Amazing Qatar Airways Business Class Fares Out Of South Africa

Filed Under: Great Deals, Qatar

I don’t think there’s an airline which more consistently has unbelievable business class fares than Qatar Airways. They seem to have a “global 2-for-1” business class sale at least once a month, and some of the fares are unbelievable.


For example, in early March I wrote about the ~$1,300 roundtrip business class fare between Cairo and Philadelphia, which was about the same price as economy. That’s a great rate at which to rack up American AAdvantage miles, given that both airlines are part of oneworld.

Anyway, Qatar Airways has just published their latest global sale, which is valid for bookings made through April 29, 2015, and for travel between June 1 and December 10, 2015. Per the fare rules, there seems to be a minimum stay of seven days, and a maximum stay of three months.

There’s one especially awesome fare available this time around, which is for business class out of Johannesburg.


Qatar Airways is charging ~$1,770USD for roundtrip business class between Johannesburg and Miami.


If crediting to American AAdvantage, here’s how many miles you would earn:

  • Elite qualifying miles: 23,086
  • Elite qualifying points: 34,629
  • Redeemable miles (non-elite): 28,858
  • Redeemable miles (w/100% elite bonus): 51,944

That’s a rate of about five cents per American AAdvantage elite qualifying point, which is incredible for paid business class.

Three of these roundtrips in flat bed business class for ~$5,000 would get you Executive Platinum status.

That’s tough to beat!

In this case the flight between Johannesburg and Doha is operated by a Boeing 787.


That plane features Qatar’s awesome reverse herringbone seats, the same which are available on their Airbus A350s and Airbus A380s.


Meanwhile the flight between Doha and the US would be operated by a Boeing 777, which features fully flat forward facing seats. It’s a solid product, especially if you’re traveling with a companion.


Admittedly you have to position to Johannesburg to take advantage of this fare, but if you’re planning to go to South Africa already or want to do a few of these back-to-back, it could really make sense.

I’m certainly tempted, as I haven’t been to South Africa in over a decade, so it would be cool to visit and tie that in with one or two of these fares.

Regardless of where you’re looking at traveling, take a look at the Qatar Airways global sale page, as there are some awesome deals out of many markets.

Man, we’ve seen a lot of great business class fares lately…

  1. Funny – I just booked two tickets JNB-DOH-JFK in J using AA miles. Great use of 75,000 miles, especially now that my US and AA balances are combined.

  2. Thanks for the heads up on that Lucky. Going to check it out right now. I got such a good deal on Qatar A380 after you posted about the last Qatar Global Sale about a month ago and I am very stoked to try the Qatar A380 on board Lounge and see how their business class product compares to Emirates. Just love those airline on-board bar/lounges. Might even show up at the bar in those Tuxedo Pajamas just to amp up the fun a bit and put a smile on the FA’s 😉

  3. Might come in handy as I’m moving to Johannesburg in August.
    Then again, I got stand-by tix on QR so have to think twice 😉
    Anyway, if you’re coming over to SA I’d be happy to show you the sweet spots in Jozi!

  4. Are there any stopover rules?
    What’s the best way to position myself there using AA miles?

  5. @ Paul — Great use indeed, enjoy the trip! Thank goodness they finally added the routing exception for Africa to the US via Doha.

  6. So just to be sure, this has to be roundtrip, has to originate in Jo-berg, and has to be for two people? I’d love to visit S Africa, and this is an awesome deal, but then I would still have to get myself over there, and then back to the U.S. So it would be more of a pure mileage run? Am I thinking about this correctly?

  7. @ Washeelers747 — Very unlikely. They only have a few on order, so it’s highly unlikely they’ll fly it to New York anytime soon.

  8. @ Daniel — While it’s a 2-for-1 sale, in practice it prices out at the same cost when traveling alone, so you should be able to book it alone as well. I’d look at this more as an opportunity to visit South Africa and nest a cheap premium fare out there. Purely as a mileage run I think you’d have to do 2-3 of them for it to really justify the positioning costs.

  9. I just tried doing this since I will be in JNB in August. However I am traveling to ORD, and prices seem to be $5,800! Is this a Miami specific fare? If so i can catch a flight home….

    Does the $1,700 Miami fare qualify for the second ticket free promotion?


  10. Thanks, Lucky. I’m still not quite getting it. How can I use this fair to get to South Africa if I have to start in South Africa? Won’t I have to position down there no matter what? And then if i take the r/t flight, I’ll be left down there as well, so how does this facilitate a visit? I’m based in the U.S. Sorry if I’m being obtuse here, I just can’t figure out how this helps me visit S Africa! Thanks

  11. @ Daniel — Oh you can’t, you’d still have to separately get yourself to South Africa first, which you could do using miles, etc.

  12. @Ben, the “Ask Lucky” page isn’t loading for me. It hasn’t since you announced it however many days ago–is it just me? I tried on phone, computer and laptop and haven’t had any luck yet. Just a heads up. Anyway, I wanted to ask about your LAX experiences with AA. Since we’re not captive to any one airline here, when Delta does silly things, we do have other options. For now I’m still working back towards Delta platinum, mostly because the devil I know is better than the devil I don’t. It’s been probably 5 years since I’ve stepped foot on American. I don’t really consider United an option for me because…no. I get pretty decent upgrades out of LA–even used to get the occasional transcon JFK upgrade. I feel like AA has more LA-based elites…no?

  13. @Ben

    You are always posting about your thoughts on fair vs unfair and other crap, yet you always fail to credit FT and the source of where you get most of this stuff. It’s unethical. I know your are just 25, but perhaps it is time to grow up.

  14. Lucky – Not sure what links you are using to view these fares, what whatever you have attached takes us directly to the UK site, and no such fare exists.. what are we missing ?

  15. The emperor has no clothes? No worries, surely the will soon be another re-run of “How to use a restroom @ Emirates” from our glorified bathroom aficionado. But rest assured, that is based on personal experience.

  16. Hi Ben,

    Are you sure about this fare? I got about ZAR 42K which is about USD 11K in June for the cheapest RT business fare. Furthermore on your post you are showing about ZAR 21K, much better but still north of USD 5K. Anybody had luck in booking at USD 1.7K?

  17. @ DCBanker — What conversion rate are you using? 1.0 ZAR = .083 USD based on what I’m seeing.

  18. @ Al — I credit FlyerTalk ALL THE TIME when I find fares there. I didn’t find this fare on FlyerTalk.

  19. Ben, I am using where 1ZAR=0.27USD. At that rate, 21000ZAR , as in your post, would be about 5700USD. What exchange rate or website are you using?

  20. Have also been trying since yesterday with no luck. Also, when filtering on Qatar’s global deals, none come up for SA. Anyone else able to secure it? My prices come out to the same as the others >>$5000

  21. @Ben

    Sorry but you don’t. You sometimes do but it’s not all the time. This fare from JNB had been in blogs and forums for a full day before you mentioned it. You did the same thing for the AA mistake fare to PEK. Not only you don’t credit sources, but you also kill deals. It’s lame, it’s immature, it’s not right.

  22. Hi Ben,

    The Qatari currency is not ZAR as you posted in your comment of April 25, but QAR. So, as I posted 1 ZAR=0.27 USD, making the trip very expensive but yes when you use 1 QAR=0.083 USD, it makes the trip about 1500 USD. Is the deal still available?

  23. @ DCBanker — Was available through the 29th only, though I’m sure it’ll be back at some point.

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