The $676 Qatar Airways Business Class Ticket I Just Booked

Filed Under: Great Deals, Qatar

Just a short while ago I wrote about Qatar Airways’ incredible business class fares for travel originating from Ho Chi Minh City. There are business class fares of just a few hundred dollars to all over the world.

While I’m no stranger to crazy routings, often I’m conflicted about whether or not to take advantage of promotions that require positioning, since they sort of ruin the economics of these otherwise great deals. However, it has been a while since I’ve taken advantage of a truly crazy fare, so I couldn’t turn down this opportunity.

Qatar’s A350 business class

What did I decide to book? Ho Chi Minh City to New York, since Qatar Airways says they’ll be flying the Qsuites to New York by September. However, it’s all speculative at this point:

  • Qatar Airways is notorious for being delayed when it comes to this stuff, so I wouldn’t count on Qsuites flying to New York by September; I’d leave some buffer, and count on October or November (or so) instead
  • We don’t know which of the two daily frequencies will feature the reconfigured 777 (though I’ve speculated)

What I decided to do was split the difference, and book one direction on the 777-300ER frequency, and one direction on the A350 frequency. My guess is that the 777-300ER with Qsuites will be swapped in for the current 777-300ER frequency, though I could be wrong. Hopefully I’ll get to do a head-to-head comparison of the Qsuites and Qatar’s excellent A350 business class product.

Qatar Airways’ Qsuites

This is a crazy deal, though nowadays I try to be more rational and think of the positioning costs. However, in this case I just couldn’t say no, given not only the great mileage earning potential, but much more importantly, the prospect of flying Qsuites.

By my math, this roundtrip will earn the following when credited to American AAdvantage:

  • 31,299 elite qualifying miles
  • 20,866 redeemable miles (45,905 redeemable miles if you’re an Executive Platinum member)
  • 4,173 elite qualifying dollars

While I’m sure most would initially assume these fares are a mistake, it’s interesting that this is specifically marketed as a “Business Promo” and the fare is in gold as a “Golden Ticket” opportunity. It’s one thing when an airline accidentally leaves off a zero and makes full fare first class cheaper than discounted business class, but this is different.

On top of that, Qatar Airways said on Twitter yesterday that they had a “small surprise” for anyone who wanted to experience the world’s best business class.

If this fare isn’t intentional, they’ve sure mislead people into thinking so!

Are you booking one of these crazy Qatar Airways fares?

  1. you should position American lax-syd to see if the improved service was a fluke and then syd-sfn on vietnam

  2. How did you calculate the AA miles? I just took PHL-SIN on Qatar in paid biz class and received about 25k miles round trip and I’m CK.

  3. How far out are you separating the return? I figured I could make this into two trips so I separated it a few months. Thanks for the heads up! 😀

  4. Fly To Havana. Then TAAG to Luanda. And then to Beijing. China Eastern 1st to Sydney. And then Vietnam to SGN

  5. That way u can try TAAG and give us sky team loyalists a review on Vietnam. Good position or no?

  6. @Lucky – the lowest I’m seeing is $711 US from Ho Chi Minh to New York. Did you shave an extra ~$35 off by using American Express Business Platinum Travel Service?

  7. Ethan, when you click all the way through on Qatar’s site, the price drops some. I don’t know why, but it did the same for me to PHL.

  8. i guess it will be the last chance before AA ends the codeshare with Qatar on March 25,2018. Unless they change their mind. Might as well get those AA miles now. Right @Lucky

  9. Such an incredible deal!! Just booked SGN-LHR-SGN for $780. Thanks Lucky for bringing my attention to this deal.

  10. Does “position” translate to “be in” in English?
    Strange, I’m in Saigon and get Qatar’s newsletter as a member and no mention of these promotions.

  11. Missed this one…

    I would use the first leg of a SGN-GRU-SGN, but forgot to book for two, when i modified the search it was gone.

    If i did use that first leg, and not showed up for the return i’d be fined with the no show?

    I thought also in buying SGN_GRU_SGN and skipping the first leg, as Brazilian law protects the client from canceling a return ticket. But the dates were gone also

  12. Lucky…you are the man…I want to be just like you…no joke…SOOOO now that I actually can…I am copying your exact itinerary 😀

    Just booked AND ticketed…thanks!!!!

    Also everyone don’t forget to use topcashback to get an extra 2% off!!!

  13. @ Pedro — There’s no “fine,” but rather the no show cost would just apply if you wanted to change the ticket. If you just throw away the rest of a ticket they have no way of charging you.

  14. @ Me — Hah, it is a weird term, but one that has been around in the mileage run community for a long time.

  15. @ Brent — The codeshare relationship ending shouldn’t have impact something like this. You’ll continue to be able to earn and redeem miles on QR after March 2018.

  16. @ Gregg — You earn 100% redeemable miles, and if you’re an Executive Platinum/Concierge Key member you receive a 120% mileage bonus on top of that. It’s based on distance flown rather than dollars spent.

  17. How do you get that price? Your Google flight link gave me $2200; and I picked a flight next month to NY and one way was $1100.

    I pick HCMC to start, I picked NY and a random day… What did you do?


  18. lucky ill be in china in a month and I need to take advantage of this maybe to paris? and a few next year before the partnership ends…. to get EP on AA?could easily get for less than a few thousand.. not sure what to do,,

  19. Hi Ben these fares don’t seem to be reflecting for Indian users.

    Do you happen not know why?

  20. Appears to be gone. Wasn’t able to snag a A350 from JFK fast enough, but did manage to snag a business class one regardless.

  21. I was able to hold a $683 trip from Hanoi to JFK for 48 hrs for free. We’ll see if they are still being honored then.

  22. Saw wide open availability about an hour ago, just went to book, deal appears just about dead. < 5 dates in 2017 remain showing $711 RT SGN-DOH-JFK

  23. I found this very tempting – to get to Europe from Australia – but when I factored in the positioning cost – Business Class return SYD – SGN – it didn’t work out so good. Especially when there are under AU$4,500 fares to London on Vietnam Airlines around the same time

  24. @lucky – thanks for sharing this. We are based in PEN which is only a quick flight from SGN (under 2 hrs) so have booked SGN-DOH-JFK return for USD$1470 2 adults 1 infant. Damn cheap!

  25. Are all the fares already sold out? I’ve been searching for the past half hour and can’t find anything less than $2000 one way!

  26. Keep gettting “We are unable to confirm the fare for the flights you have selected. Please choose a different fare or flights and resubmit your request. (15012 – 1009)” even though I’ve found multiple flights and got through entering my details

  27. Thank you Ben!

    Got the cheapest deal ever! SGN-DOH-BRU return in business class for just USD 561.


  28. Lucky, I think you can probably try to book Hong Kong Airlines from Vancouver to Vietnam for your positioning flights. This way you could try another new airline 😉

  29. I bought two flights. I’m debating between a DFW-NRT-SGN in JAL J class repositioning with a two night stay in SGN which requires a Visa. Or a DFW-BOS-HKG-SGN on CX F with no stay in Vietnam. Then I return to Vietnam from DFW in Jan to start my 2018 AA EXP requalification. So much for getting off the AA hamster wheel

  30. Ben, we would love to get in on one of these killer deals some time. Could you write a post about how you find out about these fares and the positioning city? It seems so hard to figure out how to find these.

  31. He didn’t find it…he saw it on flyertalk then advertised it on here himself as if to say he found the fare…

  32. @Andy….

    Ben can take care of himself, but just to stick up for him: Literally the FIRST WORDS of the previous blog post announcing this sale was:

    “Per FlytheTail on FlyerTalk,…”

    So it’s exactly the opposite of what you reported he did: He gave credit to who first posted the fare sale and where online it was found.

    He’s passing along great deals for flying enthusiasts and point collectors who might NOT be scanning FlyerTalk. I know I wasn’t, but because of his head’s up posting I was abke to book SGN – ORD – SGN for $672.78.

    I don’t see the reason to snark.

  33. @Donald

    And I see no credit to flyertalk in this article. People are saying ‘how do you find these fares’ ….when actually all he does is scour flyertalk like a vulture.

  34. I did the hold which now says no longer exists. I tried to pick dates during my PEK trip and failed miserably so i wouldn’t be back in Asia in time for my return on HU. So guess i wont be going after all.

  35. So, since you’re flying round trip you could position to SGN with Vietnam Airlines’s A350, or via Hanoi, because they also fly their 787 HAN-SGN.

  36. My hold was cancelled. Lots of reports on FT about holds being cancelled as well. May have been too good to be true, despite their teaser.

  37. Hey Ben, looks like everything is gone. I tried searching numerous routes way out in Feb and they were all gone. Are you finding any routings that are still open?

  38. FYI, if anyone has one of these booked, there’s an upcoming post on another Boarding Area blog (frequent miler).

    As low as $383 positioning flights RT from ORD to Ho Chi Minh city!

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