New Qatar business sale from £976 – good deals, Avios and 560 BA tier points too

Qatar Airways has launched another sale.  This time, two people need to travel together to get the best deals – although there is an amazing Brisbane deal available for solo travellers.

The key details are:

You can book for travel until 31st May 2018

You must book by 16th October

All fares earn Avios and British Airways tier points (560 return for Asia)

You have six days to book.  That said, availability is restricted and I wouldn’t wait if you are tied to certain dates.

Note that you cannot travel between 15th December and 10th January. Additional blackout dates apply in some countries.

The minimum stay period is 2 days, but that is unlikely to be a problem.

Full details of the Qatar Sale can be found here.

Qatar Travel Festival

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 more in theory.  Do check though, as Qatar pricing can be all over the place at times.

These prices are NOT the full list of discounts – they are just random examples I found to be quite good. The prices are a return flight per person based on when two people travel. Best fares seem to be out of Helsinki and Sofia.

Stockholm to Brisbane – SEK 21,451 (£2,015) – although, oddly, this is worse than their astonishing current promo price of SEK 18,044 (£1,695) when just one person books!  Click here for other Stockholm deals

Brussels to Bali – €1,366 (£1,221)   Click here for other Brussels deals

Vienna to Tokyo Narita – €1,693 (£1,513)   Click here for other Vienna deals

Berlin to Johannesburg – €1,324 (£1,183)   Click here for other German deals

Berlin to Jakarta – €1,301 (£1,163)

Helsinki to Bangkok – €1,093 (£977)   Click here for other Helsinki deals

Sofia to Beijing – BGN 2,136 (£976)   Click here for other Sofia deals

Sofia to Singapore – BGN 2,300 (£1,052)

Some of the price examples above are lower than the website promotion page quotes, but they are definitely bookable at the prices we mention above.

And for comparison:

UK to Bangkok – £1,869

UK to Bali – £2,189

UK to Singapore – £2,079

These routes would all – apart from Australasia – 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.  Australasia is 600 tier points for a return flight.

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.

Pick your aircraft as well as your departure city

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 they will be replaced by the amazing new Qsuite – but that is only on a handful of planes so far.  Qatar Airways 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:

The Qatar website here if you want to have a look at the deals available.  The sale ends on 16th October.

(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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Comments

  1. Picking an aircraft type with QR isn’t really a sound strategy as they change the metal on their routes frequently. For sure factor it into planning but be prepared for the fact that it is probably going to change.

    • James A says:

      They are notorious for swaps but they seem to be far more consistent these days.

      • Flying BRU-Doha-NRT and back this week and 2 out of 4 flight are flown on different aircraft than booked originally…obviously for worse…not very happy

        • Curious says:

          That’s a lot of travel in a short timeframe. Any particular reason? TP run or something?

  2. Genghis says:
  3. You can get Sarajevo (SJJ) to Guangzhou (CAN) for £859 in November. A320 on the SJJ leg, A380 to CAN.

  4. Anyone found good deals to Maldives?

    • Maldives too risky for me tbh

      • Why risky?

      • Logistically it’s very difficult to get weapons onto islands, especially remote ones. You’re more at risk in mainland Europe. The biggest risk in the Maldives would be a serious injury and waiting to be airlifted to hospital.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Sri Lankan has been doing regular sales (every few weeks) LHR-MLE in Economy for ~£450. It’s actually very decent. 2-4-2 config, so couples get a pair to themselves, brand new aircraft with great IFE, delicious food (especially if you like south asian fare) and attentive service. Feels a bit like how economy used to be before the accountants got to it (you even get metal cutlery!). If you’re Oneworld elite, you get to use the CX lounge at LHR T3 and the offering in CMB is not too bad (although it’s tucked away and quite small, it wasn’t busy, plenty of hot food and good self-service bar selection inc Champagne). They have been selling business at £1.6k or thereabouts but I couldn’t justify a £1.1k premium given how good the economy product is.

  5. Prins Polo says:

    I’d also add that Qatar is notorious for schedule adjustments – every time I book a few months in advance, times of most flights moved by 40 minutes here, one hour there, sometimes a little more… This e.g. cut my connection time on separate tickets in MXP last year from 4 hours to 1.5 hours. Most of the time not a big issue, but I try to book my positioning flights with Avios to retain maximum flexibility (and also tend to build in an overnight stay in the ex-EU starting point).

  6. Clarence says:

    Watched a great programme last night about concord and wondered if it was still flying would we be able to use a 241. Would be the ultimate redemption.

    • Probably, they did sell staff friends and family tickets for it.

      • Yes, we did quite a few £500 flights to and from JFK.

        • My sister who was a dragon for the original Concorde Lounge took my Dad on one of the last flights, sadly I couldn’t go due to work, for £100 each!

  7. When is Qsuite going to be launched? Will this tie in at all?

  8. Eleanor says:

    OT: Looking to earn Avios on foreign currency purchase / paying with BAPP. Is there anything new since this post re Travelex, as the links in the article don’t seem to work any longer? https://www.headforpoints.com/2017/07/15/earning-frequent-flyer-avios-miles-when-ordering-foreign-currency
    Checked on Travelex website and can’t find the option to enter Avios number either. Thanks!

    • You can get 1 avios per £1 on Cash Passport through BAEC and the points post very quickly. Don’t forget if you use a credit card to buy foreign currency you’ll be charged interest from day 1.

      • the real harry1 says:

        my wife took out £300 abroad (place in the sun!) on her Halifax Clarity at the end of July & I forgot to fund it straight away, paid it off about 3rd September – interest was just £3 or so

        might be a horrible annual % interest but in reality it was a couple of quid

  9. When does the current promo end for one person booking? I need to get to MEL in January…

  10. On the promo page they seem to be advertising companion fare to Canberra for 1350 from London. Anyone had any luck finding that fare?

  11. OT: The travel insurance that comes with the Amex Platinum card only covers you for holidays purchased with the card itself? My insurance needs renewed in Dec and it works out pretty cost effective to take out the Amex Plat – except if it doesn’t cover existing bookings (made with BA Amex and also another credit card). I’ve read the T&Cs and it sounds like only what is bought and paid for using the Plat card is covered. Is that right?

    • It covers existing bookings. Anything paid with another Amex-issued Amex is also covered.

      If you paid with a non-Amex credit card then you are not covered for little stuff, eg you can’t claim £200 if your flight is 4 hours late. You ARE still covered for all the serious stuff.

      • On that topic, I had a finnair flight delayed by 16 hours from shanghai to london (missed connection in HEL so finnair put me up in a hotel there and first flight out in the morning). Delay due to chinese ATC now allowing finnair to depart shanghai. Finnair rejected claim under EU261, I booked on an amex-amex and was a plat card holder at the time, could I have claimed £200 for this? It was in April, I’m assuming I’m too late to claim now?

        • It might be one of those where you are allowed to spend £200 during your delay, but it has to be on the Plat card? Honestly can’t remember. You’d need to download the policy document.

        • If you were delayed en route and had paid on Amex-issued Amex then you could have paid for costs the airline weren’t meeting. Not something you can claim after if you didn’t incur costs though (they refund rather than pay a cash sum). I keep Plat T&Cs in my Dropbox and saved offline to my device when travelling! (actually ICC Dollar cover as that doesn’t have same stipulation re paying with Amex).

    • Genghis says:

      Any Amex issued Amex covered for cancellations etc. For serious medical stuff you can pay on any card. Work through the maze of definitions in T&Cs.

      • Thank you both. We’re away for a month Dec/Jan and my existing John Lewis cover (which was fantastic when I had to claim for a Zika related re-route last year) ends while we are away and I’m doing the maths on whether to get the additional Plat benefits or stick with what I know works.

        Some of the regional flights were booked using my Clarity card to avoid additional costs from paying in local currency. Same for many of the hotels that I’ve pre-paid.

  12. Nick Burch says:

    I’m seeing the headline Stockholm to Brisbane price also on Adelaide and Perth for April at least, with the QRDeal code applied.

    Qatar also seem to have deals with Qantas and Virgin Australia for onward flights to smaller Australian airports, so I can price up Stockholm to the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast in Queensland for about the same as Sydney or Melbourne, which is unusual for onward flights to regional cities. I suspect, but didn’t test, that other regional airports may be the same.

    Qatar don’t seem to be flying direct to Brisbane as of April (I think it might not start until something like May/June?), but if you route through Perth you can get the Qantas longhaul A330 for the Perth to Brisbane leg.

  13. My wife and I had the luxury of the double bed in the q suites on the last leg of our AKL trip from DOH to CDG, it was the only time I have ever wanted a flight to be longer. The old 777’s were old but still better than BA CW, the 787 was great and the 1 day old A7-BEK q suites were dreamy. Food and service was hit and miss and ranged from excellent to ordinary. I’ll be doing my 4 BA flights and giving QR my other flights from now on as they are that much better and ex-eu is miles cheaper than BA. Ex-eu isn’t for everyone but it suits us (no children), time rich, cash poor. Thanks again Rob for opening up the world of business travel to us poorer folks.

    • We try to use ex-EU as a reason to visit somewhere new, treat it as a little bit of an adventure. Even with a 6 month old, we’re still doing things the same way (he needs to get used to it!). We’re trying AY long haul at Christmas, making a change from QR. Our only recent BA CW experience (UUA’d from Y+) were lacking in so many different ways. I have a 2-4-1 voucher to use, which will only be for F flights somewhere.

  14. Any thoughts when the next sale will be? Stab in the dark I know, but have a holiday planned for July 18. Black Friday perhaps?

    • One appeared last Jan when we were in Nam, so we promptly booked up for HKT for next month. Think they happen about 4 times a year. The Scandis are cute. They will only pay Y for personal travel and J for biz when it’s paid for. Thus when we fly ex eu, the back of the plane is heaving, but the front almost empty. Thus the scandi sales needed to fill up those lovely flat beds.

    • Probably 3 weeks after this one ends, knowing Qatar! You can never be sure what destinations will price the best though.

  15. If you have a 18hr stopover in Doha, can we all go out into the city. Have booked a hotel nearby.

    What happens to ththe luggage, as we’d obviously like to collect them.

    • James R says:

      You did call Qatar and redeem the *free* hotel didnt you?

      If you did that, your visa is sorted for you and I think once your in your hotel your free to do whatever you want.

      If you booked your own (firstly I would try and cancel it as its an unnecessary cost) I think you need to apply for a temporary entry permit. I think its pretty painless though.. check on the Qatar site.

      • Trip isn’t until April 18. You can oh,y apply for a transit visa 30 prior to travel.

        • Visa is no longer required for UK passport holders visiting Qatar for a holiday or stop over.

  16. Do you know if the sale can be used outbound to Singapore and return from Phuket – or must be same out and return?

    • Yes but it’s best to phone up to sort it.. we went out to SGN last year and back from KUL. You may be able to sort it by multi city. And usually for a bit more maybe £100 plus you can return directly back to LHR.

  17. Chris Cannon says:

    O/T but booked in last sale and travelling back from Colombo in Qatar Business and also silver status BA. Anyone know the best lounge option? Will need to get wife in as only Bronze. Thanks in advance

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      You’ll have access to three lounges. Two are run by UL: Serendib (Ticketed J) or Serendiva (OW Elite) lounges. The former is nicer and has a spa, but F&B much the same and the latter much quieter when I went. There’s also a third party lounge that QR and others use. No idea if it’s any good.

  18. Rebecca says:

    Two quick questions! I know the offer says book by Oct 16th but does this mean I can book on Oct 16th? Need to get approval for vacation dates prior to booking but that’s not going to happen until Monday. Secondly, how do I get the BA tier points and avois with Qatar? Does it give you the option when paying to enter your BA EC number?

    Thanks in advance!

    • It should be OK until midnight Monday, although I wouldn’t leave it until midnight as I don’t trust them to adjust their booking sites between UK time and European time! It may even work off Doha time, in which case you’re OK until early Tuesday.

      You can add your BA Exec Club number during the booking process, and if you forget you can also add it via Qatar’s Manage My Booking page or indeed at check-in.

      • Rebecca says:

        Thanks Rob! Found a great deal from Helsinki > Chiang Mai return for just under £1k pp in business.

  19. Deal died at 10pm UK time.