Qatar Airways award seats are now bookable using Alaska Airlines miles. Alaska Airlines joined OneWorld on April 1, 2021 but have been slow to roll out partner awards. Alaska’s Mileage Plan has typically offered strong value compared to other major programs in the United States. Today’s announcement shows that Alaska’s Mileage Plan may be loosing it’s value, introducing high cost awards.
For those looking for an adventure though, Qatar Airways Qsuites are truly an awesome experience. I’ve been fortunate to fly them several times this year and would recommend them 100%. Keep reading to see the new award opportunities.
Booking Qatar Airway Tickets Using Alaska Miles
Booking Qatar Airways tickets using Alaska Airline miles is very straight forward. Award tickets can be booked online or over the phone. Since award tickets show online, it’s easy for anyone with Alaska miles to book tickets with Qatar Airways. This is very similar to Qatar’s other partners such as American Airlines.
The award chart was published mid day and can be found here. Currently, award tickets fall into two categories. Saver or full fare. Alaska has similar variable pricing with other partners, such as Aer Lingus.
Below are the saver award pricing for most viable routes.
|Middle East- India||17.5k||40k|
|Middle East- Southeast Asia||30k||70k|
|Middle East – Japan||35k||80k|
Some of the pricing isn’t bad. Yet some is terrible. For example, American Airlines only charges 75,000 miles in business class to Africa from the USA. Alaska Airlines is charging 120,000 miles for the same ticket. Nearly 63% more!
Other routes may be available, but I have yet to do a full search. I tried the USA to multiple locations in Southeast and East Asia without finding options on Qatar Airways. The same is true to Australia from the USA or the Middle East. Many routes that Qatar Airways fly are still not bookable. Furthering my longstanding argument that Mileage Plan is not meant for global awards.
Mileage Plan Award is Losing its Prestige
Award tickets on Qatar Airways is the first of several award charts we expect to see this year. Alaska Airline award tickets have unique rules and liberal routing rules. Be sure to familiarize yourself with Alaska Airlines Award rules before looking for tickets. Keep in mind, awards can only have Alaska Airlines plus one other airline, per direction. Mixing partners on a single direction is not possible. Which also makes award travel redemptions more difficult.
Alaska and Qatar Airways announced a strategic partnership and codeshare in the fall of 2021. Just months before Alaska Airlines joined the OneWorld Alliance. Since then, Qatar Airways has expanded their footprint in the United States with new service to San Francisco and Seattle. Part of the partnership was to include award travel on each airline. Although, really this shouldn’t be news, because it’s now July 29, 2021 and Alaska Airlines joined Oneworld on four months ago! Typically when an airline joins an alliance, award tickets are available across the alliance. Yet, Alaska Airlines I.T. has never been stellar and the Airline is slow to allow redemption across partners. The benefits of Alaska Airlines joining OneWorld have been slow to materialize.
Alaska Awards on Qatar Airways are more expensive than many of their other partners to similar destinations. Thankfully, nearly all awards are more affordable than awards on previous partner Emirates. The Alaska-Emirates partnership ends July 31, 2021. The future is unknown, but based on today’s release of Qatar Airways awards, I foresee a large increase in award ticket costs in the near future. Hopefully when the next devaluation comes, we will at least be able to mix partners on a single direction.