You Can Now Redeem Alaska Miles On Qatar Airways (Award Chart Published)

You Can Now Redeem Alaska Miles On Qatar Airways (Award Chart Published)

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As of today you can redeem Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for travel on Qatar Airways. There are several interesting things to note about this new opportunity, so let’s take a look at the details.

What are Mileage Plan redemption rates on Qatar Airways like?

At the end of 2020 it was revealed that Alaska Airlines and Qatar Airways would launch a partnership. This coincided with the announcement of Qatar Airways launching a route between Doha and Seattle, ahead of Alaska Airlines joining the oneworld alliance in March 2021.

Alaska Airlines joined the oneworld alliance this spring

While the two airlines quickly introduced reciprocal mileage earning, they didn’t immediately introduce reciprocal mileage redemptions. Last we heard, Alaska Mileage Plan was supposed to introduce redemptions on Qatar Airways as of August 2021. There’s good news on front — this is happening a bit ahead of schedule. This will make a lot of people with Mileage Plan miles happy, given Qatar Airways’ incredible business class experience.

Alaska Airlines has now published award charts for travel on Qatar Airways, and these awards are also bookable directly on alaskaair.com. As usual with Alaska Mileage Plan, only redemptions in certain regions are permitted.

Here are the Alaska Mileage Plan saver level one-way award costs for travel on Qatar Airways, including eligible regions:

  • United States to Indian Subcontinent costs 42,500 miles in economy, 85,000 miles in business
  • United States to Middle East costs 42,500 miles in economy, 85,000 miles in business
  • United States to Africa costs 50,000 miles in economy, 120,000 miles in business
  • Middle East to South Pacific costs 50,000 miles in economy, 100,000 miles in business
  • Middle East to Europe costs 25,000 miles in economy, 65,000 miles in business
  • Middle East to Indian Subcontinent costs 17,500 miles in economy, 40,000 miles in business
Qatar Airways awards are bookable on alaskaair.com

A few further things to note:

  • Stopovers in Doha are allowed without it requiring extra miles
  • There are no fuel surcharges on award redemptions
  • Unfortunately the routing options here aren’t all that creative, unlike with some of Mileage Plans’ other partners; you can’t fly from the United States to the South Pacific or Southeast Asia on a single award, for example

As far as the pricing goes, I’d say it’s definitely a bit on the high side, and not particularly attractive. Qatar Airways redemptions is where the American AAdvantage program is most valuable, as you can fly one-way in business class from the United States to the Middle East/India for 70,000 miles, or to Africa for 75,000 miles. Pricing here is quite a bit steeper, but Mileage Plan has the benefit of allowing stopovers.

I think I’ll continue to redeem Qatar Airways awards through AAdvantage, though personally I also wasn’t expecting Mileage Plan to undercut AAdvantage on pricing.

Redeem Alaska miles for Qatar Airways Qsuites

One-way business class awards for 280K miles?!?

If you do award searches, you’ll see some business class awards price at 200,000-280,000 miles one-way.

Yes, some business class awards are costing 280,000 miles one-way

This is leading some people to panic, and causing them to think that this is the time to redeem Alaska miles before all awards are devalued to this level.

Don’t be alarmed. If there’s saver level award availability (the same all other programs have access to), it will price at the lower, consistent cost. The higher award pricing is in situations where there’s no award availability, where it seems that Alaska will essentially buy the ticket for you, or something.

It’s rare to see this kind of dynamic pricing with partner airlines, but it’s something that Alaska Mileage Plan also did when it introduced redemptions on Aer Lingus. I wouldn’t read into this in a negative way.

Award pricing is dynamic when there’s no award availability

What does this mean for future oneworld redemptions?

While Alaska Airlines joined the oneworld alliance this spring, the airline hasn’t rolled out alliance-wide awards yet, at least not beyond the airlines it already partnered with (including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Qantas, etc.). Rather these awards are expected to be introduced “later in 2021.”

We knew Qatar Airways redemptions through Mileage Plan would likely go live before other oneworld redemptions, so many of us were looking at this development for a sense of what we should expect from other future oneworld award pricing.

Personally I don’t think there’s anything here too telling:

  • The rates are perhaps a bit more than I was expecting — they’re a bit steep in some markets, but nothing too surprising
  • I’m not alarmed by the dynamic pricing; when there’s saver award availability then the lowest cost is available, while Mileage Plan’s “dynamic” pricing kicks in when there wouldn’t otherwise be award seats
  • It’s nice to see that stopovers continue to be allowed

So personally I don’t think this tells us a whole lot when it comes to what we should expect from oneworld redemptions. It’s anyone’s guess what Mileage Plan will look like later this year — will we see a unified award chart across all airlines, or will we see each airline still have a separate award chart? Only time will tell…

It’s anyone’s guess how Mileage Plan redemptions change later this year

Bottom line

Alaska Mileage Plan has now published its award chart for travel on Qatar Airways, and these flights can be booked on alaskaair.com. It’s cool to see this development, though unfortunately award redemption rates are a bit on the high side. I guess if it’s any consolation, this continues to be a sweet spot through the American AAdvantage program, and those miles are easier to come by anyway.

Personally I wouldn’t be alarmed by the dynamic award pricing for situations where there’s no award availability — we saw the same with the Aer Lingus partnership, and ultimately it just gives members more flexibility.

What do you make of Alaska’s redemption rates on Qatar Airways?

(Tip of the hat to @saianel)

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  1. Robin

    Are others finding the Alaskan mileage plan has really gone down hill? Korean and Emirates are gone now and replaced by rubbish Qatar and American awards and of course there's the absurd Aer Lingus and BA awards to Europe. What's left: elusive JAL and Cathy awards to Asia? Either Alaskan are going to change things dramatically or this plan is going to be a bust.

  2. Srini

    I can't seem to find a routing to HKT (Phuket) from any of the US gateways using Alaska Miles or AA miles. Is this a deliberate thing? I can however book them separately e.g LAX-DOH and then DOH-HKT (of course this means more miles) and I am not sure if I can link it together to get the baggage checked through. LAX-HKT, SFO-HKT, SEA-HKT say its not a valid city pair and on AA it shows routing on JAL instead (round about via KUL)

  3. Kelly

    According to the Award Chart, there isn’t a single award US-Europe on QR? That makes the stopover value actually not valuable at all.

  4. paul

    Dynamic pricing? that’s their prerogative, but how about pricing that actually tickets? NO way I’m going to spend 200K to fly lax to male in biz, but 85K? sure. i tried booking lax/sfo to male with the 85K rates and whether i did it from a computer, iphone, ipad or via an agent, the process always ended with a warning screen “We’re sorry, we are unable to confirm space on these partner flights”. seems like...

    Dynamic pricing? that’s their prerogative, but how about pricing that actually tickets? NO way I’m going to spend 200K to fly lax to male in biz, but 85K? sure. i tried booking lax/sfo to male with the 85K rates and whether i did it from a computer, iphone, ipad or via an agent, the process always ended with a warning screen “We’re sorry, we are unable to confirm space on these partner flights”. seems like this was released too early and without enough testing. and again, 200K? that’s just insane. i’ll stick with 85K AS points on Emirates one stop in biz from lax to maldives. AS IT need some additional beta testers?

  5. Tom

    @Kyle
    How are the quiet rooms in the lounge in DOH? Do they have lounge chairs or something for you to rest?

    1. SgFm

      Quiet rooms have a full length sofa to stretch out on. Lighting is quite subdued and the entire portion of the lounge that is devoted to quite generous sleep cubicles was very quiet while I was there for a few hours. It is also set off from the rest of the lounge, which adds to the feeling of seclusion.

  6. glenn t

    Two connecting long-haul flights will inevitably end and start in DOH, so that is where you will have your stopover if that's what you want.
    Doha 's attractions are limited (OTT Museum of Islamic Art is a standout) and is OK for a short one-off visit, but not somewhere you'd want to regularly re-visit.
    So IMO the 'stop-over' feature is not especially valuable.
    As to award pricing, it is pretty expensive, and...

    Two connecting long-haul flights will inevitably end and start in DOH, so that is where you will have your stopover if that's what you want.
    Doha 's attractions are limited (OTT Museum of Islamic Art is a standout) and is OK for a short one-off visit, but not somewhere you'd want to regularly re-visit.
    So IMO the 'stop-over' feature is not especially valuable.
    As to award pricing, it is pretty expensive, and only if offset by 100% bonus miles sales would it make sense and deliver any value.
    I wonder if Alaska is shooting itself in the foot, accelerating a gradual decline into the 'Also ran' category of mileage programs. That would be a shame.

  7. Axel

    Award prices to Africa are
    1:1 copy of Emirates award chart.
    Hope they adjust that to something more reasonable.

  8. Chris

    Off topic, but is there an easy way to find a comment when the "Featured Comment" is clearly a response to someone else's and you want to see what they're referring to? Up until recently I thought every post only had 3 comments. DOH!

  9. Aaron

    Just more reinforcement that an Advantage devaluation is coming IMO. Can't see AA awards being lower than Alaska for the longhaul.

  10. magice

    Frankly, the current award chart for Qatar feels extremely provisionary. There are only 3 regions supported by Qatar: South Asia (i.e. Indian Subcontinent), Africa, and Middle East. In contrast, Emirates has rate for all of these, plus Australia, the rest of Asia, and Europe.

    I think AS is just trying to kinda-sorta fulfill their promise of Qatar-by-August, while working out the rest of their OneWorld redemption strategy.

  11. Bill n DC

    I have to laugh at timing - which I usually suck at, except for buying our house on Capitol Hill in late 1998. That was great timing :-)

    Just this morning I transferred 60K Bonvoys & 40K Citi TY points to Qatar for a NRT- DOH (nice layover with no desire to tour outside airport) then short hop to Abu Dhabi where I do want to tour (Louvre) Then fly home to IAD in Etihad...

    I have to laugh at timing - which I usually suck at, except for buying our house on Capitol Hill in late 1998. That was great timing :-)

    Just this morning I transferred 60K Bonvoys & 40K Citi TY points to Qatar for a NRT- DOH (nice layover with no desire to tour outside airport) then short hop to Abu Dhabi where I do want to tour (Louvre) Then fly home to IAD in Etihad 1st on DreamLiner :-)

    Still think is okay value since can’t get AA to show similar routing. ACK transit through DEL :-(

  12. Bobo

    Dynamic partner award pricing is NOT good news for us. The airlines are racing to the bottom with Delta on killing off mileage sweet spots.

  13. Amy

    How about seat assignment and lounge access on these reservations? Booking through AAdvantage denies both.

    1. Amy

      The last time I booked an AAdvantage award, I was unable to select seats and Qatar clear showed I was not eligible for lounge access. Has this changed in the last 30 days? Not trying to be argumentative but would appreciate a source.

    2. Glenn

      Had the same experience. Crazily, if you go on the Royal Jordanian website and input your Qatar PNR, you can select seats. Just make sure the seat you select is available (I used ExpertFlyer to check) and you're good. To confirm you can go on the Qatar website and check to see if you have a confirmed seat now.

    3. FortunateFlyer

      Thank you Glenn! I just tried the same thing and it worked!

    4. Ram

      Thanks Glenn, Do you if this would work with paid 'R' tickets ?

    5. Kyle

      I guess my source would be myself. In June we flew MLE-DOH-DFW-IAH-MCI (70k/each using AA) and picked our seats for the 2 QR legs (sat in honeymoon Qsuites both legs, fantastic). Went to the lounge in DOH on the layover and got one of the quiet rooms for 8 hours and passed out. Get your QR PNR from AA and then call QR to get seats. There's really nothing to it.

  14. Peter

    Thanks again Ben. This post and the recent Citi temp transfer to AA now make clear it’s best to use AAvantage miles for QSuites to CPT/JNB (with Etihad miles for AA metal), stopovers in Doha aside.

    Are there differences between American and Alaska for access to Qsuite (middle) seat assignments and Doha lounge access?

  15. freedom

    What’s the route for stopover? I tried US-MLE, and no stopover allowed.

    1. freedom

      Can stopover on US-Middle East and Africa

  16. Wayne Yim

    Planning a speculative trip to Bali for next March. Unfortunately don't see they have lFK-DOH-DPS loaded into the Mileage Plan system.

  17. Luis

    Pretty disappointing redemption rates. I was hoping for better than this. Do you know if it's possible to route from US to Asia (BKK/SIN) via Doha on a single award?

    1. Andrew

      @ Luls That's the million dollar question. Only Asia Miles allows you to do that currently and they have those pesky fuel surcharges.

    2. Ben Schlappig

      @ Luis -- As of now I'm not seeing anything on QR come up to TYO, HKG, BKK, SIN. It could still be loaded, but it's doubtful, unfortunately.

    3. Jim Lovejoy

      I've seen Doha to TYO and Doha to KUL, but not US to TYO or KUL via DOH.

      The good news is there seems to be saver availability from DOH to/from the US, SE Asia, N Asia, and Europe.

      The bad news is that except for US to India Sub-Continent (including Sri-Lanka and Male) you seem to need separate awards.

    4. Trey

      I'm not seeing anything to SE Asia; probably hasn't loaded yet. Even if it was 85k, that's still too steep considering you can take Cathay or JAL for 50k or 65k (one-way business), respectively.

  18. Andrew

    Yea, AA is still the way to go, but if there's a devalue by AA (which I bet there will be soon), it puts Alaskan, Asia miles, and Qatar neck and neck for which program to use. Each has a niche. Asia miles still has an advantage for super long routes (think New Zealand to LAX) even with their taxes and fuel surcharges. Qatar would be better for direct shorter flights. Alaskan would be better to the maldives and if you wanted a stopover.

  19. MRL

    Maybe I was being naïve here, but to me one of the key advantages of Alaska has been their low award rates (I would have to check, but with a large portion of their existing partners, I thought they were by a substantial margin the cheapest option). Because of this, I'd hoped they would in fact undercut AA. Would you expect their oneworld multi airline awards to be similarly less competitive? And is there a timeline for the introduction of such awards?

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ MRL -- I'd say the key advantage of Mileage Plan is the ability to have a free stopover on a one-way. This has massive value if you're traveling from New York to Singapore via Tokyo, for example.

      Back in the day Alaska Mileage Plan's pricing was really low, but look at the partners have have been added in the past couple of years. For example, Finnair was the most recently added oneworld partner, and...

      @ MRL -- I'd say the key advantage of Mileage Plan is the ability to have a free stopover on a one-way. This has massive value if you're traveling from New York to Singapore via Tokyo, for example.

      Back in the day Alaska Mileage Plan's pricing was really low, but look at the partners have have been added in the past couple of years. For example, Finnair was the most recently added oneworld partner, and Mileage Plan charges 70,000 miles one-way in business class between the US and Europe, vs. 57,500 miles through AAdvantage.

      What Alaska is good at is not devaluing awards after pricing is set. However, the program is realistic with pricing to reflect the times when it adds new partners.

    2. Kelly

      Except that when ASMP requires TWO awards to get from the US to Europe on QR, then that not only makes that value moot, but devalues it immensely. Completely surprised that there isn’t a one-award option from the US to Europe on QR

    3. Fred

      What normal person would fly US-Europe on QR? It's one hell of a long cut, probably at least 10 hours of added time even to somewhere like Greece, factoring in layover. It sounds like you're looking for fault where there is none.

    4. Kelly

      I suppose that depends on your definition of ‘normal’. Hint: there is no such thing.

      It’s not always about the destination, sometimes its about the journey. For ASMP members, it’s BA, AA, Finnair, Icelandair or Aer Lingus, each of which has significant shortcomings for Biz space or better when compared to EK or QR. EK partnership is gone - and yes we did fly US-EU on EK (when it was a value-added award, not exorbitant)...

      I suppose that depends on your definition of ‘normal’. Hint: there is no such thing.

      It’s not always about the destination, sometimes its about the journey. For ASMP members, it’s BA, AA, Finnair, Icelandair or Aer Lingus, each of which has significant shortcomings for Biz space or better when compared to EK or QR. EK partnership is gone - and yes we did fly US-EU on EK (when it was a value-added award, not exorbitant) and it was spectacularly fun.

      BA: High surcharges/fees, almost non-existent F award space due to capacity cuts, inconsistent J depending on aircraft = poor value.
      AA: Crappy food and crappy service, almost non-existent F space = poor value
      IcelandAir: a domestic F seat for 12 hours on two flights = spectacularly poor value
      Finnair: uncompetitive Biz seat (no F cabins) = poor value
      Aer Lingus: ridiculous redemption levels = no value

      QR was a potential value proposition, so yes - if they had a J award US-EU, you’d bet I’d jump all over it considering the alternatives.

    5. Kelly

      I suppose that depends on your definition of ‘normal’. Hint: there is no such thing.

      It’s not always about the destination, sometimes its about the journey. For ASMP members, it’s BA, AA, Finnair, Icelandair or Aer Lingus, each of which has significant shortcomings for Biz space or better when compared to EK or QR. EK partnership is gone - and yes we did fly US-EU on EK (when it was a value-added award, not exorbitant)...

      I suppose that depends on your definition of ‘normal’. Hint: there is no such thing.

      It’s not always about the destination, sometimes its about the journey. For ASMP members, it’s BA, AA, Finnair, Icelandair or Aer Lingus, each of which has significant shortcomings for Biz space or better when compared to EK or QR. EK partnership is gone - and yes we did fly US-EU on EK (when it was a value-added award, not exorbitant) and it was spectacularly fun.

      BA: High surcharges/fees, almost non-existent F award space due to capacity cuts, inconsistent J depending on aircraft = poor value.
      AA: Bad food and service, almost non-existent F space = poor value
      IcelandAir: a domestic F seat for 12 hours on two flights = spectacularly poor value
      Finnair: uncompetitive Biz seat (no F cabins) = poor value
      Aer Lingus: ridiculous redemption levels = no value

      QR was a potential value proposition, so yes - if they had a J award US-EU, you’d bet I’d jump all over it considering the alternatives.

  20. MFK

    FYI - You’re missing the word “can” in the first sentence.

    “It looks like you now redeem Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for travel on Qatar Airways.”

Featured Comments Load all 38 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Robin

Are others finding the Alaskan mileage plan has really gone down hill? Korean and Emirates are gone now and replaced by rubbish Qatar and American awards and of course there's the absurd Aer Lingus and BA awards to Europe. What's left: elusive JAL and Cathy awards to Asia? Either Alaskan are going to change things dramatically or this plan is going to be a bust.

Srini

I can't seem to find a routing to HKT (Phuket) from any of the US gateways using Alaska Miles or AA miles. Is this a deliberate thing? I can however book them separately e.g LAX-DOH and then DOH-HKT (of course this means more miles) and I am not sure if I can link it together to get the baggage checked through. LAX-HKT, SFO-HKT, SEA-HKT say its not a valid city pair and on AA it shows routing on JAL instead (round about via KUL)

Kelly

I suppose that depends on your definition of ‘normal’. Hint: there is no such thing. It’s not always about the destination, sometimes its about the journey. For ASMP members, it’s BA, AA, Finnair, Icelandair or Aer Lingus, each of which has significant shortcomings for Biz space or better when compared to EK or QR. EK partnership is gone - and yes we did fly US-EU on EK (when it was a value-added award, not exorbitant) and it was spectacularly fun. BA: High surcharges/fees, almost non-existent F award space due to capacity cuts, inconsistent J depending on aircraft = poor value. AA: Bad food and service, almost non-existent F space = poor value IcelandAir: a domestic F seat for 12 hours on two flights = spectacularly poor value Finnair: uncompetitive Biz seat (no F cabins) = poor value Aer Lingus: ridiculous redemption levels = no value QR was a potential value proposition, so yes - if they had a J award US-EU, you’d bet I’d jump all over it considering the alternatives.

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