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.
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
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?