Nutmeg Avios

Decisions …. lowest ever Qatar UK Business prices (Perth £1,425!) but you risk NO BA tier points

The Qatar Airways UK sale which finished on Monday does not seem to have the impact they hoped.  That is great news for you because it has bounced back with pricing which is unprecedented for UK-departing business class flights.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first however.

Qatar Airways flights earn British Airways Avios and tier points. Fly with them to Asia in Business Class and you would get you 560 tier points (4 flights x 140 each) which is 90% of a BA Executive Club Silver card.  It is a great opportunity.

Last month, Qatar brought in a new ticket ‘class’ for cheap business class seats, ‘R’.  These sale flights book into ‘R’ class.

British Airways has been slow to update its partner list.  If you click here and then click on the Qatar logo you will see that ‘R’ class tickets will only earn Avios and tier points if BOOKED after 1st May.

I am not 100% convinced by this – I get a feeling that it will actually apply to anything FLOWN after 1st May.  However, the rule as it is written on is that you would need to BOOK after 1st May and, of course, that isn’t possible as this sale ends on Monday.

If you book one of these deals, you are taking a risk that you will get nothing in British Airways Executive Club.  The best you could do is credit the flights to Qatar Privilege Club but you would be nowhere near earning equivalent status.

Now that I have got the warning out of the way, look at these prices:

Qatar A380

The UK sale home page on the Qatar website is here.  There may be other deals which are not listed so feel free to play around with their website.

You can book for travel until 31st March 2017.  The problem with booking a long way out is that Qatar may have another sale after 1st May which would guarantee you Avios points and BA tier points.  If you book today there is a chance that you get nothing.

These routes are under £1,000 in Business Class – and remember that you can fly until 31st March 2017 in most cases:

Edinburgh to Dubai – £880

Birmingham to Phuket – £980

These routes are under £1,250:

Edinburgh to Maldives – £1,130

Edinburgh to Bangkok – £1,140

Edinburgh to Singapore – £1,200

Birmingham to Perth – £1,250 (the most astonishing price I have ever seen for a flight to Australasia from the UK – but, in practice, I couldn’t find it.  I did find seats at £1,425 return however.  Sydney is around £1,700.)

London to Dubai – £1,250

Qatar 787 350 business class

The other thing to check with Qatar is which aircraft you will be getting.  It is shown clearly during the booking process.  The new – and fantastic – business class seating shown above is on the A380 (London only, some flights only), Boeing 787 and A350 aircraft.  Try to prioritise flights with those aircraft.  The excellent food, drink and IFE will be the same irrespective of plane type.

My review of the Qatar A380 business class seating is here, the Boeing 787 business class seating here and the Boeing 777 seat here.

There are lots more deals where these came from.  I recommend taking a look at the Qatar sale page here.  The main booking page is here.  You have until Monday night to book.

It is just s…o…o…o frustrating that you cannot be certain of earning even a single Avios or tier point from these fares.  If you can buy a Perth ticket for £1,250 or £1,425 return, however, I doubt you care.

(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.)

Bits: 15% off Leading Hotels, Etihad buying Air Malta, free delivery on Tesco Wine, Mongol Rally
The British Airways 'On Business' programme explained (Part 1, 2016 edition)
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  1. Andrew H says:

    O/T – Iberia Plus offer of 5 avios per euro spent has gone up to 8.

    • So if you went for 100K – which ISTR was about 1320 euros, you’d have been about 4000 Avios better off procrastinating 🙂

      • reworking my ‘I might do this’ example…

        Some people are saying why bother with 2000 avios @ 0.7p? – agreed it’s only 2000 for potential hassle. What about 18,000 for under 0.9p?

        Crunching the math to get best, decent amount + discount (5 Groupons) = 1 x 2000 + (4 x 4000) = total 18,000 avios. Cost EUR215

        You buy through IB Plustore. = 1720 Avios

        You get another 340 Avios on your Amex card.

        Total 20,060 Avios = 1.072c/ Avios = c. 0.84p/ Avios

        Decent biggish amount 18K @ 0.84p/ Avios

  2. All,

    Just had the pleasure of being on the phone to BA for one hour !

    Got through to a Manager based in the Newcastle office at British Airways . He advised

    1) It is Qatar who decides what fares are eligable for points in oneworld . It is negotiated between airlines and agreed . In this instance the new R class is from May 1st .
    2) You will not earn tier points or Avios before 1st May if you book now .
    I was hoping to have my cake and eat it ! – Oh well decisions decisions !

    • The_Real_A says:

      I wonder if there is some financial transfer between airlines for the points – hence the contract?

    • The call centre staff just read off the scripts they are given. No manager actually knows how the BA IT goes and especially how BA IT picks up the purchase date of a ticket issued by another airline. I still wouldn’t risk it if I needed the TPs but you shouldn’t take what they say as gospel.

    • My Qatar flight in R class is on 5th May but I booked in April. i spoke with BA who said I’d earn tier points but when I questioned it and asked for clarification they checked and said I wouldn’t earn. They already had my ticket in their system as I’d inputted my Executive number and could see the transaction date. oh well – i’ll get my money’s worth in the lounge!

  3. whiskerxx says:

    Why do so many people have to keep generating discussion about matters entirely unrelated to the thread (yeah….don’t tell me not to read them, because it’s necessary to pick out the ones that are relevant) Often the usual suspects. It isn’t a forum, so can’t you just take the chat elsewhere??

    • I find it a bit annoying too, but 1) occasionally there are offtopic things that I useful, 2) it isn’t difficult to skim them, 3) most offtopic things can be justified as being “of interest to many HFP readers” and 4) there isn’t a better place to “take the chat”

    • Andrew H says:

      I used to post comments on the relevant article but the problem with that is that 1) very few people see it, because they’re all posting on the three most recent articles; 2) You’re trying to keep track of too many article threads and it drives you mad; 3) there is no system set up to notify you of a new comment on a particular thread, other than the ‘last five comments’ section on the front page. It’s much more beneficial to post on the three latest articles because that is where the majority of people are looking.

      • It is chaotic but it is the best option!

        I am considering – because I have found some nifty software to do it – opening a Q&A section. This has some of the benefits of a forum (ie people can get answers to random questions) without the downsides (random tangential discuss which requires moderation). It may suddenly appear one day ….

        The large number of comments on the articles also has benefits for me as it hugely impresses all of the industry people I meet. You can fake your page views, Facebook fans etc but you can’t fake 100+ generally constructive comments per day.


    Something Ive noticed on MyFlights app is that these flights Ive booked are down as Economy…
    I doubled checked on the website and the confirmation emails and its Business class.

    Perhaps this has something to do with it being R class?? Was that originally an economy fare?

    • whiskerxx says:

      Just checked mine on MyFlights and Checkmytrip, and have the same scenario. Economy class R.
      But email confirmation says Business class and seats are reserved at the front.

      • has been like this since QR’s introduction of R class in recent sales. ITA can’t recognise it correctly either

  5. Hi

    Anyone know if I can get status credits if I credit these flights to Qantas? Hoping to go to Oz in summer.


    • Qantas need to start recognising R class which they do not, yet. By the Summer, however, they probably will. Whether they backdate it to include tickets already issued – which BA is refusing to do – is a different question.

  6. Wallace Lo says:

    I can see that these ticket can’t be cancelled @ £350, but then it says refund not allowed. Can someone please clarify?


  7. I flew BHX-DOH-SYD last week… no Avios or TP credited. Had no idea I wouldn’t get this – pretty annoyed about it.

    Just cancelled a BHX-DOH-JNB flight for 3 weeks time and rebooked with Etihad – not going to fly with an alliance that doesn’t reward without notice.

    • When you did you book that? R-class tickets have only been on sale for a few weeks. If you booked much earlier than that it is simply a delay.

  8. Flying Vet says:

    Hi raffles

    Many thanks for posting about these sale fares. These business promo fares are impressive – Edi – Mle about a third of the ba price for lgw-Mle in j, so great for northern based people especially those trying to avoid our usual zika affected winter haunt of the Caribbean!

    I booked a couple of tickets yesterday on the hope of the trip being an option family wise nearer the time. All the way through the booking process on the Qatar website it gave the strong impression that booking a j class ticket using the r class j fares would be refundable for a cancellation fee. This shows at various stages of booking the flight – the fare details tab pop of terms and conditions, when searching the sale fares says cancellable for a fee of 400 usd, when searching the dates to book a business promo fare from Edi to Mle the fare details tab says cancellable for a fee of £279 ( looking at bhx- Mle says non cancellable). Looking at the compare fare tabs to compare the different j tickets it says the same. If you continue the booking process it says nothing to the contrary unless you open the fare rules ( tiny) link before you press confirm and pay, however when you receive your e ticket / confirmation it says it’s non cancellable! Not sure why you would open an obscure fare rules link to read these – when looking at the previous compare the fare tab shows all the different cancellation charges for the different types of j tickets. I challenged this today with them on the phone and was told that business promo tickets are non refundable and that this is due to the final selection of fare classes – and that this is clear if you read the fare rules link but that the compare fare tabs etc don’t necessarily apply to the flights you select. This seems confusing and unfair to me but I could make no headway with the phone agent, I very much want to fly the holiday but family circumstances may prevent this and I thought was buying a refundable ticket with a cancellation fee. Why does business promo bhx- Mle say non cancellable when you browse the fare details of the sale but Edi-Mle says cancellable for £279?

    I have screen shots of all this in case I need to cancel in the future. Any wisdom gratefully received!

    • Graham says:

      I’ve been trying to find out the details of change conditions on R class bookings with Qatar. I want to book flights to SYD, but there is a risk that family commitments will mean we have to fly to SIN instead. The small print fare rules say there is a $300 fee for changes but I don’t know whether a change in destination is allowed. There is a section on re-routing but I can’t get confirmation from Qatar. They don’t respond to emails.

      • A change will also involve repricing based on the fare on the day you make the change. Unless there is a sale on at the time, you may be looking at an extra £1,000+ as well as the change fee.

  9. Raffles, thanks so much for sharing details of these sales. We’ve booked EDI -BKK, HKT-BHX in biz for a little over £1k each for our 10th anniversary next year. A380 and 787 all the way (unless Qatar change something!). Even as a travel agent, I’d have struggled to be aware of these sale fares and could never have afforded biz otherwise, so cheers!

  10. A little late on this one, but just so you’re aware if you’ve got access to Amex premium travel they’re consistently up t0 £200 cheaper than these sale prices. e.g. LHR – BKK is £2996 direct or £2894 through Amex. Bigger differences on other flights, but that’s an easy £100 saved on top of the sale price!

  11. Matthew says:

    Hi Raffles

    I’ve just booked my wife and I flights from BHX to PHK in business. Can’t wait as it’s the first time ever I will have gone business class. My question is about the frequent flyer points. You mention about not getting tier points with BA, so would I be better off giving my BA executive club number on my booking or my Qatar Qmiles number?

    Also do you know what lounge Qatar offer at BHX? Thanks

  12. Pail says:

    Asia miles so assume MPC now updated and accept R class on flights being flown from May 1…

  13. Pail says:

    Same on AA site now just saying travel after. Is the any risk in adding by BA code to my bargain BHX to Perth booking or should I wait?

  14. Any update on this? Will I get BA tier points or not?

  15. Oh sorry I should have been clearer. We booked before the 1st May 2016. According to flyertalk you will get the tier points but thought I check here.

    • Based on a very small number of FT samples, it seems you will be OK (as I thought you would be). A cynic may thing BA purposely gave out false information in order to stop you booking those cheap Qatar deals.