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How to upgrade Qatar Airways flights with miles

by on Wed May 10, 2017 • 2 Comments


Qatar Airways is one of the world’s highest quality airlines and upgrading to business class makes it even better. In fact, Qatar has one of our favorite business class products and it’s relatively easy to make your own way into the business class cabin. This article will go into details about how to upgrade your Qatar Airways flight with miles.

What miles you’ll need

In order to upgrade your Qatar Airways flight with miles, you will need Qatar Qmiles.

If you don’t have Qmiles, you can earn them by crediting flights on Qatar or any of their partners to the Qatar Qmiles program.

You can also transfer Starwood Preferred Guest points to Qatar Qmiles at a 1:1 ratio. Keep in mind that transfers can take up to three weeks, however.

Citi ThankYou Points also transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Qatar Qmiles; these transfers take approximately two days.

Alternatively, Qatar does occasionally offer cash upgrades within the week before departure, so if you don’t have miles keep your eye out for one of these offers, though we won’t be going into detail about them in this post.

How much do upgrades to Business Class and First Class cost?

The cost to upgrade depends on the fare class that you originally booked and the class of service you would like to upgrade to. Below we will show a few different routes and the number of miles required for the upgrade one way.

Upgrade from Economy to Business

Route Upgrade from B, H, Y Upgrade from K, L, M, N, Q, S, V
Los Angeles – Doha 42,500 50,000
Washington D.C. – Johannesburg 59,500 70,000
Doha – Johannesburg 27,500 32,500
Addis Ababa – Doha 13,500 16,000
Dubai – Doha 7,000 8,000
Amman – Doha 13,500 16,000
Athens – Doha 18,500 22,000
London – Doha 25,500 30,000
Beijing – Doha 36,000 42,500
Sydney – Doha 42,500 50,000
Buenos Aires – Doha 42,500 50,000

Upgrade from Economy to First

Note that upgrades from Economy Class to First Class are only applicable for flights with no Business Class Cabin.

Route Upgrade from B, H, Y Upgrade from K, L, M, N, Q, S, V
Los Angeles – Doha 85,000 100,000
Washington D.C. – Johannesburg 119,000 140,000
Doha – Johannesburg 55,500 65,000
Addis Ababa – Doha 27,000 32,000
Dubai – Doha 13,500 16,000
Amman – Doha 27,000 32,000
Athens – Doha 37,500 44,000
London – Doha 51,000 60,000
Beijing – Doha 72,500 85,000
Sydney – Doha 85,000 100,000
Buenos Aires – Doha 85,000 100,000

Upgrade from Business to First

If you’ve already purchased a Business Class ticket, it is possible to use your Qmiles to upgrade to First Class. Please note that upgrades on Qatar’s A380 service to London are not eligible for upgrades to First Class.

Route Upgrade from C, D, I, J, R
Los Angeles – Doha 50,000
Washington D.C. – Johannesburg 70,000
Doha – Johannesburg 32,500
Addis Ababa – Doha 16,000
Dubai – Doha 8,000
Amman – Doha 16,000
Athens – Doha 22,000
London – Doha 30,000
Beijing – Doha 42,500
Sydney – Doha 50,000
Buenos Aires – Doha 50,000

Are fuel surcharges added onto the upgrade?

If additional taxes or surcharges are levied on your upgraded flight, the difference will be collected when you upgrade your flight.

What fares can you upgrade?

Only some fare classes are upgradable, excluding deep discount and promotional fares. If you are interested in upgrading from Economy Class, you will need to have booked Y, H, B, K, L, M, N, Q, S, or V fare classes. If you are interested in upgrading from Business Class, you will need to have booked C, D, I, J, or R fare classes.

If you didn’t book one of these fare classes, you can still upgrade but you will need to pay for the fare difference to one of these upgradable fare classes first.

How much do upgradable fares cost in cash?

We’ll take a quick look at how much the cheapest economy and cheapest upgradable economy fares cost for the two U.S. routes listed above (Los Angeles to Doha and Washington D.C. to Johannesburg through Doha).

A non-upgradable fare booked in the W fare class costs just under $1,000 to fly round trip between Los Angeles and Doha, Qatar.


The upgradable fare on the same dates, booked in V fare class, costs nearly double.



Similarly, the least expensive flight option on Qatar between Washington D.C. and Johannesburg costs around $$1,500 when booked in the O fare class.


The same flights booked into upgradable V class cost just over $2,000 round trip.



How to know upgrade space is available

The easiest way to find out if upgrade space is available for a flight that you are interested in upgrading on is by calling Qatar Airways at 1-800-988-6128 or another call center. Qatar Airways is also very helpful through Twitter Direct Message, so if you have a few minutes to wait for your answer or your call center of choice is closed, Twitter might be a better strategy.

Can you wait list if no upgrades are available?

It is possible to waitlist for an upgrade if none are available when you first inquire. You should contact Qatar Airways at one of their call centers in order to inquire.

Do upgrades get lounge access / chauffeur service?

If you upgrade from Economy to a premium cabin, you will be given lounge access for your journey.

Qatar Airways does not offer a chauffeur service.

How to book the upgrade

Upgrades can be booked online, through Qatar call centers, and at selected airports.

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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2 thoughts on How to upgrade Qatar Airways flights with miles

  1. Bjorn Jensen

    Dear Qatar Airways Staff.

    Is it possible to upgrade from tourist class to business class using the points from American Airlines AAdvantage program? The flight is TBS – DOH ( QR256 ) DOH – MIA (QR777). The 29 Dec 17.
    In case not which other method can be used.

    Best regards.
    Bjorn Jensen


      @Bjorn – Unfortunately AAdvantage miles can’t be used to upgrade Qatar tourist class tickets. You could see whether you can pay cash for an upgrade by checking your reservation or inquiring on the phone or at the airport.


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