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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)

  • Craig says:

    Hi, Can you advise whats better value here? (I struggle with the cash vs avios calculations sometimes) But if we took advantage of the HEL-DXB fare, is this better value than a avios redemption from LON-DXB on BA? Dates would be Nov. 1 Pax. in J or WTP. Thanks.

    • Genghis says:

      Short answer, most likely. When comparing, the tax on an avios redemption would eat up much of circa £600 cash fare and then there’s the value of the avios.
      However, you’d have to provide some more detail.
      1) Do you have fixed dates you’d like to go?
      2) Do you have a 241 voucher?
      3) Do you want the ticket to be flexible?
      Only you can truly decide if something is worth it for you.

      • Craig says:

        I figured it would be.

        1) No fixed dates, very flexible as its a leisure trip.
        2) No.
        3) Flex fare isn’t necessarily due to reason 1.

        SCH too. Although TP’s earned won’t get me to gold yet as membership only started in June.

    • harry says:

      major considerations for me would be: how avios rich are you? how easy do you find it to accumulate more avios to replace redeemed avios? how cash rich are you? what is the average cost/ avios of acquiring your existing avios?

      some people are not that well-off (or have other spending priorities), so using avios instead of cash is a pretty good idea in cash-flow terms

      last time I bothered to work it out fairly carefully, my avios were coming in @ under 0.5p – this is a really important fact to establish for yourself – otherwise how can you do the math?

      • Craig says:

        Avios Rich! I wouldn’t say I’m cash poor, however if I am willing to spend £500 on taxes then I was trying to figure out if its worth spending a bit more cash and save the avios for a better value redemption…Thanks for the advice so far!

        • harry says:

          put it this way: I wouldn’t dream of using Avios for our European route (7500 + RFS fee £17.50) if the cash price was as low as the T-355 HBO cost I have been reporting (£45 + Ukraine)

          first thing you need to do then is work out ‘how low will you go’

          or – what value you seek to achieve for your Avios?

  • PalCsaky says:

    On my Halifax Clarity too!

  • […] quem quiser saber mais a respeito, recomendo o excelente post do blog britânico Head For Points, que mostra o “caminho das pedras” da promoção atual: […]

  • Bariummeal says:

    Got HEL-TYO return mid May for £1048. Delighted – though outboubd has a 7 hour stop at midnight but I’ll just has some drinks! I did receieve and email demanding a copy of my credit card statement and passport within 48 hours which was annoying but I complied.

    • JamesWag says:

      Cracking price. Is that for a single ticket or only that low when bought as a companion fare ?

  • TOH says:

    Worth checking Finnair as well as Qatar – they have some good deals of their own. I”m flying to Shanghai from London in two weeks’ time, from London, and it’s £2,100 return plus a very healthy load of TPs.

  • Henry Young says:

    If you’re interested in Manila, the jewel in the crown is Amsterdam – handily easy to get to on Easyjet from practically every UK airport they operate out of. AMS MNL @ £1238 biz is as good as it gets.

  • JamesWag says:

    If I use the 10% off promo code does that mean my flight wouldn’t count towards the globetrotter promo ??

  • JamesWag says:

    Found this itinerary on matrix but can’t price on QR website.
    Any ideas ?

    Helsinki (HEL) to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) — Sun, Dec 11
    Overnight flight

    Helsinki (HEL) to Doha (DOH) — Sun, Dec 11
    Qatar Airways(Q.C.S.C) 302
    Dep: 4:15 pm
    Arr: 11:40 pm
    6h 25m
    Airbus A320
    Business (R)
    Layover in DOH
    2h 50m

    Doha (DOH) to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) — Mon, Dec 12
    Qatar Airways(Q.C.S.C) 970
    Dep: 2:30 am
    Arr: 1:40 pm
    7h 10m
    Airbus A330
    Business (R)
    Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) to Munich (MUC) — Wed, Jan 11
    Overnight flight

    Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) to Doha (DOH) — Wed, Jan 11
    Qatar Airways(Q.C.S.C) 971
    Dep: 7:25 pm
    Arr: 12:05 am
    8h 40m
    Airbus A330
    Business (R)
    Layover in DOH
    Thu, Jan 12
    2h 35m

    Doha (DOH) to Munich (MUC) — Thu, Jan 12
    Qatar Airways(Q.C.S.C) 59
    Dep: 2:40 am
    Arr: 7:00 am
    6h 20m
    Airbus A350
    Business (R)