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 ba.com 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:
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
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.
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.
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.