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✈️ Adventures in Qsuites (again)

Plus, Emirates has a new flight to the U.S., allowing us a new opportunity to fly their luxurious seats with points

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 57 seconds

✈️ Southwest loyalists rejoice! The airline's new Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX-8 planes, arriving in 2025, feature a revamped cabin design with adjustable headrests, USB outlets, larger overhead bins, and more. Read more about these upgrades here.

Good morning from the airport here in Bali, Indonesia… again (it’s a long story).

Anyway, today is all about booking premium seats in popular Middle Eastern airlines, so let’s travel hack:

🏃🏼‍♂️ Mike on the Move: Adventures in Qsuites (again)

Remember two months ago when I told you about how to book Qatar Qsuites, and how I had booked them for myself to come home at the end of this trip?

Well, trying out slow travel (which has NOT gone according to plan, in the best way) meant canceling some amazing bookings, including Qsuites… again…

A meme about how Mike's Qsuite plans always get burned down

Since then, I’ve been eyeing opportunities to rebook Qsuites for later this year and recently found an amazing way to do just that.

Since I love Indonesia so much, I decided to come back next month after our Daily Drop meetup in Atlanta.

While looking for flights, I found this epic deal to fly all the way from Montreal to Denpasar, Bali (via Doha) in Qatar Qsuites for just 100,000 Avios.

An example of a Qsuites booking on Qatar's website

Considering I’d get well over 20 hours in one of the best seats in the sky, this was a steal (especially because I already had 75,000 Avios sitting in my account after my previous cancellation).

Since there was only one seat left on this route and NO other availability for months, I transferred points over immediately (from this card) and started the booking.

I made it all the way to the payment page when something terrible happened…

My app closed unexpectedly. For no reason. Just before I was about to finalize the booking.

😑

As you might imagine, I panicked pretty hard… I reopened the app, searched for the flight, and of course, it was gone.

But I didn’t panic too much, and here’s why:

When you make an award booking with an airline, a “draft” booking of sorts is made, even before the booking is fully paid for. The backend workings of airlines are complicated, and we won’t get into it.

I assumed that the seat was being held under my name (hence why it had disappeared from the search) but hadn’t been paid for yet… and maybe, just MAYBE, it could be salvaged.

So, I called Qatar customer service and explained the situation…

Sure enough, they found the booking on my account, but with a major problem… Qatar can’t pick up where I left off and complete the payment… So I was out of luck.

So here’s what I asked next:

“If you cancel the current booking in your system, will the seat become available again?”

He responded with a classic customer service agent answer that I hear all the time (especially from Air Canada and Marriott):

“I have no idea.”

😑 😑

I thought about escalating the issue to a supervisor to see if there was any way they could complete the booking for me, but I decided to roll the dice and go ahead, cancel it, and cross my fingers that the seat showed up again.

After about 2 minutes (and 500 screen refreshes), the exact flight I was trying to book showed back up on the normal search.

I proceeded with the booking, successfully paid for the flight, and am now booked in Qatar Qsuites (again). 🥳

A photo of a Qatar plane with Qsuites

What goes on behind the scenes with airlines, bookings, points, apps, customer service, and everything else is freaking COMPLEX.

So here are a couple of takeaways for you all:

  • When you see a flight disappear from a search, it could be because someone (or you) started (but didn’t finish) a booking. Maybe it will show up again a few minutes later.

  • When you run into trouble with a booking or technical difficulties with an app, start by calling customer service. Even if they don’t solve the issue fully, you might get some info (like I did) that helps you make a decision about how to proceed.

  • At least for Qatar, Qsuites availability seems to be pretty rigid. If a Qsuites booking is made (partially made) and then canceled, it should pop right back up in the search.

I hope this gives you a little more insight into the world of award bookings and some potential tools to use in the future if you run into a situation like mine.

✈️ Emirates is launching a new flight from the U.S.

Emirates’ premium seats (like business and first class) are some of the most sought-after experiences in the points and miles world.

I mean, look at this…

A photo of Emirates' luxurious first-class suite

Emirate’s first-class suite

Sadly, booking these seats isn’t always easy…

That’s because 99% of Emirates’ flights go through Dubai. So If you’re flying from the U.S., it’s going to cost you a LOT of miles (or $$$) to book such a flight…

an example of an emirates award flight (in first and business) from New York to Dubai

A few weeks ago, I told you about how utilizing Emirates’ Fifth Freedom routes is a great way to unlock these experiences for a fraction of that price.

And now, my friends, I’ve got some amazing news:

Emirates is launching ANOTHER fifth freedom route from the U.S., this time from Miami to Bogota, Colombia.

A map showing the new Emirates fifth freedom route from Miami to Bogota

This is actually wicked cool… and I’ll tell ya why.

Emirates has been looking to fly to Bogota for a while now but hasn’t been able to due to the elevation of the city.

Because the air is thinner in Bogota, Emirates’ massive planes can’t take off with enough fuel to make it all the way to Dubai.

As a result, they’ll stop in Miami in both directions to refuel, with the overall route looking like this in both directions:

A map showing the overall route between Dubai and Bogota

But enough about nerdy plane things…

At just under four hours of total flying time, this route unlocks opportunities to fly Emirates’ amazing seats for way less than the other U.S. routes.

For example, we can already see these flights available to book with points on Aeroplan (though I can’t seem to access them on Emirates’ own website, weirdly).

As you can see, booking this flight in economy class will only run you 23,000 Aeroplan points, which isn’t bad at all.

An example of booking the new Emirates flight using Aeroplan points (in economy)

Alternatively, booking business class will run you a cool 52,000 points. While this isn’t a great deal, it’s not a bad way to try out one of the world’s best airlines without leaving the Americas.

An example of booking the new Emirates flight using Aeroplan points (in business)

This also means that, in theory, you can book Emirates’ most luxurious first-class suites on the same route, which I know many of you will be especially interested in… if you can find availability… 😉

Anyway, here’s the bottom line:

Americans now have yet another way to travel to one of my favorite cities in South America and do so in style by flying on Emirates.

Don’t forget that you can easily rack up Emirates miles by transferring points from any of the following major points programs:

🤣 Meme/gif

A gif showing someone sweating profusely while waiting for points to transfer when there's only one Qsuit left... 😅

I thought this one was on-brand for today… 😅

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That’s all for today, amigos. I hope you learned something today and are as excited as I am about this new Emirates flight.

For now, I hope you have an excellent rest of your Monday, and I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow. ❤️

Yours truly,

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

8.7450° S, 115.1618° E