Amazing: British Airways Lowers Qatar Airways Award Costs

Amazing: British Airways Lowers Qatar Airways Award Costs

25

You know the saying — if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Well, one airline has just significantly lowered the cost of partner award redemptions, which I think is an exception to that rule.

Redeem fewer BA Avios for Qatar Airways flights

Earlier I wrote about how Qatar Airways Privilege Club is adopting Avios as its rewards currency. This is a significant development, and is generally great for consumers. It means that you’ll be able to move your rewards between the various programs earning Avios, including Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, and Qatar Airways Privilege Club.

As it turns out, the news gets even better than that. Overnight British Airways Executive Club has drastically cut award redemption rates for travel on Qatar Airways. On top of that, surcharges for these redemptions have largely been cut significantly as well.

For example, you can now redeem just 70,000 Avios for a one-way Qatar Airways business class ticket from Boston to Doha, putting the pricing in line with what you’d find through American AAdvantage. Taxes, fees, and surcharges are $101.85, which is more than you’d pay through AAdvantage, but still reasonable.

Amazingly enough, Los Angeles to Doha costs the same number of Avios, but surcharges on that routing are significantly higher, as you’d pay a total of $481.85.

Connecting itineraries are also more expensive, but still reasonable in most cases. For example, you can fly from Boston to Doha to Male in business class for 105,000 Avios, plus $206 in taxes, fees, and surcharges.

British Airways Executive Club has just become a really attractive program for booking Qatar Airways tickets. For situations where Qatar Airways Privilege Club has lower award pricing, you could transfer Avios between the programs and book through Privilege Club instead.

Redeem Avios on Qatar Airways at a lower rate

Why this development is really significant

Historically booking Qatar Airways business class through American AAdvantage has been a real sweet spot of the program. The catch is that AAdvantage miles can be tough to earn, given that American doesn’t partner with any major transferable points currencies.

British Airways Executive Club, on the other hand, partners with Amex Membership RewardsCapital One, and Chase Ultimate Rewards. These points are significantly easier to rack up, so now you have an easy pathway for booking Qatar Airways business class awards at a great price with these currencies.

British Airways Avios are now a good way to book Qatar Airways

Bottom line

With Qatar Airways joining the Avios points currency, award redemption rates on the airline have been improved considerably through British Airways Executive Club. At a time where there’s generally not much good loyalty program news, this is a pleasant surprise. Huge kudos to Qatar Airways and British Airways on this!

What do you make of these Qatar Airways award pricing changes through BA Executive Club?

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  1. Js1 Guest

    I’ve been trying to book a Qatar Airways business class seat from a city in the USA to MLE using avios. BA shows there’s 2 business/first seats available and I want to select the flight. But, I get an error message that states “sorry there is a problem booking this flight online. Try selecting other flights.” I haven’t transferred avios to my account yet but I wanted to test out the system before I did. Would I have to book this flight on the phone with a BA agent?

  2. FastFlyer Guest

    can't find any availability to BEY - same dates but not sure whether settings are correct. Are you looking at first class or business class when selecting reward availability?

  3. PresRDC Member

    Also today saw a large increase in QR J availability to AA (and I would assume, other Oneworld partners). Was looking for DOH-SYD to complete an award and it popped today, either nonstop to SYD on the 380 (no QSuite), or via BNE on the 777 (likely QSuite).

    1. John Guest

      @PresRDC

      I saw that too. I'm glad QR added BNE but I'm pretty disappointed it's a noisy and jetlag-inducing 777 (even with QSuites). It's completely your call, obviously. But for myself, I'll still to continue trekking down to SYD just to catch the QR a380 instead.

  4. Alan Guest

    It seems a bit all over the place on pricing - EDI-DOH-SYD return is coming in at 226,000 Avios + £ 557.65 yet LHR-DOH-SYD is 180,000 Avios + £592.46!

  5. Chase Guest

    AAdvantage does partner with the growing BILT point currency, which earns 2x on travel with their Mastercard FYI

    1. Brad C Guest

      The post specifically said major points currencies (Amex, Chase, Cit, or Capital One).

      Bilt isn't a major points currency and continues to operate more like a startup with very limited access.

  6. Dave Guest

    Actually I take that back. Can only have 2 people in your search.

  7. Dave Guest

    I think it might be gone. I saw many options for June and was working out my repositioning plan and now they are all gone. Anyone else have any luck?

  8. Jan Guest

    Just in time after Emirates sabotages their own miles program.
    Coincidence?

  9. Andy Diamond

    Ben, do you know what type of business product you get when booking with Avios. QR has infamously "unbundled" their business class product, for cheaper paid fares you no longer get lounge access and advanced seat reservation. What "bundle" do you get when booking with Avios?

    1. NFSF Gold

      According to Ben, booking with miles means you get the full J experience. Assume it's still true with Avios

      https://onemileatatime.com/qatar-airways-basic-business-class/#this_doesnt_apply_to_award_tickets

    2. AA70 Gold

      Confirmed you get lounge access, seat selection and the like.

  10. Reyyan Member

    There is actually a devaluation for some European flights, albeit not that bad since surcharges have been lowered. Few examples:
    Doha - Frankfurt in J was 38.750 miles now 43.000
    Doha - Istanbul in J was around 25K now 35.000

    Longer European routes dropped from 63K to 43K so that is a welcoming change.

    1. AA70 Gold

      This is overall good, I redeemed 42.5K AAdvantage miles for BCN-DOH so seeing more Europe-Doha awards at this level makes BA a more compelling program

    2. Jules Guest

      Reyyan is correct. I was looking to book Doha - Zurich in J. It has now increased from 38,750 to 43,000 Avios. This is actually a devaluation for many.

    3. Jules Guest

      There is also a devaluation on the Qatar side. Flights from to/from Doha to European destinations on Qatar metal have increased their fuel surcharges. I previously booked ZRH-DOH-SLL in J for 45k qatar miles and CHF 65 in taxes. Now the taxes are CHF 199!!!

    4. AH Guest

      As someone else pointed earlier there is devaluations on the increased charges when booking on QR award flights. In example I saw Some short distance middle east flights that had around 50$ round trip charges with status are now charging 130$ so significant increase there.

  11. DenB Diamond

    Does BA have the disAAdvantage of draconian routing rules? From Eastern North America to Asia, one can't use AAdvantage miles to fly QR, because all Asia redemptions must fly Trans-Pacific. Maybe this unlocks QR for award flights YYZ/JFK/ORD-BKK/SGN etc

    1. Klavs Guest

      It should allow the booking at least though BA as they charge per segment.

    2. Nick Guest

      I hate these routing rules as it makes it a lot more difficult to travel to Southeast Asia from the Northeast. Does anyone know if these routing rules are posted anywhere for reference or is there anyway to bypass them?

  12. Alonzo Diamond

    Wow, this is historical. Especially given how easily Avios can be acquired.

  13. Joe Guest

    Couldn’t you just transfer the BA Avios to Qatar and book for less, specifically for the connecting routes?

    1. Todd Guest

      I just linked my BA Avios account to my QR Privilege Club account. Doing so gives you access to all your Avios points.

      I'm just not sure if that's the same as transferring them. I can't see why it wouldn't be, but simply don't know.

    2. Phillip Gold

      You need to click on Combine Avios and actually move them to Privilege Club.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Nick Guest

I hate these routing rules as it makes it a lot more difficult to travel to Southeast Asia from the Northeast. Does anyone know if these routing rules are posted anywhere for reference or is there anyway to bypass them?

1
Klavs Guest

It should allow the booking at least though BA as they charge per segment.

1
AA70 Gold

Confirmed you get lounge access, seat selection and the like.

1
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