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Earn 560 British Airways tier points (almost Silver!) with £1125 Qatar Airways deal

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Qatar Airways has launched the best flight deal we’ve seen from them for a while.  Since we haven’t covered a decent Qatar Airways offer for a few months, I thought I’d run through this one in more detail than usual for the benefit of new readers.

Here are the bare bones of the offer:

Milan Malpensa to Bangkok, Business Class, for €1250 (£1125) return – this can be reduced by a further £200-£400 via the current Amex Travel cashback deal

Bookable here at (if you’re not targeted for the Amex offer)

Must book by 4th January although it may be pulled earlier

Must stay between 5 and 31 nights

Bookable for travel until November 2019

No stopovers allowed

Effectively non-refundable and non-changeable (can be done but the fees are very high)

Qatar Airways Milan Bangkok deal

Why is this a good deal?

Above all else, it just ‘is’!  £1125 for a Business Class return flight to Asia is a very attractive price.

Of course, you need to add in the cost of getting to Milan Malpensa (not Linate, note).  As this will be on a separate ticket, you also need to build in enough flexibility in case your inbound flight is delayed – this may even mean an overnight stay in Italy.

As this is Qatar Airways, you will also be changing planes in Doha.  Your routing will therefore, potentially, be something like Manchester – Milan – Doha – Bangkok, which is undoubtedly a bit of a pain.

You could get it even cheaper!

American Express Travel is offering a generous cashback deal at the moment.

You need to look at the ‘Offers’ tab on your Amex online statement pages for each separate card you hold.  If targeted, you will see either:

  • £50 back on £200 Amex Travel spend
  • £200 back on £600 Amex Travel spend
  • £400 back on £1000 Amex Travel spend (Centurion only)

You have until 28th February to do the necessary spend.  This offer is only valid for pre-paid products and a flight is the best way of taking advantage.  Whilst there is clearly value in booking hotels this way too, Amex Travel is counted as a third party booking site and you won’t receive hotel points or status benefits.  You can’t use it for Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings as these are not pre-paid.

Qatar Airways qsuite

So why do it?

For a start, Qatar Airways has an excellent Business Class product.

With multiple daily flights on each leg between Milan-Doha and Doha-Bangkok, you can pick from combinations which include:

Boeing 777-300ER – between Milan and Doha, it seems that you are very likely to get the older 2-2-2 seating I reviewed here.  If you select this aircraft between Doha and Bangkok you might get a refurbished one with the amazing new Qsuite (reviewed here).

A350-900 –  the herringbone seat which I reviewed here, albeit in its 787 incarnation, which is very impressive.  Qatar has a special website showing off this seat which you’ll find here.

A330-200 – there are various versions of this aircraft in the Qatar fleet – whilst SeatGuru says they have angled lie-flat seats, comments below say they are now refitted with flat seats, usually in a 2-2-2 configuration

A340-600 – as for the A330-200

A380 – this is the herringbone seat which I reviewed here, it is not Qsuite but has a great bar

It has to be said that Qatar Airways has a habit of changing its aircraft allocations at short notice, so I wouldn’t get too hung up on which one you choose because it may change.  The best choice would be the A350-900 or A380 if you want certainty (unless you get a plane swap), especially if travelling solo.  The 777-300ER (non Qsuites version), A330-200 and A340-600 are not good for solo travellers due to the 2-2-2 seating.

An equally important reason for booking this trip, however, is the ability to pick up a lot of British Airways Executive Club tier points.

How many tier points will I earn?

Qatar Airways is a member of the oneworld airline alliance, alongside British Airways.  This means that, if you put your British Airways Executive Club number into the booking, you will earn Avios and BA tier points when you fly.

When flying airlines other than British Airways, there is something called the ‘2000 mile rule’ in the Executive Club:

  • Business Class flights under 2000 miles earn 40 tier points per sector
  • Business Class flights over 2000 miles earn 140 tier points per sector

Milan to Doha is more than 2000 miles.  Doha to Bangkok is more than 2000 miles.  This means that your return Business Class flight from Milan to Bangkok will earn 140 + 140 + 140 + 140 = 560 tier points in British Airways Executive Club.

How many tier points do I need for Silver status?

600 tier points.  This means that you are over 90% of the way there in just one trip with this deal.

However, you ALSO need to have done four paid British Airways one-way flights in your current membership year before you are upgraded.  You cannot earn the 600 tier points purely from partners.

Bronze status requires just 300 tier point and two four paid BA flight segments in your current membership year.

British Airways Executive Club Silver status has two key benefits – lounge access for you and a guest whenever you fly, plus free seat selection at the time of booking.  You can find out more benefits of Silver status on here.

Your status would last for the rest of your current membership year plus all of the following year.  If you booked one of these flights in the first few weeks of your next membership year, you would potentially get Silver status for almost two years.

How many Avios will I earn?

Milan to Doha is 3,404 Avios.  Doha to Bangkok is 4,084 Avios.  This make a total of 14,976 Avios for the round-trip.

There is no status bonus for Bronze, Silver or Gold members when flying on Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways Bangkok Milan deal


Qatar Airways traditionally runs a massive sale each January.  In 2018 it was relatively weak compared to previous years.  You may see a better or more convenient deal than this if you wait, but it is a gamble.

Irrespective, £1125 for a Business Class trip to Bangkok on one of the best airlines available is a good deal.  Potentially saving an extra £200 booking online via Amex Travel is even better, if you are targeted for that deal.

Being able to pick up 560 BA tier points plus a large pile of Avios is even better!   All you need to decide whether the effort of positioning via Milan Malpensa is worthwhile.

If you don’t have a credit card with 0% foreign exchange fees, your best option for paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers triple points – 3 per £1 – when you book flight tickets in a foreign currency.  This is because the transaction triggers the ‘double points for airline spend’ and the ‘double points for foreign spend’ bonuses.

(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.)

Comments (75)

  • Max says:

    Can the Amex offer be used twice on one booking?

    Both have £200 off?


    • Shoestring says:

      Yes if you have the Amex offer twice eg Main + Supp cards

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Not on 1 booking though. You could book two tickets seperaretly from each account/card.

        • Nick says:

          Wait so you can use the offer on main and supplementary cards ? Me and my partner got the offer three times:

          Gold main -£200 offer
          Gold supplementary – £200 offer
          ARCC – £200 offer

          My understanding was you can’t use it on both a main and supplementary card as they are linked to same account and T and C is one credit per account ?

        • The Real John says:

          Nick – it’s one offer per card so if you have 5 supps and had the offer on all of them, you could get it 6 times (aren’t supps only £170 per year so you could have even made money on this if you wanted to gamble on the offers being available?)

  • Marl says:

    I never use Amex Travel but I looked at the site last week when I was trying to re-route from LGW madness and it was quoting quite a bit more than direct with the airlines I was searching. Am I missing something here?

    • I’ve booked through Amex Travel many times (mainly when there’s a special offer like the current one) and I find prices vary. Sometimes they are the same as booking with the airline direct but, as you have experienced, a lot of the time it can be a lot more. Plus, you have to be careful if you need luggage as it isn’t always clear what’s included or how to add additional luggage.

      • Phillip says:

        Amex travel doesn’t issue the tickets immediately, there is usually a lag of a few hours but when it comes to issuing the tickets, I find they are exactly the same as the airline. I’ve had cases when the price dropped significantly from what I booked on the website to what was actually charged in the end.

        • Alex W says:

          Someone said recently they have been flogging cheap package tour airline fares which cannot subsequently be upgraded.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      I’ve used Amex travel before for a VS flight to SEA. Was £400 cheaper than booking direct with VS. Took the punt and also upgraded to UC on the way home from memory.

  • Christian says:

    Hi Rob, the A340s and A330s all now have flat beds.. the same seats as on the American A321Ts in J. Seat Guru info is out of date. Also, I’ve just booked and my return is for a Saturday, so the return rules seem more liberal than what you say. My two B777-300ER flights to/from BKK are showing QSuites at present. You can trick into giving a stopover in BKK, given the extensive schedule I’ve managed to work in a 23 hour stopover.

    Finally, the £200 offer Amex redemption email just came. Bargain!

  • paulm says:

    thanks for this, was just looking yesterday as I wanted to buy a small amount. have just brought one of the 2000 packs

    when filling in the iberia number on the form, do I just list the actual number or do I have to prefix it with ‘IB’ as shown on the membership card ?

  • Anna says:

    OT but Qatar – is there any other option than using BAEC to book award seats (and thereby reduce taxes and fees?) Thete seems to be excellent availability Manchester to Doha in business but still BA level surcharges.

  • Anna says:

    Did anyone else find that payment by Curve was rejected for this deal? I ended up having to pay an extra £3 for using another card!

    • Doug M says:

      Oddly the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking nicely of Curve, more successes with rare failure, after what seemed a couple of months of endless failure. It’s really annoying when £7 in Pret or a supermarket is rejected.

  • Clive says:

    I believe you may find PSA cheaper

      • Rob says:

        Pisa – but this deal just seems to be Milan, and potentially linked to Air Italy (owned by Qatar Airways) running a similar deal from Milan to Bangkok.

        • Anna says:

          Thanks but the whole point is to be able to go direct from MAN and have a holiday without the family moaning about having to connect!

        • Anna says:

          So for example, can you book Qatar award seats through the Iberia website and pay lower fees/taxes?

        • Shoestring says:

          Yes: you can (in theory) book any Oneworld reward flight through IB, same as BA. Starting in UK, no problem.

          Lower fees/ taxes? – you’d have to compare.

          So I booked BA flights to our place in the sun through IB, to use up our 180K cheapo IB points – availability didn’t look quite so good as on BA though not much difference – it *was* a bit more expensive on fees because no RFS £17.50 concession.

          On your flights, you may well find that IB doesn’t gouge quite as badly as BA on TATL flights.

        • Alex W says:

          Beware that partner redemptions booked on Iberia are non-refundable.

        • Shoestring says:

          And whilst BA reward flights can be one way, other Oneworld reward flights via IB mostly have to be return

        • Yuff says:

          I looked at returns to PMI when I had my cheap points and it was about £100 cheaper for 4 returns, in taxes, than Iberia so used baec instead.
          Tried to get my remaining points out by 30th November but failed 😩
          Used 60k for several flights so not a complete waste….

        • Shoestring says:

          Yuff it probably wiped its nose – but you could have got those recent hotel nights on IB points instead.

          Anyways, moving on 🙂

          Don’t ask me about Xmas Saver lol

  • Lee says:

    Thanks for the tip off, Pablo. I only checked out of idle curiosity a day or so ago and there was no availability. That’s another 2,000 in my Iberia account now

    • Shoestring says:

      did you get the extra free Avios by going through the Iberia shopping portal?

      (he irritatingly asks, knowing full well the answer is ‘no’ lol)

      • A270 says:

        I used the portal last time to buy 35,000. Was expecting quite a few extra avios but my account still shows 35,000 only. This was a couple of months back I think.