Bits: Qatar selling UK-Dubai for £975 in Business, new BA Innsbruck flight launched

News in brief:

Qatar Airways launches Dubai in business class for £975

Qatar Airways has launched an exceptionally good fare to Dubai – just £975 return.  I have NEVER seen flights to the Middle East so cheap in business class from a UK starting point.

At the moment, this is bookable from Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester.  I have been told that a London sale price will launch next week which may or may not be the same.

Details are on this special webpage here.  You must book by 21st July.  Seats are available until May 2017 although some dates may be blacked out.

If you are sitting on an Avios redemption to Dubai you need to think about this.  Swapping your redemption – with over £500 of taxes – for a £975 cash ticket is well worth considering, especially if you were having to connect via Heathrow from a regional airport.

Remember that Qatar Airways flights earn Avios and British Airways tier points.  You would get 360 tier points return for this routing.  Here is my review of Qatar’s Boeing 787 business class seating.  There is a special Qatar 787 microsite here if your potential flight is on one.

More details are on the Qatar website here.  I will let you know if a similar Heathrow fare appears.

Qatar 350

British Airways launches Heathrow to Innsbruck

British Airways announced a new service to Innsbruck from Heathrow on Wednesday.  This will complement the existing Gatwick service.

It launches on 4th December.  There will be four flights per week during the Winter season (Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and two per week during Summer 2017.

As always with new routes, there should be excellent Avios availability at the moment as all of the flights should have been loaded into the system with at least two Club Europe and four Euro Traveller seats available.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Did you know Lufthansa offers a 25% mileage discount for children?
600 easy FREE Avios with 'Rewards For Thoughts'
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. RIccati says:

    They are going to lose on the pound by selling this £975 fare!

  2. Jonathan says:

    OT: but I’m guessing there’s some travel websites that are a bit slow pricing in the GBP FX fall. Could see some spikes in GBP cost tomorrow.

    • RIccati says:

      QF couldn’t foresee this sharp fall in pound when putting the promotion in place.

      • Jonathan says:

        Other websites as well price the underlying holiday in USD or EUR and convert to GBP based on fx. There must be a lag in their FX rates.

  3. Hingeless says:

    OT (or is it): So what happens to European travel as a result of Brexit, do we start to get stamps on our passports again?

    • Jonathan says:

      I believe, at the earliest not for another 18 months. To be decided in negotiations over the coming months / years.

    • It should be like for the citizens of Norway or Switzerland, before they joined the schengen area, just a visual control of passport.

      The change may/will be that the EU and the US may not have time to listen to the UK point of vue…

      • Nobody knows if the UK will remain in the EEA or EFTA yet.

        Norwegian and Swiss citizens have freedom of movement within the EEA, which is not related to Schengen.

        • Indeed and if we do it will likely cost us the same as it does now and we’ll be subject to the same regulations, but with no say in the way they are formed. What a great result…

    • All depends on our future relationship with the EU. If part of the EEA like Norway then we’d still have free movement. Leave campaign of course offered zero detail in that regard…

      • And free movement for us will entail the same in the other direction. Of course. As The Economist puts it, yesterday was ‘a senseless self-inflicted blow’.

        • Absolutely!!

          • We have to make the best of it. Too late for UK but it should be a massive wake-up call for the people promoting the ever greater union/ European project thing and with any luck we’ll see a properly reformed EU in 10 years’ time.

            What I worry about immediately is Scotland/ reunification of Ireland but I guess we can handle those if they happen. Don’t fancy Irish violence, though, had enough of that.

            And what about my retirement plans? Hope they don’t get scuppered but I imagine nothing much will change, we’ll still end up with free movement of people (if not the exact same model).

            • There’s plenty of violence in Dublin and Belfast already (although nothing like the level in, say, New York or parts of Paris).

              The Garda Immigration Bureau carries out regular spotchecks of travellers north to South, but the PSNI/laughable border force rarely bothers in the other direction.

              Any extra controls will be at GB ferry terminals, but since 9/11 that’s hardly a new phenomenon.

              ROI citizens living in UK were able to vote in the referendum for obvious historical reasons, and the Common Travel Area between ROI and UK will continue also.

  4. Small point but these fares will earn 400 tier points and not the 360 claimed as the DOH-DXB books into first and so 60 points per sector

    • Raffles says:

      I thought they were now selling that as J to stop passengers accessing the F lounge? Food was also being downgraded I thought?

      • Sarah G says:

        When I do a dummy booking they are showing as booking into R for the business leg, then A for the First leg from DOH.

      • Planeflyer says:

        If all the intra-Gulf routes were changed from F to J, then there wouldn’t be anyone in the F lounge! As it is, there’s only longhual F sold to CDG/LHR/BKK.

  5. Can still buy USD on Sainsbury’s Travel money for £/$1.44

  6. That price going South…

  7. Well if things don’t get better they wont be able to give them away as few will be able to leave the sinking ship

  8. James A says:

    Turkish have started undercutting this morning, selling returns from MAN for £943.

  9. Tilly71 says:

    flights from Turkey to the UK have fallen dramatically this morning

  10. Matthew says:

    This is good, but I did pay £770 in June 2015 with BA. So I think it could be better…

  11. Going to need to be cheaper than this unless Sterling improves! Everything abroad has increased in price by 10% more!

    • barry cutters says:

      the euro is 1.24 to the £. that is not a 10% increase in cost. , more like 3-4%

  12. Only 2 more years for Harry to enjoy his place in the sun?

    • Spouse visa should sort me out in my dotage :)

    • It will come as a surprise to you young people that we used to travel freely to other European Countries before we joined the EEC.

      • But not with the freedom to work/live/study there indefinitely…

        • No, but that is a benefit to very few and the majority were not prepared to pay the cost.

          • Precisely. The Leave group worded their campaign around lowering immigration too which would mean abandoning free movement.

          • The almost identical cost that we’d be paying with a Norway model? The cost that is a fraction of the list to our economy today?

            • Have I missed something here? It would be highly unusual to have anything other than a passport check at immigration, and I already get this anyway.

              Perhaps a stamp in and a swipe of the passport in and out.

              Hardly a big deal.

              If you want to remain and work, then get a Visa.

              Yes slightly more difficult but really not a big chore at all.

  13. OT – Amex MR transfer

    I’m in the process of closing my Amex MR account down – the only transfer that is yet to complete is a small one to Club Carlson… Am I right in thinking that it’s fine to cancel now anyway? – rather than waiting and paying the £1.24ish/day fee for Platinum?

    • No idea, you may the guinea pig for this idea!

    • Genghis says:

      Doesn’t ones MR account stay open for 30 days or something after one has cancelled the card but can only be accessed over the telephone? Can anyone else confirm this? If so, you might be OK…

      But the only sure way is to get the points and then cancel.

      • That’s correct you have 30 days after cancelling to transfer. But you have to call to do it.

    • Scallder says:

      I did this the other day – had an unprocessed transfer to BA of 3k Avios. After I sent it (10pm), I received the email saying it was processing the next day and cancelled. It hit today (2 days later) without issue, so reckon you should be fine.

  14. Hi,

    I booked return first class tickets to Dubai using my 2-4-1 BA voucher for the summer. Taking my daughter too (4 months old).

    This new Qatar deal looks interesting. I am assuming it is only worth switching (taking into account avios earned/tier points) had my reward booking been business class as BA first > Qatar business? Also with Qatar I would have to have stopover which might be difficult with the baby?

  15. Just checking some bookings and see my Christmas trip to DXB on QR only cost £932pp. Still think LHR/AKL for £1800 for Easter will still take some beating too.

  16. barnaby100 says:

    Are they alcohol free?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Not on any Qatar flight I’ve flown

      • barnaby100 says:

        The website says

        We offer a wide selection of non-alcoholic beverages at anytime during your journey. Enjoy a tantalising combination of fruity fizz or spicy zest, and savour signature Mocktails designed by our celebrity chefs. Relax and unwind with a cappuccino, espresso, a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea served from an individual porcelain set.

  17. Had booked EDI-LHR-DXB for £1243 plus 38.5k in Avios CW. Saw this, got same dates priced at £1k over xmas, luckily I was in the 24 hr window so got full refund from Ba plus all avios back, and then booked this, looking fwd to Qatar business on 787, thanks Raffles for all your hard work with the site :)

  18. JacarandaSpa says:

    Thought I’d wait for the Heathrow ones, hope they do it now as all the regionals appear to have gone (worried face!).

    • Plan was to launch it tomorrow but things could have changed.

      • JacarandaSpa says:

        Expedia had “special” fares with Qatar yesterday (£1018 from Heathrow) but I pontificated because it was only on the A330 and couldn’t work wether they would be on lie flat or angled.

  19. OT and sorry to appear daft but just what do I get if I rush to earn BA status points ?

    I usually fly out to Asia long haul and have been using Etihad for the last few years largely because of the (then) very generous 3x and 4x mileage accruals, free chauffeur and a pretty good product.

    Well, as the mileage bonuses have largely dried up and the pricing is all over the place and with me doing more Europe routes then I have the opportunity to a) use BA Club Europe and b) Qatar (BA Club World product does not inspire on my route).

    So from my calculations, I would lose my chauffeur, lose my status (temporarily), have to pay more for Club Europe (I own the company) than an alternative, have to stick to Qatar or BA but would but woul get BA status which offers just what on Qatar and elewhere ?


    • Only major Silver benefit – oneworld lounge access and free BA seat selection

      Only major Gold benefits – book ANY seat on ANY BA flight for double Avios, Galleries First lounge access, book Row 1 in Club Europe

      However, you will get Silver for just 1 Qatar trip to Asia (well, near enough – 560 of the 600 tier points) so you don’t need to move much to BA.

      • As I contemplate moving off Etihad (and their family account which I find useful) do you have a matrix of how many flights in business are required to get a free flight in business ? I know it would not be absolutely accurate but it is a single data point which would be useful.

        I just redeemed one on Etihad and paid around £200 in fees whereas the Avios redemption on the Amex 2 for 1 cost me about £1050.

        What I did notice on Etihad was that when the cash fare went down, the amount of points required to redeem the free ticket went down. In my case from circa 280k to a straight 200k which was a more than pleasant surprise.


  1. […] According to this when it was launched last week only BHX, EDI, and MAN. LHR was mentioned as being added this week, which it now has been.…usiness-class/ […]