Qatar Airways have revealed their much-anticipated January sale – Global Travel Boutique – in the last 24 hours or so.
While you’d struggle to get much further than North America for under £1500 in business class during the current British Airways (BA) and Virgin sales, this sale features plenty of destinations that will cost you in and around £1000 round-trip.
Where are the best deals?
While the sale is available for departures via many European cities, the best prices are NOT to be found on flights departing the UK. That is par for the course with Qatar sales, but given the absolute bargains on offer, don’t let that put you off.
I ran a quick search to see just how good this sale pricing is:
All prices shown are per person unless stated
1.) Helsinki to Bangkok – £1009
I found terrific availability at this price throughout the schedule with the exception of the blackout dates that I will list shortly.
(Click to enlarge)
As you can see the total price per passenger is an excellent £1,009!
For perspective, on the same dates BA is charging £1,700 per person to fly direct from London. A couple would, therefore, be saving the best part of £1,500 if booking via this sale.
2.) Oslo to Auckland – £1,512
I spotted good availability at this price from the last couple of weeks in October until the end of November.
The total price per passenger is just £1,512 per person!
That is an excellent deal when you take a quick look at pricing from London on those same dates. Remember that you can’t fly direct to New Zealand from London, meaning at least one stop would anyway be required.
The cheapest business class tickets are on Philippine Airlines at £1,900 per person. Prices on other (perhaps more familiar) carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific range between £3,000 and £3,500 per person!
3.) Oslo to Sydney – £1,433
Again, the best availability at this price seems to be the last couple of weeks in October through the end of November.
Tip: Lower the price to just £1,350 by returning to Stockholm instead of Oslo.
The total price per passenger is just £1,433 per person!
That is an excellent deal when you take a quick look at pricing from London on those same dates.
The cheapest business class tickets are on Air China at £2,200 per person. Prices on other carriers such as Emirates, Cathay Pacific and BA range between £3,000 and £4,000 per person!
Other notable mentions
- Berlin to Johannesburg – £1,378
- Sofia to Shanghai – £969 minimum of 2 people or £1,027 – widely available but lengthy layover(s).
- Stockholm to Kuala Lumpur – £1151 – widely available throughout schedule
I will continue to update this list with any further standout deals as and when I come across them, so worth checking back over the next few days.
How to find these cheap deals myself
The easiest way to work out which is the cheapest European city to depart from is to visit their individual (country’s) page on the Qatar website.
How to book
You can access these sale fares by visiting the Qatar Airways sale page.
- These deals must be booked by midnight (local time) on the 16th January 2018.
- You can travel up until the 10th December 2018.
- Sale fares are not available between 9th June 2018 and 10th September 2018.
Save an additional 5% off the base price
For flights departing outside of the UK, you can use promo code “PCGTBGIFT” to reduce your base fare by up to 5%.
Note: The above code can only be used directly on the Qatar Airways website.
I managed to successfully utilise this code in all of the 3 main examples listed above, shaving off about £40-£50 each time.
How to get to your European departure airport cheaply
The best method is often to utilise Reward Flight Saver and book yourself a separate Avios return ticket. Those start at just 8,000 Avios and a fixed £35.
Alternatively, you can book yourself a separate cheap return on the various Low-Cost Carriers (LCC’s) such as Ryanair, Easyjet, Norwegian etc.
Get a free night at a luxury hotel along the way
In addition, if you felt like spacing out your journey a little more, you can combine these excellent sales fares with a free night at the Four Seasons, Shangri-La or Ritz Carlton Doha.
That perk, available courtesy of the +Qatar program, is valid for travel up until 30th April 2018.
You must book your free night by the 28th February 2018.
(Most of the way to) BA Silver status
The great fares are not the only reason to book. Flights taken on Qatar Airways can be credited to British Airways Executive Club.
Booking flights to many of the destinations available in this sale would earn you 560 Tier Points. Some such as Sydney or Auckland would net you a full 600 Tier points. You’d also earn a big chunk of Avios. In the Oslo-Sydney example used above, even a basic Blue member would earn 26,930 Avios.
Provided you fly 4 BA flight segments (however short) during your membership year, this trip would take you most of the way/all the way to BA Silver status – which requires 600 Tier Points each membership year.
BA Silver status is a valuable perk which allows you lounge access, additional baggage and the ability to choose your seat for free at the time of booking, among other benefits.
There are no two ways about it, these deals offer terrific value. The ability to fly to Thailand for under £1000 and Australia or New Zealand for £1400 in business class is tremendous.
Yet, I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed with these prices. I know in many cases they still offer excellent value, there’s an overall feeling that prices are roughly £100-£200 more expensive than we’ve seen in the past. Then again, the ridiculously good ‘£650 Brussels to Tokyo business class deal’ from last January didn’t appear until some way through the sale period – I’m therefore going to wait and see.
Ultimately, there will always be those that you just can’t tempt away from flying directly. Nevertheless, while starting from Stockholm or Oslo etc may not be ideal, the temptation of Qatar Airways’ fabulous business class product across some of their newest aircraft is pretty compelling. If you can make the departure airports and times work for you, these prices are well worth booking.
Head over to the Qatar Airways website to see what deals you can book.
Will you be booking any of these sale fares?
Header image credit: JUNESAMA / Shutterstock.com