New AAdvantage Elite Benefits When Traveling On Qatar Airways

American Airlines Platinum elites and higher now have access to extra legroom coach seats on Qatar Airways, complimentary at the time of booking, and Qatar Airways elites receive similar benefits on American.

American Airlines allows its own elites to access ‘Main Cabin Extra’ extra legroom coach seats for free (Golds at check-in, everyone else at booking) and also lets elite members of its closest partner airlines access these seats on similar terms.

That means, for instance, that British Airways silver members and Alaska Airlines MVP Gold members can reserve these extra legroom seats when buying tickets, provided the seats are available. However Malaysia Airlines and Royal Jordanian elite members cannot, even though they’re part of he same oneworld alliance.

Qatar Airways now counts as one of these close partners, and Qatar Privilege Club elite members can reserve these seats which also come with complimentary alcohol on the following terms:

Meanwhile AAdvantage status members can now access extra legroom coach seats on Qatar Airways as well:

American Airlines now flies New York JFK – Doha and sells connecting flights on Qatar Airways beyond Doha using their own code. It’s a far cry from when American Airlines was trying (unsuccessfully) to get the Obama administration and then Trump administration to limit Qatar’s ability to fly to the U.S. They were largely doing Delta’s bidding, walking away from their partnerships with Qatar and Etihad. It was hypocritical (claiming Qatar, Emirates and Etihad were subsidized but they were not) and would have abrogated treaties that were in place. Now American has finally realized if they couldn’t win politically it’s better to try to win commercially.

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. Can BA elites select extra legroom seats on QR? I tried adding my gold # but the seating page still asked me to make a payment for exit row…

  2. @Sam – Not that I have a clue if this is the correct answer, but I would suggest calling QR. When I first got PlatPro status on AA, I tried entering my number on BA but got nothing to work. A call to BA and everything started working on that and future flights. I suspect that status doesn’t automatically transfer through the OneWorld system, but once they manually throw the switch, you’re golden.

  3. Is it the case an AA-earned OWS can NOT access Qatar’s Al Mourjan lounge if flying OW economy but a Qatar-earned OWS could access an AA Flagship lounge if flying OW economy?

  4. 1) Why is AA flying to Doha ?

    2) Will Qatar move to 1X daily from JFK with the addition of the AA operated flight?

    3) Are 3 flights a day between AA and QR to Doha sustainable ?

  5. I had a connecting business class itinerary on Qatar last week on one of their “lite” fares that doesn’t include access to the Al Mourjan lounge. But to my surprise, I actually was allowed in based on my Oneworld status (emerald).

    I asked if this was a policy change and the agent said yes with no further elaboration. So I don’t know if this is only for AA elites maybe now that AA is flying there and doing more codeshares with QR or what, but I hope this policy sticks.

  6. I have two recently booked AA awards at QR flights that my AAdvantage account number was assigned to my companion and in my profile is a gibberish number. One one the free seat selection works and the other doesn’t. Changing on QR site doesn’t stick so I’ll need to call or maybe try RJ site. Account info for both is fine on the AA side.

  7. QR is a mess… I’ve flown them as AA platinum in June 2022 and didn’t get any of my elite benefits honored! It was rather embarrassing to be turned away at the lounge stating i should’ve had invitation, boarding group wasn’t shown correctly either. Any try to inquire why this has happened didn’t get me anywhere as Qatar’s best in class service only applies to their inflight service and everything else is just below mediocre 🙁 so glad AA started flying to DOH now.

  8. I am American Airlines Executive Platinum member. I am flying Qatar Airways. How should I link my AA status to reflect the right OneWorld status (I believe the oneworld Emerald status kicks in if you are AA executive platinum ?

  9. Emerald kicks in at Platinum Pro, actually. Although that is supposed to populate the Oneworld system automatically, I’ve found that you often have to kickstart the system. With BA, I’ve had to call in status when both SO and I hit Emerald/Sapphire the first time so we could book seats for free at the time of booking. It’s remained linked ever since. Don’t know about Qatar, but a call couldn’t hurt to double check.

  10. I’m just a base AA member but will be booking business class round trip flight via Doha. May be the only QA flight I take. Should I just enter my AA number? Will I receive loyalty points or do I need to be an elite member. Thanks.

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