Wide Open Award Space For World’s Best Business Class – Mideast, India, Even Africa

Qatar has one of the best business class product in the world in its ‘QSuites’. These are revolutionary suites with doors and movable partitions that allow two and even four passengers to travel together in their own space.

Right now there’s fantastic award availability at the end of the booking window. You can use this for travel from the U.S. to Doha and beyond to the Mideast, India, the Maldives and even to Africa. This award space was first spotted by Thrifty Traveler‘s premium airfare deal alert service.

This is often the case with Qatar – availability goes in waves, but they’re also now generally opening award seats when the schedule opens. . You’ll find business class space on the long haul flights for at least two and sometimes four passengers, with some availability from all U.S. gateways. Connecting availability to many Qatar departure gateways is surprisingly good.

Look for space from Atlanta; Boston; Chicago O’Hare; Dallas – Fort Worth; Houston Intercontinental; Los Angeles; Miami; New York JFK; Philadelphia and Washington Dulles.

Here’s a quick search for two business class award seats using American AAdvantage miles at aa.com for Washington Dulles – Doha – Cape Town which means that space is available on both segments. American’s booking window currently takes you into mid-June.


  • American AAdvantage charges 70,000 miles each way per person in business class, and that includes a connecting flight in the U.S. and the connection beyond Doha to anywhere in the Mideast or ‘Indian Subcontinent’ American charges just 75,000 miles all the way to Africa! Redemptions are fully refundable at no fee, and taxes total about $50 each way.

  • Qatar Airways charges 70,000 miles one-way in business class between New York JFK and Doha; 85,000 from New York JFK to Male, Maldives in business class. Their redemptions are distance-based so Africa gets more expensive. They can also book about three weeks further out than American can. Taxes and fees run about $200 each way and cancel/redeposits are $25 per person.

  • British Airways Executive Club has reduced its pricing on Qatar redemptions now that Qatar Airways uses Avios as its loyalty currency

Four award seats on Qatar in business class are extra special to be seated in a section of four, take down dividers.

Credit: Qatar Airways

Credit: Qatar Airways

This is a fantastic chance to redeem miles for one of the world’s best business classes. You may want to visit Doha, I recommend a couple of days and definitely seeing the Museum of Islamic Art. However it’s also a great connecting point for India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and elsewhere.

You can transfer Chase, American Express, and Capital One to British Airways. You can transfer Citi to Qatar Airways. Through end of month there’s a 30% bonus from Chase to BA . And BA and Qatar points can be pooled provided accounts meet length of opening and activity rules.

If you’re using AAdvantage miles, bear in mind that American is offering its own New York JFK – Doha flight but I do not consider the downgrade to fly American Airlines business class versus Qatar’s to be worth any any web saver mileage savings. Watch the operating carrier on New York JFK departures or connections!

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. Still not available through Alaska redemptions. Alaska is the worst program for international redemptions on premium seats.

  2. @Mike You probably dont travel much. June is not hot in Cape Town.Its not 130 its more like 50s-60s. May is in the 70s. Watch some Nat Geo.

  3. Still cant find more than 2 business class award seats on the same flight (We are family of 3). Used to be consistantly possible before a few months ago where up to 4 award seats would be released on flights originating from the US to Doha.

    Wonder if its a new deliberate strategy to limit the number of families with kids who can redeem such award seats!

  4. Here’s a very silly question that I’m pretty sure the answer is “no”: AC codeshares their YYZ flight to DOH with QR. Is there any way to book it using avios?

  5. Thanks Gary. I checked the IAD-DOH-CPT routing you shared on several dates and it appeared to only be in J from IAD to DOH, the DOT to CPT was in Y. Taxes $128, 150k R/T

  6. I’m searching on AA in June and not seeing this at all, only coach for 80k or premium economy for 130k. What am I doing wrong? All gone after Gary posted?

  7. @AM, it is still there. The AA site is pretty bad, and even through you ask for Business/First miles redemption, it might decide show econ and prem econ. Happened to me several times. You have to then click “Calendar”, once it shows the econ, and it then finally it will switch over to first/business.

  8. Anyone able to find availability for 4 passengers? I searched JFK, IAD, PHL to DOH for next june, only 2 at most.

  9. Thanks for the heads up. What’s the best way to book these flights, USA-India specifically, using Chase UR points? Is BA the only option (not ideal due to fuel surcharges + distance based award chart)?

  10. Earlier this week I booked two business class award tickets from NRT to CDG with a four hour stopover in Doha for 75K points and $62.60 each for early June through AA. I can’t wait to have two flights on Qatar, although the flight from NRT to Doha doesn’t have the Q-suites, at least not at the moment. Hopefully by next June, that flight will have them.

  11. Flagging typos, @Gary:

    US to Middle East and Indian subcontinent (which includes Maldives) is 70,000 in business (not 85,000). All African destinations are just 75,000 — making southern Africa a bargain, given the distance.

    Grabbed the trans-Atlantic segment to Doha for March a few weeks ago, now just need to decide where we fly on to. So many great options…

  12. I just search AA.com for a one-way flight, JFK to DEL. There are seats but the points redemption is at 121,500 points for a business class ticket. This is significantly different from the 70K you posted.

    Is the trick to search for flights on Qatar instead of American?

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