Qatar Airways Awards Vanish from Qantas Website

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Business Class
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Business Class. Photo: Qatar Airways.

Update (8 August): Limited Qatar Airways award seats are back on the Qantas website, but only for certain travel dates and cabin classes.

On 4 August, flights for travel dates up to mid-November 2022 (only) reappeared on the Qantas website. On 5 August, Qatar Airways Economy seats (only) returned for travel dates between mid-November 2022 and mid-April 2023. But there are still no longer any Business or First Class award seats on Qatar Airways appearing on the Qantas website for travel dates beyond November 2022, nor any Qatar Airways award seats at all for dates beyond mid-April 2023.

We have requested comment from Qantas and Qatar Airways and are still waiting for a response from both airlines.


If you want to redeem your Qantas Frequent Flyer points for Qatar Airways flights, finding award availability is often tricky. But last Tuesday, all Qatar Airways award seats disappeared suddenly from the Qantas website!

During Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, we searched extensively for Classic Flight Reward seats on the Qantas website on many different Qatar Airways routes, travel dates and cabin classes. Unfortunately, there were simply no Qatar Airways award seats showing on the Qantas website at all.

This lack of Qatar Airways reward availability is a problem unique to Qantas Frequent Flyer. Qatar Airways award seats are still available to book using points or miles with the frequent flyer programs of all other Oneworld airlines. It’s just Qantas members that can no longer access the seats.

As just one example, at the time of writing, we could see an award seat available in First Class (and Economy) on Qatar Airways flight QR909 from Sydney to Doha on 11 February 2023. The seat appears on the Japan Airlines website…

JAL website award availability search
The Japan Airlines website shows 1 First Class award seat available on QR909.

…the British Airways website…

BA website award availability search
The British Airways website shows the same First Class seat as being available.

…and the American Airlines website…

American Airlines website award availability search
The American Airlines shows Economy and First Class awards as available on the same search page.

…but if you try conducting the same search on the Qantas website, you’ll just get an error message. Error message #7190 is normally shown if you’re searching for a route where there is no award availability, which we know should not be the case.

Qantas website error code 7190
The Qantas website can’t find any award seats when searching for the same flight.

As another example, the Japan Airlines website currently shows Qatar Airways Business Class award seats available on several flights from London to Doha on 7 June 2023.

JAL website award availability search
The Japan Airlines website shows that Qatar Airways has several award seats available from London to Doha on 7 June 2023.

Qantas Frequent Flyer members should have access to the same seats. But the Qantas website only shows award availability for other Oneworld partner airlines (and none of the Qatar Airways flights).

Qantas website award availability search LHR-DOH
The Qantas website is only displaying award flight options on airlines other than Qatar Airways.

You could repeat this experiment on any Qatar Airways flight with a travel date after 18 November 2022. The result is the same. (You can normally book Qatar Airways award seats up to 360 days in advance.)

The inability to redeem Qantas points for Qatar Airways is very bad news for Qantas Frequent Flyer members. It’s made worse by the fact that Qantas releases almost zero reward seats in anything other than Economy Class on its own flights to Europe, and Emirates award availability to & from Australia at the moment has already been close to non-existent for the last few months. This means there are now far fewer ways to use Qantas points to fly to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

What’s going on with Qatar Airways award availability?

Qatar Airways does have a history of withholding a certain number of award seats from Qantas on a small number of routes to and from Australia. That issue was largely resolved earlier this year, although Qantas Frequent Flyer members have never been able to redeem points on Qatar Airways’ Auckland-Adelaide route (even though members of other Oneworld frequent flyer programs could).

But we’ve never seen a situation where every single Qatar Airways award seat has disappeared from the Qantas website for multiple days. This is not normal.

Australian Frequent Flyer approached Qantas to ask whether this is a temporary glitch, and if so, when Qantas Frequent Flyer members could expect this to be fixed. We also asked whether Qantas Frequent Flyer members would still be able to redeem points for Qatar Airways flights via the call centre in the meantime. Qantas did not respond to our questions by our deadline.

Qatar Airways also did not immediately respond to our request for comment. We’ll update this article when we receive responses from Qantas and Qatar Airways.

The best case scenario is that this is just a temporary bug with the Qantas website. Hopefully, all of the Qatar Airways award seats will be back online soon. But if this doesn’t happen, it would represent a serious and sudden devaluation to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.

Qatar Airways announced in May that it will form an alliance with Virgin Australia. Launching later this year, this partnership will include the possibility to redeem Virgin Australia Velocity points for Qatar Airways flights. After this deal was announced, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker revealed that the partnership with Virgin wasn’t his airline’s first choice but that it seemed Qantas didn’t want to work with them.

 

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: QR withholding award seats from Qantas?

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]