Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Great business deals (Avios earning) with Qatar – Auckland £1440, Tokyo £1193, Bangkok £874

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Qatar Airways has kicked off another round of good business class deals with its third annual ‘Qatar Travel Festival’.

This is a genuinely impressive package:

Cheap business class fares from various European departure points

You can book for travel until 15th December 2017

Qatar Travel Festival

… all of which earn Avios and British Airways tier points (560 return for Asia)

… or, if you credit to Qatar Airways, will earn double QMiles

… and you can win a prize as well in a free draw for all bookers

… and you get an extra discount for paying with Visa when you use promo code VISA

… and you can even travel on the British Airways codeshare service to Doha if you fly from London, although I cannot imagine why you would do this given that Qatar Airways is superior in every respect

You have seven days to book – these deals end on 16th January. That said, availability is restricted and I wouldn’t wait if you are tied to certain dates.

Note that you cannot travel between 15th June – 1st July and 15th August – 10th September 2017.  Additional blackout dates apply in some countries.

Check the minimum stay period which seems to vary from 4-7 days depending on where you start your trip.

From the UK, kids under 12 fly for free, excluding taxes, if you book Economy.

Full details of the Qatar Travel Festival can be found here.

The best fares will not be found from the UK as you can see from the examples below.

Here are a few of the better headline prices.  These deals are all for business class travel via Doha.  They are per person, based on two travelling – single travellers will pay a little more.  In some cases a group of three will pay a little less.

These prices EXCLUDE the additional discount for using the VISA promo code when booking.  This discount does not appear to work for every flight.

These prices are NOT the full list of discounts – they are just random examples I picked out last night.  You can use the country links below to check out prices from other popular starting points.  Stockholm seems to have the best deals, especially when two people travel.

Stockholm to Cape Town – £1,173

Stockholm to Dubai – £763

Stockholm to Hong Kong – £965

Stockholm to Melbourne – £1,835

Stockholm to Tokyo – £1,193

Stockholm to Auckland – £1,440

Helsinki to Bangkok – £918

Helsinki to Bali – £1,391

Helsinki to Phuket – £961

Oslo to Maldives – £1,140

Oslo to Singapore – £1,090

Oslo to Sydney – £1,769

Brussels to Jakarta – £932

Brussels to Perth – £1,864

Brussels to Singapore – £1,335

Copenhagen to Kuala Lumpur – £1,315

Copenhagen to Singapore – £1,240

Copenhagen to Cape Town – £1,310

Paris to Delhi – £1,095

Paris to Tokyo – £1,434

Paris to Shanghai – £1,446

Amsterdam to Adelaide – £1,950

Amsterdam to Bangkok – £874

And for comparison:

UK to Bangkok – £1,440

UK to Bali – £1,550

UK to Singapore – £1,715

UK to Sydney – £2,450

UK to Auckland – £2,475

The German prices were filed late but will be here.

These routes would all – apart from Dubai, Delhi and nd Australia – earn 560 British Airways Executive Club tier points return (140 + 140 + 140 + 140) due to the change of plane in Doha.  That is more than 90% of what you need for a BA Silver card.  Delhi is 140 + 40 + 40 + 140.  Dubai is 140 + 60 + 60 + 140 as the connection books into First Class on a two class plane.

How to pick a departure city

It isn’t all about the long-haul flight price.  You need to add in the cost of getting to your starting point.

More importantly, you need to build in contingency.  You need to arrive early enough to ensure that you won’t miss your connection if your inbound flight is late.  If that means staying overnight, you need to factor in the cost of a hotel.  You may also want to pick an airport with a hotel on the airport to avoid messing about with shuttle buses.

Remember that BA will no longer tag through bags to connecting flights when they are on separate tickets.  If you are checking in a case, you will need to fly London to, say, Stockholm, wait for your case, clear immigration, go to Departures, check in your case and clear security again.  This will take some time.

Here are the links to the Travel Festival pages on the main Qatar European sites:

Qatar Airways UK deals

Qatar Airways Stockholm deals 

Qatar Airways Helsinki deals 

Qatar Airways Germany deals 

Qatar Airways Oslo deals 

Qatar Airways Denmark deals

Qatar Airways Paris deals

Qatar Airways Amsterdam deals  

Qatar Airways Brussels deals 

As ever with Qatar, you should keep an eye on the aircraft.  The most modern seats are on the Boeing 787, Airbus A350 and Airbus A380 fleet.  I think that the full A330 fleet has been refitted now too.  The newer planes have a 1-2-1 herringbone layout where passengers faces away from each other.  

The Boeing 777 aircraft are fully flat but have a different 2 x 2 x 2 layout, albeit that a replacement for this will be announced at ITB Berlin in March (we’ll be there to check it out).  Qatar also uses short-haul planes on some European routes but these are configured with ‘proper’ business class seats.

Here are my Qatar Airways seat and lounge reviews – you will see that I am very positive about them:

You can book your Qatar Travel Festival deals on this special site here.  Remember to enter the promo code VISA for the additional discount.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 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 (198)

  • Ronster says:

    Hi all

    Can someone kindly remind us, what are the conditions for Qatar to provide hotel accommodation?

    I am considering heading to Tokyo but the A350 I would like fly on, would mean taking a later flight to HND

    Does the fact that I could in fact get an earlier flight with another plane, going to NRT instead of HND, negate any possible room supplied for free by Qatar?



    • Andrew says:

      I am currently in Australia having done a business class special from CPH to ADL which had a 15 hour stop in Doha, and they put me up at the Rotana hotel, along with a food allowance. Private transfer, really good.

      • Ronster says:

        Hi Andrew

        Thanks for the information.

        I just do not know if the fact that I could get to Tokyo on an earlier plane, would mean that Qatar would decline a hotel request.

        Is there a certain amount of time that must be spent on the ground and there be no earlier plane option?

        Would a different airport in the same city allow me that option or would Qatar only see it as the same city?



        • James67 says:

          Personally I would doubt it but may be wrong, it may be complicated by the fact that Tokyo has a single airport code if they are looking for a get out clause. IIRC stay needs to be over 8h but others who know better may correct me on that Polly understands the QR rules very well.

          • Yuff says:

            It’s is 8 hrs, but Qatar are very good at swapping connecting flights to 7hrs 55 mins after you have booked!

        • JFSV says:

          Generally yes – you are not eligible for STPC it there is a connection available which would make your stopover shorter than 8h i.e. even if the connection available costs more than your ticket price

          • Ronster says:

            A big thank you to everyone’s input.

            With the 8 hour rule and an available 777-200 to NRT, sooner than the eight hour needed stopover, I think my hands are tied.

            Can anyone confirm that If I am booking HND(A250 +8 HOUR stopover), that they cannot turn round and say NRT is available and thus (777 – 8 hours stopover),no hotel will be provided?

            Even though there both in Tokyo, would there be no leeway at all in my first choice being HND and thus gaining the hotel stay courtesy of Qatar Airlines?

            Many thanks

    • Kathryn says:

      Yes, if there’s a connection of <8 hrs possible then they don't have to give one.

    • Been there Done it says:


    • Tina says:

      I think it has to be 8 hours layover with the next flight a long haul one.

      Quite honestly, taxis are so cheap that if the 15hour connecting flight was £100s cheaper I would book a downtown hotel

    • Jake says:

      Hi Ronster!

      I’m looking for TYO too, have you found anything stand out cheap?


      • Ronster says:

        Good afternoon Jake

        My best find is around £1009 using the Visa Promo code, which is not working for all routes.

        With regard to Pisa-Tokyo it can only be applied to single travellers.

        What it’s actually doing is reducing the single traveller rate published, to just under the equivallent price per person when booking 2 people.

        If I see anything under £1k I will let you all know


  • James67 says:

    Such aggressive sales combined with various other bits & pieces of news give me the impression that all is not well with the ME3, particularly QR and EY. It will be interesting to see how things develop as oil rises, and if open sky comes under pressure from US and elsewhere.

  • Helen says:

    We flew business class with Qatar in November from Stockholm to Bali, with and overnight at ARN which was £50. We flew on 787 & 777 and it was fantastic absolutely knocks BA business class by miles. We would definitely fly with them again.

    • fbrj says:

      We are looking at Bali, however I was under the impression that the weather in November could be a bit iffy and that October is really the last decent month. How did you find it?

      • Helen says:

        We were in Bali 15th to 30th November, and we only lost one day to rain in that time. It rained several days but only for a while and didn’t cause us a problem at all, we had a great time. It’s a chance you take at that time of the year, but would recommend going & flying BC on Qatar was fab!!!

      • Matt says:

        I was in Bali in December-January and it was fine. Supposed to be more rain then but in a week it rained once. The best thing about Bali is that sea water is really hot the whole time – nothing like it in europe

        • Paul says:

          Bali, indeed Indonesia is a favourite destination. August is fabulous and September is also for weather. Other options are Lombok which is Bali 30 years ago. Our plans this year are to travel to Jakarta and take just over a week to travel from there to Bali via Bandung, Yogyakarta and Surabaya… train.

  • Paul says:

    QR are a great airline but the blackout dates in August seem to be hitting my choice of route and it would appear that my decision to jump on CX deal before Christmas is now paying off. Need to do some more research but first two attempts this morning result in fares around £1500 more for family of 4 travelling in August, even with the Visa discount.
    QR hotel policy on connections is clear on their website and also on flyer talk Qatar. They will pay for a hotel where connection is more than a specified number of hours but not iif you could have made an earlier flight. They also offer free 96 hour visa for Doha.
    Aircraft changes are already in place for some Asian routes with downgrades on the Bali route over summer from 787 to 777 and A330 both of which do not have the new seat.

  • GarethR says:

    No deals from Dublin? I’d hoped with that being Qatar’s latest EU route, then might have been promoting it…

  • John says:

    Would a reason to fly the BA codeshare be getting triple avios plus a further 100% if gold? (Also if you need 4 BA flights for status)

    • Rob says:

      Would be on a Qatar flight number so you wouldn’t get them, I think.

      • Leo says:

        Surely it would be an “eligible flight” if it was “operated” by BA i.e. you are sat on BA metal?

        “Eligible flights are defined as those flights marketed or operated by British Airways and those flights marketed and operated by Iberia.

        ‘Marketed’ means the flight will have a BA flight number (in your itinerary or on your ticket).
        ‘Operated’ means the aircraft that you travel on is a British Airways aircraft (including franchises and BACityflyer).
        ‘Marketed and operated by Iberia’ means the flight will have an IB flight number and the aircraft you travel on is an Iberia aircraft (including franchises).
        Reward bookings and agency or industry discounted bookings are not eligible.”

  • Irrilius says:

    Hi all,

    I’m looking to take advantage of these business class fairs to NZ later this year but would be taking an infant with me (i know, i know). The problem is the infant isn’t born yet. Has anyone ever been in this situation before and what is the process? Do I have to book the flights without the infant and then add him at a later date? Would the penalty for amending the booking in this situation negate the discount?
    Or is it just bad form to take an infant into a premium cabin!


    • Adam says:

      Hi there.

      You would book just for yourselves and then add the infant to the booking when born. The infant will be charged at 10% of the fare at time of booking. I’m going to nz in Feb and did exact same. Wife and I booked from FRA-AKL when on sale for £1100. When we added baby, the 10% equated to £425.

      • Hastings01 says:

        We did exactly what you’re planning to do with Qatar from Copenhagen to Bangkok. We just called when our daughter was born and paid to add her to the booking – from memory it was 10% of the full adult fare at the time of booking. Flights were great with an infant an treated really well

    • Hastings01 says:

      We did exactly what you’re planning to do with Qatar from Copenhagen to Bangkok. We just called when our daughter was born and paid to add her to the booking – from memory it was 10% of the full adult fare at the time of booking. Flights were great with an infant an treated really well

    • Irrilius says:

      Brilliant, thanks very much for your help!

    • Adey says:

      No, it’s not bad form to take an infant into (any) cabin.


    • LondonFoodie says:

      For the record, if you need to do this with Avios in order to be able to reserve the Basinet you should book with a “temporary” name and then when baby’s born call to change it. And do not wait until you get to the airport with the wrong name as happened to a friend trying to board the plane with a ticket for Kiwi

  • Vigs says:

    Just to be careful – Doha – Delhi is <2000 so will only earn 40TPs each way if you are looking to credit to BA.

    Shame £ has taken such a beating and possibly leaves us with HEL, ARN and OSL as best departure locations

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