The US Will Get Its First-Ever A350-1000 Flight — And There’s Award Availability

Jul 15, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

In February 2018, the first-ever Airbus A350-1000 was delivered to Qatar Airways. TPG was there for the ceremony and delivery flight from Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France to Doha, Qatar.

As part of the media event, Qatar’s CEO Akbar Al Baker noted that the US “East Coast” would see the brand-new aircraft “soon.” A few weeks later in March 2018, I asked Al Baker when we could expect the US route announcement. He deferred, saying that the A350-1000 is running “proving exercises at the moment,” and the airline wants to “make sure that the aircraft is performing well” before launching flights to the US East Coast.

Over four months later, we finally know when the first A350-1000 flight to the US East Coast will be… but, the bad news is that it’s just a one-off flight between Doha (DOH) and Philadelphia (PHL) which is occurring in just over a week.

According to RoutesOnline — which TPG has confirmed with airline schedules published through ExpertFlyer — the following flights will operate on July 23, 2018:

  • QR727 Doha (DOH) 8:00 departure => 14:45 Philadelphia (PHL) arrival
  • QR728 Philadelphia (PHL) 21:00 departure => 16:25 Doha (DOH) arrival +1 day

Qatar currently runs an Airbus A350-900 on this route, which features an excellent business class product:

Business class on Qatar's A350-900.
Business class on Qatar’s A350-900.

While it’s disappointing that this is just a one-time flight, this flight is still notable as it’ll mark the first-ever Airbus A350-1000 revenue flight to the United States, and — as far as I can tell — is the first-ever time the new aircraft type will touch US soil. Also, this is hopefully a “route proving” test run before a US route is announced using the Airbus A350-1000.

There’s also plenty of reason to be excited about this aircraft. Qatar has factory-installed its award-winning Qsuite business class product on this new aircraft. While the airline is known for its grandiose claims, we do concur that the Qsuite is “First in Business Class.”

Want to try the new aircraft for yourself? Well, you’re in luck. There are a lot of empty seats available in business class.

Note: the middle seats in the Qsuite quad are blocked for couples and larger groups to reserve. These seats are still available and can be selected during booking.

Even better, there’s currently three business class saver award seats available on the flight from Philadelphia to Doha:

Unfortunately, since there’s only three available business class award seats, you won’t be able to reserve the entire Qsuite quad.

One of the best ways of booking this award is through American Airlines’ AAdvantage program. AA will charge you 70,000 miles for the one-way award from the US to the Middle East. And you can connect anywhere in the Middle East or the Indian Subcontinent region. Or, you can connect anywhere in Africa for 75,000 miles one-way. Unfortunately, AAdvantage rules don’t allow connections to Asia Region 1 or 2 or the South Pacific on the same award ticket.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.