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Qatar Airways flights from Edinburgh start today – redeemable on Avios, lower tax than BA

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Qatar Airways launches its service between Edinburgh and Doha at 2.45 this afternoon, when QR28 takes off via a new Boeing 787.

They will fly five times per week and this will be the first service from Edinburgh to any Middle Eastern destination.

I wrote a few pieces last year about Qatar Airways joining British Airways in the oneworld alliance, eg here and here. If you live within reach of Edinburgh, this gives you a very interesting new option for spending your Avios points, especially as Qatar Airways has an impressive reputation and a growing route network.

The use of a Boeing 787 on this route means that it will feature their impressive new business class seating as pictured above.

Avios redemption seats are bookable at A return from Edinburgh to Doha in business class costs 80,000 Avios plus £337 – £175 cheaper than taking a BA flight with a change in Heathrow.  Qatar appears to be releasing 4 business class seats per flight.

In Economy, you are looking at 40,000 Avios return plus £232  – a saving of £163 and a few hours of your life over taking a BA connecting flight at £395.

There are also some special sale deals for cash available to launch the route.  You will earn Avios and British Airways tier points on these flights.

Travellers on the Edinburgh flight today will be among the first to see the new Hamad International Airport in Doha, which finally opened yesterday after long delays.  I will write about this separately in a day or so.

PS.  If you are planning to fly to Doha from London, it is worth noting that ex-Heathrow redemptions are also a lot cheaper on Qatar than on British Airways. 

The tax on a direct BA Club World flight to Doha is £510 return, whilst a Qatar flight is £369 return. Unless you are using a 2-4-1 voucher from your BA Amex, Qatar is the way to go.  You can even try their ‘business only’ late night A319 flight although initial feedback on that has not been too positive.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (31)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • wobbly wings says:

    Thanks for highlighting this Raffles, much appreciated.

    On another note, I am sorry to be a pain, but why don’t we call “taxes” what they are and refer to them as “BA charges” or “co-pay”?

    Yes, a component is APD and other bits go to the airport operator but the fuel surcharges – ridiculously as they are – are the biggest element of the co-pay that BA demands for their “free tickets”.

    I know Raffles is sympathetic to the issue that fuel surcharges are ridiculous when oil/fuel prices are effectively the same quarter after quarter.

    I suggest we refer to them for what they are.

    Once again, sorry for the pedantic post.

    • Rob says:

      You’re right. I would write taxes and charges but it gets long winded after a while.

      Do not want to use terms like co-pay when BA does not use them itself.

      • wobbly wings says:

        Thanks for the response. That’s true. If push comes to shove, given that the charges are higher than the taxes for most resumptions (other than RFS/ET) maybe charges is preferable to taxes as it more accurately reflect what the cash component covers.

        Just a suggestion…I love the blog. Thanks for doing this.

  • Col A-B says:

    Surely another negative about the BA flight (other than the higher taxes) especially if not originating at LHR is that their flight is via BAH, not non-stop.

  • Ed E says:

    QR have now delayed the A380 launch on the Heathrow route from June 17 to July 1st.

  • Brian says:

    Off-topic, but I noticed that BA is currently offering sale Club World prices, at least ex-Europe. I found Paris-New York return for less than €1500.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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