Qatar Airways has launched a limited batch of Avios and BA tier point earning sale fares. These are only available until Monday but you can book for any date in the next 12 months.
This is not a wholesale mega sale as we saw in January. The prices are certainly good but you need to look carefully for the real bargains.
The good news is that you are now 100% certain to receive British Airways tier points and Avios on discounted Qatar business class tickets.
There is bad news for people who missed out on the April Qatar sale because they took BA at their word when they said that Qatar business class sale tickets booked before 1st May but flown later would not earn Avios. Reports on Flyertalk are that these tickets ARE crediting perfectly happily to BA Executive Club.
The best deal I can find is to Auckland.
Qatar confirmed today (Monday) that Auckland is delayed until 1 February 2017. You cannot now book tickets for travel before that date at this price. If you booked over the weekend, I would imagine Qatar will re-route on the A380 via Sydney which is not a huge hardship.
If booking this deal, make sure you book directly on the Qatar website. This leaves Qatar fully responsible for getting you to Auckland in case the start of services is delayed again – most likely by putting you onto a Sydney flight and buying you a connection. Booking via Expedia or another agent adds a level of doubt about who would be responsible.
You should also note that Doha to Auckland is currently 17 hours on a Boeing 777 which has Qatar’s older style 2 x 2 x 2 seating. This is great for a couple but less good if travelling alone. My review of this seat can be found here. It will hopefully be switched to an A350 if Airbus can fix the problems which are delaying their deliveries to Qatar.
Warnings out of the way, here are the best prices I have seen advertised.
Whilst not mentioned on their Italy deals page, Qatar is offering Pisa to Auckland for €1,423 (£1,125). I had no problem finding this price for January 2017 but, of course, you cannot now book for departures before 1st February. The flight from Pisa to Doha is on a short haul A320 but it does apparently have ‘proper’ business class seating. From Rome you will pay a lot more – €2,000.
Another option, and a more convenient one, is from Berlin. Berlin to Auckland is €1,649 (£1,300) return. A list of other Qatar sale deals out of Germany is here.
Oddly, you can mix and match these two fares to get an even better price! Using the multi-city option on the Qatar website lets you book Berlin – Auckland / Auckland – Pisa for just €1,393 (£1,100).
What sale deals are available from the UK?
From Birmingham, which is the only city listed, there is a lot around the £1,600 mark including Hong Kong and Johannesburg. It is worth trying prices from Manchester, Edinburgh and London as well.
Apart from Auckland, there is nothing in this sale which is a ‘must book’. It is worth remembering that these fares are good for the next 12 months, however, so you may want to lock in something for Christmas or Easter 2017.