It’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to share news of any exciting new routes. If anything, it’s been one cancellation after another. That’s makes this announcement even more exciting. Not only is it a new route, but from an awesome airline to one of our favorite cities. Between this and the free wine, maybe 2020 is finally cutting us some slack?
Qatar Airways is coming to Seattle
As of March 31, 2021, Qatar Airways will begin flights to Seattle. The airline will operate the route four times weekly (M, T, Th, F) with an Airbus A350-900. The 7,411-mile flight between Seattle and Doha is blocked off at just over 14 hours in each direction.
The A350 also features Qatar’s revered Qsuites business class. Trust us, fourteen hours won’t feel like long enough.
Why you should be excited
Qatar describes their Qsuites business class as “first in business”. We had a chance to try them for the first time last year and they did not disappoint. If you’re flying solo, the seats are incredibly spacious and private. If you’re traveling with a partner, the middle seats turn into a double bed. The service is fantastic as well. From on-demand business class feasts to attentive crews, it’s really hard to find any faults with the product.
Alaska Airlines x Qatar Airways
In addition to the new route, Alaska Airlines also made another announcement . While Alaska is already partners with most Oneworld carriers, Qatar Airways wasn’t one of them. Until now.
Alaska Airlines is scheduled to join the Oneworld alliance March 31, 2021. However, Alaska Airlines and Qatar have decided to get a jump start on Alaska’s Oneworld partnership. As of this week, you can begin earning Alaska Airlines miles on Qatar Airways flights. Earning rates generally fall in line with a few of Alaska’s other partners, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.
Qatar Airways routinely offers great business class fares from some of their European and Asian routes. Seeing that Qatar’s cheapest business class tickets will earn as much as full-fare tickets is something I’m definitely excited about.
In addition to the reciprocal mileage earning benefits, the airlines have also entered into a codesharing agreement.
What about award flights?
The short answer is, not yet. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to redeem Alaska miles for Qatar flights until March 31, 2021. While it’s yet to be seen what redemption rates will look like after Alaska Airlines joins Oneworld, I’m excited about the opportunity to redeem on Qatar. Alaska Airlines is one of the few programs that allows you to fly to Asia via Europe or the Middle East. If redemption rates fall in line with something closer to Cathay or Japan Airlines, awards on Qatar would instantly become one of my favorite ways to redeem Alaska Airlines miles.
If you want to book the new Seattle to Doha route before March 31, the flight is currently bookable through American AAdvantage or British Airways Executive Club.
It’s always exciting to see airlines add new partners. Especially when that partner brings the best business class in the sky. Whenever I’m ready to start flying again, I know this will be one of the first redemption on my radar.