Qatar joins Oneworld alliance, partners with Qantas

By David Flynn, October 30 2013
Qatar joins Oneworld alliance, partners with Qantas

Qatar Airways is part of the oneworld airline alliance from today, in a move which further enhances Qantas' global network and provides Qantas airline with a second Gulf powerhouse partner alongside Emirates.

Qatar's membership will see Qantas travellers able to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Qatar flights and enjoy access to Qatar's decidedly upscale lounges.

As part of oneworld, Qatar Airways will also open up some new routes for Qantas passengers – although many will effectively duplicate those of Emirates.

In Australia, Qatar offers daily flights between its hub in Doha and Melbourne and Perth, with a swath of connections on to Europe and Africa.

It's a long trek to Qatar's home hub in Doha – over 14 hours from Melbourne
It's a long trek to Qatar's home hub in Doha – over 14 hours from Melbourne

While Sydney may seem an obvious next step for Qatar, the airline's CEO has previously nixed Sydney flights citing high costs and the overnight curfew as deal-breaking restrictions.

Oneworld counts Qatar as a king-sized feather in its cap, not least of all because it’s the first of the three powerhouse Gulf carriers to sign up to an alliance.

“Qatar is a really, really good fit for us" oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby told Australian Business Traveller earlier this year.

“They can carry people into a lot of points into Southern Europe and Africa where we didn’t have much presence before, and there are a lot of niches like that where they offer great value to flesh out our network.”

So what does Qatar's entry into oneworld mean for Qantas travellers? Here’s what you need to know…

Qantas + Qatar

From today travellers can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points and status credits when flying on Qatar. It works the other way, too – members of Qatar’s Privilege Club can rack up Qmiles and Qpoints on a Qantas flight.

The usual perks are on tap, too, such as priority checkin, a higher checked baggage allowance and of course lounge access.

Lounging around

As with all other members of the Oneworld alliance, Qantas and Qatar will allow access to each other’s lounge network based on your travel class or frequent flyer status.

Qatar passengers flying out of Melbourne are big winners, with access to the Qantas First Lounge or Qantas Business Lounge depending on their ticket class and frequent flyer status.

Naturally, your Qatar Privilege Club card will also see the welcome mat rolled out at lounges operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Malaysian Airlines and the rest of the Oneworld family whenever you’re flying on a Oneworld airline.

Returning the favour, Qantas frequent flyers can use Qatar lounges – beginning with the airline’s Oryx lounge for first and business passengers in Doha (below), which receives rave reviews from travellers.

There's even a Premium Terminal – yes, an entire terminal – exclusively for first and business class travellers with a range of dining options and, naturally, a spa.

First and business travellers stopping over in Doha can also take advantage of Qatar's Premium Arrivals lounge.

At London Heathrow, Qatar's Terminal 4 lounge (below) is the first the airline has built for itself outside Doha, and it's certainly dressed to impress.

How frequent flyer status stacks up

As a ready reckoner to determine what perks your Qatar or Qantas status gives you on each airline, along with the rest of the Oneworld set, here’s how the membership tiers at Qatar Privilege Club and Qantas Frequent flyer compare.

  • Qatar Privilege Club Platinum = Qantas Platinum = oneworld Emerald
  • Qatar Privilege Club Gold = Qantas Gold = oneworld Sapphire
  • Qatar Privilege Club Silver =  Qantas Silver = oneworld Ruby
  • Qatar Privilege Burgundy = Qantas Bronze = oneworld nothing

(Platinum is a recent addition to Privilege Club and was introduced to ensure that Qatar’s top tier lined up with those of its new oneworld chums.)

Flying on Qatar

Qatar's long-distance Airbus A340 and some Airbus A330 planes have a three-class layout of first, business and economy; the Boeing 777s, Boeing 787 Dreamliners and some other Airbus A330s plus smaller jets carry a two-class (business/economy) configuration.

Business class on the airline's Boeing 777s and 787s (as shown below) is a fully flat bed, while angled lie-flat seats are found in business on other planes.

With both Melbourne and Perth flights currently using Qatar's Boeing 777s, business travellers will find these more appealing than the angled lie-flat seats on Emirates' 777s or Qantas' Airbus A330s – especially when the flight to Doha is a lengthy 14h15 from Melbourne, or 11h25 from Perth.

Keep up to date with the latest news for business travellers and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - QFF Platinum

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 212

It may be a little hard for Qatar passengers ex MEL to access the QF First lounge as I believe it is closed after the last QF flight which is to AKL at 6.30pm.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jan 2013

Total posts 60

The QF lounge offering in Melbourne - whilst impressive - has the most rediculous early closing times especially considering the number of QF, JQ, codeshare and partner airlines flying out right up to and after midnight.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 527

Have to love the ever increasing OneWorld members and the options that are increasingly opening up for those who fly Qantas. Seems that Virgin Australia was pulling ahead over the last couple of years but with the Qantas / Emirates partnership and now the addition of Qatar, Qantas is definitely ahead now (albeit a lot of that is due to its OneWorld membership) when it comes to the options available out of Australia.

I look forward to trying Qatar sometime in the future!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 732

Flying QR in F from LHR-DOH in a few days, very much looking forward to their service both on the ground and in the air, unfortunately I just learned that points earning will be minimal....

09 Sep 2012

Total posts 139

Qantas Club? Presumably not, but it could have been mentioned.

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