Nutmeg Avios

Another Qatar business sale! Cape Town £1583, Auckland £1667, Jo’burg £1470

Qatar Airways is running another short sale from its major European markets.  It is running for a week, until 19th July, so you have a little longer to think through your plans this time.

These fares are valid for travel until 10th December and most routes have a minimum 5 day stay.  The previous sale was only good until September so you have a bigger booking window this time.

That said, prices are generally higher across the board than the previous flash sale – although still very, very good value.  Auckland, however, remains at the ludicrous £1,600ish.

The UK offers in business class are fairly weak.  However, as usual, there are decent prices out of Scandinavia and Italy.

Here are a few fares:

Stockholm to Singapore – SEK 13799 (£1273)

Stockholm to Auckland – SEK 18247 (£1684)

Stockholm to Maldives – SEK 20024 (£1848)

Stockholm to Shanghai – SEK 16126 (£1488)

Helsinki to Bangkok – €1392 (£1237)

Helsinki to Cape Town – €2293 (£2038)

Copenhagen to Singapore – DKK 11341 (£1355)

Copenhagen to Auckland – DKK 15328 (£1832)

Copenhagen to Bali – DKK 13774 (£1646)

Oslo to Cape Town – NOK 16955 (£1583) 

Oslo to Auckland – NOK 17844 (£1667)

Venice / Pisa to Bangkok – €1289 (£1146)

Venice / Pisa to Johannesburg – €1656 (£1470)

Venice / Pisa to Cape Town – €2131 (£1895)

The rest of this article may sound familiar as it is my usual round-up of the pros and cons of flying with Qatar via Europe.

As a reminder, Qatar Airways sale flights are an excellent way of earning British Airways status cheaply.

Qatar A380

The longer routes would earn 560 British Airways Executive Club tier points return (140 + 140 + 140 + 140) due to the change of plane in Doha.  Auckland is 600 tier points.  560 points is more than 90% of what you need for a BA Silver card.  Remember, though, that you still need to have taken 4 British Airways flights for cash in your current tier point year before you will be upgraded.

Get a free hotel if you stopover in Doha

Until 30th September, Qatar Airways will give you a free hotel stay if you choose to stop in Doha on the way.

There are two options:

First and Business Class passengers get one free night in a 5-star hotel (add a 2nd night for $50 per room)

Economy passengers get one free night in a 4-star hotel (add a 2nd night for $50 per room)

Full details are on the Qatar Airways website here.

Earn bonus Qmiles if you credit your flight to Qatar Privilege Club

If you credit a business class sale flight to Qatar’s own frequent flyer scheme, you will earn QUADRUPLE base miles.  You must opt in via the offer page on the Qatar Privilege Club site.

I would be wary about doing this unless you know what you are doing.  You won’t earn any British Airways tier points this way, and you won’t earn status in the Qatar scheme with just one flight.  Qmiles are also very hard to earn in the UK – there is no credit card and they are not an American Express partner.  You may earn fewer miles by crediting your flight to British Airways Executive Club but you’ll find them far easier to use.

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 sale pages for the departure countries mentioned above:

Qatar Airways UK deals

Qatar Airways Stockholm deals 

Qatar Airways Helsinki deals 

Qatar Airways Oslo deals 

Qatar Airways Denmark deals

Qatar Airways Italy 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 – the new QSuite in business class on the 777 fleet is unlikely to be installed before you fly.  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:

There is always an element of ‘needle in a haystack’ with these sales, but if your plans for the rest of the year are not yet firm it is worth popping over to the Qatar Airways website and seeing if there is anything interesting.

Remember that you must book by 19th July for travel by 10th December.  The Qatar Airways website is here.

(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.)

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  1. flood says:

    Does return have to be completed by December 10th? Ok just outbound?

  2. Worzel says:

    Travel validity: 10 July 2017 to 10 December 2017. All travel must be completed by 10 December 2017.

  3. happeemonkee says:

    We took advantage of the £600 Tokyo fares a few months ago (with long layovers in Doha) but Qatar wouldn’t put us up in a hotel because it was a deeply discounted fare.

    Has their position changed and is it worth asking again?

    • i mean with the money youve saved from that outrageous fare… it shouldnt be much trouble getting a hotel…

      • I thought all J fares qualified for STPC, as long as they met the other requirements around timings of flights, etc. There’s an extensive thread on this over on the QR FT forum.

        • AndyR says:

          The value of the ticket also needs to be above a certain amount. I think it is something like $400 each way.

        • Polly says:

          Ben, great price there, well done…we were caught with the hotel issue. QR argue, (outside this current hotel offer) they state that if there is an earlier flight you could have taken that day, you don’t qualify for the hotel. A bit stingy really, but then they have those black bendy beds in the quiet area to nap in. They did just fine.

    • £600 in J ? Whoah, very nice. Enjoy!

    • James says:

      I recently called the Qatar offices to book my overnight hotel for free and it was fine. My fare is R.
      How long is your layover? If you have a layover over 8 hours they will give you one (the snag being that they wont honor it if there is a shorter connection)

      • daftboy says:

        That’s very interesting – I didn’t even consider the free hotel option for a flight later this year connecting AKL-DOH-OSL; I should call up and give that a go, there doesn’t appear to be a shorter connection option.

  4. Suspect QR will continue with these sales to bolster business in light of the blockade. Good news for consumers in Europe if not in the U.K.
    Still, the fare I got on CX last year for travel ex Milan very shortly has not been matched by anyone since. Even QR have been at least £250 more in all sales from any EU departure point.

    • Polly says:

      People will probably go for QR v CX if they want BA silver ASAP. And those prices are achievable in various sales, just have to bide our time, and cross fingers! Or may still chose QR ESP if aiming for silver…560TPs v 280 is a big difference. Same applies l think to AY.

      • True, much as I’m not a massive QR fan it wins hand down if you are trying to get/keep your silver. My next trip to HKG will probably be on QR for this very reason although the O/H will moan not about not going direct on BA or CX.

  5. When doing a search on Qatar, does anyone have a list of airports or airport codes to use in Matrix?

    Need to book flights to Ball and Qatar seem to be the cheapest, but concerned that I might be missing out on a better deal by not searching from every airport.

    • Search LON and click “Nearby airports”. Select the biggest number of miles and click “select all”.

    • Alex W says:

      Raffles has done an article on this.

      • Thanks – did the all within 2,000 miles and it was dearer!

        • In my experience the 2,000 mile radius selection often causes timeout errors and does not always return the best priced flights. Another tip with QR is to make sure you run a multi city search not return, as often returning to a different airport can save even more, especially in the Nordics e.g. OSL out and ARN return. For QR I use the following (have not updated for a few months so may be missing some new routes): ARN, HEL, OSL, BUD, BHX, CPH, MUC, PSA, ZRH, BRU, MIL, GVA, CDG, DUB, EDI, MAN, MAD, NCE, VCE, VIE, AMS, BCN, WAW, BER, FRA, LON

        • Probably just PRG

  6. G. Flyer says:

    Does anyone know the flight numbers on LHR>DOH and DOH>LHR for aircraft with the new QSuite?

    • Currently QR7 + 8, seems to only be QSuite about 6 days a week. The aircraft is A7-BED.

      • Don’t inconvenince yourself though because Qatar is master of the aircraft switch ….

    • Is it still possible to book LHR -DOH, using Avios, on Qatar ?
      It used to give loads of flights a few years ago.
      Whenever I check BA website it never comes up now.

      • Availability is a bit patchy but seems better the nearer you get to departure. I agree though, it seems to have changed a lot in the last few months, for the worse.

      • I’ve found lon – doh flights on avios before using Qatar, you do need to scroll through lots of dates to find availbility on BAEC though.

        • First Class is blocked out of London on the A380s so you need to go via Paris. QSuite is also blocked at the moment, I think.

  7. So how much does the blockade affect QR flights now, and how bad could it get if Saudi + pals take it up a gear?
    This seems to be a key element to take into account – but I lack a quantification of the risks. HFP readers will have taken QR flights since the blockade, whats their experience?

    • Travelled through Doha in the early days of the blockade + stayed for 2 nights on the stopover package. Didn’t notice any difference. The only delay despite the longer routings was while they found the bags belonging to a smoker they’d just kicked off the plane. Not sure if that would be standard, or whether it was because they were being extra cautious.

      • Clive says:

        I don’t see why the blockade is an issue if you aren’t travelling to one of their neighbours? British airlines have been flying people to Cuba quite happily for years even when it was cut off by the US.

        • FreddieTheFrog says:

          We are booked SOF-DOH-BKK out in October and back in November.

          The only thing that would concern me would be an outbreak of hostilities either just before we set off, hence screwing up our plans, or while we are downroute, potentially stranding us in Thailand.

          But there is nothing I can do about it, so not going to let it worry me 🙂

        • I thought (perhaps wrongly) that QR were denied fly over permissions for Egypt, Iraq, UEA and Saudi. That sounded like EU>DOH flights would have to be quite circuitous to me.

        • Flying over Iran I think.

        • the real harry1 says:

          it wouldn’t be Iran – they’re about the only ME country helping Qatar

  8. AndyR says:

    The recent sales have been a bit disappointing compared to previous ones. I am surprised prices aren’t lower considering…

  9. The Original Nick says:

    Sorry, completely O:T. I’m staying at the Park inn at Heathrow tonight on a P&M stay. Will I earn CC points on this stay? I’m Gold via Amex Plat.

  10. Chris says:

    OT: Anybody having trouble with Combine my Avios today? When I click on the link for combine my avios on BA site it gives the following message:

    Sorry, you are not eligible to combine your Avios
    Please refer to the Combine my Avios terms as you may be able to resolve the problem.

    Can’t seem to see anything in there that would prevent me from being eligible, and I did it successfully about a month ago.

    Attempted to combine from avios website (never done it before) and it’s throwing up an error as well, about how my session has timed out.

    • mark2 says:

      I successfully pulled Avios from Avios to BAEC on two accounts about 0830 today.

    • If you’re using a smartphone/tablet, try using a laptop/PC or vice versa.
      Using a different browser can also sometimes cope with IAG’S lousy IT. Good luck!

    • Gavin says:

      Always works for me on IE at work so I do it there

  11. Evan Hathaway says:

    Sitting in the HIA lounge right now from Krabi. Had an A330-200 with the old (crappy) angle flat seats there and back. On the plus side, only 2 other people in business on both legs!

    • Polly says:

      Evan, once uptake increases to Krabi, they will start to put on the good planes like they do to HKT. Or chose Hkt either next time. Enjoy HIA it’s a nice place, huge tho!

      • Have great memories of Krabi, but Phuket was up until recently one of my preferred destinations. However on last trip in December i really fell out of love with the place, seems to be one big tourist trap. In latter part of holiday went to Vietnam and loved it, wish i had gone earlier.

        • I like Phuket – it’s quite big and I think it depends which bit you go to. Without doubt there are lots of touristy bits so you’re not wrong. I thought Bali was worse….

  12. Daniel Haroon says:

    off topic but has anyone had the 1000 points post for the marriott reward sign up?

    • Nope, even after activating one of the accounts a couple of days ago because another reader said she received hers after activation, rather than just registering.

  13. Kirill says:


    With the barclay card hilton voucher, would you get it back if you cancel the reservation?

    • The Original Nick says:

      Yes you do get the voucher back. But remember, it still keeps the 6 month validity date so don’t think it renews it. Some people have reported that they’ve got points back instead of the voucher when they’ve cancelled the voucher. (ie getting 90000 points) I tried but no joy.

      I’m using a voucher for my stay at the Conrad in the Algarve this Friday which I’m looking forward to.

      • Kirill says:

        Hi Nick, thanks for getting back to me. I’m actually hoping to use it next Saturday at Conrad Algarve as well! Hope you enjoy your stay.

        • The Original Nick says:

          Only premium rooms available next Saturday so you’ll have to choose another night.

        • Do you have to keep Hilton visa card to keep the free voucher alive?

        • I’m there on Sunday, on points for the week 😉 with a paid upgrade

  14. OT – Groupon are offering the 1903 lounge in T3 at MAN for £28 per person (full price is £40 apparently). I think this lounge was reviewed recently here?

  15. Martin says:

    Ah, I didn’t know that you get double BA tier points when you change planes at Doha (or presumably any other overseas hub within OneWorld).

    So purely from a Tier points perspective, you are better off flying to (say) Asia via Qatar, JAL, FinnAir or some other OneWorld partner, rather than non-stop on BA?

    Is that correct? It matters to me because I am 400 Tier points short of BA Gold with a few weeks to go!

    • Yes, for purely TPs you’re better with a break of journey and change of flight number to increase the number received. Another good example is to the West Coast USA. Direct business LHR-SFO = 140 TP, Instead go LHR-JFK-SFO = 140×2 (or 140+210 if you can get into domestic first). Lots of detail in BA TP run thread on Flyertalk.

    • the real harry1 says:

      sure – you can get 560 tps there & back if you break in Doha

    • Yes. Your best bet is to grab something in the current Qatar sale and get yourself a few days in Asia somewhere.

  16. Martin says:

    Alan, Harry and Rob

    Thanks, I’m all over this!