An INSANE Business Class Fare From Asia To The US

Filed Under: Great Deals, Qatar

Airline pricing can be highly variable depending on the market in which you’re originating, as I’ve talked about many times before. Some of the cheapest markets include “the four Cs” — Cairo, Cape Town, Casablanca, and Colombo. There are plenty of other markets as well, but those are among the most common for great fares.

I’ve booked plenty of business class fares out of these markets, in particular out of Cairo and Colombo. Qatar Airways is probably the airline that publishes the best business class fares out of these markets, making it a great opportunity to rack up American AAdvantage miles. That’s especially true now that American’s frequent flyer program is revenue based, given that on Qatar you still earn miles based on distance flown rather than how much you spent.


Well, Colombo, Sri Lanka, is probably the single market with the best business class fares to the US, and Qatar Airways has just published the best business class fare I’ve ever seen between Colombo and the US.

Specifically, you can fly from Colombo to Doha to Boston for ~$1,105 roundtrip. This is part of Qatar Airways’ current “Travel Festival” global fare sale, so you’re best off booking directly through Qatar Airways’ website.


The fare is valid for bookings through September 5, and for travel between September 15, 2016, and March 30, 2017. Before anyone asks, the fare isn’t valid in the other direction — you have to originate your travel in Colombo.


Here’s an example of one set of dates that’s available (availability is wide open as of now):


The fare is 162,303LKR, which converts to ~$1,105.


Perhaps best of all, the flight between Doha and Boston would be operated by an Airbus A350, featuring Qatar Airways’ fantastic reverse herringbone business class product, which I consider to be the all around best business class product in the world.


If you want to credit your flights to American AAdvantage, here’s how many miles you’d earn:


Here’s the basic info regarding the roundtrip itinerary:

  • Distance flown: 17,522 miles
  • Elite Qualifying Miles: 26,283
  • Elite Qualifying Dollars: ~$3,500

As I’ve explained before, crediting Qatar Airways flights to American AAdvantage can be a way to greatly reduce the revenue requirement.

The fares to Boston are by far the best, though you can fly to New York for ~$1450 roundtrip, or to Los Angeles for ~$2,200 roundtrip.

Bottom line

Admittedly a roundtrip flight between Colombo to the US might not be the most practical thing for a US-based flyer, though I still know plenty of people who book them. After all, this sure as heck is a comfortable way to requalify for status. You can always redeem miles to get to Southeast Asia, have a vacation, and use this fare for the return. Then you can use the outbound for your next trip to Southeast Asia or the Middle East.

Or you can be totally crazy like me and use an ex-Colombo fare for a nested trip.

While the fare sale is supposed to be around for another week, I highly doubt this particular fare will stay around very long. So if you’re interested, you’ll want to book ASAP.

Man, it really amazes me how low business class fares have come. In the past I would have assumed this was a mistake fare, but nowadays this seems in the range of the fares Qatar Airways usually publishes.

I’d take advantage of this fare in a heartbeat, but unfortunately I’m too busy planning trips on new airlines at the moment. 😉

Can anyone take advantage of this incredible fare?

(Tip of the hat to Michael)

  1. Hmm, I’m going to be in Colombo between 9/8-9/20, maybe I could schedule a round-trip by 9/20 and then to go back via HKG in CX F (my original award ticket). Now, that would be crazy, lol!!

  2. If I booked a PEK-CMB roundtrip on Sri Lankan on either end of this fare on a separate ticket, would they interline my bags through at CMB (since it’s all oneworld)? Or a PEK-HKG-CMB r/t on Cathay?

  3. Am I reading the rules right? Cancellation fee is 22400 LKR (~$152). Change fee is up to 235000 LKR (more than 150% of the ticket cost). Is that correct?

    Are those EQMs also the redeemable miles you’d earn? If not, how many is it? Where would be a better place to credit for redeemable miles? Not sure what the BA table is on this or if there’s a better option….

  4. My original AA award ticket is a round-trip BOS-HKG-CMB on 9/8 on CX F. Is there any way to change my return flight to a later date?

  5. Nice clickbait. Because you know if you substituted “Sri Lanka” for “Asia” in your header, nobody would be interested…

  6. Thanks for the finding, Lucky! I’ve wanted to visit Sri Lanka for years, and could totally make it work. Booked 1/11 to 1/14 for a short turnover in BOS, during my two weeks SEA to CMB vacation. The price is totally worth the experience and mileage. Plus, booking through Ebates get you 1% rebate, which is a nice $11 further discount!

  7. First time I comment on your blog. Btw have been following you since the Rolling Stones article.
    I just wanted to thank you as the Sri Lanka based offer is quite relevant for your South Asia and South East Asia based followers. You are one of the few who actively talk about non-US offers. Reading your back issues inspired me to fly EVA SIN-TPE-JFK on business class last week- you were spot on between the Krug, REMOWA amenity kit, PJs, short connection time, attentive staff they are a great option. Keep up the interesting mix of testing and articles/tips. Flying regularly from SIN to New York offers many interesting choices. Thanks again.

  8. Sri-Lanka is definitely worth a visit in itself.
    I spent a few days visiting the “Cultural Triangle” earlier this year.
    Very friendly people. Cheap cost of living. Great sites.
    Food is average.
    One could also stay in Sri-Lanka to enjoy resorts for beach, surf.
    There are also several parks/natural reserves to see wild elephants etc
    I recommend “Traumaland Tours”.

  9. First time poster, thank you Lucky I just jumped on this to fly my wife over from the states to meet me in Colombo. I’m using Alaska points to fly her in and redeeming this to fly her back to Boston. You just saved me a ton of money….Thank you!

  10. I have noticed Columbo mentioned a lot on this site obviously because of the good fares. But rarely, if ever, do I ever hear Sri Lanka mentioned as a top travel destination. Stupid question, but why are so many people going to Colombo? Is it just for mileage runs or it it truly a great vacation destination? I travel to that region a few times a year but have never had an interest in Colombo so just curious why so many people reading this blog go there.

  11. Do you know if any other US Routes will be getting the A350 any time soon?

    I have a business class flight from Doha to ORD in February and it’s currently operating on a 777 (with 2x2x2 business). Would love to try out the reverse herringbone formation.

  12. I am planning to book one ticket – OSL-DOH-CMB-DOH-OSL and while I am not planning to stay in CMB – I am trying to match it with CMB-DOH-BOS-DOH-CMB, spending 2 night in Boston. Only problem is that the ex. OSL fare has a minimum stay of 7 nights, any clues how to solve this ?

  13. LOL, so I just bought this fare and built it into two trips I was going to make to SE Asia at the beginning of next year. First time paying for business-class fare!

  14. I’m a bit confused with the actual EQDs this flight will earn when you credit to AA.

    I purchased the CMB-BOS R Class fare for $1105 USD in 2/17. How did you come up with the actual costs of $3500 of EQDs? I am long-time EP and still trying to figure out how to figure out the partner’s miles awarding into my AA accounts for next year.

    I hope that the AA Executive World Elite MasterCard will soon offer some kind of advantages to cut the 12,000 limits to requalify as I will already will hit my 100k miles in butt-in-seat in spring next year but have to find more flights to purchase to meet the EQD requirements.


  15. @David:
    If you check AAdvantage earning on Qatar flights you’ll notice that for Business Class tickets booked on R or I class your EQDs are 20% of the miles flown. Basically AA doesn’t know how much you paid for the ticket so they’ll give you a percentage of the miles (this varies by the booking class) as EQDs. 20% of 17,500 miles in 3,500 therefore you get $3,500 EQDs. What makes this insanely good is that the distance is huge, the price is super cheap and it is a Business class fare. Hope this helps!


  16. I just booked a one way business class ticket from Cairo to North Carolina on Qatar at about $1800. For one way, in an A350, I thought this was a good deal.

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