Many people think that if you use airline miles or points, your destination options are limited. While its true you’ll need to be flexible when it comes to how and when you get there, the destination options are almost endless. Especially if you are aware of how partner airlines work. For example, when my family and I went to Hawaii, we booked our tickets through Air France. Who knew that Air France has a route between Dallas and Kona, HI! Well technically they don’t have that route, but their partner airlines, Delta, does. This allowed me to take advantage of a of much lower redemption by booking through Air France rather than direct through Delta. In my case, a round trip ticket to Kona was 25,000 Flying Blue miles (Flying Blue is the Air France currency). The same exact flight booked through Delta would have cost me 50,000 Delta SkyMiles! Learning about the different partner airlines and the sweet spots that they may offer will open doors to destinations that you never thought possible. For the rest of this article, Shabbir will show you step by step, how he booked a flight on Qatar Airways, a partner airlines of American.
Recently I booked a trip to the Maldive Islands. I was able to book Qatar Airlines business class product QSuites by using my American Airlines miles. Each major airline is part of either an alliance or has partnerships with other individual airlines. This allows us to use one of the airline’s mileage currencies to book flights on their partners. In this case, American Airlines itself isn’t exactly that great of an airline in my personal opinion, however, their partners have much better products such as Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qatar, Etihad.
You can generally use any partner airline’s miles to book on another partner airlines. See below for all of American Airline’s partner airlines.
My Points Redemption
I was able to book my one-way Qsuites flight on American Airlines from Chicago to the Maldives for 70,000 American Airlines points. A typical round-trip cash price in business class would cost about $5,000. A one-way ticket would typically be even more expensive. So you can see that using cash for this flight would be difficult for most people. Using points for this trip allows travelers to have an experience that otherwise would be impossible.
How To Find A flight with a American Airlines Partner Airlines
On AA’s webpage, select redeem miles and enter origin and destination. Then select the date
Then, once results come up, select Economy / Business / First depending on what you want to book. For Qsuites, you’ll want to select Business.
Once you find a date, clicking on it will give you flight options. The one selected below on Qatar’s A350-1000 I just happen to know has Qsuites.
If you need additional verification, you can also check Seat Guru. First, choose airline, then flight date, then flight number to obtain info for that particular flight.
You then get the seat map. Looking at the below seat map, you can tell this is a flight serviced with the new Qatar Qsuites.
Qsuites is indeed a phenomenal product. I’ll say absolutely the best business class product in the world. But, I’ll go far enough to say it’s better than many First Class products out there.