The recent diplomatic spat between Qatar and several other countries in the region has put Qatar Airways in a tough position. As a result of this conflict, they are no longer allowed to fly to Bahrain, Egypt, Lybia, the Maldives, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates.
Understandably, this has overshadowed Qatar Airways’ rollout of their new QSuite business class product which has been expected to launch very soon. It now looks like June 24 will be the launch of the product on a flight from Doha to London-Heathrow.
Qatar Airways Flight #7 is showing the new seat map on ExpertFlyer on June 24, while the days leading up to it are showing with the old configuration.
The new QSuite was unveiled at ITB Berlin in March to rave reviews. Each seat is comfortably spacious, lie-flat, and has direct aisle access. If traveling with a significant other, the cabin crew can remove the divider between several of the middle seats so it can be converted into a double bed.
What is really special about the new QSuite, though, is that the divider between some rear facing and front facing middle seats can be removed to create a four-person suite. It’s designed with families, friends, and coworkers in mind as many would like to be able to interact during long flights.
Qatar Airways is currently retrofitting their Boeing 777-300 and Airbus A350-900 aircraft with the new seat configuration and their new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft will be delivered with QSuites installed.
A one-way ticket on this flight is currently priced at over $4,000, while a round-trip booking will cost over $5,000. It’s unlikely that we’ll see award space for this first flight, but there are several great ways to book a business class seat with Qatar Airways thanks to a few of their Oneworld partners.
Japan Airlines’ Mileage Bank program provides the cheapest option at 42,000 miles for a one-way business class for an award ticket. With American Airlines’ AAdvantage program you can book it for 42,500 miles. Finally, you can also book with Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program for 45,000 miles.
While Japan Airlines provides the cheapest redemption option, they are only transfer partners with Starwood Preferred Guest which means there are only two credit cards that can help you earn miles.
|Loyalty Program||Credit Card|
|Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty Program||Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express|
|Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express|
The American AAdvantage program also partners with SPG but has co-branded cards issued by Citi and Barclaycard to make earning miles easier.
Cathay Pacific partners with SPG as well, but is also a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points. This makes Asia Miles the easiest points to acquire if you want to book the new QSuite business class seat on Qatar Airways.
With several ways to book Qatar Airways business class seats and plenty of ways to earn the necessary points, trying the new QSuite product is definitely one to consider going forward.