Bits: Qatar deals from Oslo, Waitrose shopping tracking

News in brief:

Interesting Qatar Airways deals from Oslo

Qatar Airways has launched some interesting deals from Oslo if you need to travel to Asia, Africa or Australasia over the next couple of months.

These Qatar Airways deals are worth a look because:

you earn Avios and BA tier points when you fly with Qatar – 560 tier points, almost enough for BA Silver, with a return in Business Class to anywhere outside India or the Middle East via Doha

the Qatar Airways business class product is excellent

the fares are very good value

You can take a look at the Oslo deals here.  Highlights are:

Cape Town for NOK 15,939 (£1,488)

Auckland for NOK 19,469 (£1,817)

Singapore for NOK 13,989 (£1,306)

….. plus the cost of getting to Oslo and back!  But that is what Avios ‘Reward Flight Saver’ redemptions are for ….

Note that whilst two people need to travel together to get the Economy deals, this is NOT the case with the business class deals.

You need to book by 10th April for flights between 21st April and 20th June.

As Qatar Airways flies a Boeing 787 on the Oslo route, you will get the latest – and very impressive – business class seat which I reviewed here and which is pictured below.

Qatar 787 350 business class

Waitrose shopping now tracking via Virgin Atlantic

My recent article on the ability to earn Virgin Atlantic miles when you shop in-store at Waitrose generated more excitement than most recent pieces.

Following the initial enthusiasm, people started to get concerned when nothing was tracking.  The good news is that the Virgin portal is now catching up.  As of yesterday, I was showing miles for transactions dated 30th and 31st March:

Virgin miles from Waitrose shopping

It isn’t clear if that is the date of the transaction, the date it was processed or the date it posted.

Note that the Virgin Atlantic site is now saying that the ‘4 miles per £1’ deal is a special offer which will only run until 24th May.  It isn’t clear what the on-going earning rate will be after that.

(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.)

Earn 250 Avios when dining at restaurants - now finally launched
Which hotel chains let me collect Avios points?
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Comments

  1. Loads Money says:

    Who’s got time to go to Oslo when you can fly direct from LHR to any destination in
    First Class any time of year from £4,000 to £10,000……

  2. Mycity says:

    My first Waitrose purchase was 27th March, nothing tracking for me currently.

    • Metatone says:

      Similar, although I’m pretty sure I registered on the 21st or 22nd & I definitely shopped on the 23rd. I wonder if there is a batch cycle and if it depends on your statement cycle?

    • I’ve made 2 purchases since it started. One on the 23rd of March which hasn’t shown up as tracked (it was only just over £1 so I’m not too bothered) and one on Friday which has.

      They were both at little Waitrose locations, so that doesn’t seem to be the reason either

    • I made purchases on 22 & 23 March which have not tracked. Purchases from 28 March onwards seem to be coming through, but nothing for yesterday yet.. Maybe they didn’t actually start tracking until w/c 27th.

  3. Alex W says:

    Boo, i thought 4 miles to £1 was too good too good to be true! Back to Tesco when that deal expires then!

  4. Roger I says:

    Mrs Roger and I flew QR Oslo-Doha-Cape Town in March and were very impressed, except that we had 4x turbulence instead of the 2 on direct flights! :) I thought that would have been enough to dissuade Mrs R from future QR CPT trips, but no, she loved the experience (especially the 787) and is up for it again.

    Not sure about the Oslo ‘long way round’, though. It was 0 degrees in Oslo when we left and 28 degrees in CT when we arrived. This requires more planning for clothing. We stayed overnight in Oslo on the way out.

    It may not be necessary. I’m finding BA flights from AMS for about £1,500 and from £1,600 from LIS for our next trip. Yes, BA but we can live with that. Less favourable cancellation terms than QR.

    Oh, add me to the missing Waitrose miles list.

    • I’d agree that LHR-CPT beats xxx-DOH-CPT regardless of airline

      Lesson for next time may be to go to Scandinavia when the UK** is also cold, so you need to pack a big coat anyway. This will certainly be the case for my ARN-AKL-CPH trip in November. In fact I found HEL and TLL to feel less cold than London in early March despite being -1 deg over there and 5-10 deg here

      **perhaps just London, since Scotland and the north are going to be as cold as Norway

    • Doodles says:

      I got back at the weekend from my first QR ex EU trip. I flew HEL-DOH-SGN. I flew on 3 different planes and really enjoyed the food and service, so much better than with BA. Didn’t sleep very well on any of the flights but that’s just me. I had an 8 hour transit on the way back and didn’t ask for the transit hotel. This was a mistake and I would definitely take that option in future. The business lounge at Doha looks impressive but all the best seats for those wanting to sleep were taken. Given the good standard of food on board, I thought the food at breakfast in the lounge was really poor. One other thing that people don’t seem to mention on here is the complete shambles of queuing for transit passengers. On my outbound flight, we were dropped off by the business class bus only to join a disorderly queue for 20+ minutes, those behind me were waiting even longer. On the return journey, I saw a queue for business passengers but the guy who allowed you to join that queue kept walking off. On the way out, that time spent in the queue somewhat spoilt my impression of the whole thing, at least on the way back I knew exactly what to expect. I should say that both flights arrived in Doha just before midnight, it seems to be a really busy time then but, knowing that, they should plan accordingly. I know people complain about queues at Heathrow but I don’t remember such an experience at LHR ever, maybe I have been lucky, and only once at Gatwick passport control.

      • Rashad says:

        Wow, what an opposite experience you’ve had Doodles. I, on the other hand, have had most amazing experience flying through Doha although I was dreading 13hours lay over on the way back. Flights were fantastic and A380 with fantastic bar and IFE was truly amazing experience.

        No Queues were experienced at any time nor in transit not when we left the airport for the City Tour, which I recommend. Everything was priority Q and moving ver fast, we were like fist in and fist out.

        As for Doha Business Class lounge I would not stay in a hotel as transit hotel was about £300. we have managed to get private cabins in Quiet Area and had a sleep for 5 hours then showers in showers that beat most of the 5star hotels.

        I would definitely do this again :-)

      • Hi Doodles, you did the same trip as we did in Jan. Hope you enjoyed Hanoi as much as we did. Much as you describe, but l don’t think people care if you have to queue for a bit to connect. Usually the breakfast food is good, you can order food too. They are very willing to please.
        One thing to note about the 8 hr+ layover hotel, they won’t give it to you if you bypass a more expensive flight booking with less layover time. They say you chose to have the long layover. We were caught out by that clause last time, but luckily did get those black couch like sleepers… On the whole the ex eu option is very good value for lovely planes, great J space and on demand dining. But unless you are chasing TPs as we were, then as James67 says constantly Finnair do great direct deals non stop from HEL. Of course far preferable, but needs must.
        We are waiting for their QR Autumn sale to see if we can grab another one next Jan Feb toAsia. Too good a chance to miss out on. As long as they are around the £800-£900 mark. Then spend our avios on RFS fares.

        • Doodles says:

          Hello Polly,
          Yes, I enjoyed my holiday, thank you for the replies to my earlier questions before I set off. I flew back to LHR on the Finnair A350 so got to see their business class long haul seat. I was looking for the quiet seats in the lounge in DOH but all were taken and I didn’t have the energy to keep walking round looking every hour. Now that I have seen the airport and know that I am not missing much, I would definitely take the hotel option if available. I was sat next to someone flying to Miami when I left Vietnam and with the hotel included, that is his preferred route. I did like the Finnair lounge in HEL (non-Schengen zone) and thought the food there was perfectly acceptable although some have not been positive about it on here. The miles/TP have not posted automatically so I will have to chase that. I have my first HBO ticket (will try Harry’s tip to select a seat at the airport) next month but will still be 25TP and 1 flight short. Still, I have until early December to sort that out. Overall, I would fly QR again but would certainly consider CX or Finnair if the price was competitive.

          • Doodles, Glad it all worked out for you. We hope to do an AY at some stage from HEL, probably in our soft landing year. We are also doing our final TP run to DUB this summer, to retain our silver. We got a v g fare, Y out and CE back, so pleased with that. If we don’t get a QR J sale to suit, you are correct, there will always be a CX or AY sale that come quite near QR price wise. Re the sleepers there, my OH had already settled into one of their very large comfy armchairs before we were shown the quiet area. It is such a treat to fly J, it’s def worth the effort to do an RFS into Europe. But good to discuss the pros and cons of uk v eu departures.

  5. NOK 13799 is just about £1300 to BKK plus the inconvenience and cost of the LHR/LGW to OSL – hardly good value and no checked through baggage – that will be fantastic after 2 x circa 7 hour flights before your 2 hour schlep home !

    Finnair still (occasionally) has £1309 from LHR with no nonsense baggage issues. I feel the discount button is being pressed a little at Etihad and we are seeing some steeper discounts not seen since the last 30% off.

    For my money, if ex LHR is £1500 then an ex EU city alternative needs to be circa £1000.

  6. Funny this article came up today. I booked Sydney on Qatar out of Stockholm last night for £2227.
    Id been searching for a decent Australia fare for months on one of the ME3 that wasn’t sky high. (Right now Qatar LHR-SYD is £4K!)

    I also checked out other fares to Asia and there are some good deals there too. Stockholm seems to be miles cheaper than most other euro countries.

    Also if you sign up to the Qatar newsletter (even if you already are signed up) you get a 15% off promo code.

    Also if you have time to kill, Stockholm also has an Etihad fare ARN-DUS-AUH-SYD. You fly to Düsseldorf on air Berlin then Etihad to SYD, MEL or PER for around £2100. Fly out of Düsseldorf and it shoots up to £2800.

    • 15% promo code? News to me and I’ve just signed up again with a different email address and no code…what am I missing?

  7. Waitrose is doing a sign up deal for first time online shoppers. £20 of each of your first five purchases. Not sure if this has any impact on the bonus miles though. Being a regular tesco shopper I’ll have to give this a go until May.

    • Frenske says:

      Bonus miles??? You mean the Virgin Miles. It should not, Virgin shop cannot know the details of the transactions.

    • Frenske says:

      Bonus miles??? You mean the Virgin Miles. It should not, Virgin shop cannot know the details of the transactions.

      Coincidental Waitrose gave me 4 x £8 off vouchers (min £40 spend), so giving Tesco a miss for awhile.

  8. Re waitrose, I have done 3 shops. 22/3 not posted, 29/3 posted today, 1/4 not posted yet. I have made a claim for the shop on 22/3 so will see what happens….

    • Stevie G says:

      I shop in Waitrose more or less daily. I registered on the 21st March and have had zero miles added. All cards definately registered :-/

      • This is cheeky but can I get virgin miles if i use my BA AMex card at waitrose?
        Leo

      • thomas says:

        added 4 cards as soon as this was offered and all transactions are showing in pending.
        might it have anything to do with the wait 24 hours after signing up to using use card ?

  9. Glenda says:

    It’s strange that everyone’s first shop hasn’t registered, mine hasn’t either. I registered my credit card on 21st March then waited more than the 24 hours it said you had to do before the first shop. My first shop was 26th march which hasn’t showed up but both of my next two shops have.

  10. Capecam says:

    Are the dates specified for Oslo outbound only ? When must travel be completed by ?

  11. Rob are we likely to see more of Qatar’s BOGOF economy deals as they work out value for families? What about around 500 euros in Business class from HEL and other European countries to the Middle East that came around May last year? Waiting for a good bargain as the £1000+ ones are too expensive when travelling as a big family.

    • Yes, they’ll be back. Doubt they will be that cheap again but they haven’t stopped the deals.

    • Genghis says:

      I saw this on LL. Could you register?
      I got the message, “We encountered a system problem while processing your request. Please try again or contact the IHG Rewards Club Customer Care Centre for assistance.”

      • I got the same, probably because I was not invited although a poor error message.
        It only applies to paid stays so I would not benefit anyway.

      • same error message here, shame as i have a stay coming up…

    • Very likely to be Middle East residents only.

      • Eh…… why Middle East?

        Change your ihg Country address from Ukraine (hfp default) or UK ….to Malaysia. Should then be accepted into the offer.

        Buyer as ever beware of the consequences.

    • Punter says:

      Bear in mind that theT&Cs on that IHG page clearly state that your Stays have to be in “Asia Pacific (excluding China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), the Middle East and Africa between 1 April 2017 and 31 December 2017″…

      So no good for Europe or Americas but I will certainly take advantage while in Doha and KL (if I can get registered, which I don’t want to do until Accelerate Q1 is finished !!!

  12. OT but it’s bits so probably okay. I stayed at the Mercure Haydock on Saturday night on a Happy Mondays deal, didn’t get to sleep until 5am because the air con was very noisy even when turned off (and our room was right next to the marquee in the interior courtyard, though the music stopped at midnight so not too bad). Is there any point me complaining to the hotel or Accor about this? I’ll only complain if it’s likely there will be compensation offered.

  13. I spotted the Qatar 787 at LHR today for anyone travelling from LHR, seems they’ve had a reshuffle of aircraft on some flights.

  14. James67 says:

    OT @Liz @Genghis, successfully used your tip about paypoint and CT to pay £300 today, thanks.

    • Great!

    • Genghis says:

      Good stuff

    • I’d love to but my Council (Waverley) won’t use PayPoint.

      I also pay shed loads of business rates and not one of my councils (Waverley, East Hants, Chichester) will accept PayPoint.

      Anyone know different ?

      What about BT, Sky, Utilities companies (British Gas, Scottish Power and others) as I pay well over £100k a year to these and don’t get anything.

      • Genghis says:

        BG accepts paypoint – call up and ask to be sent a card and ask to pay the min DD if that’s how you currently pay. I topped up my account again this morning as I have a 5% back at Co Op on Halifax Clarity. Not as good as the 10% a couple of months ago.

    • Can you remind me about council tax, Hertsmere say the follow.

      Cash and cheque payments can be made for FREE here.
      Take your bill to any Post Office or PayPoint outlet, along with your payment.
      The assistant will scan the barcode and take your payment amount.
      You will need to ensure you know the amount you wish to pay, as staff will not have access to this information or any of your account details.
      Once your payment has been processed your bill will be returned, along with a receipt

      The Post Office say: Please check your bill to see if cheque or debit card is an acceptable method of payment for your bill.

      So do I just walk in and say I want to pay the value of this month’s DD would be? Due on 15th April. Then had Amex/Visa card over and hope they accept it?

      • Louise says:

        I use co-op in central London, Just hand over council tax bill and say I would like to pay x amount please. Stick amex card in card machine! I pay £200 a month and no issues but some have reported some shops putting a limit on amount that will go through in one transaction. Nothing to stop you asking to do it again though

      • Genghis says:

        Walk into Co op.
        “I’d like to pay £200 on council tax please”
        (Cashier processes)
        (You put card in. Pay)
        “Thanks”.

        • Thanks again Louise & Genghis. I shall give it a go later today.

          • Graham, it has to have a bar code tho, before you can pay with your cc at the co op. My council will only offer me a Lloyds bank pay in book, was hpoingnomcouodmuse PO counters,mouth nomluck, very strict with payments. Most other utilities will send you a pay pint card. Only one co,op can’t do is sky and certain councils. Or pre pay some bills on line with Amex. It’s a faff, but worth a try.

        • Graham Walsh says:

          Went to a newsagent with Paypoint and he said it was £1 for debit cards and £3 for credit cards. Paid it using my Virgin Visa. Didn’t take Amex. I’ll use my IHG Black next month for maximum points. Will also try another local paypoint and see what they charge.

          Was also in the post office and they only accept debit cards for council tax.

          • Genghis says:

            It’s only at a Co Op you will get maximum benefit – i.e
            1) They will do the transaction in the first place
            2) They take Amex
            3) They won’t charge you for spending on a credit card.

            Paying newsagents to do a paypoint transaction defeats the object of the exercise. So you paid £3 for how many Virgin miles (@1/£)? Bear in mind banks (I know Santander at least at 1%) offer cash back on council tax.

          • 3% cashback for £3/mo fee with RBS (or NatWest in England) – I find that difficult to beat unless it’s the only way you could hit a sign-up bonus on a card.

        • Was short on time today so newsagent was the quick option. Will use co op next month. Currently sitting PE on the way to Shanghai for the F1. Wouldn’t be possible without reading this site. Thanks Rob & Anika.

  15. OT – Aerclub
    Supervalu are offering 100% conversation bonus til end April

    https://supervalu.ie/rewards/use-points/aer-lingus

  16. James67 says:

    OT: TESCO CURRENT ACCOUNT OPEN TO NEW APPLICATIONS AGAIN.
    New twist this time, 3% interest requires £750/month deposit plus 3 DD per month excluding tesco savings accounts.
    http://www.tescobank.com/current-accounts

  17. I have had a yes you can , and a no you can’t- Can Rob answer this please?

    This is cheeky but can I get virgin miles if i use my BA AMex card at waitrose assuming I register the BA Amex on that shoppers link/site.
    Leo

    • the real harry1 says:

      too many poofs

    • I think Rob is quite literally up in the air at the moment…

      He’ll probably be zonked tomorrow aswell..

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you can register the card number with shops away there’s no issue, I’ve done my SPG AMEX so can’t see why you couldn’t.

      Earn Avios through the card and virgin miles through shops away, the two aren’t connected.

  18. It’s OK – finally found it! All posted fine….

  19. Brilliant Thanks Guys

  20. Once logged into FC, you should see 4 tabs > Flying Club | Future Flights | Activity | Profile

    I imagine under activity you would see it. I see my credit card spend, flights, train points etc.

  21. Thanks Graham – I’ve looked there but it looks different to the screenshot that Rob has put in the article. It doesn’t show any Waitrose stuff in any case – let’s hope that’s just due to posting delays.