Cheap business class deals: Australia / NZ from Sweden and lots of places from Amsterdam (via Cairo!)

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I’ve no idea what happened to the Qatar Airways mega-sale this year.  The airline hasn’t had a sale at all, yet alone a very aggressive one.  I have no excuse for not knowing as I shared a lift with the Qatar Airways CEO last Friday!

Other airlines aren’t standing still, so if you are looking to lock in a deal for 2019 you may be able to find something.  You won’t always be able to earn Avios or BA tier points however.

Price war from Sweden to Australasia

For no logical reason, since I doubt it was ever a major driver of traffic, a price war has broken out from Sweden to Australia and New Zealand.

There are various combinations of starting point (Stockholm or Gothenburg) and destination so you’ll need to have a play around.  There doesn’t seem to anything valid over Christmas and New Year but you can find offers into early December.

I would start on the Singapore Airlines website as they have some interesting deals, routing partly via partners, from Stockholm to key Australian cities.  You will be paying around £2,100 – £2,200.

Try Cathay Pacific too.  Here is a deal at SEK 23,656 (£1,995) return from Stockholm to Melbourne in late November.  This flight WILL earn Avios and British Airways tier points, and is partly on BA.  Cathay also has good prices to Auckland.

The best deals are, oddly, on Etihad from Gothenburg.  I found Sydney as low as £1,828 in May:

That Etihad flight has a complex routing, however, so you will be earning your saving.

The best thing to do is play around on the Etihad, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines websites, and also try consolidators such as Expedia who might have private deals.

It is also vital that you check exactly which aircraft types you will be on so you know you are getting a good seat.  You will get a lot of miles and tier points for a trip like this too, so factor that in when comparing pricing.

Egyptair mega-deals from Amsterdam!

Are you willing to fly Egyptair via Cairo to get a good deal?  The airline is part of Star Alliance so you will earn a decent chunk of miles if you do, and the prices are very keen.

Here are some interesting business class return fares currently bookable.  You need to book by the end of February and start your trip before 9th April.  You can’t fly back between 15th April and 5th May.

Sample prices include (I have priced in £ as that is how Expedia throws them out):

  • Amsterdam to Nairobi – £857
  • Amsterdam to Dubai – £902
  • Amsterdam to Bangkok – £846
  • Amsterdam to Hong Kong – £984

Note that Egyptair business class seating is ‘angled lie-flat’ and has a 2 x 2 x 2 configuration so it is not exactly cutting edge, but the prices certainly are.

I priced it up on Expedia.  If you still have a ‘£200 off £600 spend’ American Express Travel cashback deal showing on one of your Amex cards, I would try them first.  The £200 cashback would take the price into silly territory.

Thanks to German blog YHBU.

Book Christmas in Australia / NZ for £1,480 with Air China business class in their flash sale - plus £1,150 to Asia
Good deal - earn 7,500 Avios or €150 credit for 3 x 2-night Accor stays
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  1. AMS to HKG for £ 784 in J, even if not totally flatbed.. def silly money. We used to be on Egypt air when going back and forth to the to uk many many years ago from the ME. Always the cheapest routing then. One of us would get a travel allowance in cash to cover a full price Y seat to the UK, but cashed it in to get x 2 Y on Egypt air.
    Cairo really interesting city, if you can swing a 23hr layover…or pay for a stopover.

    • MS CAI-HKG stops in BKK so a 12 hour direct flight (from LHR) becomes a 24+ hour slog when you need to connect in AMS too.

      Cairo is interesting but if you’re going you should really spend longer and do the pyramids etc

      CAI airport is awful (at least QR has a nice lounge in DOH) and for those who care, MS doesn’t serve alcohol

  2. FWIW, QR had the ARN SIN J fare there recently. With amex deal 200 off a 600 spend, brought the tkt down to 1150, which was great for 2 x q suites out of 4 sectors. And peak Asia time too in Nov. Decent fare.
    That could change of course, the way QR move planes around Europe.

    • Last month I deliberately went at less preferable times to experience 4 x QSuites and I simply would not bother again as they are essentially just the A380 business class (Etihad/Qatar) seats with a flimsy door.

      Bigger TVs screen for sure but the food was below Etihad’s recent efforts.

      Lounge of course ridiculously large but I go with short connections so what does it matter for an hour or two ?

  3. EgyptAir: best pilots and planes out there. 🤣

  4. Benylin says:

    OT: Any good CDP/discount codes for Avis or Hertz going around? Apart from Amex Platinum ones or XEXEC

    • You cannot beat Hertz Amex Plat 211762? booked via the Australia site. Just got a week in Scotland for £90.

      • Do you mean Amex Australia? Looking for a week in Cyprus. I always just book thru Skyscanner and now it appears I am missing out.
        Also, anyway of combining these deals with Amex travel offer?

      • Yep I find the Aussie site almost always has good deals on SUVs too, sometimes cheaper than lower classes!

      • Interestingly, not for 7 seats in Florida in October. 600AUD with Hertz vs £220 from AvisBA.

    • Check Amex offers, too. I had Avis cashback deal on SPG and Gold (supp to Plat) cards this week – £20 off £150 – in case that’s helpful.

  5. Slightly OT – If you have have the AMEX offer of £200 of £600 spend, can that be triggered twice in one account, one by the main cardholder and by the supplementary one or is it limited by account?

    • No you can get for main and supp if you have it as an offer (& activate it) on both.

    • Andrew S says:

      Limited by the card it is saved to. So if the supplementary card holder has the offer on their online account saved, they can use their card to trigger the offer on their card.
      If the main card holder has the offer saved to their main card, they can also use the main card to trigger the offer.
      Amex offers are card specific.

      • I had the offer on main and supp cards. Using it for a multi-city J itinerary so
        just over £600 each before discount. We had to book our tickets separately – one from my online account for me and one from partner’s online account for her.

        Took about four days for the charges to come through and about same again for the credits to appear so wouldn’t run up to 28 Feb on this one just in case you have problems.

  6. A friend booked an economy return to Cochin, India (KOC), on Qatar, a couple of days ago for £355. So there are bargains – just not in J it would appear.

    • It would have to be £250 to be a bargain, when the usual price is around £450.

      OTOH you can go 4 times in Y for the same price as once in J.

  7. Jovanna says:

    Egyptair is a dry airline.

    Where best to credit Etihad? I looked at wheretocredit. I was hoping for Turkish or A3 but they were not on the list. I do t think I’d use them anywhere else, maybe AA but then I’d credit to BA rather than AA on anything else, so couldn’t really build a decent balance with AA.

  8. Londoner says:

    QR have had both Australia and New Zealand at under £ 2.000 for quite some time this year already, but mostly originating in CPH. ARN and OSL have been more expensive. CPH-AKL was wide open at £ 1.890, SYD at around £ 1.930.

    The ARN-SIN fare was alright at around £ 1.250 as well.

  9. BlueHorizonuk says:

    The Singapore deal is over Christmas

  10. Prins Polo says:

    EgyptAir often books J tickets into classes that do not earn miles – a lot of FTers have been caught out by this.

  11. Their J may be second division but Air China continue to sell Germany (FRA/DUS/MUC; need FRA for the 747-8) to Sydney/Melbourne for €1700/£1500. Only checked dates in July as that’s when I want to travel.

  12. What’s more, QR J from CPH-SYD prices up at £1958 on Amex travel for me (also in July).

  13. Looking to take up this cheaper option for a trip to AKL in October, Cathay seems best deal for collecting points, will I have to book a separate return flight to Stockholm (to get me out there then back again afterwards) in order to complete the trip?

    • Of course you do. Just make sure you leave enough time for connections and consider turning it into a 2-in-1 holiday by visiting Stockholm for the day (e.g. if your outbound flight from ARN is in the evening).

  14. youngtraveller says:

    Just saw this on award wallet might be useful to someone.
    “Targeted for Iberia Plus members living in Spain, Italy or France (see below for more details)”

  15. youngtraveller says:

    OT: Just saw this on award wallet might be useful to someone. “Iberia Plus has launched a flash sale offering 50% off award tickets until February 10, 2019” But it has an issue for UK residents: “Targeted for Iberia Plus members living in Spain, Italy or France”

  16. Not sure why you want to go to Amsterdam – Prices ex-LHR by EgyptAir (BKK/PEK/HKG etc.) are more or the less same, around £1000 or even less.

  17. Just booked an open jaw STO/LHR/CNS — SYD/LHR/STO on Cathay over Christmas for around £2000. Lots of availability.

  18. Amex travel haven’t got a ticketing agreement with EgyptAir.

  19. We did see the Qatar sale in January! From memory it ended 16th Jan and limited dates were available to Sydney in December from Gothenburg. We booked outbound 9th Dec and back on 29th Business class via Doha. It costed just under £1900 per person. I think only one of the legs is the Q suites though!

    • That was just a standard promo, not the “World Travel Festival” all singing, all dancing offer.

      New Qatar economy seat being launched at ITB in March, apparently, with a new Business Class suite launched at ITB in 2020 (because Qsuite is so old hat now).

      • More than happy to get the ‘standard’ promo! Still seemed to be the best option for a trip back home to Sydney during the Christmas period with a good quality airline! Anything else beating it at current apart from Air China in your most recent post? Hope not! Always on the lookout for great business class deals to Sydney as you say in previous articles – quite a pain to get a trip using miles! We have loads of points accumulated from following all your tips and have tried calling partner airlines in the past within the timelines for release of seats but never had any luck!

        • Best to use BAPP 241 in F or J to either KUL,SIN or HKG > then use some of your miles to get to SYD on either MH,CX or QF. We used QF J from SIN to PER return which works.

  20. Thanks Polly! Interesting! It is the leg from Asia to Sydney that we struggle to book as we do often have 241 companion vouchers to use from London. Will look into this for the future for sure!

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