Qatar Business Class

£1500 UK to Johannesburg deal with Qatar Airways

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Qatar Airways is offering a very attractive £1500 (£1498 to be exact) business class deal to Johannesburg.  It seems to be available between October and June, but don’t bother looking over Christmas and New Year.

You WON’T find this on the Qatar Airways website directly.  It seems to be a fare which is only available via  Kayak brings up the fare and you click through to to book.  You will be paying over £3,000 if you try to book the same flights on the Qatar Airways website without going via Kayak.

Oddly, it isn’t even available via other websites owned by Kayak’s parent, such as Cheapflights or Priceline.

Here is an example.  You need to sort your search results by price to get this to the top – Kayak pushes it well down the page otherwise due to the nasty stopover on the way back (click to enlarge):

Qatar Airways Johannesburg deal

Some options may include a British Airways leg between London and Doha as it codeshares with Qatar Airways on this route.

Remember that you earn Avios and British Airways tier points when you fly with Qatar Airways.  This trip gets you 560 tier points which is virtually a British Airways Executive Club Silver card.

Qatar Airways Johannesburg deal

We have reviewed the Qatar Airways A380 business class seat here, the Boeing 787 business class here and the old-style Boeing 777 business class seat here.  The new Qsuite on most of the A350 fleet and some of the Boeing 777 fleet is covered here.

The Qatar Airways website has special pages covering the two main business class seats – the A380 / 787 / partial A350 version is here and Qsuite is explained here.

Your best option to maximise your miles when paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold.  This offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

(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.)

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  1. Annabel says:

    Advice please! Flying return on a 2-4-1 ticket LAX to LHR on Tuesday so will be checking in today. Seat map shows only one seat available. Is it likely we have been downgraded? Using expert flyer the only other seats are ‘blocked’. Blocked seats on my OB journey never opened up during OLCI. Any experience would be much appreciated. Thank you!

    • In my experience, you will have been pre allocated seats which you will see when OLCI opens. These will be showing as blocked on Expert Flyer. Other seats may open up at T-24.

      Do report back in due course.

      • Annabel says:

        Thanks Nick. I will do.

      • Annabel says:

        Checked in and we were allocated separate seats on two different levels. Called US BA ( they had to call Heathrow?) and after some persistence they managed to get me on same row as my 16yr old. Not best seat offerings but pleased we’ve not been bumped!

    • Nick is correct. It happens all the time. We had the same issue flying from Miami last year and Atlanta this year.

    • This happened to me and I was downgraded- but I still got to fly and enjoy my holiday.

      Plus I received a lot of compensation after going to arbitration after almost a year of back and forth emails with BA. (BA only refunded me the difference in miles between Club and WT+).

  2. Is there a calendar sweet spot for getting silver (im one flight away) ie based on calendar year or is it one year from gaining ? Thanks as I’ve confused myself as to how it works.

    • Genghis says:

      Earn it early in your membership year for over two years of status.

    • NigelthePensioner says:

      You get upgraded status as soon as your account hits the 600 or 1500 so you get the rest of your current year along with all of your next year. So hitting the target early on gets you the longest duration of benefit. It also allows you to use other airlines without worrying about not getting BA tier points. So you take advantage of non one world partners to try them out from time to time, knowing that you safely have BA status for your following year.

      • You’ll get silver status for all the rest of this membership year (ends on 8th of a month) and all the following year plus 7 weeks.

        eg. If your year ends on 8 November and you hit 600TPs next week, you’d go to Silver as soon as systems update (3-4 days). This would last until 31-12-2020.

        The timing benefit only really works if you are planning when you hit silver, earlier in your membership year the better as you always get the status for rest of the year and following year.

    • If you’re able to time it right, and get all the necessary TP in a 7 week window, it’s possible to permanently maintain status with TP earning only every other year. Not sure why you’d do this though. I think one of the big benefits of status is if you fly economy regularly, say for work, then Silver really is sweet giving you lounge access. People flying regularly in business see fewer benefits from status, as the ticket offers many of the status benefits.

      • Thanks all !

      • It’s worth doing it every other year if you do a lot of RFS economy trips. I earn lots of avios from non-airline spend (AMEX, car hire etc). My TP count for this year is still on 0 but I’ve flown BA about 10 times and used the lounge access and free seat selection every time.

        • Exactly when status works really well.
          I’m gold at the moment, only really use Avios for SH RFS. A couple of things I like about gold is the additional earning, but also the opening of additional RFS seats as a benefit. I’ve been able to book Bilbao and Munich for next year during Euro2020 when they otherwise were not available.

  3. Michael C says:

    OT: Isle of Man on points?!
    Slightly niche question: after today, there isn’t a single LCY-IOM reward flight available in either direction for the rest of the year: are they likely to be released in a batch?

    • Hmm. Have they been outsourced to Stobart or someone else, and so don’t appear?

      • Michael C says:

        HI Rob – I believe it’s been run by Loganair for a few months, but always under BA.
        Before I could choose betwene LCY and BHX on Flybe..and now looks like neither!

        Having said that, slightly bizarrely, there IS an LCY date free in Feb. ’20…

  4. Does the Qatar Business Lounge stay open 24hrs? That return flight requires you to spend over 7 hours in DOH overnight from 11pm to 6am the following morning. Not good timing to do any sightseeing in Doha (unless you fancy a guided tour by night) or long enough to book a hotel room.

    • Yes it does

      • That’s good to know. Still not convinced I’d want to spend as long in the lounge in the middle of the night as one of the sectors.

    • You can spend around $150 to get an upgrade to the first class lounge. It is probably worth it for that length of time, given you get a bed, and bottles of plonk are $200 each in there.

      Or you could go ex-LGW, which is even cheaper (£1460) and doesn’t have the long layover

    • There is a snooze area with some heavy snorers if you need to lie down…bring some earplugs! Or you can pay 600QAR and use Qatar’s Al Safwa (First Class) Lounge which has nap rooms…quite expensive though and Al Mourjan is good enough 😁

  5. There are also some £1378 flights from Cardiff in October to JNB with Qatar.

  6. Our upcoming safari flights have been changed to Qatar. I have added our BAEC number to our flight booking via The Finnair website. I don’t normally pay cash for flights, only reward flights so don’t normally collect tier points. How many tier points and Avios will we earn from LHR to DOH then DOH to Kilimanjaro and back again – flying economy with no status.

    • Use the BA calculator here – – entering details for each leg separately. You will need to know what your booking class is, though (there are about a dozen for economy), and I’m not quite sure where you would be able to find that…

    • 20 or 35 for each leg, dependant on fare class, so 80 to 140. See to work out exactly.

      • Thank you both! Next question is how do I find out which level of economy we will be in if it’s booked with a travel agent?

        • Phone and ask them if it’s not on any of the paperwork.

        • The fare class booked sometimes shows up in MMB when you click on the flight detail which should also show operating airline and aircraft. Did you check on Finnair when you added your BAEC no? Or try Qatar’s MMB page.

          Also if any of the flights have a BA flight number / are on BA metal the entire booking should show up in your BAEC account. You will then automatically see the tier points and avios you will earn. That’s why I try to book at least one flight in a booking on a BA marketed or operated flight. These flights also count towards the required 2 or 4 flights to earn Bronze or Silver/Gold status.

  7. Looked at the Kayak/Qatar fares to Jo’burg and to book the flights it takes you through to a company called Dream World Travel. One of their telephone numbers is unobtainable and the other does not lead to speaking to anyone. Has anyone heard of or booked through this company. going to google search any reviews

    • Not when I did it yesterday – it takes you straight to the Qatar website.

      • Found the Qatar direct link as a drop down fare slightly more than the Dream World but booking direct with Qatar is a safer bet.

  8. Massive OT:

    Has anyone else realised that the Hertz Gold Plus benefit through Amex is a complete and utter waste of time? Actually, one further, they are penalising customers for being part of it!

    I figured this out the last time I booked a car – it was literally half price to book when NOT logged in to my account. I’ve just done it again now, and the same rings true. Cape Town over December, cars are nearly half price when logged out compared to logged in.

    How are they getting away with this?!

    • Not answering the ‘why’ but if the price is competitive you could book the car when logged out and there is a thread on FT which details how you can then amend the booking later to add it to your account.

    • It’s not always the case, so unfortunately you need to compare prices when logged in and when logged out, if it’s a big sum.

      Differs by accounts, too. OH, when logged in, was getting quotes in the hundreds for a weekend rental, when I was getting sub-£100 when logged in through my account. We both got our status through Amex, though I do tend to book more often. It’s just one the great mysteries of Hertz IT tbh…

      • Lady London says:

        Hertz used to do same for me but it stopped about 3 years ago.

        While it was happening i did learn it’s important not just to delete ookies from previous searches, but also to reboot as well. Otherwise it would continue to recognise me or bump up thé price from previous searches. No idea why.

    • Jovanna says:

      Check what your profile says on Hertz. Decline everything – Europe, the USA and Asia / Australia.

      • This is actually a South African booking, and ironically, the ‘logged out’ profile has *more* stuff included rather than excluded.

        It’s a complete scam. They seldom do the ‘upgrade’, and there are really no benefits to joining other than the promise of a ‘reduced rate’.

        It is substantially more. Logged in rate = £680, logged out rate = £330. That can’t just be some sort of dynamic pricing mistake!

    • Charlieface says:

      The trick is basically to work out what gets included free anyway and set that in your profile. For example, in Europe accept CDW and TP but decline SLI.
      So if in South Africa they give CDW free when not logged in, make sure to set in your profile to ACCEPT CDW. Etc

    • Jonathan says:

      I disagree, I got 10 days rental in Italy for £150. Got a double upgrade to a 4×4 and free driver. Well over £600 worth of freebies.

    • Agree – Hertz Portugal point blank refused spouse as additional driver unless I paid 7.5 euros a day.
      Also when returning I had to fill up 3 times (there was a fuel drivers strike) so limited to either 15 or 25 litres.
      Was short by 4 litres when returning car- they wanted me to pay for a full tank. Had to find yet another station to put 7 euros in.
      Will never use them again.

  9. Sorry, OT and has probably been answered elsewhere but can’t find it – can anyone confirm from personal experience that you still get a the referral points when referring someone not entitled to a signup bonus, and that you still get the points if someone signs up to a different card than the one you referred from? Scenario: hubby refers me from his BA card and I sign up for a gold card (not getting a bonus, but the lounge passes would be useful). He gets 4000 avios? Thanks

    • Correct, in my experience.

    • Harry T says:

      Yep, I’ve referred people from my Platinum for non-Plat Amex cards, including people who are not eligible for the sign up bonus. All referral points received.

  10. OT – Wife just got her first AMEX card – BA Premium Plus – so she gets the sign-up bonus. I currently hold the AMEX Gold card.

    If she adds me as a supplementary card holder does it a) Affect her sign-up bonus since I have a AMEX card already? b) Does my spend on the supplementary card count towards the £10k for the 2-4-1 voucher?

    • Shoestring says:

      a – no
      b – no problem, main cardholder is responsible for all spend/ it all counts

      • Thanks Shoestring. Just to clarify on point b as I’m not 100% clear on your reply. Are you saying any spend on the supplementary card does or doesn’t count towards the £10k?

  11. So why is this only bookable going via kayak to the QR website, but not directly?

    • I would imagine that Qatar wants to shift some tickets but very quietly. 18 months ago Malaysia Airlines had Heathrow to Sydney for £1500 return but only via Expedia. There are almost certainly many more out there but they are purposely not meant to be found.

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        What would be their motive for this? not starting a head on price war?

        • Hard to control. It isn’t always the case that you want to shift 10,000 tickets – you may only want to shift a few hundred. This means just slipping out the offer to a few controlled environments. Starting a price war is also not necessarily smart because there are other people happy to pay Qatar their full rate.

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