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Good Asia flight deals – and 560 British Airways tier points – in the Qatar Airways sale

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Qatar Airways has been running a global sale in the past week. Rob had promised that we would run a piece about it but it slipped through the cracks as we were a bit short-handed as I was on leave.

Fortunately, Qatar Airways has decided to extend the sale so you can still book these fares until midnight tonight. You can see the sale page on the Qatar Airways website here.

The sale is for travel until 31st August 2020, although you will almost certainly find blackout dates over Christmas.  As usual, genuinely exciting fare deals from the UK are virtually non-existent.  The real bargains to be had are from continental European departure points which involves hopping on a positioning flight.

From Oslo, the best business class offers I can find are:

Bali, from £1,408 (NOK 15,761)
Bangkok, from £1,311 (NOK 14,680)
Doha, from £1,361 (NOK 15,244)
Ho Chi Minh City, from £1,407 (NOK 15,756)
Kuala Lumpur from £1,348 (NOK 15,100)
Singapore, from £1,319 (NOK 14,770)
Shanghai, from £1,378 (NOK 15,436)
Sydney, from £2,301 (NOK 25,768)

You can see the full list on the Norwegian Qatar Airways site which, very helpfully, is in English.

You can find very similar fares from Stockholm and Gothenburg from Sweden, albeit for a fraction more (we’re looking at tens of pounds here).

There also some interesting fares from Bucharest (Romania), including Colombo for 1009 or £895.  Unfortunately, though, Bucharest to Doha is less than 2,000 miles and therefore only earns 40 tier points rather than 140.

Qatar Airways is also offering an extra 10% off at the moment with promo codeFDB19′ on desktop and 5% off on mobile with ‘UPTO5OFF‘. In reality, you are unlikely to get this discount on these sale deals, although you should be able to use it on normal base fares.

How many British Airways 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 when looking at partner flights (this is NOT the rule for BA flights):

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

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

Flights from Stockholm, Gothenburg, Amsterdam – pretty much the entirety of western Europe – are also over 2,000 miles from Doha. Bucharest, unfortunately, is not, which is why the £895 Colombo deal we flagged above is no use for a tier point chaser.

Qatar sale

What is Qatar Airways business class like?

Qatar Airways has an excellent Business Class product.  Whilst individual seats can vary from aircraft to aircraft the exceptional soft-product is uniform across the fleet.

From Oslo, you can choose a range of combinations which include:

Boeing 787-8 – between Oslo and Doha, it looks like the seat you are most likely to get is the 1-2-1 herringbone configuration Rob reviewed here. This is based on the same Super Diamond seat that the new British Airways Club Suite is based upon, albeit without a door and a slightly different tray table and sculpted seat surrounds.

A350-900 – between Doha and many smaller Asian destinations. Whilst some of the A350-900s are fitted with Qsuite, others have the reverse herringbone seat that is also on Qatar’s 787 (review) and A380 aircraft.

A350-1000 – between Doha and a variety of busier destinations in Asia including Singapore you get the vaunted Qsuite reviewed here, which is installed on all of Qatar’s A350-1000 aircraft.

Boeing 777-300ER – between Doha and Bangkok for example, it seems that you are very likely to get the older 2-2-2 seating Rob reviewed here. Qatar is in the process of refitting its entire Boeing 777 fleet with Qsuite and is about 50% completed on the 777-300ER, so you may get lucky with refurbished one with Qsuite (reviewed here).

A380 – on some flights such as Doha – Sydney Qatar flies its A380, which features its reverse herringbone seat reviewed here, it is not Qsuite but has a great bar.

If you are particularly unlucky you may also get an A330, although I couldn’t find one scheduled for the destinations I looked at.  These are fitted with a 2-2-2 business class seat and should therefore be avoided if possible.

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 A350-1000 or A380 if you want certainty, unless you get a plane swap, especially if travelling solo.  The 777-300ER (non Qsuites version) and A330 are not good for solo travellers due to the 2-2-2 seating.

Which credit card should I use?

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.  Our review of Amex Gold is here.

To find out more ….

You can book via the Qatar Airways website here.

To learn more about Qsuite, take a look at this special page of the website.

To learn more about the herringbone seat on the A380 and Boeing 787, take a look at this special page of the website.

Remember that, unless the sale is extended again, these deals end tonight (Tuesday).  Sales end at midnight local time, so the Oslo departure deals will end at 11pm.

Comments (49)

  • RDB says:

    Mobile Prom Code UPTO5OFF off sale price now £1270 ARN-BKK plus hold fare up to 72 hours for a small fee

  • Raul says:

    Just bought BEG-HKG Business (R class) for £890 return!

  • Roger* says:

    I went to book ‘bookending’ LON-OSL-LON RFS flights for our OSL-CPT return. Only ET redemptions are available.

    We have benefited from through baggage from CPT via OSL to LON before. I was told a biz-to-biz connection allowed this. Will we be allowed through bags when connecting from QR biz to BA ET? Thanks.

    • Rhys says:

      Should be possible, whichever class of travel. Qatar ‘breaks’ oneworld rules for interlining baggage and has been known to check bags to your final destination even if they are on separate tickets. Worth asking at the desk, although be prepared to show your onward booking!

      • TokyoFan says:

        Does anyone know if JAL do this as well? I am flying HND-KIX in J ith JAL to connect to KIX-LHR three hours later. Do you think they’d let me check bags through?

        • Rhys says:

          The oneworld policy is NOT to do it (Qatar breaks the rule). Back when the new policy was enacted (2016) JAL said they would continue to interline bags, but not sure if that has changed or not.

          This obviously only applies to self-connections. If you have booked the connection and it is on one ticket it is different and bags should often connect through.

          • Charlieface says:

            I don’t think Oneworld said they shouldn’t, just they wouldn’t be required to, which meant any airline not wanting to (BA) would not check through.

        • Waribai says:

          JAL will do it. The Mrs and little one flew FUK-HND on JL then HND -LHR on BA last month.
          They were fine with checking the bags thru. The only slight hitch is that the JL domestic check in staff are not used to doing it so it helps if you have checked in online for all segments and can show them your boarding passes.

      • Roger* says:

        Thanks, Rhys. I’ll give it a try. We should have several hours at OSL on the way back anyway.

        When we checked through bags CPT-OSL-LHR a couple of years ago, I conveniently had our onward reservation with me and will do do next time.

    • Lady London says:

      Normally the class you’re in when you check in your luggage will dominate. More of a question is will the checking-in airline be willing to check your luggage through to final destination if not on same ticket.

      IME with QR they will even though not in the rules. Had a sticky moment in Oz when outsourced local non-QR checkin staff thought they couldnt but luckily checked with a manager and were told they could.

      Always a risk with contract checkin staff anywhere. Any discretion may not be given.
      Frequently they simply dont know the rules and will try to operate according to the rules of the airline they work mostly on behalf of. Had it in Oz, NZ, and in the USA more than once.

  • John says:

    “the £895 Colombo deal we flagged above is no use for a tier point chaser.”

    It still earns 360 TPs.

    If you have 1200 or 2700 TPs already, there is no need to earn 560 unless you are likely to reach lifetime gold in BA’s lifetime.

    QSuites are overrated. I actually prefer A330 layout for a couple especially with baby, although they are getting old.

  • Anna says:

    OT but Qatar/tier points related. Planning to get OH and myself to Silver in the next couple of years. Am I right in thinking MAN-DOH-SEZ return with Qatar in J would get each of us 560 tier points? Would be lovely to visit SEZ on Qatar (and have a change from BA and LCCs!) and get most of the way to Silver at the same time. Convenience would be more important than price for this trip so not bothered about positioning from Europe as I’d use the spend for a sign-up bonus and towards a 2 4 1.

    • John says:

      Yes 560, you can also confirm this using the BA tier point calcuator

    • Yes, but to qualify for silver you’ll also need to fly four sectors on BA coded or Iberia operated flights.

      • Anna says:

        Yes, thinking we can do that and get the rest of the required tier points with a short trip to Europe. The one plus point of originating at MAN is that it’s an easy source of tier points from all the connections to LHR!

  • Aston100 says:

    The photoshopping in the Qsuite photo is quite funny. Look at the guy thats furthest away and how tiny his head is compared to the headrest.

  • janie says:

    How often do deals like this come up?
    Looking for options for March/June next year that will give 560 or so tier points for £1500 or less in business class. Happy with any one world provider. Not in a position to book today sadly.

  • MKB says:

    Was about to book one of these only for fare to vanish at 23:00, so midnight CET, not UK.

    • MKB says:

      Seems I missed the final paragraph of the article that would have told me this. I relied on paragraph 2 that appeared unambiguous.

      • Jovanna says:

        You’re not the only one. I was a little busy earlier and finished later than I anticpated.

    • Rob says:

      That is weird, there was a countdown clock on the site which ran until midnight!