Qatar Airways Global Sale September 4 to 6

Qatar just announced their latest global sale for economy and business class. The offers are valid for purchase from September 4 to September 6 and for travel until 31st of May 2013. Previously these sales have had more narrow travel period.

qatar-global-sale

  • Sales period: 4th – 6th September 2012
  • Outbound travel period: 10th September 2012 – 13th March 2013
  • Return travel period: 13th September 2012 – 13th March 2013 and 15th April 2013 – 31st May 2013
  • Blackout dates (travel not allowed):
    • 14th – 23rd December 2012 and 2nd – 20th January 2013
    • Additional blackout dates for itineraries originating from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen: Outbound travel from 17th – 29th October 2012 and return travel from 27th October to 5th November 2012
  • Valid on Qatar Airways operated flights, with the following exceptions
    • All itineraries originating from Brussels
    • Flights to and from Amritsar, Houston, Kozhikode, Manila, Montreal, Yangon
    • Flights between Denpasar/Bali and Singapore, Hanoi and Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires
    • All itineraries to Doha as a final destination (excluding transit in Doha), except itineraries originating from Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Itineraries requiring a transit in Doha are allowed.
  • Minimum stay: 3 days
  • Maximum stay: 1 month, except for itineraries originating from Australia where maximum stay is 3 months
  • Discount applies to instant purchases only
  • Discount applies to Economy and Business Class return tickets. For flights where Business Class is not operated, First Class is applicable
  • Seats are limited and are subject to availability of the relevant booking class
  • Fares include all applicable discounts, fees, taxes and airport charges. Service fees may apply for tickets purchased at Qatar Airways sales offices or through travel agents
  • Tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and non-changeable. Cancellations are not permitted (except for itineraries originating from Brazil or Korea)
  • For itineraries originating from Brazil or Korea, tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and non-changeable. Cancellations before departures are permitted for a fee of USD 300 (Brazil) or KRW 200,000 (Korea). Cancellations after departure are non-refundable
  • In case of no-show, ticket has no value for use on any other service, and it is non-refundable, non-changeable and non-bookable
  • Stopover is not permitted
  • Standard child/infant discount apply
  • Please note that on selected dates and destinations, lower market–specific promotion fares may be available. All available options, together with the applicable terms & conditions for each fare will be displayed at time of booking for you to make your selection.
  • Other terms & conditions apply. Please review at the time of booking

Conclusion

Some of the sales fares are really good. I have normally bought couple of tickets during Qatar’s sales and may do it again this time around.

Qatar Airways’ Early Boarding Times Gone Crazy?

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In the past couple of months, I have had 13 segments on Qatar’s business class. I had about the same number of segments on Qatar during the entire 2011. One thing that I don’t quite understand about this airline is the sometimes very early boarding times even for business class passengers.

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But I had never seen something this crazy. My 8:55PM flight to Bangkok had started boarding at 7:10PM according to the display. At 7:10PM I was still at the gym at the Grand Hyatt hotel. I got to the airport around 8PM. I was already checked in and had a boarding pass. Also, I wasn’t going to check in a single bag.

When I was having a look at the various food outlets, the personnel came to inform me several times that the flight was under “final boarding” and that I should go. Someone also said that if I wouldn’t leave, they couldn’t guarantee that my checked bags would make the flights. None of this made any sense because it was still more than 45 minutes for the departure time and I hadn’t checked in a bag. I finally made it to the bus around 8:30PM and we took off immediately to the aircraft.

I had something similar happening also in June in Bangkok. I was taking the Qatar’s 5th freedom BKK-SGN flight and one of the gate agents came to pick me up from the lounge 25 minutes before the scheduled departure time when I was just about to leave to the gate.

Conclusion

Personally, I don’t see a point of boarding first and then sitting on the plane for an hour before the departure time. I always try to time my arrival to the gate about 5 minutes before the gate cut off time. I prefer being last in and first out.

The early boarding in Doha is easy to understand due to the bussing around. I think that it took 5 to 10 minutes from the premium terminal to the plane on the tarmac.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club Offering Bonus Miles During the Ramadan

Qatar Airways just emailed an offer for bonus miles for flights taken during the Ramadan from July 20th to August 31st, 2012. You will earn 50 bonus miles for every Qpoints that you will earn during the period. This is the first time I have seen Qatar offering bonus miles that are tied to the number of Qpoints, Qatar’s version of elite qualifying miles, one earns. You can see the number of Qpoints earned by any route on QR’s network here.

qatar-ramadan

I have had quite a few flights on Qatar in business class and I am about to start a trip from Bangkok to Buenos Aires in Qatar’s business class. Previously, I have always credited my QR flights to United Airlines Mileage Plus, US Airways Dividend Miles, or BMI Diamond Club.

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My return trip would qualify for the bonus. The flight from Buenos Aires to Doha would earn 45 Qpoints and from Doha to Bangkok 30. The number of bonus miles I would earn would be 3750 miles ((45+30)*50). I am quite likely going to credit these to any of the three partners that I listed above, but if you are collecting Qmiles it is a no brainer to sign up for this promo.

Please note that you need to sign up for this promotion at least one day before start of your trip for the extra miles to post. You can read more and register for this offer here.

Here’s the offer details from Qatar:

A time to spread joy and share happiness with your loved ones, Ramadan is a very special month for everyone. We are pleased to offer you an exciting opportunity to earn bonus Qmiles during this holy month.

Earn 50 bonus Qmiles for every Qpoint earned while travelling on Qatar Airways between 20th July and 31st August 2012. For example, on a return trip in Economy Class between Doha and Dubai, you will earn 16 Qpoints, which means you get a bonus of 800 Qmiles in addition to the regular Qmiles.

To be eligible for this offer, please log in to your account online at qmiles.com, select “Manage Qmiles” and register by selecting the offer from the “Register for an offer” menu, at least 24 hours before you travel. Click here to register now! Alternatively, you can also register by calling our Member Service Centre at +974 4449 6449. Please ensure to quote your membership number at the time of reservation or check-in, so that your Qmiles are automatically credited into your account.

Qpoints are awarded to achieve your membership status and are earned when you travel on Qatar Airways. Qmiles are the reward miles earned when you or your nominated family members travel on Qatar Airways or use the services of any of our partners. Qmiles can be redeemed for a range of exciting benefits including complimentary flights, upgrades, excess baggage awards on Qatar Airways and many more.

For reservations, visit qatarairways.com or your nearest Qatar Airways office. Alternatively you can visit your preferred travel agent.

Make the most of this spectacular offer and earn bonus Qmiles. For more details, click here.

Ramadan Kareem!

The offer is valid only for all Privilege Club main members and not for family members. Bonus Qmiles are calculated over the actual Qpoints earned for travel between 20th July and 31st August 2012. Bonus Qmiles will be credited within 15 days after the end of promotion  period. No bonus Qmiles will be awarded for retro claims received after the promotion period.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa 50% Off

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There is currently a great offer until the end of this year for Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways frequent fliers (free to join). You can get 50% off of the Hyatt Daily Rate. This is the lowest rate that I have seen for this property after they stopped accepting the Hyatt stay certificates.

I visited this beautiful property back in August and wrote a piece about it, as I also did about the Male city. I also did a piece how to get a great deal using those now discontinued stay certificates or points packages that include dinner as well.

park-hyatt-maldives-daily-rate

The rates using the Qatar Airways and the promotional code PHMQA are same as the rate using the Etihad code. Note that the Qatar offer is set to end on November 30th, 2012. Who knows whether it will be extended? The rate rules that you can find on Qatar’s web page for this offer are bit different than those on Hyatt.com under rate rules for this rate plan. You can also earn double Qmiles, although I would recommend collecting Hyatt Gold Passport points instead.

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For the Etihad offer you need to use promotional code PHMEY1. This offer has the same rates as the Qatar one, but is valid until the end of the year.

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Both of these offer exceptional value for Park Hyatt Maldives. Of course getting to Maldives is bit pricey and you need to fork some cash for the internal flights as well. But it is most definitely worth it.

Here are the rate details for both offers

Qatar Airways

Rate Description:
Reduced rate for Qatar Airlines Loyalty Card holders:Tax Excluded: -Booking window: 01MAR12-01MAY12 -Stay dates: 15MAR12-30NOV12 -Guest must present Qatar Airlines Loyalty Card upon check in and choose miles for their stay.

Etihad Airways

Rate Description:
ETIHAD AIRLINES SPECIAL OFFER Reduced Rate:Tax Excluded: GUEST MUST CHOOSE MILES FOR THEIR STAY AND PROVIDE VALID ETIHAD LOYALTY CARD UPON CHECK-IN. – Valid 07DEC11-31DEC12

The additional charges are same for both:

Additional Charges:
6.000 Percent tax
10.000 Percent service charge
Bed Tax: 8 United States Dollars Per Person Per Night USD Other Charges   Cancellation Policy:
Cancel 2-14day 100percent Within 2 Days Full Penalty

Deposit Policy:
Deposit Required By June 13, 2012. Deposit By Credit Card Required. 1 Night(S) Deposit Will Be Charged To Credit Card.

United Airlines Terminates Codeshare & Frequent Flyer Partnership with Qatar Airways

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First United terminated the partnership they had with Emirates, then Virgin Atlantic was gone earlier this year, and now the ability to earn and redeem on Qatar Airways will end on 14th of September, 2012.

qatar-airways-plane

I have flown with the Qatar Airways quite a lot recently, and their service in business class is excellent. I am not a huge fan of the Doha airport, but the ground experience should get a lot better early next year, when the new airport opens.

qatar-airways-route-map

It is sad to see more United partners to go. Qatar Airways has offered very good connections to number of destinations in Middle East/Indian Subcontinent that are borderline impossible to get to using other partners.

There are no notes on the United.com regarding this change, but it should get updated sometime in the next week.

Effective June 15, 2012, United will terminate its codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways. Reservations booked through United for Qatar Airways-operated flights scheduled to depart on or before September 14, 2012, will be honored as ticketed. Customers booked through United on Qatar Airways-operated flights scheduled to depart on or after September 15, 2012, will be accommodated on their scheduled flights with new flight numbers. Customers will be able to accrue mileage on Qatar Airways codeshare and interline flights until September 14, 2012. Award travel ticketed on or before September 14, 2012, will be honored as ticketed and valid for one year.

Hyatt Gold Passport Summer 2012 Promotion for up to Five Times the Miles

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Hyatt has teamed up with number of airlines; Air China, Air France-KLM, ANA, American Airlines, British Airways, China Eastern, Delta Air Lines, Etihad, Lufthansa, Qatar, Southwest, and United to offer up to five times the miles or points.

hyatt-summer-promo

This promotion starts on May 1st and end of August 30th, 2012. You will receive the normal number of miles or points for the first stay, triple bonus for stays 2 and 3, and quadruple miles or points for the stays 4 to 11.

hyatt-united

Please note that this promotion is NOT based on nights but rather on stays. You will receive the same number of miles or points regardless how many nights you stay. The promotion is capped at 11 stays.

The cumulative maximum number of points that you would earn by having 11 stays on Air China’s and China Eastern’s programs would be 39200. By crediting 11 stays to Southwest’s Rapid Rewards would earn you 29400 points. In all other programs the cumulative number of points after 11 stays would be the grand total of 24500 miles/points.

This promotion quite frankly works for me. Most of my stays are for one night. Getting 2500 miles for a one night stay is a rather good deal. Maybe I will finally set my foot to Hyatt property this year.

Air China – Phoenix Miles

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Air France-KLM Flying Blue

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ANA Mileage Club

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American Airlines AAdvantage

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British Airways Executive Club

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China Eastern

hyatt-china-eastern

 

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

hyatt-delta

 

Etihad Guest

hyatt-etihad

 

Lufthansa Miles & More

hyatt-lufthansa

 

Qatar Airways – Privilege Club

hyatt-qatar

 

Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards

hyatt-southwest

 

United Airlines – Mileage Plus

hyatt-united

Here are the promotional terms and conditions of the United offer, but they are basically identical for each of these airlines.

More stays means 5X more miles and even more rewards

ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to participate in the Hyatt Summer Airline Promotion (“Promotion”), you must be a member of Hyatt Gold Passport and a member of United MileagePlus.

HOW TO REGISTER: Between April 1, 2012 and August 31, 2012 (“Promotion Period”), you can register for Promotion via hyatt.com/UNITEDSUM12A or by calling 1-800-228-3360 and requesting enrollment code UA12S. You must register in advance for stays to qualify. Stays completed before registration are not eligible. You only need to register once.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE: After registering for the Promotion, complete two (2) or more stays at any participating Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Place® , Hyatt House™ or Hyatt Residence Club™ hotel and resort worldwide between May 1, 2012 and August 31, 2012 (“Stay Period”) and request United MileagePlus miles for each Eligible Stay. You must provide your United MileagePlus member number at check-in for each Eligible Stay. For each Eligible Stay during the Stay Period, you will earn the award miles as summarized in the chart below. A Eligible Stay is a stay at a participating hotel during the Stay Period with at least one (1) Eligible Night during the stay and request United MileagePlus miles for each stay. For the purpose of this Promotion, an “Eligible Night” is defined as one (1) night at any participating hotel or resort at an Eligible Rate when choosing United MileagePlus miles as the method of loyalty reward upon check-in at a participating Hyatt property and paying an Eligible Rate (as defined below). Award nights do not constitute an Eligible Night. Hyatt Gold Passport members will only receive eligible night credit for the room they physically occupy, regardless of the number of paid rooms. Only stays that occur after registration for Promotion will be counted as Eligible Stays.

Qatar Airways Offering 25% Discount on Most Routes When Booked 17th to 19th April

Last year when Qatar had one of these sales, I was able to buy a business class return at an excellent price, and when Emirates had a similar sale at the turn of the year, bought couple of first class tickets. Now, Qatar is having a three day sale again that is valid for purchases made 17th to 19th of April. These are valid for flights taken from 20th of April to 6th of June, 2012.

qatar-email

I have flown six segments with Qatar last year and overall quite liked the airline. The transfer in Doha is not always very nice, however. All the passengers are bussed to/from the terminal, and sometimes the ride feels to take forever. This situation should get better later in the year when the new airport has been opened. The premium terminal is extremely busy around the midnight flight bank. I was once not able to find a place to sit down. Had to go to the business center where I was able to find a quiet place to work.

Here are the Terms and conditions of this offer:

  • Valid on Qatar Airways operated flights, with the exceptions of all itineraries originating from Benghazi, Geneva, Mashad, Shiraz, Tripoli, Zurich, as well as flights to and from Houston, Montreal, Manila, Shanghai, Washington D.C.; and flights between Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.
  • Sales valid from 17th to 19th April 2012.
  • Travel valid between 20th April and 6th June 2012; return travel must commence no later than 6th June 2012.
  • Discount applies to instant purchases only.
  • Discount applies to Economy and Business Class return tickets. (For flights where Business Class is not operated, First Class is applicable)
  • Seats are limited and are subject to availability of the relevant booking class.
  • Fares include all applicable fees, taxes and airport charges. Service fees may apply for tickets purchased at Qatar Airways Sales offices or through travel agents.
  • All fares being displayed on qatarairways.com already include the discount, if applicable.
  • Tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and non-changeable. Cancellations are not permitted (except for itineraries originating from Brazil).
  • For itineraries originating from Brazil, tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and non-changeable. Cancellations before departures are allowed against a penalty of USD 300. Cancellations after departure are non-refundable.
  • In case of no-show, ticket has no value for use on any other service, and it is non-refundable, non-changeable and non-bookable.
  • Minimum stay is 3 days. Maximum stay is 1 month.
  • Stopover is not permitted.
  • Standard child/infant discount apply.
  • Other terms & conditions apply. Please review at the time of booking.

Star Alliance Carrier Spanair Collapses and Ceases Operations

7 Comments

Spanair, a regional Star Alliance carrier based in Barcelona, is ceasing operations tonight due to collapse in talks with Qatar Airways buying a minority share of the airline. Spanair used to be majority owned by Scandinavian Airlines Systems (SAS), but the airline sold 80.1% of the airline to an investor group in 2009, and later capital injections decreased it share from the original 94% ownership to 11%. SAS had tried to unload the airline for years, and was finally able to do it once the regional government got involved.

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Qatar Airways had been in talk to acquire a minority stake of 49% of the airline, but the talks collapsed earlier today.  The regional government of northeastern Catalonia is no longer supplying further funds to Spanair.

spanairs-website

Spanair’s website has already gone dark

I have flown Spanair quite a few times over the years. The last flight was in July from Barcelona to Nice. It was nice regional airline offering direct connection to many European cities from their hub. Most likely the frequent flyers that had points in their system are now toasted. It is good reminder to burn the points especially on those carriers, which are not on the financially sound standing.

Spanair also had a worst crash in Spanish aviation history for 25 years in 2008 that killed 154 people

What should you do if you have flights ticketed on Spanairs 680 ticket stock, or flights ticketed on other carriers ticketed stock that involves flights on Spanair operated flights?

1. Tickets issued on Spanair’s ticket stock starting with 680 are most likely worthless. These are the first three numbers of your eticket.

If you have flights ticketed on Spanair’s ticket stock that involve other carriers operating under their own flight numbers or as Spanair codeshares, it is up to the other airline to decide whether they will accept the electronic flight coupons or not.

For flights paid with a credit card, you should start the dispute process at your earliest convenience. If you paid with cash through a travel agent they should be your point of contact.

2. Tickets issued on other than Spanair’s ticket stock of 680 but involving flights operated by Spanair

You need to contact the travel agent who sold the ticket, or the ticketing carrier. You can find the ticketing carrier by using the first three digits of the eticket number. The ticketing carrier is responsible for any possible reroutings.

Award tickets issued on Spanair flights by other Star Alliance carriers. You need to contact the issuing carrier. Star Alliance has a comprehensive European network even without the Spanair, although getting to some Spanish destinations is going to get difficult.

Kudos for Both US Airways and Etihad for Crediting Retro-credits Expediently

3 Comments

This past fall I had quite a few flights on SriLankan and Qatar, but wasn’t quite sure where I would credit them. For me it just didn’t make sense to credit SriLankan flights to their own frequent flyer program, but I wasn’t as sure what I would do with the Qatar flights. I would have come to very close qualifying to a Gold status with Qatar’s Privilege Club due to double elite qualifying miles offer they had during some of my flights.

etihad-retroclaims

At the end I decided to credit the Qatar flights to US Airways’ Dividend Miles, and the SriLankan flights to Etihad’s Guest frequent flyer program. US Airways required the boarding passes and the receipt to be mailed to their address in Arizona. Etihad was happy enough to credit the miles if I would just email the copy of the receipt and all the boarding passes I had. I thought that this process would take weeks and several phone calls before getting these retro credits processed.

To my surprise the miles from SriLankan flights were on my Etihad account in less than a week. Unfortunately I don’t know exactly how long it took for them to credit as I never received any email communication from them.

us-airways-retrocredit

US Airways and the postal system worked very well as well. I mailed the boarding passes and the accompanied letter by register mail from Finland on Friday. The following Thursday I received an email from US Airways Dividend Miles service center that they had processed the mileage credit for the Qatar flights that I took.

Have to thank both airlines to have have procedures in place to get these processed so fast. As I posted above, I really thought that this process would take several weeks.

Double Elite Qualifying Qpoints With Qatar Airways Until The End Of The Year.

3 Comments

Qatar is offering double elite qualifying Qpoints for all the flights on Qatar Airways between November 20th and December 31st this year . The number of Qpoints one earns depends of the fare class and route. Unlike most of the other airlines, their system is not based on actual flown miles but rather regions. This probably benefits fliers on shorter routes that earn the minimum number of Qpoints and penalizes fliers on longer ones.

Earn Double Qpoints on Qatar Airways

Apparently, there is no need to register for this offer. http://www.qatarairways.com/global/en/privilege-club-offers.page.

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