Qatar Airways Will Launch Flights To San Francisco (Qsuites Awards Available)

Filed Under: Qatar

A few days ago Qatar Airways announced its latest US destination, which will be San Francisco. This is an update to that post, to note that award availability is now wide open on this flight in business class, for anyone who wants to make a booking.

Qatar Airways adds SFO to route network

Qatar Airways has revealed that it will launch 4x weekly flights between Doha and San Francisco as of December 15, 2020, and the flight is already on sale. The new route will be operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with the following schedule:

QR737 Doha to San Francisco departing 8:15AM arriving 12:55PM
QR 738 San Francisco to Doha departing 2:55PM arriving 5:15PM (+1 day)

Qatar Airways will use an Airbus A350-900 for the route, featuring a total of 283 seats. This includes 36 Qsuites in business class and 247 seats in economy class.

The flight will cover a distance of 8,087 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 15hr40min westbound and 15hr20min eastbound.

Prior to the pandemic, Qatar Airways’ US destinations included Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington. This will be Qatar Airways’ second longest US route, as it covers a distance of 8,087 miles in each direction.

This route will feature Qsuites in business class

Qsuites awards are readily available

When this flight was first loaded into the schedule I didn’t see any award availability, but that has now changed:

  • From Doha to San Francisco I see at least four Qsuites business class award seats available nearly every day that the flight operates
  • From San Francisco to Doha I see at least four Qsuites business class award seats available nearly every Tuesday, nearly every first Saturday of the month, and nearly every first and second Sunday of the month (fascinating algorithm they’re using for releasing award seats there, eh?)

It goes without saying that there’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to international travel, though there’s also great value and convenience to be had with flights like this. So I know some people may at least want to lock in a one-stop routing from SFO to anywhere in the world, whether you’re hoping to relax in the Maldives, or go on safari in Africa.

The best value for redeeming for Qsuites would be to book through American AAdvantage:

  • You can redeem 70,000 miles for a one-way business class ticket between the US and the Middle East/India
  • You can redeem 75,000 miles for a one-way business class ticket between the US and Africa

If you’re making an entirely speculative booking, that’s not a problem either. AAdvantage now lets you redeposit award tickets up to 60 days before departure at no cost, so you can lock an award now for travel in 10 months, and then monitor the situation as it evolves.

See this post for the best credit cards for earning American AAdvantage miles.

Can we trust this route will actually launch?

Qatar Airways isn’t the most reliable airline when it comes to new route announcements. If Qatar Airways launching flights to San Francisco sounds familiar, that’s for good reason.

In 2017 the airline announced plans to launch flights to San Francisco in 2018, but that never materialized.

More recently, on June 30, 2020, Qatar Airways announced it would launch flights to Toronto as of July 4. Yep, it made this announcement with just a few days notice. Cool, eh?

Well, Qatar Airways operated the route for the month of July, and then stopped. The press release about the new route in no way suggested the route would be temporary, and that kind of seems like a major omission.

It sounds like Qatar Airways is serious about SFO this time — the airline at least published a schedule, which it didn’t do with the 2017 announcement. But at the same time, with Qatar Airways you really never know until the inaugural flight takes off.

Qatar Airways has been doing a lot of flying during the pandemic

Bottom line

Qatar Airways will finally be adding San Francisco to its network as of December 15, 2020. The airline will fly there 4x weekly from Doha. Hopefully it actually happens this time, unlike the last time it was announced.

If you want to lock in an award ticket in Qatar Airways’ incredible Qsuites, there are plenty of seats available, particularly on the westbound flight.

What do you make of Qatar Airways’ new SFO route? Anyone plan on locking in a Qsuites award ticket?

Comments
  1. You mean major omission, not “commission” with regards to the Toronto flight. Those are two different things.

  2. Another competitor for the lucrative San Fran-India market. This time, one of the world’s best business class products. Good news for passengers!

  3. Post Corona resolution looking forward to try this route for the SFO BLR run! Prefer a one stop Qatar to a non stop UA

  4. Since there are restrictions and almost no travel permitted from India – US and embargoes for American passport holders , it makes no sense to start a new service in a few weeks
    Load factors are not exactly fantastic now

  5. Quatar website, in addition to face mask…..Face shields will be distributed at the airport and are to be worn when boarding and disembarking. Economy Class are required to wear them on board, except when eating or drinking. Business Class are asked to wear them at their own discretion.

    @Sharon..exactly!

    Good luck trying to sleep with both of these on! I’ll wait until all safety options are at every passengers discretion including face masks.

  6. I think Qatar also served Houston before the pandemic. You may want to include that in the list of cities for US destinations.

  7. @Eric That’s correct and you beat me in pointing it out first. Nice to see that I’m NOT the only one paying attention!!

  8. @roman. Face shield with surgical mask isn’t too bad. Did a few long hauls this year with the combo and while it takes some getting used to it’s not horrible. Bring a few masks to change out if the flight is longer than 6-7 hours. Prob actually easier to wear the face shield in economy / non-lie flats as you dont turn over and crush it.

  9. @Sam “Qatar’s bilateral agreement with Canada is maxed out with 4x weekly frequencies a week, currently all being used for YUL. They received extra-bilateral approval to operate 3x weekly service to YYZ for the month of July only. Hence why the flights are no longer bookable. QR should have never advertised the new route in the first place. Fake news, so to speak, as it’s not a new route, just a temporary permission, due to COVID. Yes, the flights were bookable online, but QR made it seem like the route was a permanent addition. It isn’t. Air India has received the same kind of approval for YVR service in July, yet they never announced it as a new route.”

  10. I have my doubts on the viability of this route particularly amidst these troubled times.
    India will be one of the key source markets for this service. You may wish to recall that Etihad had to pull out of SFO once Air India commenced non-stop services to SFO. Since then United has launched a year round non stop daily service to SFO from Delhi (in addition to Air India) and will be launching an additional service from the tech hub Bangalore.
    Additionally Air Canada offers daily services from Delhi to Vancouver with excellent connections to WC destinations.
    Pre-pandemic, American was also considering a non-stop service from Bangalore to Seattle.
    Considering the reduced demand for the next three years and the increasing number of non-stop and one stop options available from India to SFO, it may well be possible that Qatar backtracks from this route.
    That being said they have been known to be unpredictable and sometimes their rationale is not driven by financial metrics so let’s see how this goes.

  11. Don’t blame QR for cancelling the Toronto flights when the Canadian government is entirely culpable. The government is anti-consumer and in Air Canada’s pocket and heavily restricts access to Canada for foreign airlines. In fact, Canada is literally the ONLY western country that is NOT an IASTA first freedom flight member. Another example of the anti-consumerism is the passenger protection laws that were brought into effect in 2018 by the CTA and are a joke compared to the DOT’s and EU’s laws. Not to mention the government’s approval of Air Canada’s takeover of Air Transat, which was approved in Canada with nary a peep but is thankfully being investigated by the EU for anti-trust reasons. If the takeover is approved I can’t even imagine what prices the AC-WS duopoly would charge on domestic travel.

    Emirates is restricted to 5 weekly flights and Qatar to 4 weekly flights. There’s been a dispute between the Canadian government and the UAE over this issue since 2011. QR and EK could easily operate daily flights to Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver while offering superior connectivity to India, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq for the huge immigrant population in Canada. Instead we get gouged and forced to take longer and more expensive flights to Europe with Air Canada and connect with Lufthansa if we’re lucky enough and Lufthansa flies to where we want to go.

  12. Qatar have really profited off the pandemic, among the few airlines who gained permissions to fly from countries such as Thailand pretty early on. They keep advertising their flexible bookings and whatever. However, their customer service is nonexistent. I had some concerns before flying recently from Bangkok to Belgrade, and could only reach them via Facebook, but even then received bot-like replies with links.
    I did not get a clear answer before getting on the flight about onward tickets, and was denied boarding unless I bought a ticket to my HOME COUNTRY. I presented an onward bus ticket to a nearby country, but check-in agents said that only ticket to my home country (that HAS to take me in) would be accepted, and it has to be flight tickets (as that’s what they can check in their system). I’ve talked to multiple travelers who had the same experience. The company sold tickets without informing customers of this weird requirement (check-in agents said it was only in their internal system).
    I also had to monitor sites like Flightradar to choose flights that were actually real, because Qatar was still selling flights such as Phuket-Doha as part of the journey, even thought those haven’t been flying for a while and have all been cancelled.
    I filed a complaint on their website and received a three-sentence response basically saying that it was my responsibility to comply with regulations and they were right. I spoke to another traveler that was on my Doha-Belgrade flight, as a tourist, same as me, flying one way, and he was not asked anything of this sort when boarding in Tokyo. The airline did not offer any compensation for the stress and monetary loss of $420 (since I had to buy a ticket to Russia to be boarded – otherwise I would face overstay and jail in Thailand).

  13. QR got an extra 7x weekly extension from the government of Canada to add more service to Canada meaning 11x weekly service to Canada with the addition of YYZ and YVR along with with the original YUL service. The extra 7x weekly slot extension has to be divided between both YYZ and YVR and one destination can only have a max of 4x weekly while the other gets the rest of the 3x weekly slots. That is the only hurdle at the moment for QR to decide which destination will 4x weekly and which one will get 3x weekly. Both YVR and YYZ should launch mid 2021 after these slots decisions has been made.

  14. @Lucky MIA-DOH is CXL through March. I have my doubts this will launch and if it does, it wont last long

  15. I don’t see a single seat DOH-SFO throughout the entire year ! I don’t see any in DOH-LAX either… @EK266, did you see the availability online (or) did you call & check ?

  16. @MM

    This is from my personal source, nothing is online as of yet as both countries and QR are negotiating about where each slot is going to go.

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