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)

  • Jean says:

    There is a problem with the fares… the return for 2 I was looking at for october was 1800 pre sales… it’s now 3000 pounds each!

    if I go on ITA it shows me the sales price is available, but can’t find it anywhere, even if I change the dates…

  • Dan says:

    Some great sale fares ex-Sofia. Just booked a Sofia to Bangkok flight for approx £776! Availability is wide open too – many more seats remaining at the sale fare from this port and still earns 540TP’s 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Sofia is tricky though – not many options to get there and if your original flight was cancelled or heavily delayed you’d be stuck. Not sure what airport hotel options exist for an overnight.

      My personal view on these things is that Amsterdam / Brussels etc is worth a small price premium to reduce risk. I did not mention Sofia deliberately in the same way I have not been encouraging Cairo, albeit the new terminal and the lovely new hotel in T3 make it easy.

      It is an A320 out of Sofia too I think, albeit with big business class seats?

      • Fenny says:

        I don’t think there’s a hotel at the airport, but the metro in to the centre of town is very simple and there are lots of lovely hotels in the centre. I spent a few days in Sofia last summer and found it very easy to get around. There’s only 1 metro line (it is colour coded on the map as 2 lines, but it just loops around at one end and crosses in the middle and it’s a piece of cake to work out (and very cheap).

  • Nick says:

    Earlier I booked AMS – HKT for Nov/ Dec. Came in way cheaper than the Finnair deals seen at Xmas. Just booked my LHR – AMS BA Flight which will give me Gold status for 2 years as I’ve jumped Silver. I used the VISA code and also paid with my Lloyds Amex (double points at the mo for me). If the flight has the VISA discount shown there will be a red triangle below the price. I avoided paying with VISA on the payment page by using Apple Pay which is linked to my Lloyds Amex, I tried the normal payment way but it only allows 3 numbers for your security code. Apple Pay (or similar) is the way forward.

    On a humorous note I checked a price for LHR – GOI prior to booking my HKT flight (changed my decision last minute). After booking my LHR – AMS flight I checked my BA bookings only to find Qatar have confirmed my LHR – GOI without any payment being made. Shame I can’t be on two planes at the same time. Phoned Qatar and they said don’t worry about it. Spoke to BA and they said I’m confirmed on the first sector with them. #confused but funny.

  • Prince Polo says:

    Venice also has some excellent deals (as in the previous promos) plus is very easy in terms of positioning flights on BA. I had flights booked in an earlier promo but this one is even more aggressive – great timing as QR notified me of schedule changes on my existing itinerary today which entitled me to cancellation (with a full refund) and I immediately rebooked at lower prices.

  • JamesW says:

    I have the following less restrictive 4x Qmiles offer rather than the one-day 5x offer.
    Obviously need to book direct with Qatar to qualify. I am pretty worried about my stash of QMiles as Qatar seem to be giving them away in their droves at the moment, perhaps preparing for a devaluation 🙁

    Earn up to quadruple (4X) Qmiles and save on flights
    Join the celebrations with our fantastic discount fares. Exclusively for you, Qatar Airways brings you another exciting opportunity to earn up to quadruple (4X) Qmiles and save on flights.
    Book your paid ticket for travel to any of the more than 150 places we fly to and earn double Qmiles from now until 16th January 2017 for travel between 16th March 2017 and 15th December 2017. That’s not all, as a special gift from us; you will be eligible to earn quadruple (4x) Qmiles if you book your paid ticket during the Qatar Airways Travel Festival and travel between 11th January 2017 and 15th March 2017. To be eligible for this offer, select “My offers” on your dashboard menu and register for this offer before 16th January 2017.
    Don’t miss your chance to choose a dream deal to any of our amazing destinations.Please ensure you quote your membership number at the time of reservation or check-in to be eligible for bonus Qmiles.
    Should you have any queries regarding this offer, please quote the offer code: 1701PC120 when you contact our Member Service Centre.
    Terms and Conditions This offer is only applicable to Privilege Club Members main members. Booking period – Double Qmiles: 9th January – 16th January 2017. Flights must be taken between 16th March 2017 and 15th December 2017 for the double Qmiles offer. Booking period – Quadruple Qmiles: 9th January – 16th January 2017. Flights must be taken between 11th January 2017 and 15th March 2017 for the Quadruple Qmiles offer. To be eligible for this offer, members must register at before 16th January 2017. Members whose travel date is before 16th January 2017 should register at least 24 hours prior to travel. Bonus Qmiles will be earned over the base Qmiles earned on Qatar Airways flights during the offer period. Tier bonuses, promotional bonus Qmiles and family accrued Qmiles will not be taken into account in the calculation of the offer bonus. Bonus Qmiles is calculated based on the combination of Booking Date, Flight Date, Cabin, Fare Family Purchased and Booking Channel. Offer is applicable only for flights marketed and operated by Qatar Airways. In case of overlapping campaigns member will get highest bonus Qmiles.

  • ee says:

    Any reason not to book these fares via Amex travel if the VISA code is not working? Amex bills in £ and earns points which my Post Office fx free card doesn’t.

    Presume Avios and TP would not be affected?

    • Umberto says:

      I did and also got £50 back.

    • John says:

      Just booked from Lon to Auckland and the Visa code gave nothing which is disappointing as I could have used my BA Amex card had I known. It did display “Visa promo” and on payment then only offered Visa . Would have been better if the discount logic was available to see in advance.

      Also if you try and book Business Class the limit is one month, anything longer gives you far higher prices. I called and had this verified although no reason could be found.

  • Dan says:

    Nothing for me to get to HKG for a wedding in Oct – still £2.2k in bus.

    But Kayak found me an Etihad routing ARN-ZRH-DUB-HKG-DUB-CDG-ARN costing only £1.2k in BUS

    Considering I live in Paris and I’ll only take hand baggage that actually saves me the cost of a flight back from ARN too 😀

    Now I just have to work out where to credit it to!

  • Paul Gibbs says:

    Where/how did you find “Stockholm to Hong Kong – £965”? Post says J for 2 people.
    Is this a one-way price? All returns I can find for this route are several thousand more

    • Rob says:

      The link in the article to the Swedish website shows that price (in SEK) as available, per person, for a return but based on two travelling together.

      Availability will be getting tight as we are now 36 hours into the sale but if you play around for dates later in the Autumn you should be able to prove to yourself that it is working.

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