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I’ve been doing my best to keep track of the routes on which Qatar Airways offers its impressive Qsuites Business Class product (follow this link for the list) and, in a lot of cases, the routes show the airline’s best Business Class cabin being offered until the end of October. After that point the scheduled aircraft go back to offering the regular Business Class seating.
The end of October signifies the end of the “summer season” so I have been speculating that a lot of these routes may continue to offer Qsuites Business Class when Qatar Airways updates its winter schedule.
It’s also possible that a refreshed winter schedule may reveal new routes offering the Qsuite Business Class cabin.
Tyler C wrote in to ask the following:
I’m curious as to when QR might update the winter schedule – I have to book travel in November, and as of now the only route that shows Qsuites is 702 from JFK, with 0 available J seats in all of November and December.
Firstly, I suspect that Tyler is referring to Business Class award seats as I can see plenty of Business Class seats available to purchase on QR702 in November and December:
Secondly, it’s important to point out that award seats can be released at any point from when seats are first released for sale and their release isn’t specifically linked to an airline updating seasonal schedules.
This means that there are two very separate questions that Tyler raises, and they’re not necessarily connected:
- When will Qatar Airways update its winter schedule?
- When will Qatar Airways offer more Qsuites to/from New York?
Addressing the first question….
“When will Qatar Airways update its winter schedule?”
It’s almost impossible to answer this question definitively as airlines tweak their schedules frequently (American Airlines, for example, just cancelled a winter route between Miami and Washington DC) and Qatar Airways is constantly tinkering with the aircraft it schedules.
Anyone paying attention to the aircraft Qatar Airways has been scheduling on its Doha – London route will know that things can be very fluid and will have seen the airline swap the aircraft it offers on a monthly basis – I’ve struggled to keep up!
Technically, Qatar Airways can change the aircraft it offers whenever it wants to but, on a route as major as Doha – New York, I doubt it would significantly change the aircraft offered with less than a month’s notice.
I suspect that once we’re in the last week of September we should have a pretty good idea of what Qatar Airways plans for November/December and, at that point, we should be able to see which routes will continue to offer Qsuite availability.
Addressing the second question…
“When will Qatar Airways offer more Qsuites to/from New York?”
There are two ways in which Qatar Airways can offer more Qsuites to/from New York:
- The airline could replace the current Qsuite equipped aircraft with an aircraft offering a larger Qsuite Business Class cabin
- The airline could add an additional Qsuite equipped aircraft to the route
Qatar Airways has recently announced that it will be flying its new Qsuite equipped A350-1000 between Doha and New York from the end of October (adding weight to my belief about how much notice we’re likely to get if an aircraft swap is likely in this route) but, rather than becoming the second aircraft to offer Qsuites to New York, it will be replacing the 777-300ER which already offers the product.
The A350-1000 is already loaded in the airline’s reservation systems….
…so if Tyler still isn’t seeing any Qsuite award availability it would suggest that Qatar Airways didn’t release any new award seats when it added the new aircraft to the route.
That’s probably not the news Tyler wanted to hear and, sadly, the news doesn’t get any better.
If Qatar Airways was going to add a second Qsuite equipped aircraft to its Doha – New York route in time for November/December it would have done so using the A350-1000 – the airline wouldn’t have swapped one Qsuite aircraft for another.
This means that I suspect we can now see the final number of Qsuites that Qatar Airways will offer to New York through the end of the year and, considering the destinations to which Qsuites are yet to be offered (like Singapore), I also suspect that New York isn’t all that high on the list to get a second Qsuite aircraft any time soon.
What all this means is that Tyler’s hopes of snagging a Business Class award seat on QR702 in November lie with Qatar Airways’ revenue management team – if loads are light they may decide to release more awards seats close-in but there isn’t anyone outside of the airline that can tell us how likely this outcome is.