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The hidden jewel in the Qatar Airways sale? Helsinki

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I ran an introductory article on the new Qatar Airways sale yesterday.

Since then, it has become a little clearer where the good deals are to be found.

There are a few things you need to know about Qatar Airways sales:

The best deals get scattered around.  One city may have a great deal to Johannesburg but a bad price to Cape Town, whilst another city may have the reverse.

All Qatar Airways flights are not created equal.  The A380, A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft are the most modern although you are guaranteed a flat bed in business class whatever you do.  Some shorter flights may be on short haul aircraft into Doha but those will also have flat beds in business unless the plane gets swapped at the last minute.  My review of Qatar Airways A380 business class is here, 777 business class here and 787 business class here.

Qatar Airways flights earn Avios and BA tier points.  A trip to Asia will earn at least 560 tier points return (140 points x 4 flights of over 2000 miles, due to the connection in Doha).

This current sale has, from some cities, got better pricing when two people travel together.  If you would be booking for two, search for two people to see accurate pricing.

In general, you must book on the Qatar Airways website by 6th September and travel between 15th September and 30th June.  No travel allowed between 15th December to 10th January.

Qatar A350

Business class pickings from the UK are slim.

However, the £979 return fares from the UK to Dubai in Business Class are in theory still available to book until 31st August.  Full details are here.  I say ‘in theory’ but I was struggling to find them last night.  The ‘sale’ price to Dubai is £1,600 which is widely available.

The full UK sale list is here.  The prices don’t seem too special – £3,000 to Australia, £2,000 to Asia, £1,600 to the Middle East is the ‘new normal’ these days in business class.  I don’t get excited about anything at these levels.

Yesterday I mentioned that it is worth looking at the following pages on the Qatar website for pricing ideas:

Qatar Airways Stockholm deals

Qatar Airways Oslo deals

Qatar Airways Copenhagen deals

Qatar Airways Paris deals

Qatar Airways Amsterdam deals

Qatar Airways Brussels deals

In most cases you must book on the Qatar Airways website by 5th September and travel between 15th September and 30th June.  No travel 15th December to 10th January.

However, it seems I missed one.  This time around Helsinki seems to have the best deals.

This is positive news.  Finnair flies to Helsinki from Edinburgh, Manchester, Dublin and London and you can book Finnair flights using Avios points.  If you need to stay overnight, there is a good Hilton at the airport which I reviewed here and which is 30,000 Hilton points.

The Qatar Airways / Helsinki deals page is here.

Note that Helsinki flights do not start until 10th October.  The flight to Doha will be on a short-haul A320 aircraft but equipped with fully flat business class seats.

This is what you can get (prices are business class, return).  I have highlighted the ‘two together’ price where it was shown, there may also be ‘two together’ discounts for other cities.

Australia €2,009 (€1,910 if two travel)

Bangkok €1,229 (€1,150 if two travel)

Delhi €1,169

Dubai €789 (€750 if two travel)

Hong Kong €1,779

Kuala Lumpur €1,429

Maldives €1,559

Phuket €1,189 

Ras Al Khaimah €779

Tokyo €1,269

Helsinki is also a lovely city in its own right if you do decide to spend a day there.  The list of Helsinki deals is here.

Is it worth the trouble?  Well, clearly you need to see what you would be paying out of the UK and compare it to a Helsinki price.  If you need the BA tier points then these fares are definitely worth it.  If you have time to spare – especially if you do a day in Helsinki – it is worth it.  If you can use Avios for a Reward Flight Saver ticket to Helsinki then, again, it is worth it.

After all, the chance to go to Tokyo for a touch over £1,000 in Business Class doesn’t come along often – especially with 560 British Airways tier points!

(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.)

Comments (51)

  • mark1980 says:

    After a little help please – I booked 2 return tickets OSL – DOH – BKK in the last sale in january for a bargain price of £599 via Expedia Norway. However, I would like to change my companion for the flight but I have no idea how to do this or if it’s even possible with this fare? My only correspondence so far has been emails from Expedia.No but its (obviously) all in Norwegian. Can I go direct to Qatar if it’s been booked via an OTA? Thanks in advance.

    • mart says:

      i booked similar and tried to make a change with expedia Norway,i tried to alter the date.
      it was hard work the person spoke poor English and the difference in fare was the cost on the day minus the cost I paid
      Didn’t bother the changes would of cost 3x price of the ticket

  • James A says:

    Qatar are doing a one off A350 flight to HEL to open the route on oct 10, if you are brave enough to book the inaugural!

  • Nathan says:

    No where near the great deals to BKK in the last sale! £750 from Stockholm when I went in Feb

  • MIM says:

    Had an email from Travelzoo today quoting 2-for-1 flights ex-MAN

    Can’t link, so have copied and pasted..


    From the Travelzoo Newsdesk
    Qatar Airways: 2-for-1 Business-Class Flights fr Manchester
    By Chris Webber

    MANCHESTER–30 AUGUST, 2016–Qatar Airways has launched a 2-for-1 promotion on business-class flights to Asia and Australia. Two people can now travel from £2713 in total (£1357 per person).

    Here are some of the top routes available from Manchester, at the cheapest return prices we could find:

    Goa, India… now £2713 for two (£1357 per person)
    Krabi, Thailand… now £3209 for two (£1605 per person)
    Singapore… now £3702 for two (£1851 per person)
    Seychelles… now £3880 for two (£1940 per person)
    Auckland, New Zealand… now £4820 for two (£2410 per person)
    These promotional fares with Qatar Airways, which was named the World’s Best Business Class airline at the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards, are valid for travel on select dates from 15 September, 2016, to 30 June, 2017. We found the best availability from January onwards. You may need to be flexible with your travel dates to get the cheapest fares.

    All prices are for return flights via Doha, Qatar. Book by 6 September.

    • Rob says:

      Bears no relation to the 241 prices shown online last night but could be a new deal if lukewarm sales over the weekend.

  • scottnothing says:

    Just a reminder when doing ITA matrix searches that it can sometimes be helpful to include LON in your search – as earlier this month I booked LHR-SYD return with Malaysia for just over £2,000.

    I had been looking at Qatar and Qantas ex-EU which were coming up between £1800 and £2500 ex HEL, OSL and ATH to MEL and then, by chance, I added LON to the search field and saw that Malaysia was running a 50 per cent off J sale (which I didn’t see covered anywhere).

  • georgeb says:

    The business class for two offers from Helsinki to Sydney thru to Jun 17 look great but damned if i can find them …..or am I looking in the wrong part of the Qatar Arways site ??

    • Simon M says:

      I’m having the same issue.. I’m just getting the full fare amounts. Nothing even remotely close to what is suggested even on ‘easy’ dates (beginning of December to mid/late Jan)

  • Will Davis says:

    Having just visited Helsinki, i’d highly recomend the Hilton airport hotel but the most efficient points spend would be 12k points + 35 euros in my opinion. Plus as a diamond you’ll also get 1k additional Hilton points. There’s also a highspeed train which runs every 10mins from vantaa (HEL) to downtown Helsinki which costs just 10 euros return.

    • John says:

      It’s a good option but funnily enough the Hilton is never available on points&money on the days when QR is cheap. Full redemption of 30k points is ok I guess.

  • Rachel says:

    I’ve found a good deal to Windhoek in Namibia if anyone is after a safari! Was looking in early 2017 from Berlin/Munich you can find R for just over £900 – seems a good price judging from the London route cost and gets 560 tier points. And its with the A350 and 787. Namibia looks like the perfect place to see big cats and wildlife with luxury lodges! Am sorely tempted…just need to convince the boyfriend who’s idea of an adventurous holiday is going to Australia!

    • Rob says:

      That would be pretty cool ….. never done a safari, even though I once worked for a month in South Africa.