As far as I’m concerned, Qatar Airways offers the world’s best business class product. Not only that, but thanks to their membership in oneworld, flying with Qatar can be a great way to earn elite qualifying miles in your preferred program (American AAdvantage, British Airways Executive Club, etc.).
Historically Qatar Airways has offered great business class fares, though lately I’ve been noticing fewer of them from the US. They still have many great fares from Africa, Asia, and Europe, in my experience, but fare sales from the US are rarer. The last amazing Qatar Airways business class fare sale I recall seeing from the US was at the beginning of last year, when they had ~$1,750 roundtrip business class fares from Los Angeles to Southeast Asia.
Unfortunately we haven’t seen any fares that good since then, though Qatar has just launched a new business class fare sale, which is quite good.
Qatar’s new business class fare sale is valid for bookings through June 19, 2018, and for travel between July 14, 2018, and March 31, 2019. You can see all the offers available by origin on this page. Qatar’s website is pretty for actually searching availability, though if you prefer you can use Google Flights or ITA Matrix.
For example, here are some of the fares out of New York:
Here are some of the fares out of Los Angeles:
And clearly they’re still working out some kinks, because I doubt these are actually the fares out of Miami:
I’d say the ~$2,750-3,000 fares for roundtrip business class travel are very good. For example, I’d love to actually explore Sri Lanka, so a ~$2,900 roundtrip business class fare from Los Angeles to Colombo is quite good, given that it covers over 21,000 flown miles. I’ve also wanted to visit Tbilisi, Georgia, so the ~$2,750 fare out of New York sounds tempting to me.
Not only are these good fares to begin with, but if crediting these flights to American AAdvantage you’d earn:
- 150% elite qualifying miles
- 100% redeemable miles for segments in the “R” fare class
- A 120% mileage bonus if you’re an Executive Platinum member
- 20% elite qualifying dollars (elite qualifying dollars for this fare are calculated as 20% of the distance flown)
In other words, as an Executive Platinum member flying a roundtrip ticket from Los Angeles to Colombo I’d earn 31,500 elite qualifying miles, 46,200 redeemable miles, and 4,200 elite qualifying dollars.
In theory you should also be able to save more money on the cost of these tickets using the Amex International Airline Program, which is available to those with The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express. Typically the savings are pretty substantial, but given how low the fares are, in this case they’re not.
I called to ask about the above Los Angeles to Colombo fare, and they quoted me $2,827, which is about an $80 discount (the savings may be more or less in other markets). On the plus side, I could pay with The Platinum Card® from American Express, which would earn me 5x Membership Rewards points.
Altogether I’d earn 46,200 American AAdvantage miles and 14,135 Amex Membership Rewards points, which is a solid return. I value those points alone at ~$850, and that doesn’t account for the mileage towards elite status, or what a great experience this could be.
Note that as of now Qatar Airways doesn’t offer Qsuites to LAX. However, they’ve just reconfigured their first 777-200LR with Qsuites, and they’re flying it to Houston. Since this is a fairly small fleet, my money is on them reconfiguring these planes fairly quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised if LAX gets Qsuites by early next year at the latest, though there are no guarantees. I’m tempted to book a fare out of LAX for next February or March, as I think the odds there would be best, and it’s a nice way to jumpstart requalifying for status with American.
This sale won’t be for everyone, and we’ve also seen more attractive Qatar Airways fare sales in the past. However, as readers often remind me, nowadays we don’t see many Qatar Airways fare sales for travel originating in the US. If you are someone who enjoys flying Qatar Airways and is interested in visiting one of these destinations, this fare sale could be a good option.
I know a lot of people are starting to map out how many miles they’ll need to requalify for elite status with American this year. Let me put this way — if I were 4,000 elite qualifying dollars short of earning Executive Platinum status again, I’d much rather spend $2,850 for a Qatar Airways business class ticket to a fun destination, than spend $4,000+ on any American flight.
Anyone plan to take advantage of one of these good Qatar business class fares?
(Tip of the hat to qupasyd)