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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 ba.com. 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.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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 UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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 unbeatable travel 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

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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.

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 sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

  • Snorkie says:

    I don’t think it will be a QF flight number on a QR service.

    • Rob says:

      You spotted my deliberate mistake of the day, well done 🙂

      • Snorkie says:

        I’m a corporate travel agent, so it was the first thing I noticed lol 😉

    • Lady London says:

      Don’t count on it we may see this one day!

  • Erico1875 says:

    How many Avios will BOM or GOI be?

    • Rob says:

      You need to use the online BA calculator to price the 2nd leg, or do a dummy booking and see. Avios price by segment so it will be 40k economy / 80k business to Doha plus the cost of the connection.

      • Erico1875 says:

        Ok. Did that. DOH to BOM is an extra 40K Avios + £165 in taxes.

        So that makes Edinburgh to DOH toBOM 120K Avios + £337+ £165 With Qatar Business (£502}
        BA are 100K Avios + £609. EDI to LHR to DOH
        I think in my case , i would, if I have the choice, pay the extra £107 and save 20K Avios

        Personally , having only flown economy with QATAR before, I really didn’t rate them. I found their crew quite off hand. BA crew have always been excellent as have Emirates.

  • andy stock says:

    I guess they are using the new BA lounge at EDI?

    • CV says:

      I’d assume so via oneworld access rules, there will also be the upgraded Servisair (Aspire) lounge and the new No.1 Traveller lounge soon if travellers want to use their Priority Pass/Airport Angel. Off topic, over at GLA Emirates are finally putting in their own EK lounge, and then there is rumour that Etihad will start flying from GLA next year also.

      With all these oneworld airlines flying out of the UK it would be good to see BA reduce their taxes/fees to similar levels, but if they dont need to then why would they.

      • Alan says:

        No 1 Traveller is now open at EDI. I missed it last week as I thought it wasn’t open yet (only saw on my way to the gate), but hopefully will have a chance to try it out on Friday.

  • oyster says:

    Do they have F out of London? And if so are the taxes/fees the same as business class?

    • Rob says:

      Isn’t Qatar scrapping F?

      • Matt says:

        The new QR A380 has First. I don’t know about their other aircraft though.

      • James says:

        Some of their A330-300s also have an F cabin, hence why you see them on the LHR route alongside the mishmash of other frames.

  • Jordan D says:

    Minor correction: it is a A319(LR) service out of LHR, not a A318 on QR.

    • Rob says:

      Duly corrected!

      • Jason says:

        Any reason why initial feedback isn’t positive?

        • Rob says:

          Meal service took a long time so lights stayed on for too long, if you have an aisle seat you have someone climbing over you (and in a window you must climb over someone else). This is not my personal view, note, just reporting.

          There is a long-haul 25 minutes earlier and I think people are struggling to find a reason not to take that instead.

          • Jason says:

            Does anyone know if business, on Qatar, is better on the A330 than the A319?
            The 319 time suits us better, but would take the later flight if it is a nicer service on the A330.

  • DMRevis says:

    I have just booked to SIN in September with Qatar from LHR, returning to EDI as I live in Orkney. One of the main reasons was 3 out of 4 flights will be new Dreamliners. The return to EDI is a big plus point too for me. I’m looking forward to the flights as QR has a good reputation. A little disapointed I only get 25% Avios though but as this was a cash ticket in Economy the avios are just a bonus. Middle-East airlines continue to impress me. I was able to select my seats (something BA charge upwards of £25/sector) for free and there was no credit card charges. BA/Virgin take note.

  • ba fllyer says:

    Raffles,
    On the topic of taxes – is this a known fact that when booking a return redemption ticket on BA, taxes are higher than when booking two one way tickets on the same dates and in the same cabin?

    For instance, JFK-LHR-EWR is 80000 Avios + £ 709.51. However, JFK-LHR is 40000 Avios + £ 260.40, and LHR-EWR is 40000 Avios + £ 362.81. So, the taxes for 2 one way bookings are £ 622 (vs £ 710 when booking a return).

    • nux says:

      This is because BA charges YQ based on the country of origin, and the USA is higher than UK.

      If you booked LHR-JFK-LHR it is cheaper to book as a return rather than two one-ways.

      • Jonny says:

        Agreed, I have found the opposite – i.e. cheaper taxes booking a return than 2 x one-way (both to NYC and west coast)

  • Angela says:

    I’m already booked reurn to Singapore next February really looking forward to it only downside is that can’t use 241 voucher but really only fly BA due to 241 and points would never spend my own money on them as there are plenty of better alternatives

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