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Qatar launches Amsterdam to Doha – and why it is not the best Avios redemption

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Qatar Airways is continuing its expansion in Europe with the launch of services from Amsterdam on 16th June.

Flights will operate daily and will use a new Boeing 787 which features Qatar’s latest business class seating (photo below).  This is an impressive 1-2-1 fully-flat arrangement which I reviewed last year.

As Qatar Airways is a member of the oneworld alliance, alongside British Airways, you can use your Avios points to book this flight.  Flights are already loaded at ba.com.

Qatar 787 business class seat

The good news ….  is that taxes are low compared to flying Qatar Airways from Heathrow.  A one-way redemption in Business Class from Amsterdam to Doha is 40,000 Avios + £119 in taxes and charges.  The same flight from Heathrow would cost 40,000 Avios + £274.  You might find it worthwhile getting a cheap one-way flight to Amsterdam to save £155 per person.

The bad news …. well, it isn’t really bad news.

However, if you are willing to start your Qatar Airways redemption flight in Europe, Amsterdam is NOT the best place to start.   Frankfurt is a better option.

Why?  Well, Frankfurt is – just – under 3,000 miles from Doha.  This means that it falls into the cheaper Avios redemption bracket.

Instead of 40,000 Avios points each way in Business Class, Frankfurt to Doha is just 25,000 Avios each way.  (Economy is a laughable 12,500 Avios each way.)  Frankfurt is also a Boeing 787 route.  The tax on a one-way from Frankfurt to Doha in Business Class is £160.

Other options to Doha in the 25,000 Avios one-way Business Class band include Zurich (£163 tax), Berlin (£144 tax) and Vienna (£135 tax).  Paris falls into the 40,000 Avios band.  The standard Qatar policy is to release four seats in Business Class per flight.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

Comments (35)

  • Phillip says:

    Don’t forget Copenhagen with taxes at £146.

  • James67 says:

    FRA aupposed to be switching to a350 unless that has changed. A huge downside of QR is that if you are heading to se Asia redemption really don’t work as your connecting flight from DOH is going to be another 40k avios CX exAMS is a better option with taxes typically under £100, reportedly superior service, more frequent connections and wider range of Asian destinations than QR for broadly similar avios spend. Even compared to the 25k QR routes such as TXL CX exAMS still wins because of lower taxes, and for most people probably cheaper and more frequent positioning flights to AMS.

    • Rob says:

      I have a diary note to write something on Cathay and indeed SriLankan from Europe, as it happens.

      • richie says:

        The Sri Lankan lounge at Colombo is brilliant . There was an actual chef carving big thick slices of beef Wellington when I was there in may. On the other hand the one that ba used had a plate of cold meats

        • Andrew says:

          The SriLankan lounge if you’re travelling in Business is excellent. If you’re in Economy and using status the lounge is drab, dull with poor food choices, the only plus being a decent shower.

          • Andrew says:

            It seems Sri Lankan have recently changed their lounge access rules. As a BA silver member I flew with them very shortly after they joined Oneworld and, after a bit of an argument, was allowed into the Serendib Lounge.

            Their rules seem to be wholly at odds with the general Oneworld rules who should really clamp down on member airlines picking and choosing which alliance rules they want to follow.

          • richie says:

            yes in may i was flying with ba with 3 friends in club. myself and partner were silver members so had a choice of 3 O/W lounges, but the other 2 could only use the ba partner lounge as they had no status.

          • James67 says:

            Qatar also guilty of this I believe.

      • James67 says:

        Look forward to it. The issue with SriLankan anywhere except LHR is which aircraft you end up on. J class rewards to/from London anytime I have looked were few and far between. Revenew J flights on SriLankan can still be great value but not as good as they once were.

    • ankomonkey says:

      Does JAL have any reduced Avios redemptions if starting elsewhere in Europe (CDG, FRA, etc.)?

  • Richie says:

    Qatar fly to Warsaw also, however i wouldn’t think theat route would get a 787 or a350

    • rad says:

      They do fly to Warsaw, but it’s an A320 at this time. Apparently supposed to switch to a 787 or A350 mid year.

      • richie says:

        if that happens i will use them. or at least try and use them as im wanting to do a trip to australia next year. starting from waw will be a bonus as we are likely to need a few days there prior to the trip. i will then make my wway to australia from doha or dubai. (qantas or Qatar) .

        i may also use it for a trip to maldives, as male is only 25k e/w from doha. , the problem is its also an a320/321 route. and the flight times to male are aways middle of the night it seems, ior at least they were when i was looking last year.

  • James says:

    Yes if you are an airplane geek then getting a redemption ex FRA is tempting for the impending A350 introduction on that route… Should be a lot more pleasant in economy than the 787 too.

  • Martin says:

    What about BRU? I snapped up a LHR – DOH – HKG return for a little over £1,400 for HK Sevens in March a couple of months ago. Is a 787 route BRU – DOH as well

  • tony says:

    MUC seems to have been missed off the list…

    Does anyone know how to get QR to price sensibly on European open jaws? I can get it to work within the UK, but if you try something like MUC-HKG-LON the price skyrockets… Anyone know of sites that work for this?

  • Sebastian says:

    Is there anyway to get to Salalah with Avios? I know Qatar fly there but whenever I try to look for redemptions I draw a blank.

    • anon says:

      I can find QR availability on almost every day I checked.

      Search DOH-SLL.

      • Sebastian says:

        Ah, thank you! I was making the mistake of waiting to see if it would appear in the drop down box. It seems Vienna to Salalah is also just under 3,000!

        Now I can get ten nights in a Deluxe Room in the Hilton Salalah for 40,000, get a Business return to Vienna for 50,000 with just £270 tax and I can also get a couple of nights in Vienna on the Club Carlson 241 promo, that’s me done for my winter 2015 trip.

        • Rob says:

          Result! Coming back there is probably minimal tax difference between Doha-Vienna and Doha-London (as APD is only due on the outbound) so it might be worth taking the direct flight back even though it requires 15,000 extra Avios. To be honest, when I came back via Zurich from my trip to Doha it was a bit of a drag having to change onto a short-haul plane for the last hop especially as you are pretty tired by that point.

          • tony says:

            You mean doing exactly what people travelling long haul and aren’t based in the SE of England have to do pretty much every time 😉

          • Alan says:

            Haha yes – I got some rather confused looks from friends when I explained I was flying back SFO-MIA-JFK-LHR-AMS-EDI on an ex-EU fare. The last short-haul legs are always the worst bits!

        • anon says:

          VIE-SLL is just over 3,000 miles but BA awards are priced per segment, so it would be VIE-DOH-SLL anyway which is a band 5 (25k) plus band 1 (9k) each way in J.

          • Sebastian says:

            Ah! That is a bit annoying re the segments, I may just buy an economy ticket outright instead as at the moment I can get a return from Vienna for £340 and then use the Avios towards a redemption for LA.

            As for Vienna, I actually plan to do four days there as I’ve never been, so I was planning on staying two nights on the way out and two nights on the way back and thus racking up two stays as well as the four nights. However, the tip about the return is helpful especially as I hadn’t realised that before, thanks!

  • Rich says:

    QR have today announced that they are reducing the fuel surcharge.
    No details yet.

    • Rob says:

      Saw this. May not change much, JAL is reducing the fuel surcharge from April but BA taxes on redemptions appeared unchanged when I looked!