Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

ENDS FRIDAY: Bargains in the great Qatar Airways sale (eg Oz business £1,330)

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Time is running out if you want to take advantage of the current Qatar Airways slightly crazy flight sale.   This one has, frankly, some astonishing fares to Australia and New Zealand.

I will say up front that these are ‘two together’ fares, so if you’re looking for a deal for just one person then you’re out of luck this time.

However, Qatar Airways has now launched a promotional code which may benefit solo travellers who cannot take advantage of these sale prices.  Code QR20YEARS gets you 10%-20% off the post-taxes cost of a fare from any European starting point.  It is NOT valid on ‘Business Promo’ sale fares but it IS valid on ‘Business Saver’.

As an example, code QR20YEARS brings the cost of Oslo to Auckland down to £1,650 for one person in Business Class.  This is only £300 higher than the ‘two together’ fare out of Stockholm I discuss below.  You are still paying a premium for travelling solo but, come on, £1,650 is still ludicrously cheap.

The ‘two together’ deals

Qatar Airways has launched a range of discounted fares from all of the major cities where it operates in Europe.

As usual, the best deals are not from the UK and will require you to start your trip elsewhere.  It’s worth it, I promise you!

Here are the booking and travel dates for this sale:

Book by TOMORROW, Friday 10th November

Travel before 30th October 2018, excluding 15 December – 10th January and 7th June – 10th September

Minimum stay 3 days

All fares earn Avios and British Airways tier points (560 return for Asia, 600 for Australasia, except for Athens routes)

Note that Easter is not restricted, which is handy if you have school age kids or want to minimise your time off work.

You can book on the Qatar Airways site 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 more, but the 20% off code I mention above will help.

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.  You are looking for the red ‘Business Promo’ fares.

Here are some example fares.  These fares have now been available for a week and the best availability will have gone, so you will need to dig around for seats.

Stockholm to Singapore – SEK 11,078 (£993) – click here for more Stockholm prices 

Stockholm to Sydney – SEK 14,840 (£1,331)

Stockholm to Auckland – SEK 15,074 (£1,351)

Stockholm to Krabi – SEK 10,289 (£924)

Athens to Johannesburg – €1,383 (£1,213) – click here for more Athens prices 

Athens to Hong Kong – €1,210 (£1,061)

Athens to Tokyo – €1,286 (£1,127)

Berlin to Tokyo – €1,706 (£1,496) – click here for more Berlin prices

Berlin to Johannesburg – €1,320 (£1,157)

Copenhagen to Hong Kong – DKK 12,587 (£1,478) – click here for more Copenhagen prices 

Sofia to Shanghai – BGN 1,903 (£850) – click here for more Sofia prices 

Sofia to Singapore – BGN 1,928 (£862)

Munich to Windhoek – €1,320 (£1,153) – click here for more Munich prices 

Budapest to Tokyo – HUF 425,000 (£1,191) – click here for more Budapest prices 

Helsinki to Bangkok – €1,093 (£955) – click here for more Helsinki prices 

Remember that these are only sample destinations.  You should, for example, find other Australian destinations available for the Sydney price quoted above.

You should also look at the Qatar Airways sale pages out of Brussels (click here) and Vienna (click here) as these can also have good pricing.

And for comparison:

Heathrow to Bangkok – £1,858

Heathrow to Sydney – £2,958

Heathrow to Singapore – £2,075

These routes would (almost) 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.

The only exception is Athens.  Athens to Doha is under 2,000 miles and only earns 40 tier points. That means 360 for a return trip (400 to Australasia).

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 TOMORROW, 10th November.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Amex Gold

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

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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 (61)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Phill R says:

    For 2 people I managed to bag MAN-LHR-ATH with BA in CE for £100 (50k miles) and ATH-DOH-CPT-DOH-MAN in the Qatar sale for 3400. Probably a bit more than some of the offers but wanted the convenience of flying straight back to Manchester. Pretty good flight times all round and more than happy with that, business all the way for £1750pp!

    Re checked my qatar flights last night and they had gone up by 5000e

  • D.Koo says:

    QR20YEARS can be applied to flights depart from Asia as well and i can search 20% off for a HKG-DOH-LHR flight in Dec.

  • aceman says:

    how long is that promo code good for?

  • fbrj says:

    After much poring (and procrastinating!) over schedules and dates I have finally booked QR flights ARN-DOH-MEL//MEL-DOH-MUC for 2 late April/early May. Cost of QR flights was £1490/each. BA econ positioning flights £270 for 2. Although returning to ARN would have been £150/each cheaper it would have required another hotel stay owing to 8pm arrival time but also 9+hrs at Doha transit. MUC on the other hand is 2 hr transit, arrives MUC 12.25pm so should be able to get back to the UK on the same day.

    I also looked at returning directly to LHR but was a net (of the BA MUC-LHR flight) £600 more in total.

  • Polly says:

    Hope you booked that y ticket which allows you to change to an earlier fight when you get back to muc…v useful that is…great you got that price…hardly notice the journey in j. What planes did you get on route?

  • fbrj says:

    Hi Polly. I’ve read your exhortations re more flexible tickets on the last leg. But on this occasion the first departing flight after we land in MUC is 4hrs later which I thought would also provide some margin if we cannot get our baggage checked all the way back to LHR from MEL, although this has not been a problem since QR changed its stance on this. On the last occasion in OSL we were returning back to LHR on a RFS. Not only did we get upgraded but also at the gate we were reassured (unprompted by us) that our luggage was safely on board from the QR flight!

    Re QR planes (another important factor!) we are on B787, A380, A380 and A350. As we know these tend to be quite provisional! We have just returned from DPS (from and into LHR) on QR. I learned that the A330 Diamond seats are different and next time to book a pair in the middle – the side pairs seem much smaller seats. First world problems eh?

  • Simon Spanswick says:

    Have now successfully booked an Easter break for two in Sri Lanka from Bucharest using the OTP-DOH-CMB-DOH-OTP option, plus an open jaw work trip for just me ARN-DOH-SIN-HND-DOH-ARN at the end of January.
    The open jaw will also include visits to Hong Kong and Taipei in between Singapore and Tokyo, so a bit of a marathon. CX and JAL flights using Avios in business are probably the order of the day for the intra-Asia trips.
    Only two small downsides (which are insignificant given the savings) are that the BA TP credit for the OTP-DOH is a measly 40 instead of the usual Europe-DOH 140, and that one sector on the Asian trip was pushed into I instead of R which bumped the price up a tad (NB: use QR20YEARS to get the solo business promo fares).
    However, compared to a BA open jaw in CW, the Qatar flights are about half the price, and twice the service (and lots more Avios and TPs).
    Hat tip to Rob for flagging this sale and repeatedly reminding us up to today (hope QR offer you some good deals and trips given the amount of revenue you must be sending their way!). Now, should I try for a hat-trick for later in 2018?

    • Polly says:

      Absolutely..go for it!

      Fbrj hope you get the bags through again. It’s great when qr push the boat out as it could learn from them…

  • Henry Young says:

    I booked “two together” MNL-LHR return and the QR20YEARS promo code took a further 10% off an already amazing deal – very happy except that the cheapest fare required flying BA on the LHR leg which means no free seat allocation and therefore no peace of mind that I can actually be seated with my wife until 2 days before departure at which time seat allocation through the BA site is free. In this respect I feel a little cheated and annoyed at the additional admin that I’ll have to remember to do at the right time.

    • Rob says:

      Ironically BA is cancelling quite a lot of its Doha flights at short notice at the moment and moving people to Qatar – it seems an easy way to free up a plane if they have a problem elsewhere.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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