Flight deals: Qatar to Tokyo for £795, British Airways Club and First deals ex-Europe

Here are a couple of interesting flight deals if you are spending your weekend wondering what to do over the Summer.

More Qatar Airways bargains from Pisa

Qatar Airways is pushing its Pisa route again with some further very heavy discounting to Asia.

You see Qatar’s special Pisa fares here.

Pisa to Tokyo is a ludicrous €1,015 (£795) in Business Class.

Other standout deals are Kuala Lumpur (€1,205 / £945), Phuket (€1,125 / £882) and Bangkok (€1,030 / £808).

From Pisa, you are on a short-haul A320 to Doha but this still has flat bed seats in Business Class.  These Asia routes will earn you 560 British Airways tier points which is over 90% of what you need for a BA Silver card.  You can connect to Pisa on British Airways via Gatwick or Heathrow.

You need to book by Monday for travel at any point until March 2017, although at peak times you might not find the fare available.

PS.  Readers who booked the recent Pisa to Auckland deal on Qatar, who hit trouble when the Auckland service was delayed, have come up trumps.  Qatar has rebooked them Pisa – Heathrow (BA, Club Europe) – Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific, Business) – Auckland (Cathay Pacific, Business).

Qatar 350

British Airways First Class deals out of Europe

British Airways is, for some odd reason, selling cheap First Class tickets out of the Netherlands and Germany at the moment.  There may be other starting points available as well.

How cheap?  First Class to Johannesburg is €2,684 (£2,105) from Frankfurt or Amsterdam.  Cape Town, oddly, is not reduced.

Hong Kong is around €2,850.  Manila, which involves changing to Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong, is €3,000.  All of these prices are freely available, including over Christmas for those I checked.  A Saturday night does seem to be required.

These are clearly not pocket money prices but they do represent very good value for money if you are prepared to spend £2,000 on a return flight.

Good Club World deals are also available.  Johannesburg is €1,844 from Germany for example, and I found that fare easily available over Christmas.

Note that, whilst these fares are theoretically ‘refundable for a fee’, the fee is high.  Under the new BA cancellation rules, the cancellation fee is PER SECTOR.  That would be 4 x €300 for Amsterdam to Johannesburg which wipes out much of what you paid.

Have a play around at ba.com and see what you can find.

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  1. Kevin Young says:

    Booked the TYO trip from late Feb to early March. The best fares usually require a flight to Narita on the B777 but there some availability on the nice B787 to/from Haneda if you search. I can’t find any BA flights from LGW to PSA yet, maybe they are not published yet? EZY do have flights from LGW to PSA however. The BA LHR flight does not have good timings to meet the QTR flight but there are worse places for a night stop.

    • But you shouldn’t be wanting to “meet the QR flight” any more. QR MWFSu departs around 4pm which gives enough time to recheck luggage if you arrive from LHR at 12pm, or from LGW at 11am on some days.

      The afternoon arrival from LGW would have been perfect if oneworld really wanted to offer a “seamless travel experience”.

      • Yes, but oneworld probably aren’t aiming for Brits to go to Pisa to take advantage of ex-EU fares!

    • I agree. Pisa is a very compact and pleasant city and it’s very easy and cheap to get to and from the airport which is very close by. I’d strongly recommend and overnight before your flight irrespective of the additional security it gives you.

  2. There are also cheap one way tickets from Stockholm to Hong Kong (50 mins layover at Dusseldorf) around 6-12th October, the flight will be the new A350. Economy costs £180, premium economy costs £450 and business costs £808.

  3. Qatar has rebooked them Pisa – Heathrow (BA, Club Europe) – Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific, Business) – Auckland (Cathay Pacific, Business).

    Good job it’s Qatar. With BA that’d be 3 airports where you need to pick up your luggage and 3 where you need to check it in again & go through security once more :)

    • OK in before but that’s one png lol

    • Barry cutters says:

      No your bag would be checked straight through from Pisa to Auckland

      • That’s what Harry said – ” good job it’s with Qatar” as in not with BA 😉

        • Fine with BA, too, as harry corrected himself – it’s all one ticket, not separate ones. The BA issue is only when it’s a number of different tickets.

        • Barry cutters says:

          Yes with ba you would only check the bag once . This is one ticket.
          Anyway this isn’t live yet Iv just checked my bag at Jfk. I asked if they could check my bag right through to Manchester (separate ticket , but also ba flight) they found my 2nd booking with just my surname and flight number and my bag is tagged straight to man.

  4. “some black out dates may apply” -I cant find anything close to those TYO fares any time this year!

    • timezonehopper says:

      Lots of availability late October and early November and some availability through into December.

  5. Could somebody clarify if you get 125% avios of the miles flown if you credit your flight to qatar when it is business R class? Has this been sorted out as I remember there was some problem with R class flights and BA. Thanks

  6. The new BA cancellation policy is to charge per fare component, not per flight coupon. A fare component can have more than one flight coupon. If you have a return fare from London to New York using nonstop flights both directions, the penalty would be 2 X £xxx. If you have a return fare from Amsterdam to New York that is routed AMS-LHR-JFK-LHR-AMS, the penalty would still be 2 X €xxx. This assumes that the fare between Amsterdam and New York is a through fare in both directions, and not broken at London. If the Amsterdam to New York ticket did have separate fares Amsterdam-London, London-New York, New York-London, London-Amsterdam, then you would incur a fee for each of the components, for a total of 4 fees.

  7. Hmm. I am looking for a one-way flight from Tokyo to Europe later this year. Frankly, I’d pay EUR1k for the one-way flight. Does anybody know if it is possible to turn this deal in to a one-way?! The deal is available on the date I want to fly back, but if I book it as a one-way flight it’s £2.3k!

  8. JamesWag says:

    Just remember to book your positioning flights with a different airline given there’s no benefit (bag transfer & delayed connection wise) in booking with BA now. Better to give another airline your business if you can to help drive the point home that this change is awful & that they’ll lose business ’til they rectify it.

    • Barry cutters says:

      Total rubbish, if you book a same day flight on another oneworld airline and your first flight is delayed they will always look after you. Especially if it’s ba-ba. Also you have the benefit of still printing your boarding pass at the first airport and traveling through the airport as a connecting passenger if traveling hand baggage only

      • “always” would be stretching it, but you are right in gist

        oneworld partners are far more likely to help you get on another flight for free when you miss your connection – though the whole point of yesterday’s article seemed to be that BA are trying to get out of any obligation to do that

        so there are extremely good reasons to make your positioning flight a oneworld partner if your ex-EU is oneworld – you just don’t have the same peace of mind as before

        • Agreed. Airlines just want you to go away. If they can rebook you on their own flights and get you out of the way, they will normally do it.

      • No, not anymore after 1 June 2016, at least when BA is involved
        They will NOT rebook you for free if you misconnect on separate tickets

        • These few comments above make very good points over the “new” choices we are now balancing (eg. for a Lon-Pisa to join up to a Pisa-Doh-XXX as above). Easyjet are much more likely to be a strong option now factoring in on-time performance and price and flex. BA retain some advantages, but without thru-checked baggage they’re throwing away a big edge. I would not rely on them to “do the right thing” on an ex-DOH misconnect on the way back thru Pisa (though the on-the-day ET change fares may come into play on some routes) .

          • Despite all the new troubles with BA through booking, I find that I still need to fly four BA sectors a year to retain Gold. Rather do this on short haul positioning flights with BA and fly my long haul sectors on redemptions/QR/AA/CX etc, earning tier points with them.

  9. OT: I am looking to book 2 adults and 3 children on a long haul ( 11 hrs from LHR). which option would people choose:
    1. Book ex-EU from AMS on BA CW =£6200 + positioning flight cost from LBA.


    2. Redemption virgin UC from LHR at a cost of approx £3600 ( I don’t have enough miles and therefore have to spend circa £1005 to top up). Total miles required is 500K.

    I can afford either option.
    Thanks in advance.

    • If you lived nearer London, I’d say Virgin every time, but since you need to get from Leeds anyway, I guess there’s not too much difference between London and Amsterdam as a starting point.

    • Barry cutters says:

      And you will earn quite a lot of avios in the family account (depending on the level of status) for 5 returns in club

    • Does your £3600 on virgin include the price to top up your account?
      If it does I’d go Virgin, although my most recent Virgin experience was from Manchester which wasn’t great and we flew back BAF which was much better than Virgin UC.
      I haven’t flown CW for 6 years but unless you have status, 5 seat fees against none for virgin, getting to Heathrow probably cheaper and easier than Amserdam, better lounges for virgin – all goes in their favour IMO.

      • Thanks for replies.

        Yes the £3600 includes the price for buying extra miles. I have flown BA CW but haven’t flown virgin UC yet.

  10. JamesWag says:

    Is the QR DOH to Tokyo always on a 777-200LR ? Looking in Dec and that’s all I can see on the QR website.

    • I wouldn’t trust any Qatar scheduling more than a week in advance!

    • Narita will be in a 777-200LR, Haneda will be a 787-8. Try to get the Haneda flights due to the better product and location of the airport to downtown, but departure time maybe inconvenient.

  11. Wow these QR fares are just incredible. I already nabbed the Auckland fare for Easter which is just unbelievable for a peak holiday period. Now I booked the Tokyo fare for Christmas/New Year on the 787 from Doha to HND which is much more convenient airport too. Together with the positioning flights and the occasional business short haul I am guaranteed BA gold next year.

    Too bad BA short haul fares seem to be going through the roof for any bookings I need to make lately. I have had to resort to Vueling for Barcelona in Excellence which is very close to CE for 60% less than BA HBO which is just stupid. A flight to Stuttgatt had to do Easyjet since BA was £600 for a HBO return. I’m not getting much opportunity to use my BA status with prices this high.

  12. Mark1980 says:

    OT slightly, I booked OSL-BKK return in J via Expedia Norway in the last round of sales and then added a 2nd passenger a day later. Unfortunately when I added the 2nd passenger there was only economy available on the outbound leg so I booked it. I’ve been looking into the possibility of upgrading the outbound leg using QR miles via SPG. The booking class we’re booked into is upgradable but I am unsure if I will be able to upgrade a flight booked via an OTA – anyone know if this is possible?

  13. Anyone know of a way to see exactly when Qatar fly Pisa-Tokyo? Having tried a few sample dates end of July, early August for both NRT and HND, I just keep getting no availability. Can’t seem to find a timetable or month view anywhere.

    • They have a calendar feature, not unlike the BA redemptio availability calendar on the top right corner of the screen when you are booking cash flights. That said, you need to select one R fare to be able to see R fares in the return direction…

    • Flights do not start until August it seems.

  14. Just an FYI – I booked QR ex-PSA yesterday for travel in September. The return flights have horrible timing to the connection back to PSA depending on the day. In my case, the site was offering me a 22 hour connection which wouldn’t have included a hotel since a (much higher price) 4 hour connection was available.

    As a result, I booked a return to Rome. The same fare sale also includes Rome, Milan, and Venice. The fares aren’t as low as they are to PSA (the return to Rome drove the price up by 150 GBP) but it is still a steal overall. Plus the return to Rome is on an A330-200 with the new seat, which is pretty comfy. You can mix and match to get your desired timing…

  15. Lady London says:

    There must be more to BA’s new move on not checking through luggage onto OneWorld airlines and no longer honouring a larger baggage due to part of the trip being on another OneWorld Airline that gives you a higher luggage allowance, than this.

    It kind of looks like BA will probably continue to check luggage through at least for a while. It seems they just want the right to refuse it if you’re using their flights to connect with a much cheaper ex-EU. Perhaps on QR, perhaps on their own flights which are much cheaper out of EU.

    I know BA kind of “runs” OneWorld just as Lufthansa kind of “runs” Star Alliance. But how can BA, as one airline within an alliance, unilaterally decide they are not going to honour the privileges of the aliance? If this keeps going there is no reason to fly within one alliance, and travel insurance will have to pick up the misconnects. (Be careful, check the terms of your travel insurance as lots of them don’t cover misconnects btw.)

    Various OneWorld airlines have benefited mightily from me staying on Oneworld and not booking much cheaper alternatives with other airlines due to knowing that baggage is checked through and that I am guaranteed to be looked after in case of irrops if all my flights are OneWorld. There just doesn’t seem to be any point favouring BA or keeping my flights in OneWorld any more even though I have really tried to keep doing this in the past.

    Or, is this a sign that the OneWorld alliance is collapsing? Is it time to look seriously at the “constellation” of bilateral agreements with many benefits from a mixed bag of airlines across all the alliances that exist. I’m thinking of the Etihad/Alitalia universe, the Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Australia/Virgin America universe, or the Alaska Air universe. All of which it might make sense for me to look into, based on my flying patterns, if BA continues this nastiness.

    Plus the cancellation charge now being per sector. First time I’ve heard of this is here and today. Some of my tickets have 7 sectors! I’m more sad than angry about thi,s as no one in their right mind would keep preferring BA and pay extra on connecting itineraries to stay within OneWorld, if BA keeps doing things like this.

    • They also got nasty with the dropped last legs on ex-EU tickets, if you remember. Charging travel agents punitive amounts for the dropped last leg of their customers. It might indeed be ex-EU as the underlying irritation to BA.

      But this silly move will do little to stop ex-EUs. People will still go for the big savings, just engineer more connection time or an interesting stopover.

      Whilst crude, vulgar and a little infra dig for little old harry, I think that poster who basically stuck 2 fingers up at BA because of this will have struck a chord with many. BA has effectively turned a game, played by essentially loyal BA flyers in many aspects of their travelling spend, into open warfare.

      • RIccati says:

        — BA has effectively turned a game, played by essentially loyal BA flyers in many aspects of their travelling spend, into open warfare.

        It’s pretty much like that, an open warfare against own customers (not the people who live in EU destinations). The common good and the positive “network externality” benefit is eroded.

        BA has to realise that people who take ex-EU pricing to see the far sights will never pay an ongoing rate from London of £3-4,000 which is priced for a corporate customer. It’s also an overly negative response to the changed patterns of the travel booking.

        Now, if BA deliberately destroying the common good side of the alliance, why should it be allowed enter in cartel agreements such as TATL? So, BA is happy when Finnair will pay some revenue from a New York but unhappy if Finnair will pass on a bag onto a BA destination.

  16. Thanks for the heads up Raffles – Just booked to Narita from PSA. Couple of questions….. I have also booked LHR to PSA returns with BA.
    Outbound we go the day before and plan to spend the PM and evening in Pisa before getting the Doha leg the next day. However on the return I am guessing we cant check the luggage in in Narita right through to LHR can we ?
    And we have 2 hours 50 when arriving in PSA from Doha before the PSA to LHR flight – I assume that will be ample time assuming no delays?

    • Probably not, no, given the new rules. Does no harm to ask though.

      • RIccati says:

        Raffles, I think customers should do all they can to insist on the OW alliance working as it supposed to, particularly if airlines are not playing the ball.

        Even outside the alliance, ask check-in agent to see if there is an interlining agreement and then remind them that in the presence of the agreement, they have discretion.

    • RIccati says:

      As it is the OW airline to BA transfer, there is more chance that Qatar will check through.

      (2) Can ask for manual luggage tag. (3) Can also on arrival to PSA ask BA to locate the bag and load, given that you plan to remain airside. This is airport-dependent but it’s always a good idea to notify the next carrier about the bag coming and give them luggage tags even if it was checked in.

      (4) This alternative means simply carrying on your journey to London and ask Qatar/BA to deliver your luggage there. They will not like it but no one needs a stranded bag in their custody. It’s a return leg, so luggage going to have a lot of laundry mostly.

  17. Graham Walsh says:

    Just trying to plan a business trip down to South Africa at the very start of August for a week. Need to go to Jo’berg and Cape Town so can fly to either. Trying to find the best deal obviously from Europe but struggling to find a good deal. What sites to people use to play around with. Sky Scanner, Kayak etc?

    Out of Oslo would be handy as that is where my HQ is and can get their via Norweigian cheaply so can do an overnight there if needed.

  18. So sad that you have to start from Italy to enjoy the QR fares. I am planning to go KUL – LHR via BA WTP. the QR biz class fares from KUL are so expensive but if reverse from Pisa, it is cheaper than my WTP fare! Seriously! They don’t seem to do decent promotional fares starting from Asia side!

    • Malaysia Airlines has had some aggressive deals out on KL recently which would earn Avios and TPs if you see anything.

  19. Right this is the second time this has happened to me Re a QR sale. Does the end date count as a date of the sale?

    Trying to book PSA-BKK, today should be the final day of the sale, but no promo fares anywhere….

    • Deal is still live as per their website… it’s a matter of finding dates on which R fare class is available.

  20. Renwaldo says:

    I saw sale fares about an hour ago when I was searching, and now they seem to have all disappeared. I see aceman above is having this issue…is the end date a particular random time during the final sale day?

    • Renwaldo says:

      Just to be more detailed, the PSA – TYO fares are the ones that seem to have disappeared – lots of R availability an hour ago and now all dried up?

  21. BTW for anyone planning to book with QR today, keep in mind that the fares aren’t available till midnight GMT, rather midnight CET. I got caught out by this earlier this week, but thankfully the fares were extended on Friday till today.

  22. Noggins says:

    just booked early Feb PSA – HND (with a 787). Any thoughts on how to spend 7+ hours at DOH in the middle of the night? I assume this cheapo fare class does not entitle us to the ‘hotel provided’ service Qatar sometimes. I’d prefer not to try to sleep in a stylish but upright chair! (oh, and the airside hotel wants £185!!)
    Secondly, I am considering EZE LGW to PSA on the same day as the DOH flight (BA flight timings are useless). There’s around 4 hours between flights but am I crazy?

    • You’re not crazy but there is such a thing as insurance on top

      • Doha is tricky – 7 hours isn’t really long enough to justify paying the $10 Visa fee to enter the country. You’d be lucky to get more than 3 hours sleep at, say, the Crowne Plaza nearby. The transit hotel is nice but obviously the cost is crazy.

    • The hotel option is only available for layovers of more than 8 hours and when there wasn’t a more convenient connection at the time of booking even if not at the same price.

      With regard to what to do in DOH for 7h+… eat… drink… take a shower… eat some more…

    • Also booked PSA-HND on the 787 but went for a day with a longer overnight connection (~13hrs) in the hope that I would be eligible for a stopover paid by carrier. Phoned up 30 mins after making the booking and have already been booked into a hotel. I was a bit nervous because of conflicting reports that R fares are invalid and because there are flights to NRT with shorter connections, but seemed to be alright in my case

  23. Capt787 says:

    Does anyone see any good fares between 26 August – 4th Sept…?

  24. Does anyone have pictures of the Qatar cabin to Tokyo?

  25. Capt787 says:

    Does anyone know any decent flight deals from London to Pisa…late august 😉 about to book the awesome fare on Qatar…also do the Qatar promo biz fare earn tier points? if so we looking around 560 for round trip ?

  26. Could anyone offer any advice about the seating with Qatar? We have booked this flight next year and have already chosen our seats on the 2 out bound legs and on the NAR to DOH leg on the return. However for the DOH to PSA leg is says we cannot choose our seats although my wife has been allocated a seat. I called Qatar today and was told that they have either not got any seats free to choose from or they have all been blocked out “by the airport” and we have to choose the seat when we check in.I’d rather not leave it to chance – Is this a frequent “issue” Considering all the 3 other legs are empty when choosing seats I find it hard to believe the 4th leg would be full already. Anyone had this before?