So. We had quite an adventure this morning.
It all started when FlyTheTail on Flyertalk posted a deal on the Mileage Run subforum at 7.13am Singapore time.
Just found amazing Business Promo fares from Ho Chi Minh City on Qatar to many (but not all) US destinations. Flight ticketed and confirmed, books into R class. Available on QR site as well as others. Long layovers in DOH on several routes, don’t have time for many details, perhaps others can post. Off to look into booking more flights…
Qatar Airways was offering phenomenal business class tickets out of Vietnam to many destinations in the US, Europe, South America and Africa. Round trip fares were at the ~US$700 mark. Qatar is known for frequent business class fare sales, but this was unlike anything we’d seen before
I came to be aware of the deal when at about 8.30am when OMAAT picked it up, but because of a morning meeting was only able to start searching in earnest at around 10am (by 11.30am it seems all the seats disappeared). I was trying to look for MXP and FCO availability, failing which I was happy to settle for BCN or FRA and take a connecting flight, but although I could find the cheap fares I just couldn’t make the dates work.
I was all ready to give up until I remembered that Vietnam was more than just SGN. I plugged in HAN to give things one more try and came up with this
Round trip business class from HAN to PHL, via DOH (with a technical stop in BKK). US$683. Yes, I’ll need to position to HAN but it’s a cheap flight. Moreover, it’s refreshing to finally see a premium fare deal that those of us in Asia can take advantage of (well, apart from this).
HAN-DOH is on Qatar’s A330 aircraft. These planes have a 2-2-2 configuration in business. I’m guessing I should be getting one of the refurbished aircraft with these seats
As opposed to these
DOH-PHL, however, is on Qatar’s A350. These planes are 1-2-1 in business class and are what Lucky at OMAAT calls “the best business class in the world”. I strongly refute that claim, but I’ll let you know again after I’ve actually tried it
I do note on the return there is an ungodly layover in Qatar of about 20 hours, but this should make me eligible for Qatar’s STPC program, which means a free hotel (5 Star, for business class travelers), meals, visa fee (Singaporeans need a visa on arrival for Qatar) and transport covered.
I wasn’t originally thinking about going to the States during my leave stint in November, but man, $683 round trip business is too good to turn down.
Will it be honored?
With fares this low it does venture into “too good to be true” territory. But I don’t think this was a mistake fare and here’s why-
First, the seats were labelled as “Golden Tickets”. This implies they created a special bucket of fares just for this sale and special text highlighting them. This is unlike a fat finger deal where it appears someone left out a zero here and there.
Second, Qatar’s Twitter team sent out this tease yesterday-
Want to experience the World’s Best Business Class? We’ve got a small surprise for you tomorrow. Stay tuned! pic.twitter.com/dD1OayyHHy
— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) July 30, 2017
On the flip side however, I am a bit concerned that the base fare shows as 0. There’s a healthy discussion over on FT about this and apparently Qatar has done “Golden Tickets” with 0 base fare before. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. And hey, easy come easy go.
The deal is dead for now, but I have a hunch we may be seeing more deals soon based on what QR’s Twitter account is saying (follow it and you’ll get first news of new deals). I hope as many of you as possible were able to get in on this deal, and let’s hope QR has more surprises in store for us.
PS. I have upcoming QR business class reviews for the lounge and in-flight product. I was pretty impressed. Stay tuned!