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Qatar Airways launches THREE daily flights from London Gatwick

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On a one to ten scale of weirdness, this is – on the face of it – quite high.

At the ITB travel show in Berlin yesterday (and where I am today) Qatar Airways announced two to three new daily flights between London Gatwick and Doha.

The flights will start on 22nd May with two new daily services.

A third service will run on Friday and Saturday between 15th June and 29th September.

Qatar Airways launches new routes from London Gatwick

All flights use a Boeing 787-8, so this will be the very good herringbone layout in Business Class and not the new Qsuite.  My review of that seat is here.

This is a lot of extra capacity to add into the market with just three months notice.  The continuation of the blockade with the UAE is stopping Qatar Airways being used as a cheaper indirect option to get to Dubai or Abu Dhabi

Late May is also a bad time to start a service because you are entering the peak Summer months where Doha as a final destination starts to look very unattractive due to the heat.   Adding a 3rd daily flight just as the heat becomes unbearable is even odder!  Most people will choose to transfer onwards, of course.

I get a feeling that this is linked to British Airways and its need to ‘use or lose’ the Gatwick slots it acquired from the administrators of Monarch.  BA has possibly given its biggest shareholder free use of three slot pairs.

BA and Qatar Airways have a joint venture on routes between London and Doha so British Airways will be getting a cut of the revenue.  This may also allow British Airways to effectively drop its own Doha service – which has been suspended for a while – to free up an aircraft whilst the 787 fleet is awaiting engine repairs.

The press release is here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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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.

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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

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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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (95)

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

  • xcalx says:

    Totally off topic
    Has the IHG reward programme changed to points and cash only. ie no point only awards. Or am I having a senior moment by not finding any hotels bookable for points only

    • Rob says:

      You are having a senior moment. Go and rest 🙂

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Shows cash and points by default now – you can choose points only if you click through.

    • xcalx says:

      Hopefully just an IT glitch

    • mark2 says:

      If you read further down that thread ….

    • Rob says:

      Read the f’in thread first before posting it 🙂

      • JamesB says:

        WOW that is at least two Fs this week Rob!

        • TripRep says:

          lol, I’m liking the testy Rob, quite refreshing as he’s usually uber polite and mega patient, nice to see he’s human, plus remember not the easiest start to the week for him. .

        • Rob says:

          There was a smiley – but he did post a link to a thread which actually answered the question he posted!

        • xcalx says:

          Yeah it’s getting like the BA thread on FT. LOL

          If Rob would upgrade this site we could edit our own cock ups.

  • Andrew says:

    Off-topic Bits…

    I was looking to book a hotel in the M6 area near Manchester/Liverpool – I usually check Expedia first for general pricing then book direct with whichever works with my current points targets.

    Booking direct with IHG was going to cost between 30-40% more than booking with Expedia. Of course, as those prices are only available when you log into Expedia, they aren’t covered by the price promise…

    • TripRep says:

      A wee bit to the SW, but the DoubleTree Chester is v good. Gave me the presidential suite last time I was there. Dont get over excited. Probably more suited the President of a Golf Club than a head of state… 😀

      Nice hotel tho, good pool/spa, great breakfast and friendly staff. Can be had for £65 on a Sunday eve, (I’m considering booking there again soon.)

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        Not sure if it’s really close enough to the M6 but I would second the DT Chester. Stayed there a few times and it’s a nice hotel with great grounds.

  • Lee says:

    OT – update for using Platinum card with AMEX travel £600 £200 off offer on last day
    called AMEX today and was told they can’t see the offer stored in my account, I will have to upload the email from THEM that states the offer was used to THEIR document centre. Now the link to the document centre has broken.

    I always praised AMEX platinum cs and IT was one of the best, but experienced a few issues with them like missing rewards, late credit etc.

    • xcalx says:

      I too have had problems with Amex Plt customer service and the small shop promotion whereby the
      5 supplementary card holders had to each phone in to receive the £5 credits because the amex agent had decided that only the main card holder was allowed the credits. Escalated this issue but received a letter confirming that the agent was correct and all supplementary card holders would need to phone in or no credits would be issued. A total waste of every ones time.

      • Chris says:

        I had to cancel my Amex plat as I was left owed over £200 from Amex shop small where they refused to give me credit for some places that were on their map, and where the merchant receipt tallied with the name on the map.

        The CS agents came across as openly hostile to me each time I queried them on it.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      I’d give it another couple of days, I used the 50 back on 200 on the last day (28/2) and it finally turned up today, after just saying offer expired.

      Did you get the email from Amex when you redeemed the offer? Normally an email comes almost instantly when you make the qualifying purchase.

    • Cormac says:

      +1 Chasing down the 50% conversion bonus to Hilton points – AMEX claimed Hilton was no longer a partner (which is wrong) – so I’ve asked for a case to be opened, and they are now looking into it further. Not the AMEX that I’ve rated for years.

  • AndyGWP says:

    OT – does an booking (as I had to use my Lloyds upgrade voucher), have the same 24 hour ‘cooling off’ period (for full refund including £’s) that would be provided if booked via.

    • Lady London says:

      It worked for me when I needed to cancel one. However on two other occasions I’ve booked an avios ticket and tried to cancel but couldn’t get any of the BA call centres to pick up the phone in the time.

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    How did you get it to price up? Kept showing at 34k each way when I tried.

    • Luthar says:

      Change your address on your Iberia account to a Spanish or US address. The offer is technically only available to residents in Spain, USA, Argentina and some other countries. However, changing your address is all you need to do, I don’t see how they can verify it.

      • Rob says:

        Ah, that would explain why I couldn’t get it to work last time they did this offer ….

  • SarahO says:

    What’s Ethiopian Business Class like? Have the option to fly with them to Windhoek but wasn’t sure.

  • TripRep says:

    O/T: Amex Gold, finally got an offer to add a supplementary card holder for 3k MR points.

    Had it about 6 months not spent much on it recently, is that about par for the course?

    I think I’ll be tempted and bite…

    • wally1976 says:

      Yes I think the standard is 3k for the gold and 5k for platinum.

      Has anyone tried adding a supp card, collecting the bonus points, cancelling the supp card, adding the supp card again…??

    • Mark LLL says:

      TripRep, Don’t do what I did:
      3k MR Supp offer required application via link in e-mail. I used the link but did not complete my application at that time (I actually got scared I might be victim of a phishing scam).
      Later logged into my online account and discovered my Supp application sitting there and ready for completion. I foolishly completed the form from my online account – resulting in a Supp but no bonus points. Queried it with CS they adamant I didn’t use the link so didn’t deserve bonus MR.
      Unfortunately you only get one chance at a first Supp, and I blew it.

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

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