to fly another great airline product to even more destinations.