The Best Ways to Book Qatar Airways “QSuites” with Points and Miles

QSuites Double Bed

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Qatar Airways has consistently taken the airline industry by storm. With the CEO making controversial statements and the release of the new Qatar Airways QSuites business class, it’s no secret that Qatar Airways has made a name for itself.

Perhaps the biggest way Qatar Airways has impressed the frequent flyer world is the speed with which they’ve rolled out QSuites. This new flagship business class product is arguably the best business class around.

Award availability is generally solid, and the number of routes offering it continues to grow.

The most difficulty you’ll have is figuring out which planes have QSuites and which don’t. Not to worry, however — Upgraded Points has your back!

A Look Inside Qatar Airways QSuites

Qatar Airways QSuite
With a fantastic business class suite, excellent award availability, and a rapidly expanding network of routes, Qatar Airways has truly hit this new business class product out of the park! Image courtesy of qatarairways.com.

Arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, you’ll have direct aisle access no matter which seat you pick. You’ll also have access to some of the best inflight dining there is, featuring Arabic and Western cuisine.

You’ll also be graciously anointed with stylish amenity kits, fluffy bedding, comfy pajamas, and posh treatment at the care of Qatar Airways flight attendants!

We’ll get more into this in the later sections.

How to Fly Qatar QSuites (Business Class) Using Miles

It’s important to note that Qatar Airways operates 2 types of long-haul business class products. We want to focus on booking QSuites, which are the best and newest business class seats.

You’ll need to pay attention to book this correctly. For example, Qatar Airways offers 3 flights from Doha to Singapore, 2 of which feature QSuites (QR 944/945 and QR 946/947).

To find out which flights offer QSuites, you have to get a hold of the seat map. The best way to do so is with ExpertFlyer, a paid service that costs $9.99/month or $99 for 12 months.

Here’s what QSuites looks like with a 1-2-1 configuration:

QSuites Seat Map
QSuites are configured in a 1-2-1 arrangement.

Here’s what the Qatar Airways old business class looks like:

NOT QSuites Seat Map
Qatar Airways old business class in ExpertFlyer with the 2-2-2 configuration.

Alternatively, you can try to use the free service of SeatGuru, but we find ExpertFlyer more reliable.

Here are all the current QSuites route offerings:

Route (from shortest to longest)Frequency
Doha (DOH) – Mumbai (BOM)Daily (QR 556/557)
Doha (DOH) – Bengaluru (BLR)Daily (QR 572/573)
Doha (DOH) – Colombo (CMB)Daily (QR 668/669)
Doha (DOH) – Munich (MUC)Twice daily (QR 59/60 and 57/58)
Doha (DOH) – Berlin (TXL)Daily (QR 81/82 & 77/78)
Doha (DOH) – Frankfurt (FRA)Twice daily until March 31, 2019. Then, daily (QR 69/70)
Doha (DOH) – Amsterdam (AMS)Daily (QR 273/274)
Doha (DOH) – Paris (CDG)Daily until March 30, 2019 (QR 37/38)
Doha (DOH) – London (LHR)3 times daily (check regularly for aircraft changes)
Doha (DOH) – Bangkok (BKK)Daily until March 29, 2019 (QR 830/831)
Doha (DOH) – Singapore (SIN)Twice daily until Dec 1, 2018. 3 times daily from Dec 1, 2018 (QR 942/943, QR 944/945, and QR 946/947)
Doha (DOH) – Hong Kong (HKG)Twice daily (QR 815/816 and 817/818)
Doha (DOH) – Shanghai (PVG)Daily (QR 870/871)
Doha (DOH) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)Daily (QR 806/807)
Doha (DOH) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND)Daily (QR 812/813)
Doha (DOH) – New York City (JFK)Twice daily (QR 703/704 and 701/702)
Doha (DOH) – Washington D.C. (IAD)Daily (QR 707/708)
Doha (DOH) – Chicago O’Hare (ORD)Daily (QR 725/726)
Doha (DOH) – Sydney (SYD) – Canberra (CBR)Daily (QR 906/907)
Doha (DOH) – Houston (IAH)Daily (QR 713/714)
Doha (DOH) – Los Angeles (LAX) {starting Feb 2, 2019}Daily (QR 739/740)
Doha (DOH) – Sao Paulo (GRU) – Buenos Aires (EZE)Alternative days from Dec 1, 2018. Daily from Dec 7, 2018. (QR 773/774)

As you will find out below, the best ways to book Qatar Airways QSuites do not actually include using Qatar Airways miles. Instead, the best ways are through airline partners.

Oneworld partners are eligible to book Qatar Airways flights, so long as Qatar Airways releases award availability to these partners. We’ll talk more about that in the sections below.

American Airlines AAdvantage Program

American Airlines employs a region-based award chart. We like using this program because it has some pretty cheap sweet spots, especially from the U.S. to the Middle East.

Here’s why we rank American Airlines at the top of our list:

  1. Easy to earn miles through welcome bonuses
  2. Excellent sweet spot on U.S. to Middle East routes
  3. Straightforward booking process
  4. Can hold awards for 5 days
  5. No fuel surcharges on Qatar Airways flights

Although American Airlines only has 1 transfer partner (Marriott), the best way to earn American Airlines miles is through the welcome bonuses on Citi and Barclays co-branded credit cards.

Here’s the award chart for Qatar Airways flights to/from the Middle East using AA miles:

AA oneworld partner award chart Middle East
Flying Qatar QSuites is made possible by American Airlines AAdvantage. Image courtesy of aa.com.

Here are the steps to book:

  1. Visit British Airways’ website to search for award availability
  2. Log into your account using your Member ID and Password
  3. Click Spend Avios (located when expanding the Executive Club banner on the top of the page)
  4. Click Book a reward flight
  5. Enter your desired dates for travel, destination and origin cities, and check off the box that chooses Business/Club
  6. Locate your flight
  7. Write down the flight numbers, dates, and times.
  8. Call AA at 1-800-882-8880 and provide them with the information you wrote down.
    • If you need to transfer your Marriott points to American or top off your AA miles balance, request to put your award on hold.
  9. Pay for applicable taxes and fees.
    • Be sure to ask for the Qatar Airways record locator! This will allow you to select your seats in advance through Qatar Airways’ website.

Bottom Line: AA’s easy-to-use frequent flyer program, allowance for 5-day award holds, and great sweet spots for flights between America and the Middle East make it a no-brainer!

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

If you are looking for the cheapest redemption cost, look no further than Japan Airlines. They use a distance-based award chart, so the optimal usage of miles will be at the longer end of a distance range.

With the exception of the incredibly short routes from Mumbai or Bangalore to Doha (where oddly enough British Airways Avios is the cheapest method to book QSuites), Japan Airlines will at all times be the cheapest mileage cost.

Their drawback, however, is the lack of transfer partners. The only transfer partner is Marriott, so the best ways to earn Japan Airlines miles might be more limited than, say, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles or British Airways Avios.

However, your mileage cost will be lower than Cathay Pacific and British Airways for the most part, so it might be worth it to transfer your Marriott points to JAL.

Hot Tip: Even with the recent devaluation on November 20, 2018, it is often still worth it to use Japan Airlines to book your QSuites flights.

Here’s how to use Japan Airlines miles to book your QSuites flight:

  1. Use British Airways to search for award availability
  2. Log in using your British Airways Member ID and Password
  3. Click Spend Avios underneath the Executive Club banner
  4. Click Book a Reward Flight
  5. Type in your desired travel dates, Business/Club, number of passengers, and route
  6. Write down all flight information
  7. Visit Japan Airlines
  8. Select your City and Language
  9. Log in with your JAL Mileage Bank ID and Password
  10. Select Award Ticket on the red banner next to Flight Status
  11. Select Book JMB Partner Airlines Award Ticket under the 2 main icons
  12. Select Qatar Airways from the dropdown menu
  13. Repeat the same award search to verify award availability
  14. Reserve your flights and pay for any applicable taxes and fees

It’s possible to skip the British Airways steps to searching award availability, but British Airways is reliable and easy to use, which acts as a foolproof mechanism.

Hot Tip: Be sure to look into Japan Airlines’ routing rules to help you optimize your trip even more! 

If you’re sitting on a stockpile of Marriott points, using Japan Airlines to book your QSuites flights might be worth it.

Just keep in mind that the transfer times can be up to 7 business days for transfers to execute from Marriott to JAL.

Bottom Line: If you want to preserve your precious points/miles, using Japan Airlines miles might be best for you. Keep in mind you can only transfer Marriott points, which may take a while. Look into adding stopovers and open-jaws to truly optimize your trip! 

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Using Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is great if you have a lot of Citi ThankYou Rewards Points or American Express Membership Rewards points.

Asia Miles is a transfer partner with Citi, American Express, and Marriott.

Importantly, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles employs a distance-based award chart for Oneworld partners, similar to Japan Airlines. Cathay Pacific has 3 award charts, but we’ll focus on the single partner award chart in this guide.

Fuel surcharges will be passed on in this case, with around $600-$700 each way being the price tag for QSuites flights between America and the Middle East.

The best use of Asia Miles to book QSuites is to build it into a complex itinerary. What do I mean?

Here’s an example route starting in Los Angeles that you can fly using Asia Miles:

  1. Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) on Japan Airlines 777 Sky Suite business class
  2. Osaka (KIX) – Hong Kong (HKG) on Cathay Pacific 777 business class (they fly A330’s too!)
  3. Hong Kong (HKG) – Doha (DOH) on Qatar Airways QSuites
  4. Doha (DOH) – Sydney (SYD) on Qatar Airways QSuites
  5. Sydney (SYD) – Singapore (SIN) on Qantas A330 business class
  6. Kuala Lumpur (KUL) – Hong Kong (HKG) on Cathay Dragon business class
  7. Hong Kong (HKG) – Los Angeles (LAX) on American Airlines 777 flagship business class

You can fly this 31,335-mile route between 6 countries, 6 airlines, with 65 hours of total flight time for only 210,000 Asia Miles.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Asia Miles for this specific purpose: complex Oneworld itineraries involving lots of partners and countries.

Compare this to the round-trip business class cost between Los Angeles and Doha, which costs 180,000 Asia Miles! For only 30,000 more Asia Miles, you get to fly double the amount of miles, visit 5 more countries, and try 5 more airlines! 

The biggest challenge will definitely be searching for award availability.

Here’s a step-by-step booking guide for your Asia Miles to fly QSuites:

  • Visit British Airways and follow the same steps listed in the American Airlines and Japan Airlines sections above to search for availability
  • Once you have found award availability for all your flights and written down all the flight information including dates, times, and flight numbers, give Asia Miles a phone call at 866-892-2598
  • Provide them with all your flight information
  • Confirm your reservation and pay for taxes and fees

Bottom Line: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles presents an unbelievable value proposition for complex itineraries involving travel on multiple airlines to many countries.

British Airways Avios

The last method we’ll talk about is using British Airways Avios. We included this section not because of the industry-leading redemption rates, but because its a transfer partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards.

There are plenty of travelers who are Chase loyalists. Since Qatar Airways is a Oneworld partner, it’s difficult to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points here, as its focus has been on the Star Alliance.

British Airways is pretty much your only option, so if you’ve got lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards points to burn, you’ll find great use in this section.

Another plus is that your taxes and fees will be pretty minimal here, ranging from $69 to $225 each way.

Hot Tip: Avios are best if you just wanted to try QSuites on short-haul routes, like to/from Doha and Mumbai or Bengaluru. 

Specifically, it will cost 20,000 Avios each way to fly from Doha (DOH) to either Mumbai (BOM) or Bengaluru (BLR). Not bad for a 3-hour flight!

While it is entirely possible and easy to use Avios to fly QSuites, we generally don’t recommend this method unless you are truly just sitting on a pile of Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Even then, there are other ways to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

If you’re interested in flying from Doha to Mumbai or Bengaluru in QSuites, BA Avios are actually the cheapest.

If you’ve decided to use Avios to book QSuites, follow this easy process:

  1. Search for availability on British Airways
  2. Transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways
  3. Pay with miles and for any taxes and fees completely online.

Bottom Line: British Airways Avios are great here for Chase Ultimate Rewards loyalists and short-haul flights.

Great Qatar Airways QSuites Redemptions

Now that we’ve talked about some of the best frequent flyer programs for flying QSuites, let’s talk about what you came here for: the best QSuites redemptions!

There are 22 routes that either currently offer QSuites or will be offering it within 3 months.

Here’s a chart of the award redemption costs between Doha and the U.S. by route:

RouteJAL one-way (round-trip)AA one-way (round-trip)Cathay Pacific one-way (round-trip)British Airways one-way (round-trip)
New York City (JFK) – Doha (DOH)80,000 (100,000)70,000 (140,000)75,000 (150,000)105,000 (210,000)
Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Doha (DOH)80,000 (100,000)70,000 (140,000)75,000 (150,000)150,000 (300,000)
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – Doha (DOH)80,000 (130,000)70,000 (140,000)75,000 (150,000)150,000 (300,000)
Houston (IAH) – Doha (DOH)100,000 (130,000)70,000 (140,000)90,000 (180,000)150,000 (300,000)
Los Angeles (LAX) – Doha (DOH) {From Feb 2, 2019}100,000 (130,000)70,000 (140,000)90,000 (180,000)150,000 (300,000)

As you will see above, we can conclude that for flights between the U.S. and Doha, one-way flights using AA miles are cheapest, and round-trip flights using Japan Airlines miles are cheapest.

Here are a few great uses of Japan Airlines miles for QSuites:

  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Doha (DOH) round-trip for 100,000 Japan Airlines miles
  • New York City (JFK) – Doha (DOH) round-trip for 100,000 Japan Airlines miles
  • Sydney (SYD) – Doha (DOH) round-trip for 130,000 Japan Airlines miles

Here are some examples of the best uses of American Airlines miles for QSuites:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Doha (DOH) one-way for 70,000 AA miles
  • Houston (IAH) – Doha (DOH) one-way for 70,000 AA miles
  • Tokyo-Narita (NRT) – Doha (DOH) one-way for 40,000 AA miles

Here are some interesting ways to use Cathay Pacific Asia Miles for QSuites:

  • Berlin (TXL) – Doha (DOH) one-way for 30,000 Asia Miles
  • Shanghai (PVG) – Doha (DOH) one-way for 50,000 Asia Miles
  • Sao Paulo (GRU) – Doha (DOH) one-way for 75,000 Asia Miles

And here are some awesome redemptions using British Airways Avios for QSuites:

  • Mumbai (BOM) – Doha (DOH) one-way for 20,000 Avios
  • Bengaluru (BLR) – Doha (DOH) one-way for 20,000 Avios
  • Frankfurt (FRA) – Doha (DOH) one-way for 37,500 Avios
  • Hong Kong (HKG) – Doha (DOH) one-way for 60,000 Avios

How to Earn Enough Points for QSuites

If you’ve decided to book a flight on these industry-leading QSuites, you’ll be pleased to find that there are tons of avenues to earn points for QSuites.

With Marriott points, you can transfer them to Japan Airlines, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and British Airways Avios at a 3:1 ratio. Furthermore, if you transfer 60,000 Marriott points, you will receive a 5,000-mile bonus, resulting in a total of 25,000 miles.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles also transfer 1:1 to American Express and Citi. Be on the lookout for transfer bonuses with American Express (up to 30%) and Citi (up to 20%).

British Airways Avios also transfer at 1:1 to Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express. Watch for transfer bonuses with American Express (up to 40%).

When Should You Search for Award Space?

QSuites generally have excellent award availability; this is especially true on new routes. For example, the upcoming route between Los Angeles to Doha starting on February 2, 2019, has tons of award availability.

Here’s a snapshot of the AA calendar view for nonstop QSuites award availability on the brand-new Los Angeles-Doha route:

LAX DOH QSuites Award Availability
For one of the best business class products in the world, there’s tons of availability for at least 2 on the newly announced, ultra-long-haul route from Los Angeles (LAX) to Doha (DOH). Image courtesy of aa.com.

As long as you can work in some degree of flexibility, you should not have a problem finding QSuites award availability. Just be sure to check the seat map on SeatGuru or ExpertFlyer before booking your flights!

If you’re looking for the most reliable award search engine and have your dates narrowed down to a small range, use British Airways to search for availability.

To see a calendar of award availability, you can use American Airlines or Qantas — they can be somewhat unreliable when it comes to showing award inventory, but it’s an option nonetheless.

What Makes QSuites a Great Redemption?

If you’re on this page, you probably already know that Qatar Airways’ QSuites is one of the best business class products in the world (if not the best). You can expect a luxurious inflight and ground experience here.

Let’s get into just how good QSuites is.

Business Class Double Bed

QSuites Double Bed
Enjoy a plush double bed on all QSuites routes! Image courtesy of stuff.co.nz.

The QSuites double bed is arguably the most comfortable bed in the sky. Each of the seats in the business class cabin is arranged in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access offered everywhere.

Seats are 21.5″ wide and recline to a fully-flat bed that is 79″ long! Even better, traveling with your family is made fun by the fact that you can reconfigure your seats to be a mini-cabin like this:

QSuites Mini Cabin
Rotate your seats to create a 4-seat mini cabin in QSuites! Image courtesy of ausbt.com.au.

Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge

Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge Doha
Enjoy the huge Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge in Doha. Image courtesy of ausbt.com.au.

Enjoy a gigantic business class lounge complete with stellar dining options, a game room, and multiple floors of space! Signature dishes offered in the buffet are Arabic Middle Eastern foods such as baba ganoush and mezze.

QSuites BRIC’s Amenity Kit and The White Company Pajamas

QSuites Amenity Kit
The BRIC’s Amenity Kit offered in QSuites has people turning their heads. Image courtesy of liveandletsfly.boardingarea.com.

This amenity kit features luxurious toiletries from BRIC’s, an eye mask, socks, and a fancy hard-shell carrying case!

QSuites Pajamas
Pajamas in business class? Yes, please! QSuites offers high-quality pajamas from The White Company. Image courtesy of pointsfromthepacific.boardingarea.com.

Also, comfy pajamas are offered in QSuites from The White Company!

Priority Check-In and Boarding

QSuites Priority Boarding
Boarding as early as possible will let you take lots of pictures of your QSuite! Image courtesy of liveandletsfly.boardingarea.com.

You’ll be able to board ahead of everyone else when flying in QSuites!

Final Thoughts

With a brand-new all-star business class, Qatar Airways has successfully made its way into travelers’ minds as a hugely aspirational product.

Although it might be confusing to figure out which planes feature QSuites, it’s only going to get better with Qatar Airways ramping up the rollout of these awesome business class products.


Featured Image: Courtesy of stuff.co.nz.

FAQ

What's the best way to book Qatar Airways QSuites?

The best way to fly Qatar Airways QSuites will inevitably depend on the route you fly.

If you’re flying from the U.S., using AA miles is fantastic at 70,000 miles each way. You can also use Japan Airlines miles for long-haul redemptions, which are fantastic for those with loads of Marriott points.

Using Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is great for its transfer partners and also to plan complex award itineraries that include travel on multiple Oneworld airlines.

British Airways Avios may be great if you have lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, especially for short-haul flights like from Qatar to India.

What credit cards can help me earn miles to fly Qatar Airways QSuites?

There are so many credit cards that will help you earn the points and miles necessary to fly Qatar Airways QSuites.

For American Airlines:

You can start with the co-branded Citi and Barclays AA credit cards! There are business equivalents for these credit cards as well.

For Japan Airlines:

Your only option will be earning Marriott points and transferring them to Japan Airlines. There are American Express SPG credit cards and Chase Marriott credit cards you can use to earn lots of points!

For Cathay Pacific Asia Miles:

Look into cards that earn American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points. Marriott is an option too.

For British Airways Avios:

Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards will work here; American Express and Marriott are also transfer partners.

What do I get when I fly Qatar Airways QSuites?

On QSuites flights, you’ll have access to some of the best business class lounges in the world, including the Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge in Doha.

You’ll sample exquisite beverages and culinary arts in the sky with Arabic and Western choices.

You’ll also be endowed with amazing business class amenities such as hard-shell amenity kits, comfortable pajamas, and fantastic bedding.

Direct aisle access and lie-flat beds are a given in this case.

Lastly, you can expect priority security and boarding in Qatar.

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6 comments

  1. Hi Stephen, thanks again for another great write up. Currently we have interest in only two routes flying the QSuites: Maldives to JFK & JFK to Tokyo. But doesn’t seem like that’s part of the routes you’ve mentioned above. I thought Qatar flies the Qsuites from the Maldives to JFK via DOH? Maybe I’m wrong. Also for the JFK to Tokyo, does this mean I have to break my redemption onto 2 (JFK to DOH & then DOH to NRT)? Thanks!

    • Stephen Au · November 29, 2018 · Reply

      Hey Ethan,

      Thanks for the feedback! Yes, they fly 3 times daily to MLE. The flight with QSuites is QR 674, so you will want to make sure you can fly on that plane. QR 676 is an A320 with a 2-2 configuration (no good!). The last flight, QR 672, as of now, is a reverse-herringbone business class in a 1-2-1 configuration (not QSuites, but not bad either).

      About your JFK-DOH-NRT itinerary, you’ll need to break your redemption into 2 if you’re booking through AA, for example. AA doesn’t let you transfer to Asia via the Atlantic Ocean. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles doesn’t matter because it’s distance-based anyway. Hope this helps!

  2. Thank you Stephen, that’s very helpful! Just to confirm, the QR 674, I can redeem that as one booking from MLE to JFK (with a connection in DOH) right?

  3. Christina · November 30, 2018 · Reply

    Hi! I have never gotten a straight answer on this and when I call to book it always seems to be more mile than I expected 🙂 . How many American miles should it take to fly from the east coast (DC) to Asia 2 on Qatar? I thought it was 75k/80k for the whole way but the agents always tell me it is that many just to get to Doha alone. Thanks!

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