American Adds Online Award Redemptions For Qatar, Air Tahiti Nui, And SriLankan

There are lots of things that contribute towards a great frequent flyer program. Obviously award redemption rates and award availability are both important, but there’s also something to be said for the ease with which you can search award availability.

American’s website is fairly good when it comes to searching award availability. Their website is my favorite for searching space for the airlines that they do display, given that you can search nonstop award availability on any partner that they display for a month at a time.

The catch is that American doesn’t display all partner airlines online.

American adds online award redemptions on three airlines

American has just added partner award redemptions on three additional airlines — Qatar Airways, Air Tahiti Nui, and SriLankan.

That’s quite a positive development, and means there are only a few airlines remaining that they don’t display availability for online. For example, now you can easily search and book Qatar Airways’ excellent Qsuites business class award availability online.

Seriously, check out how much award availability they have between Chicago and Doha in business class:

It’s not just the Chicago to Doha flight that has availability, but all kinds of other connecting options as well:

Is there a downside to American displaying more availability?

Now, while I’m generally excited about this development, I do think it’s worth mentioning that making award availability easier to search is a double edged sword. That’s because it means that these limited award seats can more easily be found by more people, and that increases the competition for these seats.

A vast majority of people redeem their miles for travel on the airline with which they accrue miles, partly because they think that it’s either not possible or too complicated to redeem on other airlines.

Bottom line

Airlines making it easier to search and book award tickets is generally a positive development. I think Qatar Airways is one of American’s most useful partners, so seeing those redemptions now bookable online is fantastic news.

However, one also has to acknowledge that this will no doubt lead to more competition for award seats.

Are you happy to see American add more partner redemptions online, or no?

Comments

  1. Agreed. While easier it means more inventory gone for those of us that already in the know and now the herd will take the inventory I fear.

  2. I wonder what the award availability will look like in a few months, how much will it go down? (maybe take some screenshots now and again in January?) Especially to Tahiti where you had to search on expertflyer to find award space on Air Tahiti Nui.

  3. It doesn’t seem to handle connections outside of USA well, e.g. ORD-BKK falls over unless you do a multi city search. This will likely limit some people booking such flights who don’t know how to search around these barriers.

  4. @ Anthony Thomas — You’re talking about Qatar? That’s because you can’t travel from the US to Asia 2 via the Middle East on a single award.

  5. Looking at getting from JFK to SIN… JFK-DOH seems to be sparingly available, but DOH-SIN is available every day. Like the other Anthony said, the search does not show connections outside of the US, so no JFK to SIN is showing as available. How many AA miles should JFK to SIN cost, and is a free stopover available?

  6. Looks like Lucky answered my question – So a one way ticket from JFK to SIN would effectively cost 110,000 AA miles (70,000 JFK to DOH, 40,000 from DOH to SIN), correct.

  7. @Anthony: yes, it will price as 2 separate awards. The only “free” transit on QR via DOH is Africa. So you can book JFK-DOH-JNB as one ticket 🙂

  8. @Lucky I am curious also which airlines do not show in the system. As a back and forth flyer to Brazil it seems LATAM is never showing up and I wonder if I have been an idiot and just assumed they were in the system. Or, as some have said, they never have availability.

  9. You should just take the new world record EWR-SIN flight. SQ21 is 8285nm. With 42 lie flat business seats it’s a very comfortable product. If found on saver level 68,000 is a drop in the bucket for KrisFlyer miles. Vastly superior product anything else out there. No contest.

  10. AA partner availability in business or first has really gone downhill in the last 2 years. I used to be able to regularly fly to Dubai from NYC on business class, but those awards have almost disappeared, unless you want to transfer twice and make a 14 hour flight in to a 24 hour affair. The same is true for other destinations.

  11. Do their rules allow traveling from the US to Male (Maldives) on a single award?
    A few weeks ago I called to book and was able to book it for 70,000 miles all the way to Male, but a friend tried to do just that, and despite several HUCA and talking to several different agents, was told that this route requires 2 awards – 1 to Doha and a separate one from Doha to the Maldives. Did I just get lucky with the agent?

  12. @Lucky. I just checked it and a BNA-CMB route prices out as 70k. Is that the “furthest” destination in Asia one can fly to on a “one award segment”?

  13. BNA-CMB is not related to Qatar anyway. Only CX or UL Route is applicable . Anyway I don’t think the increase the competition of the QR seat as you can’t easily find seat anyway and understood that QR is Oneworld as as today . An AAdvantage member should know this redemption rules.

  14. I just checked the AA site for flights ORD — DEL and even ORD to DOH. No sign of Qatar as an option. Just the same expensive (LHR = $$) connections with BA. Did I do something wrong?

  15. Where’s the best place to look online for bargain business fares on Qatar for an Aadvantage mileage run before the end of the year? (I know, I know – why would I want to.)

  16. How do you search nonstop on AA.com?! I hate seeing availability show on the calendar and then find out it’s actually a horrible 2-stop flight.

  17. You can transit a 3rd region (Middle East) on your way to Indian SubContinent as defined on AA.com. So you can do MIA-DOH-MLE or BOS-DOH-CMB. The issue is finding those connecting flights. Based on a few searches on AA.com and comparing with QF and BA, American is missing some itineraries that combines UL and QR therefore you won’t get the award to price online. You can always put one segment on hold, call AA and have them add the remaining flights. I think using QF, BA or the KVS tool are still the best method to build complex itineraries.

  18. @Daniel B. But CMB is in Indian subcontinent not Asia . So you require 2 separate reward of total of 100k instead of 70k that you mentioned unless you fly across Pacific .Right?

  19. @Norman. Yes, you are right. What I really meant was trying to get as close to my Asian destination (SIN) as possible. Thanks for the correction.

  20. @Norman: Interestingly however, Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Asia) says this: “The current territories of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka form South Asia”. So now I do not know who is right :-))))
    Anyone in the forum can offer a definitive answer?

  21. @Norman: My previous answer did not go through, so here it is again:
    Interestingly however, when I look at Wikipedia, it says: “The current territories of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka form South Asia”. So now I do not know what is the definitive answer regarding whether Sri Lanka is in Asia or not. Can anyone offer an explanation? I always thought that it was in Asia (see my original comment).

  22. @Daniel B . It only matters that AA define as Indian Subcontinent. Anyway I did see 70K miles from US to CMB , not sure when you call for the booking and it will be another story.

  23. Does ATH-DOH-LAX have to be booked as two separate tickets? Does this mean there is no protection on the second ticket if the first is delayed?

  24. @Carol that route can be booked on one ticket but you’ll be charged the price of two awards (ATH-DOH plus DOH-LAX) because AA doesn’t let you transit the middle east if flying Europe-USA. That’s assuming QR publishes such a fare (which they probably do).

  25. The big problem remains that when you’re searching for business or first-class tickets they show you routing with long coach segments hi. It’s kind of useless unless they add a checkbox to eliminate those.

  26. They load the seats

    Then they start the courting process.

    Prospective routes meet the parents of other routes.

    Then the loving segments get married.

    Usually the segments are separated by great distances, like overnight layovers.

    But this doesn’t stop their love or their marriages.

    How long before these Qatari brides meet their domestic legs?

    How many segments will be forced to be married with a third segment in the picture?

    Married Segments

    That’s the AAmericaan Aadvaantage

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