Don’t Panic! American AAdvantage Awards on Qatar are Being Added in Error

Canadian Kilometers writes that when trying to book an award on new American AAdvantage redemption partner (and soon to be oneworld member) Qatar Airways, American is adding fuel surcharges onto the cost of the booking.

Just last month American had a glitch where they were adding fuel surcharges onto award tickets flying Malaysia Airlines. They compounded the problem by telling folks that this was a new policy that would roll out across all partners. In fact it was meant to correct an issue with revenue tickets only and not awards.

Like the Malaysia redemption problem it turns out that fuel surcharges are pricing on Qatar awards in error.

You cannot book Qatar awards online. You cannot even search the space online in most cases. But award availability is in many cases quite good, even if it involves a hunt and peck method (assuming you cannot search via a Qatar account) for now. Presumably come their end of October entry into oneworld either British Airways or Qantas will quickly incorporate Qatar awards into their online booking tools.

But if you put an award together that involves Qatar, and you are quoted taxes and fees that seem a few hundred dollars too high, ask the agent to check with the rate desk to re-calculate the fees.

Apparently fuel surcharges are mistakenly being added onto all Qatar awards and this should not be the case. It can be manually corrected. I would expect that some sort of memo or workaround will be implemented in the near-term for this.

Not a reason to panic or an intentional change to the AAdvantage program. Everyone can relax now. Qatar is a great addition to the program, and especially for distance-based awards since their Doha hub is strategically located in the world for efficiently reaching many destinations..

(HT: Michael S.)

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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, 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. Hey Gary,

    On FT, there is a report of someone that made a reservation on QR on an AA award for DEL-DXB-DOH-ORD and was not charged YQ. Makes me wonder if the YQ is getting added automatically only for awards originating from the US (and/or other specific places). Is that possible at all?

  2. @Gary, Just tried to book an award ticket using AA miles on Qatar Airways. Trip was BLR-DOH-IAD, taxes were $247, does that sound right? looks like the YQ issue is still not resolved, or the taxes quoted above are noraml?

  3. @Rajnish that sounds right for a business class roundtrip ticket — Qatar doesn’t charge YQ on the route as far as I know in any case, but there’s an Indian Service Tax in the fare calculation of a paid ticket of about $164.

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