10/2019 Update: While still not great, award availability is possible for spring 2020 on routes such as JFK-DOH:
Qatar Business Class Award Availability is Terrible on Many US Routes, Especially for Summer 2019. Many TravelSort Clients who fly to the Maldives or Africa on safari find great value using AAdvantage miles to fly Qatar Business Class via Doha, since the Maldives is 70,000 AAdvantage miles each way per person, while Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Seychelles, etc. is 75,000 AAdvantage miles each way.
Late last year I was able to easily reserve 3 seats in Qatar Business Class for Atlanta ATL to Doha in March, a route that is currently on a 777, with Business Class in a 2-2-2 configuration, but that is slated to change to QSuites on an A350 by the end of March.
But looking at summer, there's no award availability for two travelers (all searches below are for two travelers). The reduced award availability has tended to coincide with Qatar award space appearing on AA.com, where it's much easier for the average AAdvantage member to search for and book it; previously, many used British Airways' site to search for the space, then called AA to book.
To be fair, there is some award availability earlier, in April-May, and again in the fall:
Doha to NYC also lacks Qatar Business Class award space this summer:
It's a similar picture for Doha to LAX, where there's no Qatar Business Class award space this summer, and virtually none in general until February 2020:
Looking at Philadelphia to Doha, which isn't nearly as popular as NYC or LAX to Doha, this also lacks Business Class award space for summer 2019:
This isn't good news for anyone trying to plan a last minute summer trip that relies on Qatar Business Class award space to or from the U.S., and is another reason why planning ahead and flexible dates are so crucial when seeking to use frequent flyer miles.
Become a TravelSort Client and Book 5-Star Hotels with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred Partner Benefits