Alaska Airlines Awards On Qatar Now Available, And OUCH.

Update: Alaska Airlines has multiple price levels or awards on Qatar Airways. They’ve now published their award chart. At the lowest level,

  • US – Mideast or Indian subcontinent is 85,000 miles one way in business class (compare to 70,000 at American AAdvantage)

  • US – Africa is 120,000 miles one way in business class (compare to 75,000 at American AAdvantage)

More expensive award tiers when saver isn’t available are not published. So not as bad as it could have been but not as good as with several of their other partners, either.


Alaska Airlines joined the oneworld alliance earlier this year. However they still don’t let you redeem miles for oneworld airlines that weren’t already partners. That’s coming ‘later this year’ and is scary to many members because it could upset pricing on existing partners. Alaska offers great value today on its partner awards, but when they introduce entirely new award charts we could see a big devaluation.

Alaska separately introduced their partnership with oneworld member Qatar Airways, and at the start of June said that award redemption on Qatar would become available in August. They’re actually a few days early, and Qatar Airways awards are currently bookable on the Alaska Airlines website. However the prices are.. sketchy to say the least.

Alaska Airlines isn’t currently publishing an award chart for travel on Qatar. But check this out, for U.S. to Doha on January 11th, here’s one way award pricing:

Coach is 42,500 miles one way. That’s at least in the ballpark. But 170,000 miles one way for Qatar Airways business class? American AAdvantage currently charges just 70,000 miles.

Now here’s where it gets even stranger. On January 8, coach awards don’t run 42,500 miles… they run 130,000 miles one way.

On the other hand, move to January 12 and we see 42,500 miles for coach again and different prices for business class. That non-stop flight is again 170,000 miles in business. But if you combine Qatar Airways with a domestic Alaska flight the price drops to 85,000 miles. 85,000 miles is more in the ballpark of what you’d expect.

Let’s take a look at connecting itineraries for even longer haul travel. Alaska’s partnership with Emirates is ending. They currently charge 120,000 miles one way for Emirates business class between the US and Africa. British Airways awards are 70,000 miles one way for business class or 80,000 miles for first class plus fuel surcharges. Currently Qatar Qiarways awards though are pricing 50,000 miles in coach (reasonable) and 280,000 miles in business class for a one way between Dallas and Johannesburg.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has said they would “strive to” provide 90 days advance notice of changes to pricing for current partner awards. Hopefully that holds, but I don’t like the prices I’m seeing now for Qatar.

Hopefully this is all just a big mistake – the award space was posted too early and will be fixed. I’ve reached out to Alaska to learn more. It’s possible that 170,000 miles for one-way business is for a roundtrip (85,000 each way) and one ways without an additional flight are pricing as roundtrips. At least that’s my hope. I do not know how to explain 130,000 miles for one way coach.

(HT: @saianel)

Update: It appears that Alaska is charging a premium award price on dates where saver inventory on Qatar isn’t available. It’s unusual for an airline to offer awards on partners without saver availability, but Alaska has done this before.

Update 2: It is both a multi-level chart and pricing glitches. And it’ll be early 2022 (no longer by end of 2021) that all oneworld partner redemptions will be available. Alaska Airlines tells me,

As you’ve seen, Qatar flights are now redeemable on alaskaair.com. However, we’re working through some technical issues with the award charts on our website. They were supposed to launch yesterday, but were not functioning properly in production so we didn’t publish them. The charts should be up soon. I’ll advise when I get word they’re up.

The redemptions will range within each cabin, similar to Aer Lingus and some other partners we have. There is a discount level, and higher price points that will have greater availability.

As for redemptions on our remaining oneworld partners, we’ll be launching them as they’re ready, with all of them scheduled to be completed in early 2022.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This reminds me of the initial AS pricing on Aer Lingus. 280k J tickets regularly showed up (and still do). But, eventually, much more reasonably priced tickets appeared. And there was also a difference in connecting vs. nonstop prices.

  2. @ Gary — Yeah, these are “just an error”, like the new IHG award prices introduced in April, which are now the actual prices….After the coming bloodbath devaluation at Alaska, Hyatt will be the last man standing. There will a run on lube soon, so stock up now.

  3. Excuse me but Are Lingus is still 280K plus $19 for business so Thomas where has it been to reasonable? No just as a lot of us AS FF suspected we are getting hosed by the “new order” OW.

    Where are you upper management of AS? I said this along time ago One World is not bringing that much to the table for us that fly long haul international its still BA for reliability. Frankly I wish we had stayed with Delta because AA is still going backwards.

  4. @Ghostrider – I have been able to book SEA-DUB and DUB-SEA for 60k miles in J. It’s intermittent – and adding a connecting segment in Europe did up it to 280k.

  5. I think it’s using that “Q2” trick from Qatar privilege club. I tried January 2022 from Doh-Yul and business and Economy are both pricing at 85K

  6. They are also treating 2-cabin short distance flight at a higher rate (first) than AA, which treats them as Business. Is that a bug or intentional @Gary

  7. so i can book QR flights LAX to MALE stopping in DOHA via AA for 70K OW or via AS for 180 – 200K. i’m praying that these are fake #s before the official “in August” launch. if these are the real numbers, i’ll be VERY disappointed in AS/QR.

  8. Qatar business class is at least twice as good as American so it should cost more.

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