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.
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:
- 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
- Qatar Qsuite – without flying anywhere
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.)