Award charts live: You can now book Qatar Airways flights with Alaska Mileage Plan miles
Update: This post was updated to reflect that Alaska's award chart is now online.
As first reported by One Mile at a Time, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members can now redeem miles for flights on Qatar Airways. This comes months after Alaska joined the Oneworld alliance, of which Qatar is also a member. This addition also comes just days before Alaska and Emirates’ longstanding partnership comes to an end. This sudden addition gives Alaska members a new way to redeem miles for flights to the Middle East.
For some background, Alaska and Qatar’s partnership kicked off earlier this year when the two airlines announced reciprocal mileage earning. At the time, the two airlines told us that redemptions would start this August. Alaska has seemingly sped up this process as Qatar awards are now showing up on its website.
Here’s a closer look at redeeming Alaska miles for Qatar Airways flights.
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Redeeming Alaska miles for Qatar Airways flights
As discussed, Qatar Airways flights started showing on Alaska's website early on July 29, 2021. Shortly thereafter, the airline posted award charts. Alaska provides different award charts for each airline. You can find these award charts on Alaska's website. Just input your origin and destination regions and find Qatar on the right-hand side of the screen.
Here's a look at the award chart for flights from the U.S. to the Middle East. You'll notice that each cabin shows starting award prices. This is because Qatar awards work similarly to Alaska’s Aer Lingus awards where dates with no saver award space have high award prices.
For example, a flight from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Doha (DOH) costs 85,000 Alaska miles in business class when saver space is available. A different flight on the same day costs 170,000 miles one-way when saver space isn’t available. I found prices as high as 280,000 miles one-way on this route.
You'll find the same pricing on flights from the U.S. to India:
Remember, you can use Qatar Airways flights to connect to other parts of the world too. This flight from Seattle (SEA) to Male (MLE) via Doha costs 85,000 miles one-way in business class when saver space is available. Like all Alaska partner awards, you can add a free stopover in Qatar’s Doha hub on your way to Male if you’d like.
You can also fly to cities in Africa — for example, Johannesburg (JNB) — for as little as 120,000 miles one-way in business class or 50,000 miles in economy. This is roughly the same as what Alaska charges for an Emirates flight to Africa via Dubai (DXB).
Unfortunately, you cannot book Qatar Airways tickets to Asia, Australia or Europe on one award ticket. The inability to book awards to Asia is puzzling to me as Alaska members can book tickets to Asia and Europe with Emirates. I'd like to see Alaska change this as Qatar serves these regions heavily, and these itineraries would pair nicely with a stopover in Doha.
Regardless, Alaska's Qatar award pricing is solid. It’s moderately more expensive than booking flights to the Middle East with American Airlines AAdvantage — which charges 70,000 miles for a flight in business class — but 85,000 miles isn’t outrageous. Plus, the extra 15,000 miles is easily made up by the fact that you can add in a stopover in Doha on your way to your final destination, something that American does not offer.
Related: Your complete guide to earning and redeeming with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Will more Oneworld partners be added soon?
Alaska already has partnerships with numerous Oneworld partners like American Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific. That said, it has yet to roll out award bookings for all Oneworld partners. For example, you can earn miles when flying Oneworld airlines like Iberia, but not redeem miles on Iberia.
Alaska’s sudden addition of Qatar redemptions lead us to believe that the airline will soon roll out redemptions for all Oneworld carriers in the near future. This functionality is currently slated for “later in 2021” according to its website. If Alaska continues to operate ahead of schedule, we may see this functionality added as soon as this summer, since the airline clearly has the technology ready to go.
A spokesperson for Alaska shared told TPG, “we’ll be launching them as they’re ready, with all of them scheduled to be completed in early 2022.”
Again, TPG will keep you updated on any future developments.
Related: How to redeem miles with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program
Alaska members can now use their miles to book Qatar Airways flights. This comes ahead of the originally scheduled August launch and pricing isn't bad when you factor in the free stopover. The only major dissappintment is the somewhat limited routes you can book, with tickets to Asia, Australia and Europe requiring separate awards.
Again, we'll liklely see more Oneworld airlines added as redemption partners over the coming months. TPG will keep you updated when we know more.
Feature photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy