From our series Award Success we have a new redemption showcasing the use of GOL Smiles for a ticket on Qatar Airways Business Class between Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Berlin, Germany.
Gol Smiles hasn’t been much in the focus anymore since they stopped their crazy promotions of cheap miles and implemented a requirement of members to give a Brazilian tax ID number to participate in the program.
I have signed up for GOL Smiles since the early days when they first came around and have such a number on file so I’m quite happy about my option to redeem Smiles tickets several times a year and have reported about these awards on a few occasions (mostly redemptions on Korean Air and Qatar Airways).
Unfortunately if you search a few routes you’ll quickly discover that the award pricing is quite high except for awards on Gol, Qatar Airways and Korean Air which can be had for a reasonable amount.
I’m enrolled in the Clube Smiles program, basically a paid subscription that adds 10,000 Smiles to the account on a monthly basis for 299 BRL ( ~ US$80). You can then use the base amount of miles plus a cash portion to book your award ticket.
Last month my friend scheduled her move from Kuala Lumpur to Berlin and as with every move she had quite a lot of baggage to haul. Paying for a Business Class ticket in cash was out of the question and Economy Class plus excess baggage would have cost well over US$1000.
I suggested to look into booking a GOL Smiles Business Class ticket on Qatar Airways.
Here is the routing I found for for Kuala Lumpur – DOHA – Berlin on QR:
In total it cost 18,000 Smiles (~ US$150) plus 2,260 BRL (US$565) for this one way Business Class ticket. US$715 is a very reasonable amount especially since it helped a lot with the baggage situation.
Both of these flights are operated by the Boeing 777-300 ER and are equipped with the new Q Suites which was a pleasant surprise when I checked for the seat map (I try to avoid their regular B777 with the old Business Class). Another big advantage is that GOL allows some very long stopover variations as I want to visit a friend in the city.
After issuing the award you can then revert to the Qatar Airways website and select seats as well as amend passenger information such as frequent flier information.
Another great redemption with GOL Smiles. US$715 for the one way in Business Class was just slightly more expensive than basic Economy Class ticket that was offered on the dates required. It was possible to save a bunch of money for excess baggage fees at the same time and of course a much more comfortable travel experience. Not just because this was a Business Class ticket but it was a one connection itinerary directly to Berlin and otherwise it would have been a double connect via Bangkok and Frankfurt.