£1,408 to Auckland in Qatar Airways business plus other great 241 deals

I recently covered the new Finnair sale to Asia.  There are two other sales going on at the moment which I have decided to pull together in one article.  The key thing that links all three is that, as oneworld member airlines, you will earn British Airways tier points and Avios when you book any of these services.

(Exactly how many tier points can be worked out if you search on a leg by leg basis at the BA tier point calculator page.)

New Qatar Airways deals

Qatar Airways has followed up its huge ‘Travel Festival’ sale in January with a run of impressive ‘2 for the price of 1’ fares in Business Class.

As usual, the best deals are to be had outside the UK.

The highlight appears to be Copenhagen to Auckland for DKK 12,289 which is £1,406.  Other Copenhagen deals include Cape Town (£1,327) and Singapore (£1,032).

If you have a particular destination in mind, the following Qatar country-specific pages list the best fares from the countries which seem to have the cheapest deals (Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, basically!):

Copenhagen prices

Oslo prices

Stockholm prices

Helsinki prices

Sofia prices (€989 to Singapore)

Bucharest prices (see note below re tier points)

Belgrade prices (€722 to Dubai)

UK prices (for comparison)

The best thing to do is to look at each of these pages and compare the price for your chosen destination.  Remember to factor in the aircraft type used and the cost of connecting to your flight, including any hotel costs.

You must book by 15th February 2017 for travel before 10th – 15th December 2017 depending on origin.  Other black out dates apply and vary by destination.  You must travel in a group of 2, 4, 6 or 8 to get these prices.

For Asian destinations, you will earn 560 tier points – 140 x 4 – for a return flight, as long as each individual flight is over 2,000 miles.  Auckland would be 600 tier points – Doha to Auckland is a whopping 17 hours!

The one exception is Bucharest.  ba.com shows Bucharest to Doha as earning just 40 tier points each way in Business Class – see the calculator here – so avoid that route if tier points are important.

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:

Remember that bookings under this deal must be made by midnight local time on Wednesday 15th February.

Qatar A350

New Malaysia deals

You should also check out the current Malaysia Airlines deals as these offer a good alternative if you want to depart from London.

For three months, Malaysia Airlines was offering an astonishing deal to Sydney or Melbourne – £1,500 return in Business Class, flying from Heathrow.

That deal has now gone.  However, the airline has extended its Asian deals to the end of February.

You need to book on Expedia, where you can pick up some Nectar points as well for your trouble.  These prices are NOT available from Malaysia directly.

You need to search for London to Bangkok, Phuket, Bali etc in Business Class.  You need to search for ‘flight & hotel’ and then select ‘I only want a hotel for part of my stay’.  Assuming that you don’t want to book your hotel for the trip via Expedia, select one night only.

On the next page of the booking process you are shown a list of hotels.  These are NOT sorted by price by default, so re-order them.  The cheapest will be a hostel but that is fine as you won’t be staying there.

Bangkok, Phuket and Bali are available for around £1,100 – £1,200 return.  Other destinations may be available if you search.  These are excellent prices for trips starting in London.  For an extra £1,000 return you can upgrade to First Class.

Between London and Kuala Lumpur you will get an A380, with an A330 onwards on most routes.  The A330 business class seat is the latest version and has some very attractive solo window seats as the seating plan on this page of the Malaysia website shows.

(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.)

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Comments

  1. Do the Malaysia flights get you BA tier points as well?

    • Yes you do Adam, as its one world, guess you get 600 to AKL…use the BA calculator as rob suggests…

  2. Is there a fly by date for the Malaysia ones. December doesn’t appear to have any flights coming up.

  3. Qatar also have a code PCFEB17 that is valid 9-17th Feb if a QMiles member, under My Offers once logged in, for up to 15% off. No idea if it works ex Europe but worth a try.

  4. Great QR fare CPH – Auckland but sadly there appears little left in NOV & DEC that doesn’t involve spending 10-22 hours in DOHA.

    • Great fares but the. Blackout dates in August and early September make them unusable for me. The same thing happened in the January sale and I wonder how much of an impact this has had. I bought Cathay seats late last year which had a small penalty to cancel and so glad I did. Noting from any other airline has come close to that fare which allowed August travel.

      • 22 hours in Doha sounds fine to me. 10 hours is more painful.

      • Blackout dates for QR come into effect for the last half of August and into September. I suspect this is due to the Eid celebrations which is a busy time to be travelling and nothing to do with school holiday / bank holiday. You can still avail yourself upto 15AUG in most cases.

    • There are worse places!

      • Hell?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          22 hours is fine if you get a free VISA or even pay the $20. Nice city to go out see a few sights and enjoy a meal/drink before your flight.

          • Barry cutters says:

            Doha? I mean I guess if you saved a lot of money on a flight and you were forced to spend a day there . Or even a couple of you just wanted to sun bathe and swim in a pool. But apart from that you surely wouldn’t choose to go to Doha for any other reason than business or visiting a friend

    • If 8 hours is the shortest possible connection, QR will pay for your visa and hotel.

      If your connection is over 5 hours, you may be eligible for a free Qatar transit visa that will let you get out of the airport, otherwise it’s 100 riyals = US$27.47 (so probably = £27 in November) for a visa on arrival.

      You must be on a single QR ticket, and this is not valid when coming from or going to other Middle East countries, and you can only use the free visa in one direction

      What remains to be seen is whether you can get the QR STPC (stopover paid by carrier) in one direction and the free transit visa in the other direction.

  5. I don’t have capability to search matrix at the moment but for Auckland mixed departure and return airports priced out cheaper in the Travel Festival. Out from Oslo (B787) return to Stockholm (B787) with 2 hour layovers each way was roughly £1330/each for travel April/May. Glad to see the flights have actually started now. Someone has linked to a very detailed TR in the flyertalk qatar forum.

    • Matrix seems to not very reliable when it comes to QR availability

      It is showing as basically every day in November available and we spent ages choosing between all the options to get the perfect schedule, without checking on other travel agents or QR itself.

      It turns out that basically none of our Matrix itineraries were actually available to book

      Unfortunately searching on the QR website is a pain but it seems the best way to display all the options

      • Tried https://bookwithmatrix.com ?

        I’ve had a lot of success with that recently on exotic itineraries

      • Strange, we had no problems with using Matrix to find the only day which had cheap fares and reasonable connections in Doha. It used to be more tricky when R class fares weren’t loaded as Business Class, but no we saw no mismatches matrix vs Qatars site this time around.

  6. Do Qatar normally have a second travel festival sale later in the year (around sep)? I am hoping so for honeymoon booking!

  7. As seems usual with these Qatar deals, nothing for odd numbers of people, nothing from the UK and as offers are so heavily discounted, prices for those who do not “fit their window” are absurdly high – e.g. LHR-BKK £2.8k plus.

    Before we get out of Europe, can’t we use some EU legislation to stop them subsidising the EU flights and bring the ex LHR flights down in price ?

    I guess Mr Hislop doesn’t fly Qatar !

    • You try filling 2 long haul planes a day out of Copenhagen. These are ‘market clearing’ prices.

      If BA upped its game you’d find that the Middle East 3 wouldn’t be able to easily fill 20 flights a day out of London, half on A380s, at full(er) price.

  8. OT – I am currently on the phone to a BA operative with a poor grasp of English who is insisting that my cancelled flight to Bremen only merits a refund and I have to write to customer services if I disagree! They takes weeks to respond to anything like this! Does anyone know how to speak to someone at BA with a basic concept of EU law on re-routing and also who the ombudsman is for underhanded airline behaviour?! Thanks in advance.

    • Barry cutters says:

      It’s called customer relations.

      • Update – after some wrangling I was passed to a supervisor who conceded that a refund isn’t the only option and that they would fly me to Hamburg or Hannover via Heathrow (as predicted by another HFP reader). I pointed out again that EU law entitles me to be re-routed to Bremen but he wouldn’t budge so I guess I am stuck with the snail’s pace of Customer Relations. Any advice gratefully received!

        • Unless you are flying in the next 14 days you have ZERO rights apart from a refund. BA is actually being more generous than necessary is sending you to Hamburg or Hannover.

          • Someone on here the other day said we were entitled to be re-routed?

          • This is from “Which” consumer guide:

            Flight cancellation

            If you flight is cancelled and either departed from an EU airport or you were on an EU airline and landed at an EU airport. You can choose either:

            Not to travel, and get a refund of your ticket cost if the delay lasts for five hours or more (but the flight is not cancelled).
            Or

            An alternative flight (airlines call this re-routing) to your destination.
            You can claim one of these:

            Regardless of how long before the flight you were told of the cancellation.
            Regardless of what it was that caused the cancellation.

            The last bit seems to suggest that the 14 day rule doesn’t apply here? I’m no expert though, so will happily stand corrected (and go to Hamburg!)

          • BA knows the rules and the rebooking options were laid out in the document sent to travel agents, which is what I quoted. You can be re-routed on the same carrier but BA has zero obligation to buy you a ticket on another airline.

      • Lady London says:

        Nooooooooooooo !! Please try to find some other way…. Unless you’re very lucky, it will be more of the same.

  9. Where are the Etihad deals to Oz? I thought they would be out by now.

  10. After the predictable run-around by BA, I’ve had a very fast email response from SUN AIR immediately offering the Hannover/Hamburg alternative. I’ve asked for a few concessions and told them that otherwise I am going to insist on being re-routed to Bremen. We’ll see what they say…

  11. Quick and basic question about retaining status – my tier point Year ends mid Nov but my account says status lasts until 31 December. If I were to earn enough points to retain silver between these two dates (after mid nov but before end of Dec) – would my status refresh until end of 2018 or end of 2019?? :)

    • barry Cutters says:

      end of 2018

      only way of getting 2 years status is by collecting enough points in the first week of you joining .

    • My anniversary / reset date is the same as yours – 08NOV. You will be reset to zero tier points on this date. If you’re a just short of a status milestone you can ask for upto a 14 days grace period for you to hit this. The status expiry is always the last day of the following month which means you can still avail yourself of silver benefits (lounge etc) if you’ve dropped to bronze until 31DEC

  12. My return flight to Helsinki in March has an 8.5 hour stopover, midnight – 8.30am. Do they ever offer the airport hotel for those that qualify for a free hotel? Arriving in the middle of the night, I’d love to go to a hotel for a sleep but, by the time I get to the hotel and allowing time to get back to the airport, it’s not really very long at the hotel. I checked the rate already at the airport hotel and it was a crazy rate, £170.

    If I do decide to request a hotel, do I contact their Finland office as that is where my ticket is booked from?

    • Doodles, not worth it. If it’s only 8.5 hrs. They have a sort of quiet area with black bendy couches, a bit away from the food, which you can stretch out on. They will bring you blankets etc. Very nice service. But when we went to the hotel another time, we only had about 5 hrs sleep…nice tho.
      If you do want to book, just log into MMB and book it there..we just did HEL, SGN with 6 hrs wait one leg.

      • Hello Polly, thanks for your reply. This is what I was hoping, to find a quiet area to pass some of the time.

    • Hilton at Helsinki airport is great and 2 mins walk from terminal

    • I think I remember someone requesting the airport hotel as their free stopover hotel. Could be worth a try.

  13. barry cutters says:

    flying aer lingus tomorrow from heathrow.
    im BA gold.
    Flight is operated on an are lingus number though

    can I get lounge access and seat selection for free?

    • Lounge access – yes

      No sure about seat selection

      • Barry cutters says:

        Guest?

        • Barry cutters says:

          And lounge options for T2

          • the real harry1 says:

            good old begging, always beats a quick google

          • That would be the Aer Lingus lounge :-) Review on HFP if you search. No idea about a guest, I was on my own the one time I got in via my BA Gold.

        • Not when I tried as silver a couple of months ago. The dragon at the desk even had a big laminated notice at the front of her folder stating that BAEC members were not entitled to bring a guest into the lounge. She almost suggested that I went in and left my wife outside!

  14. Neil McGinty says:

    Why are the British still getting a raw deal in Qatar sales?
    Even the so called British flag carrier takes us for granted.
    Aug, 2 Adults & Child, AMS-LHR-BKK-LHR-AMS… £3300, LHR-BKK-LHR, same flights…. £7500, what a joke

    • Because compared to BA, TG and BR flying direct to BKK, the fare is still cheaper and people are prepared to pay it. 5x daily service + code sharing service with BA, QR manage to fill their planes from London no problem.

    • Qatar can fill its planes out of London. The new BA revenue sharing deal may also reduce their options.

  15. Pauline Peddie says:

    Is it only possible to book the Malaysia airlines deal for max stay 3 weeks?

  16. On my Lloyds bank account there is 5% discount this is targeted though as my GF does not have it on hers.

    You have to pay by debit card for this discount also

  17. Beware of booking direct with QR, they may require sending a scan of your passport and credit card statement.

    For flights such as these where you won’t get much back if you cancel and are going to be expensive to change anyway, I prefer to book through Amex Travel and also get 3MR/£ while paying in GBP

  18. So that means a <2% discount since there will be a foreign transaction fee of 3%

  19. Wayne Phillips says:

    I had the offer on my Lloyds Avios amex, so no currency charges.

    It’s capped though, from memory spending around £2500 would have maxed it out

  20. Do you get the 3MR/£ just for paying with gold or plat amex on Amex Travel website or do you have to go through a particular portal, be logged in etc.?

  21. Agreed.

    Faced this previously. I refused and challenged QR to cancel ticket and refund in entirety..

    Received a reply that showing credit card used to purchase at check in would suffice.

  22. Where do you find offers on the lloyds Amex? Do you need a lloyds current account in order to see these? Thanks

  23. Can you see your credit card account online? If so look for ‘everyday offers’.

  24. Wayne Phillips says:

    Max reward was £60 (just checked)

  25. Wasn’t expecting that but just checked my MR account.
    It is indeed 3MR per £ spend; which is very good deal in my opinion.
    Bonus points are posted as “American Express Travel Bonus”