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Flight deals: Qatar to Tokyo for £795, British Airways Club and First deals ex-Europe

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Here are a couple of interesting flight deals if you are spending your weekend wondering what to do over the Summer.

More Qatar Airways bargains from Pisa

Qatar Airways is pushing its Pisa route again with some further very heavy discounting to Asia.

You see Qatar’s special Pisa fares here.

Pisa to Tokyo is a ludicrous €1,015 (£795) in Business Class.

Other standout deals are Kuala Lumpur (€1,205 / £945), Phuket (€1,125 / £882) and Bangkok (€1,030 / £808).

From Pisa, you are on a short-haul A320 to Doha but this still has flat bed seats in Business Class.  These Asia routes will earn you 560 British Airways tier points which is over 90% of what you need for a BA Silver card.  You can connect to Pisa on British Airways via Gatwick or Heathrow.

You need to book by Monday for travel at any point until March 2017, although at peak times you might not find the fare available.

PS.  Readers who booked the recent Pisa to Auckland deal on Qatar, who hit trouble when the Auckland service was delayed, have come up trumps.  Qatar has rebooked them Pisa – Heathrow (BA, Club Europe) – Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific, Business) – Auckland (Cathay Pacific, Business).

Qatar 350

British Airways First Class deals out of Europe

British Airways is, for some odd reason, selling cheap First Class tickets out of the Netherlands and Germany at the moment.  There may be other starting points available as well.

How cheap?  First Class to Johannesburg is €2,684 (£2,105) from Frankfurt or Amsterdam.  Cape Town, oddly, is not reduced.

Hong Kong is around €2,850.  Manila, which involves changing to Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong, is €3,000.  All of these prices are freely available, including over Christmas for those I checked.  A Saturday night does seem to be required.

These are clearly not pocket money prices but they do represent very good value for money if you are prepared to spend £2,000 on a return flight.

Good Club World deals are also available.  Johannesburg is €1,844 from Germany for example, and I found that fare easily available over Christmas.

Note that, whilst these fares are theoretically ‘refundable for a fee’, the fee is high.  Under the new BA cancellation rules, the cancellation fee is PER SECTOR.  That would be 4 x €300 for Amsterdam to Johannesburg which wipes out much of what you paid.

Have a play around at and see what you can find.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

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

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (68)

  • Boi says:

    OT: I am looking to book 2 adults and 3 children on a long haul ( 11 hrs from LHR). which option would people choose:
    1. Book ex-EU from AMS on BA CW =£6200 + positioning flight cost from LBA.


    2. Redemption virgin UC from LHR at a cost of approx £3600 ( I don’t have enough miles and therefore have to spend circa £1005 to top up). Total miles required is 500K.

    I can afford either option.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Brian says:

      If you lived nearer London, I’d say Virgin every time, but since you need to get from Leeds anyway, I guess there’s not too much difference between London and Amsterdam as a starting point.

    • Barry cutters says:

      And you will earn quite a lot of avios in the family account (depending on the level of status) for 5 returns in club

    • Jason says:

      Does your £3600 on virgin include the price to top up your account?
      If it does I’d go Virgin, although my most recent Virgin experience was from Manchester which wasn’t great and we flew back BAF which was much better than Virgin UC.
      I haven’t flown CW for 6 years but unless you have status, 5 seat fees against none for virgin, getting to Heathrow probably cheaper and easier than Amserdam, better lounges for virgin – all goes in their favour IMO.

      • Boi says:

        Thanks for replies.

        Yes the £3600 includes the price for buying extra miles. I have flown BA CW but haven’t flown virgin UC yet.

  • JamesWag says:

    Is the QR DOH to Tokyo always on a 777-200LR ? Looking in Dec and that’s all I can see on the QR website.

    • Rob says:

      I wouldn’t trust any Qatar scheduling more than a week in advance!

    • Rod says:

      Narita will be in a 777-200LR, Haneda will be a 787-8. Try to get the Haneda flights due to the better product and location of the airport to downtown, but departure time maybe inconvenient.

  • Tony says:

    Wow these QR fares are just incredible. I already nabbed the Auckland fare for Easter which is just unbelievable for a peak holiday period. Now I booked the Tokyo fare for Christmas/New Year on the 787 from Doha to HND which is much more convenient airport too. Together with the positioning flights and the occasional business short haul I am guaranteed BA gold next year.

    Too bad BA short haul fares seem to be going through the roof for any bookings I need to make lately. I have had to resort to Vueling for Barcelona in Excellence which is very close to CE for 60% less than BA HBO which is just stupid. A flight to Stuttgatt had to do Easyjet since BA was £600 for a HBO return. I’m not getting much opportunity to use my BA status with prices this high.

    • Rob says:

      With BA Gold you can get a ‘any seat for double Avios’ reward so those problems go away.

      • Alex W says:

        Not a very good value reward though if the low cost carriers have decent fares available.

  • Mark1980 says:

    OT slightly, I booked OSL-BKK return in J via Expedia Norway in the last round of sales and then added a 2nd passenger a day later. Unfortunately when I added the 2nd passenger there was only economy available on the outbound leg so I booked it. I’ve been looking into the possibility of upgrading the outbound leg using QR miles via SPG. The booking class we’re booked into is upgradable but I am unsure if I will be able to upgrade a flight booked via an OTA – anyone know if this is possible?

  • Carl says:

    Anyone know of a way to see exactly when Qatar fly Pisa-Tokyo? Having tried a few sample dates end of July, early August for both NRT and HND, I just keep getting no availability. Can’t seem to find a timetable or month view anywhere.

    • Alex says:

      They have a calendar feature, not unlike the BA redemptio availability calendar on the top right corner of the screen when you are booking cash flights. That said, you need to select one R fare to be able to see R fares in the return direction…

    • Rob says:

      Flights do not start until August it seems.

  • Alex says:

    Just an FYI – I booked QR ex-PSA yesterday for travel in September. The return flights have horrible timing to the connection back to PSA depending on the day. In my case, the site was offering me a 22 hour connection which wouldn’t have included a hotel since a (much higher price) 4 hour connection was available.

    As a result, I booked a return to Rome. The same fare sale also includes Rome, Milan, and Venice. The fares aren’t as low as they are to PSA (the return to Rome drove the price up by 150 GBP) but it is still a steal overall. Plus the return to Rome is on an A330-200 with the new seat, which is pretty comfy. You can mix and match to get your desired timing…

  • Lady London says:

    There must be more to BA’s new move on not checking through luggage onto OneWorld airlines and no longer honouring a larger baggage due to part of the trip being on another OneWorld Airline that gives you a higher luggage allowance, than this.

    It kind of looks like BA will probably continue to check luggage through at least for a while. It seems they just want the right to refuse it if you’re using their flights to connect with a much cheaper ex-EU. Perhaps on QR, perhaps on their own flights which are much cheaper out of EU.

    I know BA kind of “runs” OneWorld just as Lufthansa kind of “runs” Star Alliance. But how can BA, as one airline within an alliance, unilaterally decide they are not going to honour the privileges of the aliance? If this keeps going there is no reason to fly within one alliance, and travel insurance will have to pick up the misconnects. (Be careful, check the terms of your travel insurance as lots of them don’t cover misconnects btw.)

    Various OneWorld airlines have benefited mightily from me staying on Oneworld and not booking much cheaper alternatives with other airlines due to knowing that baggage is checked through and that I am guaranteed to be looked after in case of irrops if all my flights are OneWorld. There just doesn’t seem to be any point favouring BA or keeping my flights in OneWorld any more even though I have really tried to keep doing this in the past.

    Or, is this a sign that the OneWorld alliance is collapsing? Is it time to look seriously at the “constellation” of bilateral agreements with many benefits from a mixed bag of airlines across all the alliances that exist. I’m thinking of the Etihad/Alitalia universe, the Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Australia/Virgin America universe, or the Alaska Air universe. All of which it might make sense for me to look into, based on my flying patterns, if BA continues this nastiness.

    Plus the cancellation charge now being per sector. First time I’ve heard of this is here and today. Some of my tickets have 7 sectors! I’m more sad than angry about thi,s as no one in their right mind would keep preferring BA and pay extra on connecting itineraries to stay within OneWorld, if BA keeps doing things like this.

    • harry says:

      They also got nasty with the dropped last legs on ex-EU tickets, if you remember. Charging travel agents punitive amounts for the dropped last leg of their customers. It might indeed be ex-EU as the underlying irritation to BA.

      But this silly move will do little to stop ex-EUs. People will still go for the big savings, just engineer more connection time or an interesting stopover.

      Whilst crude, vulgar and a little infra dig for little old harry, I think that poster who basically stuck 2 fingers up at BA because of this will have struck a chord with many. BA has effectively turned a game, played by essentially loyal BA flyers in many aspects of their travelling spend, into open warfare.

      • RIccati says:

        — BA has effectively turned a game, played by essentially loyal BA flyers in many aspects of their travelling spend, into open warfare.

        It’s pretty much like that, an open warfare against own customers (not the people who live in EU destinations). The common good and the positive “network externality” benefit is eroded.

        BA has to realise that people who take ex-EU pricing to see the far sights will never pay an ongoing rate from London of £3-4,000 which is priced for a corporate customer. It’s also an overly negative response to the changed patterns of the travel booking.

        Now, if BA deliberately destroying the common good side of the alliance, why should it be allowed enter in cartel agreements such as TATL? So, BA is happy when Finnair will pay some revenue from a New York but unhappy if Finnair will pass on a bag onto a BA destination.

  • Neilma says:

    Thanks for the heads up Raffles – Just booked to Narita from PSA. Couple of questions….. I have also booked LHR to PSA returns with BA.
    Outbound we go the day before and plan to spend the PM and evening in Pisa before getting the Doha leg the next day. However on the return I am guessing we cant check the luggage in in Narita right through to LHR can we ?
    And we have 2 hours 50 when arriving in PSA from Doha before the PSA to LHR flight – I assume that will be ample time assuming no delays?

    • Rob says:

      Probably not, no, given the new rules. Does no harm to ask though.

      • RIccati says:

        Raffles, I think customers should do all they can to insist on the OW alliance working as it supposed to, particularly if airlines are not playing the ball.

        Even outside the alliance, ask check-in agent to see if there is an interlining agreement and then remind them that in the presence of the agreement, they have discretion.

    • RIccati says:

      As it is the OW airline to BA transfer, there is more chance that Qatar will check through.

      (2) Can ask for manual luggage tag. (3) Can also on arrival to PSA ask BA to locate the bag and load, given that you plan to remain airside. This is airport-dependent but it’s always a good idea to notify the next carrier about the bag coming and give them luggage tags even if it was checked in.

      (4) This alternative means simply carrying on your journey to London and ask Qatar/BA to deliver your luggage there. They will not like it but no one needs a stranded bag in their custody. It’s a return leg, so luggage going to have a lot of laundry mostly.

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