Qatar Airways adds Seattle, announces frequent flyer pact with Alaska Airlines
Editor's note: This post has been updated with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan earning rates for Qatar Airways flights.
Qatar Airways is headed to the Pacific Northwest.
The airline will add service to Seattle (SEA) and launch a frequent flyer partnership with that city's hometown carrier — and soon-to-be fellow Oneworld member — Alaska Airlines.
Qatar Airways’ Seattle service will begin March 15 with four weekly flights to its hub in Doha (DOH). The airline will fly the route with 283-seat Airbus A350-900 aircraft configured with 36 “Qsuite” business-class seats. Flight time is scheduled at just over 14 hours in each direction, covering a distance of 7,411 miles.
Seattle becomes the second U.S. destination announced by Qatar Airways in as many months. The carrier announced in October that it would add San Francisco (SFO), where a schedule of four weekly flights is set to begin next Tuesday (Dec. 15).
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In Seattle, Qatar Airways’ arrival solidifies the city’s status as an emerging hub within the Oneworld alliance.
Alaska Airlines, which is based in Seattle and is the top carrier there, is set to formally join Oneworld on March 31. Ahead of that, Qatar Airways said it will enter into a frequent flyer partnership with Alaska Airlines that will take effect Dec. 15. The tie-up – which will eventually include a codeshare deal – will allow reciprocal mileage earning beginning Dec. 15. Redemption will not come online until March 31.
With the new ties and Alaska's pending Oneworld membership, passengers on Qatar Airways’ Doha flights should be able to connect to most Alaska Airlines destinations from Seattle. Prior to the pandemic, Alaska Airlines flew to more than 90 destinations from its hub there.
Alaska + American partnership: American, Alaska Airlines outline reciprocal elite benefits, upgrades
Also expanding in Seattle is American, a founding member of Oneworld that has formed its own West Coast alliance with Alaska Airlines.
American also intends to capitalize on the feed offered by Alaska with plans for its own long-haul routes from Seattle. Flights to Shanghai; Bangalore, India; and London Heathrow are all expected to begin in 2021 after delays because of the coronavirus crisis.
Other Oneworld carriers flying from Seattle include British Airways (London Heathrow) and Japan Airlines (Tokyo Narita).
Review: Qatar Qsuite Business Class (777-300ER) From Hong Kong to Doha
The growing Oneworld presence there could put pressure on Delta, which has grown its own hub in Seattle and now competes heavily against partner-turned-rival Alaska. Delta – a member of the SkyTeam alliance – offers a robust domestic and international schedule from Seattle, where it is the No. 2 carrier behind Alaska. Pre-pandemic, other SkyTeam members flying from Seattle included Air France and Korean Air as well as Delta’s joint-venture partner Virgin Atlantic.
For now, though, all eyes are on Alaska's looming entry into Oneworld and the new long-haul flights members of that alliance are adding to the city.
New routes surprise! American to fly from Seattle to Bangalore and London
More: American, Alaska and Oneworld partnership FAQs
Qatar Airways’ schedule for its new Seattle-Doha flights
Doha (DOH) to Seattle (SEA), QR719 departs: 08:00 arrives: 11:20
Seattle (SEA) to Doha (DOH), QR720 departs: 15:55 arrives: 17:05+1
Flights operate Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
Alaska Mileage Plan earning rates for Qatar Airways flights
Beginning Dec. 15, 2020, Alaska Mileage Plan members will earn Alaska miles on Qatar Airways flights at the following distance-based rates. Overall, these earning rates are more generous than if you were to credit Qatar Airways flights to Oneworld partner American. Note, if a purchased fare booking code is not listed in the table, no miles are earned.
|First Class||F, P, A||100%||250%||350%||150%|
|Business Class||J, C, D, I, R||100%||125%||225%||125%|
|Economy Class||B, H, K, M, L, V, S, N, Q, G||50%||0%||50%||50%|
|Economy Class||T, O, W||25%||0%||25%||25%|
Benji Stawski contributed to this story.