Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Need a Crash Course for Booking

  • Saltrams 15 posts

    Picture me limbering up in the manner of a boxer pre-fight. I need to learn fast & need all the help and tips I can get please!
    Ideally, I want to pay for economy flights (don’t think there’s premium economy on my route) on Qatar Airways for January 2025 LHR-DOH-ADL and use Avios to upgrade to business in Q suite both legs. Also ideally, I’d like a few (2-4) nights in Doha en-route both ways. I have enough Avios. I will probably also have a 2-4-1 voucher too but I’m not counting on that.
    I’m like a rabbit in the headlights knowing I have to ring a call centre somewhere at midnight to achieve this and I have to get up to speed by next month! My dates are flexible, so I can afford to fail a few times (but then of course I’ll be more and more tired on each attempt!).
    So, any advice and experiences for this mega assignment will be very welcome, as will advice on the precariousness of then adding a return three months later.
    Many thanks.

    NigelHamilton 151 posts

    Others on here will be able to give specific advice on your route, but I would suggest that as far as you can, you practice on dates currently on sale on which you don’t want to travel (more difficult with an upgrade admittedly, but do you have a QR flight already for next year for example?). At the very least ensure you know exactly how many avios your chosen option will take and have it sitting in the correct airline’s pot – BA and QR are supposedly linked, but I’ve had problems paying for QR with avios only in the BA account at the very final stage).

    In January and with flexibility, you might well be OK. Your 2-4-1 won’t be valid on QR.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 1,854 posts

    If you want to use avios when booking via QR then the avios need to be in your QR account.

    Simply linking it to your BA is meaningless. They need to be transferred to your QR account.

    A 2-4-1 can’t be used on QR flights.

    There are literally dozens of threads on how to use a 2-4-1 so I won’t rehearse how to use them here.

    Saltrams 15 posts

    Thank you both @NigelHamilton and @BAFlyerIHGStayer. (Oh, tags don’t work here, Ho-hum).
    I am ploughing my way through the whole forum for advice as I know it’s irritating when people post the same old questions but with the search function U/S and the random titling of some posts it’s an uphill struggle.

    nectar collector 276 posts

    If you’ve not been there already it’s probably also worth you taking a look at the Qatar Airways forum on Flyer talk – they have a ‘flame free’ thread for Newbie questions about all things Qatar, as well as several threads about avios upgrades.

    There’s also this article from HFP which may help, although reward flight availability has reduced somewhat since the articles were written

    https://www.headforpoints.com/2023/07/03/how-to-use-avios-points-to-fly-to-australia-and-new-zealand/

    NorthernLass 6,692 posts

    I don’t know if you’ve had a look at this:

    https://www.qatarairways.com/en/upgrade.html#:~:text=Redeem%20your%20well-earned%20Avios%20on%20an%20upgrade%20to,the%20airport%2C%20online%20or%20on%20our%20mobile%20app.

    Also, QR release award seats before BA does and on peak dates there’s often only double avios prices available (depending on when in January you’re planning to go). I’m assuming there has to be award availability to upgrade with avios, as with BA flights.

    As already pointed out, a 241 won’t help you here (nor would it with an upgrade on any cash flight).

    BJ 644 posts

    With that wishlist you could try writing a seasonal letter to Santa but I doubt even he can deliver 🙂

    Saltrams 15 posts

    Thank you @NectarCollector and @NorthernLass those links are very helpful. I love the “flame free” concept 🙂

    @BJ
    I will not be daunted. May the spirit of the season bring you the gift of optimism 😉

    Peter K 546 posts

    Just a thought. You said you want to book economy and upgrade to business class. Have you checked that’s the cheapest way to do it.

    Chances are that the cheapest economy tickets are not upgradeable, so you might be better off using going for business class seats in the first place as the co-pay on top of the miles may work out less than the economy seat you will need to buy.

    Also, Q-suites are not guaranteed. Qatar are notorious for swapping planes at the last minute leaving you with a non-Q-suite business class seat. It won’t be bad of course, but don’t get your heart set on q-suites.

    The Savage Squirrel 545 posts

    My overall comment would be that by mentioning 2-for-1 and midnight call centres you seem to be applying comments and ideas related to booking Avios seats on BA. These don’t apply. Loads of good advice above. Do remember that BA and Qatar are completely different in how they release and price award seats. Make sure you’re applying the right knowledge to the right airline. Have this concept in mind for everything you read on this site.

    I too applaud your optimism but if you want specific dates then this is going to be tough. Forget Heathrow to Adelaide; be prepared to fly from anywhere in the UK (or even anywhere in Europe) to anywhere in Oz with some date flexibility and your chances will be exponentially better.

    Here’s the most useful HfP article.

    https://www.headforpoints.com/2023/07/03/how-to-use-avios-points-to-fly-to-australia-and-new-zealand/

    And this one

    https://www.headforpoints.com/2022/10/14/how-to-get-to-australia-new-zealand-with-avios-points/

    BJ 644 posts

    Thank you @NectarCollector and @NorthernLass those links are very helpful. I love the “flame free” concept 🙂


    @BJ
    I will not be daunted. May the spirit of the season bring you the gift of optimism 😉

    Good to hear! Thanks for your good wishes, my glass is always half full… it’s just the othef half I worry about.

    Your original wishes/ needs are complex and conflicting. The crash course you require is largely covered by Rob’s avios university series of articles supplemented with the articles relating to Qatar adopting avios. I recommend you read those, go from there to relevent forum threads, and then come back if you remain confused. This way you will develop a deeper understanding including the complexities. I think you will find it worth the time and effort as shortcuts can yield results now that turn into regrets or oroblems later because you don’t grasp all the options and implications when booking.

    Saltrams 15 posts

    Just a thought. You said you want to book economy and upgrade to business class. Have you checked that’s the cheapest way to do it.
    No, I didn’t realise that price would be an issue. I have learnt that the cheapest fare can’t be upgraded but I assumed some could be.
    Chances are that the cheapest economy tickets are not upgradeable, so you might be better off using going for business class seats in the first place as the co-pay on top of the miles may work out less than the economy seat you will need to buy.
    This whole Avios thing is a minefield isn’t it? Sigh.
    Also, Q-suites are not guaranteed. Qatar are notorious for swapping planes at the last minute leaving you with a non-Q-suite business class seat. It won’t be bad of course, but don’t get your heart set on q-suites.

    Actually notorious? What are they doing with the Q Suite a/c at the last minute?

    Saltrams 15 posts

    @savagesquirrel (great name!), I replied to you too. My reply didn’t show up. I did it again but got a warning that it was a duplicate 🤷🏼‍♀️
    Is the forum a bit flaky?

    Saltrams 15 posts

    My overall comment would be that by mentioning 2-for-1 and midnight call centres you seem to be applying comments and ideas related to booking Avios seats on BA. These don’t apply. Loads of good advice above. Do remember that BA and Qatar are completely different in how they release and price award seats. Make sure you’re applying the right knowledge to the right airline. Have this concept in mind for everything you read on this site.
    Yes, at least I have learnt about 2-4-1 now! So, that discarded, I must now discover why I won’t need to be ringing call centres at midnight as I expected to have to do.
    I too applaud your optimism but if you want specific dates then this is going to be tough. Forget Heathrow to Adelaide; be prepared to fly from anywhere in the UK (or even anywhere in Europe) to anywhere in Oz with some date flexibility and your chances will be exponentially better.
    Specific dates aren’t important at all (I’m hoping that’s my superpower!) I was going for Perth but they don’t run QSuites there and Adelaide would be just as workable for me. Elsewhere I’ve read that Sydney is impossible, not that I want it anyway. And is the extra cost of getting to a departure airport in Europe really worth it?
    Here’s the most useful HfP article.
    Thank you for the links, I’ll look at them now. I’ve found HFP is both amazingly helpful and chronically outdated, which is a hard combo to learn from!
    https://www.headforpoints.com/2023/07/03/how-to-use-avios-points-to-fly-to-australia-and-new-zealand/

    And this one

    https://www.headforpoints.com/2022/10/14/how-to-get-to-australia-new-zealand-with-avios-points/

    Peter K 546 posts

    Re: Qatar swapping planes without telling customers..

    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/qatar-aircraft-changes/

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