Book now, travel later: Wide-open 2021 Qsuite award availability for two
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Editor’s Note: As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.
Qsuites has long been one of our favorite business class seats, scoring an impressive 89/100 on TPG Editor at Large Zach Honig’s 2020 review. It offers a fully enclosed suite in the sky, and you can expect attentive service, decent food and a nice (but crowded) lounge in Doha (DOH).
If you’re itching to try Qsuites yourself, now’s a great time to book a post-coronavirus trip in Qsuites from the U.S. to the Middle East or South Africa. As reported by Thrifty Traveler, there’s wide-open Qsuites award space on flights from Atlanta (ATL), Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), New York-JFK, Los Angeles (LAX) and others to Doha in early 2021.
Interested in booking one of these flights? We’ll show you all the open award space and look at some of the best ways to book it. But first, let’s run through the risks of booking travel during the coronavirus outbreak.
Should you book travel now?
While most of us have paused nonessential travel for the time being, we’ve seen a ton of great deals pop up for late 2020 and early 2021. For example, we recently reported on wide-open Royal Air Maroc business class award space and $310 transcontinental tickets in JetBlue’s top-notch Mint business class. These are great deals, but they’re not risk free.
The first risk of booking travel during the coronavirus outbreak is that we don’t know when the virus will be contained. The virus is showing signs of slowing here in the U.S., but if the virus isn’t contained by the time you’re set to depart, you may be forced to change or cancel your tickets.
With that in mind, make sure you understand the change and cancellation policies of the airlines you’re booking travel with. So if you’re booking a Qatar Airways award ticket with AAdvantage miles, make sure you understand American’s change and cancellation policy. Otherwise, you could be met with surprise fees if you need to cancel.
Further, keep the airline’s financial state in mind before you book. Airlines around the world are in financial turmoil following the coronavirus-fueled drop in travel demand, with many asking for government bailouts to stay afloat. If the airline whose miles you used to book an award ticket goes bankrupt, your ticket and miles could be rendered worthless.
If you plan on transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles to book a Qatar Airways award ticket, make sure you have faith in Cathay Pacific surviving the travel downturn before you transfer your points.
Open Qatar Airways award space
With the heavy stuff out of the way, let’s dig into Qatar’s open award space! As discussed in the intro, we’re seeing wide-open Qatar Airways award space from a number of the airline’s U.S. gateways. All of these flights are scheduled to operate with Qatar’s award-winning Qsuite business class, but this is subject to change if there’s an equipment swap.
Qatar flies from these U.S. gateways to its hub in Doha, but many dates have continuing award space to other cities in the Middle East, Africa and beyond. For example, we’re seeing plenty of continuing award space to Johannesburg (JNB) and Cape Town (CPT).
Here’s a quick look at all the open Qatar Airways award space we’ve found from the U.S. to Doha from December 2020 to March 2021 — all of the dates listed have award space for at least two passengers. Use your favorite Oneworld search tool to find continuing award space to other cities.
Atlanta (ATL) to/from Doha (DOH)
- December: 1-13, 22-25 and 27-31
- January: 1-3, 5-19 and 21-31
- February: 1-20 and 22-28
- March: 1-31
- December: 1-4, 6, 8-11, 13-17, and 19-30
- January: 13-22 and 24-31
- February: 1-8, 10-19, 21 and 23-28
- March: 1-31
Boston (BOS) to/from Doha (DOH)
- December: 2-3 and 5-10
- January: 4, 6-7, 9-10, 12-29 and 31
- February: 1-11 and 13-28
- March: 1-23, 25 and 27-31
- December: 2-3, 6-22, 24-25 and 27-28
- January: 17-31
- February: 1-14, 16-21, 23-26 and 28
- March: 1-5, 7-12, 14-19, 22-24 and 28-31
Chicago (ORD) to/from Doha (DOH)
- December: 1-4 and 6-10
- January: 4-6, 8-14, 16, 18-22 and 24-31
- February: 1-11, 13, 15-16, 18-23, 25 and 28
- March: 1-3, 5-9, 11, 14, 17, 20-23, 25 and 27-31
- December: 1-5, 7-26 and 28-29
- January: 1-7-23, 25 and 27-30
- February: 1-6, 8-11, 13-18, 20 and 22-27
- March: 1-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-24 and 29-31
Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) to/from Doha (DOH)
- December: 1-17, 20-25 and 27-31
- January: 2-6, 8, 13, 16-17, 20-21 and 25-30
- February: 2-3, 5, 7-8, 11-12, 15-20, 22-23, 26 and 28
- March: 1-2, 7, 9-11, 16-18, 20, 21-23, 25 and 28-30
- December: 1, 3-7, 9-10, 12-28 and 30
- January: 1-8, 11-13, 16-29 and 31
- February: 1-4, 6-11 and 14-28
- March: 1-12, 14, 16-25 and 28-31
Houston (IAH) to/from Doha (DOH)
- December: 1-7, 9, 11-17, 20-22, 24-26 and 29-31
- January: 1, 3-5, 7-9, and 11-31
- February: 1-11 and 13-28
- March: 1-4, 6-11, 13-18, 20-24 and 27-31
- December: 1-3, 5, 7-11 and 13-31
- January: 1-2, 4-9, 11-15, 17-20, 22-31
- February: 1-12, 15-19 and 22-26
- March: 1-5, 8-12, 15-19, 22-26 and 29-31
Los Angeles (LAX) to/from Doha (DOH)
- December: 3-5, 7, 10-18, 23-24 and 26
- January: 3, 5, 7-8, 11-12, 16, 18, 20, 22-23, 25, 27-29 and 31
- February: 1, 3-5, 7-11, 14-15, 17-18, 21 and 25-26
- March: 1-2, 5, 7-8, 10, 12, 14-15, 17, 21-24, 26, 29-31
- December: 2, 4, 11, 14, 18-19, 22-23, 25-26 and 28-29
- January: 3, 5, 7-9, 10, 12, 15, 18-19, 21-23 and 25-31
- February: 1-5, 8-12, 14, 17-20, 22-24 and 26-27
- March: 2-3, 5-9, 12-17, 19-23, 26, 29 and 31
Miami (MIA) to/from Doha (DOH)
- December: 1-3, 7, 11-22, 24, 29 and 31
- January: 5-7, 9, 10-13, 16-21, 23-29 and 31
- February: 2-9, 12-16, 18-19 and 21-28
- March: 1-4, 6, 8-11, 14-15, 17, 20-22 and 24-30
- December: 4, 10-11, 16-22, 25-27, 29 and 31
- January: 1-22, 24-29 and 31
- February: 2-14, 17-18, 20-22 and 25-28
- March: 1-9, 11-23, 25-26, 28-29 and 31
New York-JFK to/from Doha (DOH)
- December: 1-13 and 22-31
- January: 1 and 3-31
- February: 1-28
- March: 1-31
- December: 1-30
- January: 13-31
- February: 1-28
- March: 1-31
Philadelphia (PHL) to/from Doha (DOH)
- December: 3-5, 7-13 and 22-24
- January: 3-5, 7, 10-13, 17-22, 24, 26-27 and 29-31
- February: 1-8, 10-11 and 13-28
- March: 1-2, 4-5, 7-11, 14-25 and 29-31
- December: 1-7, 10, 12-15, 17-21 and 23-27
- January: 17-18, 20-23 and 25-28
- February: 1-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-24, 26 and 28
- March: 1, 4, 6-9, 11-14, 18-19 and 21-31
Washington-Dulles (IAD) to/from Doha (DOH)
- December: 1-11, 13 and 22-30
- January: 1 and 3-29
- February: 1-3, 5-9, 11-16 and 18-28
- March: 1-12, 14-18, 21-23 and 28-31
- December: 1-7, 10-18, 20-26, 28 and 30
- January: 13-17. 19, 21-22 and 24-31
- February: 1-5, 7-17, 19, 21-26 and 28
- March: 1-3, 5, 7-10, 14-17, 19, 22, 24-25 and 29-31
This is an unprecedented amount of award space for Qatar Airways business class. Award space on the airline is usually hard to come by, so this shows us that Qatar Airways is trying to drum up demand for post-coronavirus travel. We don’t expect this award space to last long though, so we highly recommend booking now if you’re comfortable with the risks.
How to book Qatar Airways awards with miles
Our favorite way to book Qatar Airways award space is with American Airlines AAdvantage miles — you can book any of these flights for just 70,000 miles one-way with minimal taxes and fees. Even better, you can tag on a connecting flight within the U.S. and within the Middle East for no extra charge. If you want to connect on to Africa, you’ll pay just 5,000 more miles.
You can fly Des Moines (DSM) to Philadelphia to Doha to Cape Town for just 75,000 AAdvantage miles and $19.30 per person in business class. The first leg is operated by American Airlines in domestic first class while the rest of the itinerary is in Qsuite business class.
The only downside to booking with AAdvantage is that American doesn’t have any credit card transfer partners. You can, however, earn AAdvantage miles with an American co-branded credit card, through the AAdvantage shopping portal or by using other mileage earning methods outlined in our complete guide to earning AAdvantage miles.
Booking Qatar Airways award tickets with credit card points
Thankfully, there are still a couple ways to book Qatar Airways award tickets with transferrable points. If you have American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One or Citi ThankYou points, your best bet is to transfer points to Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles loyalty program.
The airline employs a distance-based award chart, and flights from the U.S. to Doha cost between 75,000 and 90,000 miles depending on where you depart. Unfortunately, Asia Miles passes on fuel surcharges of $650 or more for Qatar Airways award tickets.
Booking Qatar Airways business class with Chase Ultimate Rewards
Travelers with a stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points can transfer points to British Airways Avios to book a Qatar Airways award ticket, but you’ll pay a pretty penny with BA’s new partner award chart and attached fuel surcharges. A flight from Boston to Doha costs 108,250 Avios and $655.15 in business class.
Note that BA’s website doesn’t always show all available Qatar Airways awards, so we recommend cross-checking your search on AA.com. If you find a flight that’s not listed on BA’s website, call the BA Executive Club to book your award ticket.
Qsuites is one of the best ways to fly to the Middle East — and with such wide-open award space, now may be the perfect time to use your miles to book a ticket to fly in them. Just make sure you understand the risks of booking travel during a pandemic before you book your travel.
Feature photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy
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