United Airlines and Qatar Airways have announced the termination of their marketing and frequent flyer partnerships. The move affects codeshare flights between both carriers as well as the ability to earn and redeem points. The codeshare agreement terminates on June 15. All currently booked flights will still be honored though some will see the flight numbers change to reflect the change.
On the points side of things the agreement will terminate on September 14, 2012. All Qatar-operated flights taken prior to that time will still be eligible to earn MileagePlus points. Flights after that date will not. Award tickets booked prior to that date will be honored and they will be valid for up to one year, meaning travel into 2013 is possible on these awards.
The loss of the partnership is rather unfortunate for customers. That said, it isn’t particularly surprising given that United has recently added service into Doha with their own flights. It would still be beneficial to have the ability to connect with partners in the region but the company as shied away from such opportunities in recent years; the partnership with Emirates was dropped not too long ago.
The good news is that there is still pretty decent award availability on Qatar-operated flights and those bookings will still be accepted for a few months yet. Get ‘em while you still can. I know I will be.