Qatar Airways has kicked off another round of good business class deals with its third annual ‘Qatar Travel Festival’.
This is a genuinely impressive package:
Cheap business class fares from various European departure points
You can book for travel until 15th December 2017
… all of which earn Avios and British Airways tier points (560 return for Asia)
… or, if you credit to Qatar Airways, will earn double QMiles
… and you can win a prize as well in a free draw for all bookers
… and you get an extra discount for paying with Visa when you use promo code VISA
… and you can even travel on the British Airways codeshare service to Doha if you fly from London, although I cannot imagine why you would do this given that Qatar Airways is superior in every respect
You have seven days to book – these deals end on 16th January. That said, availability is restricted and I wouldn’t wait if you are tied to certain dates.
Note that you cannot travel between 15th June – 1st July and 15th August – 10th September 2017. Additional blackout dates apply in some countries.
Check the minimum stay period which seems to vary from 4-7 days depending on where you start your trip.
From the UK, kids under 12 fly for free, excluding taxes, if you book Economy.
The best fares will not be found from the UK as you can see from the examples below.
Here are a few of the better headline prices. These deals are all for business class travel via Doha. They are per person, based on two travelling – single travellers will pay a little more. In some cases a group of three will pay a little less.
These prices EXCLUDE the additional discount for using the VISA promo code when booking. This discount does not appear to work for every flight.
These prices are NOT the full list of discounts – they are just random examples I picked out last night. You can use the country links below to check out prices from other popular starting points. Stockholm seems to have the best deals, especially when two people travel.
Stockholm to Cape Town – £1,173
Stockholm to Dubai – £763
Stockholm to Hong Kong – £965
Stockholm to Melbourne – £1,835
Stockholm to Tokyo – £1,193
Stockholm to Auckland – £1,440
Helsinki to Bangkok – £918
Helsinki to Bali – £1,391
Helsinki to Phuket – £961
Oslo to Maldives – £1,140
Oslo to Singapore – £1,090
Oslo to Sydney – £1,769
Brussels to Jakarta – £932
Brussels to Perth – £1,864
Brussels to Singapore – £1,335
Copenhagen to Kuala Lumpur – £1,315
Copenhagen to Singapore – £1,240
Copenhagen to Cape Town – £1,310
Paris to Delhi – £1,095
Paris to Tokyo – £1,434
Paris to Shanghai – £1,446
Amsterdam to Adelaide – £1,950
Amsterdam to Bangkok – £874
And for comparison:
UK to Bangkok – £1,440
UK to Bali – £1,550
UK to Singapore – £1,715
UK to Sydney – £2,450
UK to Auckland – £2,475
The German prices were filed late but will be here.
These routes would all – apart from Dubai, Delhi and nd Australia – earn 560 British Airways Executive Club tier points return (140 + 140 + 140 + 140) due to the change of plane in Doha. That is more than 90% of what you need for a BA Silver card. Delhi is 140 + 40 + 40 + 140. Dubai is 140 + 60 + 60 + 140 as the connection books into First Class on a two class plane.
How to pick a departure city
It isn’t all about the long-haul flight price. You need to add in the cost of getting to your starting point.
More importantly, you need to build in contingency. You need to arrive early enough to ensure that you won’t miss your connection if your inbound flight is late. If that means staying overnight, you need to factor in the cost of a hotel. You may also want to pick an airport with a hotel on the airport to avoid messing about with shuttle buses.
Remember that BA will no longer tag through bags to connecting flights when they are on separate tickets. If you are checking in a case, you will need to fly London to, say, Stockholm, wait for your case, clear immigration, go to Departures, check in your case and clear security again. This will take some time.
Here are the links to the Travel Festival pages on the main Qatar European sites:
As ever with Qatar, you should keep an eye on the aircraft. The most modern seats are on the Boeing 787, Airbus A350 and Airbus A380 fleet. I think that the full A330 fleet has been refitted now too. The newer planes have a 1-2-1 herringbone layout where passengers faces away from each other. The Boeing 777 aircraft are fully flat but have a different 2 x 2 x 2 layout, albeit that a replacement for this will be announced at ITB Berlin in March (we’ll be there to check it out). Qatar also uses short-haul planes on some European routes but these are configured with ‘proper’ business class seats.
Here are my Qatar Airways seat and lounge reviews – you will see that I am very positive about them:
- Qatar A380 First Class
- Qatar 777 business class
- Qatar 787 business class
- Qatar short-haul First Class
- Qatar Premium Lounge, Heathrow Terminal 4
- Qatar Al-Safwa First Class lounge, Doha
- Qatar Al-Mourjan business class lounge, Doha
You can book your Qatar Travel Festival deals on this special site here. Remember to enter the promo code VISA for the additional discount.
(PS. I obviously wrote this very early on Monday morning. Apologies for any errors that may have crept in. I am sure that other good fares will come to light over the next day or so – I will do an updated article later in the week.)