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.
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)
Earn bonus Qmiles if you credit 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:
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:
- Qatar A380 First Class
- Qatar 777 business class
- Qatar 787 business class
- Qatar short-haul First Class
- Qatar Premium Lounge, Heathrow Terminal 4
- Qatar Al-Safwa First Class lounge, Doha
- Qatar Al-Mourjan business class lounge, Doha
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.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.