Qatar Airways Double Qpoints in December

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Qatar Airways is offering double qpoints from December 1 to December 31, 2012. They had similar offer in 2011 as well that had ten days longer qualification period.

qatar-airways-plane-qmiles

Unfortunately there is nothing up on the Qatar’s website about this offer yet. The offer was not targeted in 2011 and was open to all.

Conclusion

This is a good way to keep your Qatar Airways Privilege Club status that will become more valuable next year when the airline joins the Oneworld alliance. There isn’t too much time to take advantage of this offer, however. I will post more about it after I have received more information.

Qatar Airways Global Sale November 7 to 9

Qatar just announced their latest global sale for economy and business class tickets. The offers are valid for purchase from November 7 to November 9 and for travel until 31st of May 2013. You can access this sale here.

qatar-3-day-sale-november-2012

The offer is valid for travel between November 12 and May 31, 2013. Note that there are some blackout dates and this offer is not valid at all markets.

Conclusion

Qatar tends to have a similar sale very few months. They previous one was on September.

If you were contemplating of buying a ticket on Qatar, it makes a sense to check the prices during this promotion. I have bought several tickets during these sales and contemplating of buying one or two using this offer.

Here are the terms and conditions of this sale promotion:

  • Sales period: 7th – 9th November 2012
  • Travel period: 12th November 2012 – 31st May 2013. All travel must be completed by 31st May 2013.
  • Blackout dates (travel not allowed):
    • 14th – 23rd December 2012 and 2nd – 14th January 2013
  • Valid on Qatar Airways operated flights, with the following exceptions
    • All itineraries originating from Indonesia, Iran, Libya, and South Africa
    • Flights to and from Amritsar, Budapest, Geneva, Goa, Kozhikode, Manila, Montreal, and Zagreb
    • 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, 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
  • 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
  • Sale applies to W, V, Z and A class fares
  • 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
  • Except for itineraries originating from Brazil or Korea, tickets are non-endorsable, non-refundable and non-transferable. Changes are permitted at USD 250 except for itineraries between Doha and Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen where changes are permitted at USD 100.
  • For itineraries originating from Brazil or Korea, tickets are non-endorsable and non-transferable. Cancellations before departures are refundable 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
  • Upgrades to higher class/cabin using frequent flyer miles are not permitted.
  • 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.
  • This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with other promotions.
  • Other terms & conditions apply. Please review at the time of booking

Bloomberg Article: Lufthansa’s Hostility Led Qatar to Join Oneworld

There is an interesting piece on Bloomberg today about Qatar Airways and onewold/Star Alliance. According to the CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, the airline had been contemplating joining the Star Alliance hadn’t Lufthansa been so hostile towards growing Gulf carriers.

bloomberg-qatar-star-alliance

You should read the entire piece. It is very interesting.

Conclusion

Emirates, Etihad and Qatar have all grown very fast in the past decade. Qatar was the first of three joining an alliance and chose oneworld. Emirates has always been against joining an alliance. Etihad has formed close relationship with Air France-KLM.

I think that it would be a loss for Star Alliance if they are not able to lure one of the remaining two to join.

Qatar Airways Joins Oneworld in 2013/2014

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There has been lot of noise in the past two weeks about the press conference that was going to take place in New York today. The CEO of Qatar Airways denied that the airline would have been joining the alliance last week contradictory what was published on Financial Times.

oneworld invites Qatar Airways on board

The airline is indeed joining the Oneworld alliance and completion of becoming a member is expected to take from 12 to 18 months. So, we are looking late 2013 or early 2014 as likely official joining date for Qatar. You can access the official Oneworld press release here.

qatar-oneworld-official

Currently the oneworld alliance consists of eleven member airlines; airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines.

oneworld-wings

Malaysian Airlines and SriLankan Airlines are currently in the process of joining the alliance. Oneworld alliance member Malev went bankrupt earlier this year and the joining of Kingfisher Airlines was cancelled due to its financial difficulties.

Qatar is the first of the big three of the Middle Eastern carriers to join an alliance. Emirates has always said that they are not interested in joining and they just formed a partnership with oneworld member airline Qantas. Etihad announced earlier today the deep codesharing agreement that they are going forward with Air France-KLM.

It is interesting that Qatar chose Oneworld. It has had more frequent flier ties with Star Alliance carriers like United, US Airways, and BMI than with oneworld ones (none).

Qatar Airways route network

qatar-airways-worldwide-map

The airline already serves 120 destinations worldwide. The latest one was reintroduction of flights to Yangon, the capitol of Myanmar, last week.

Americas

qatar-airways-americas

The airline flies to New York, Washington DC, Chicago (in 2013), Houston, Montreal and to Sao Paulo with a continuing service to Buenos Aires.

Europe, North Africa & Middle East

qatar-airways-route-map-middle-east-europe-north-africa

The airline serves more than 30 destinations on continental Europe. The airline has an extensive network in Northern Africa and in the Middle East.

Africa

qatar-airways-africa

The airline serves nine destinations in Central and Southern Africa + Seychelles.

Indian Subcontinent & Asia

qatar-airways-route-map-asia

The airline servers number of destinations in India and Asia.

Australia

qatar-airways-australia-indonesia

The airline currently serves both Perth and Melbourne

Conclusion

This is interesting movie from Qatar’s part. We’ll see if Star Alliance is able to lure either Emirates or Etihad. For the most part, I have liked the service that I have received on Qatar flights. I am not huge fan of the transfer experience in Doha, but it should get better in 2013 when the new airport is ready.

Marriott Travel Packages

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Marriott Travel Packages are the best way to use Marriott Rewards points IF you need some airlines miles as well. These packages consists of 7 nights stay at a chosen category or tier (Ritz-Carlton & Marriott Vacation Club) hotel and set number of miles at various airline programs. You will also get a 25% coupon for Hertz rental that I have never been able to use as rates that are not discount eligible have always been a better deal.

marriott-travel-packages

The reason why these are such a good deal is that you will get a nice chunk of airline miles in the process. You can collect airline miles on your Marriott stays but it is far better just continue crediting towards Marriott points and take advantage of MegaBonuses. Then, when you have enough points in your account to redeem for a Marriott Travel Package, you just issue one.

Marriott Travel Packages Levels
Marriott Travel Packages Levels

You can essentially “transfer” Marriott Rewards points at 1 to 1 level for airlines like United, US Airways, and British Airways.

Here’s an example of redeeming for cat 1 to 5 travel package + 120K airline miles

If we assume that you would use the 7 nights at category 5 property, it would cost you 25K per night but you would get the 4th night free. The number of points required would be 150K.

marriott-travel-packages-airline-miles-levels

The travel package at category 1 to 5 costs you 270K Marriott Rewards points. If we deduct the point value of the room part (150k), you “transfer” the 120K Marriott Rewards points to 120K airline miles.

Choosing the number of airline miles level

Each of the travel packages has four level for number of airline miles you would earn by redeeming a travel package. I would suggest that you go for the highest level if possible.

Upgrading the hotel category part of the travel package

If you redeem for a category 1 to 5 package and would later want to stay at the category 6 property, you can do this by paying the difference in points that is 30K. You need to call Marriott Rewards customer service and they can do it instantly.

Downgrading the hotel category part of the travel package

I always suggest that you should issue the travel package at the lowest category first if you are not sure how you are going to use it. You can always upgrade it.

But if you issued the package at the higher level that is required for your stay, you can always call the Marriott Rewards customer service and request them to downgrade it and get the difference in points deposited to your account.

Extending the hotel certificate

The hotel certificate that is deposited to your Marriott Rewards account is valid for 12 months after issuance. I have personally, however, been able to extend these more than twice. You need to contact the Marriott Rewards customer service to achieve this. I cannot guarantee that it will work for you, but it has for me.

Unable to use the hotel award

Try extending the award certificate. I have managed to do this few times. If they are not willing to do it, consider giving it away as the number of points you get back is not a lot. If you issued it higher than the lowest category level, downgrade it to the lowest level and get some points back to your account.

If you are not able to use it or give it away, you will get some points back for unused certificate and it is dependent and what mileage level you originally issued it.

Here are some values that you can expect to get back IF you need to redeposit unused hotel certificate from the travel package

Travel package with highest number of miles redeemed:
Cat. 1-5 : 10K points
Cat. 6 : 25K points
Cat. 7 : 40K points

Travel package with lowest number of miles redeemed:
Cat. 1-5 : 40K points
Cat. 6 : 55K points
Cat. 7 : 75K points

When to redeem

Some airlines like US Airways and American Airlines, which used to be a Marriott partner, tend to run promotions once in a while for transfer from hotel programs. They might give you a 35% to 50% bonus for miles transferred in. This is the time to redeem. I redeemed 3 or 4 travel packages when the partnership with American Airlines was ending and AA was offering bonus for points transfers. I made my first Million Miles status with AA with the help of Marriott.

Few of other tips

– You can use the ward certificate for less than 7 nights but you won’t receive any points back. Just do a reservation online for 7 nights and leave early. Otherwise, you can contact the Marriott Rewards and have them to make the reservation for you

– If there is a day in between that is not available for points, you can pay for it in cash. You need to arrange this with the Marriott Rewards customer service i.e. you stay at the hotel for 10 nights and use travel package for nights 1 to 3 and 7 to 10. You can pay for nights 4 to 6.

Marriott Travel Package: Hotel + Air Package 1

marriott-travel-package-1

Note that you will receive 50K, 70K, 100K or 120K miles in any of the participating airlines: Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways or Virgin Atlantic

Marriott Travel Package: Hotel + Air Package 2

marriott-travel-package-2

Note that you will receive 35K, 50K, 70K or 85K miles in any of the participating airlines:

Aeroflot, airberlin, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA LifeMiles, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, LAN, Lufthansa Miles & More, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines  or TAP Air Portugal

Marriott Travel Package: Hotel + Air Package 3

marriott-travel-package-3

This package is reserved entire for Southwest. You will receive 50K, 70K, 100K, or 120K Rapid Reward points that are COMPASSION PASS QUALIFYING. If you redeem the highest package and deposit the points to Southwest, you receive a Southwest Companion Pass for a year.

Marriott Travel Package: Hotel + Air Package 4

marriott-travel-package-4

This package is for JetBlue TruBlue and Virgin America Elevate members. You will receive 25K, 35K, 50K, or 60K points.

Conclusion

IMHO this IS really the best way to use Marriott points IF you prefer getting a lot airline miles along the way. There are some drawbacks to this as well that I listed above and workarounds like extending the certificate for a year.

Here are the short terms and conditions of this award:

To redeem for a Hotel, Air & Car Package reward:
Contact the airline you will use as your carrier.  (You must be a member of their frequent flyer program.)  Inquire about the number of miles needed to travel from departure location to your destination and remember to take into account the number of people traveling in your party.

Once you know the number of miles needed, call
1-800-MARRIOTT to make your hotel reservation.  Make sure to inform the reservation agent that you are using a Travel Package Reward.

After your reservation is confirmed, you can complete the reward order over the phone or order online.

Reward Delivery Information

  1. Hotel certificate will be issued electronically and will be available at the hotel upon check-in.
  2. Airline miles will automatically be sent to your frequent flyer account.Please allow approximately 6 weeks for your miles to be posted to your frequent flyer account or contact your local Marriott Rewards office to inquire about express service (may include a fee).

    Miles will automatically transfer into the frequent flyer mileage account that matches the name on your Marriott Rewards account.  Once processed, airline miles cannot be transferred back to your Marriott Rewards account.

  3. You will receive a paper certificate for your Hertz rental.Please allow 10 business days for US delivery, 4 weeks for delivery outside the US, or contact your local
    Marriott Rewards office to inquire about express service (may include a fee).

Qatar Airways IS Joining the Oneworld Alliance (Financial Times)

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There was a piece on Financial Times today about Qatar Airways joining the Oneworld alliance. There have been rumors about this a lot lately and, over the weekend, the CEO of Qatar denied that the airline would be joining the Oneworld.

financial-times-qatar

At this point, it does seem that the airline is indeed joining the alliance. I doubt that Financial Times would have published the article unless they wouldn’t have had firm inside information about this.

We should learn the exact joining date and other information within the next week.

Conclusion

It would be great for the Oneworld if the Qatar would join the alliance. It does seem conflicting that Qantas, Oneworld member airline, and Emirates, gulf rival of Qatar, just announced their tie up for the traffic between Australia and Europe

Qatar Airways Becoming Oneworld Alliance Member?

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EDIT: There was piece on the Arabian Business today that Mr. Akbar al-Baker had stated that the airline is not joining Oneworld. It is very interesting to see what this Oneworld announcement on October 8th is going to be about.

qatar-oneworld

There was a piece earlier this week on the FlighGlobal website about an announcement on October 8th about a “significant membership development” by Oneworld. It is widely expected that this would mean Qatar Airways would joining the alliance.

qatar-flight-global

It has been reported previously that Mr. Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, the parent of British Airways and Iberia both Oneworld alliance members, and Mr. Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, have been getting along rather well. Both are members of the IATA board of governors.

This development wouldn’t be totally unexpected. There are three major carriers on the Middle East; Emirates of Dubai, Etihad of Abu Dhabi, and Qatar of Doha. Emirates has been very vocal of not joining and alliance while Qatar has always been silent about this issue. Etihad has formed ties with number of airlines outside of an alliance.

In my personal opinion, Qatar has always been more tilted towards the Star Alliance considering the frequent flier partners that they have and have had. Qatar is partner with ANA, Asiana, & US Airways of Star Alliance. The partnership with United was discontinued earlier this year. They currently don’t have any program ties with Oneworld alliance carriers.

Emirates and Qantas just formed their outside of an alliance partnership for the European traffic that is launching next year. Qantas will tunnel their European traffic via Dubai instead of Singapore/Bangkok/Hong Kong. Emirates is also in discussions with American Airlines regarding a codeshare agreement.

Conclusion

I would love to see Qatar Airways joining an alliance. Based on the chatter, it seems likely that the choice is Oneworld. We will learn more about this Oneworld alliance’s membership development on October 8.

BMI & Qatar Airways Frequent Flier Partnership to End on October 27

The death of BMI’s Diamond Club has been slow. First the Lufthansa group of airlines awards were discontinued, then other Star Alliance carrier ones, Virgin Atlantic was next, and now it is time for the partnership with Qatar Airways to end as well.

Qatar Airways BMI Announcement
Qatar Airways BMI Announcement

This is not a surprise as the BMI is being integrated to British Airways slowly. The end of BMI’s Diamond is soon.

Conclusion

This is not unexpected development but it is worrisome that BMI hasn’t made any announcement about this change. You can find the release about this on Qatar’s website. I would expect the same to apply for BMI as well.

Qatar Airways Introduces Easy Deals – Awards Up To 50% Off

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Qatar Airways just launched a new Easy Deals initiative. Every month they will have number of destinations at up to 50% off of the usual number of miles required. You need to pay the usual taxes/fees and fuel surcharges.

qatar-easy-deals

It is somewhat weird that you need to register for this promotion at least 24 hours prior making the award booking. The booking window is open from 15 September to 22 of October for travel from October 1 to October 23, 2012.

qatar-airways-reg

Easy Deals is our new programme feature that offers you the opportunity to redeem award tickets online on Qatar Airways for up to 50% less Qmiles.

Every month, Easy Deals will showcase an array of Qatar Airways flights on select routes, where you can save Qmiles.

To avail our Easy Deals,  follow these simple steps:

  • Click on the below link(s) to view the available Easy Deals
  • Register for our Easy Deals at least 24 hours prior to booking an award ticket, by logging into your membership account, click on “Manage Qmiles” and select Easy Deals for the applicable month from the “Register for an offer” menu. Alternatively, you can register by calling our Member Service Centre at +974 4449 6449
  • Redeem your award ticket online by clicking on “Book & Upgrade” menu and take advantage of our Easy Deals. Should your trip contain any of the listed sectors, you will enjoy attractive mileage savings.

The wording on the confirmation page indicates that these awards are valid only on the exact one-way city pairs listed i.e. Buenos Aires to Sao Paulo wouldn’t include Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires. I would hope to be wrong, however.

Here’s the list of destinations:

qatar-easy-deals-october-europe

qatar-easy-deals-october-africa-indian-subcontinent

qatar-easy-deals-october-far-east-australia-middle-east-other

Quite often the fuel surcharges spoil these sale deals. The YQ’s (fuel surcharges) are somewhat reasonable on Qatar Airways, however. Here is an example from Seoul to Doha that is on sale using miles. The YQ is 139K KRW that is around $123.

qatar-icn-doh-yq

Conclusion

I really like award sales and glad that they are coming to Qatar Airways as well. The only drawback is the rather short booking and flying window. These are most useful for Doha based passengers as vast majority flights are either Doha originating or terminating.

There are few of gems like Buenos Aires to Sao Paulo for 6500 miles in business class. That is really a steal. I took that flight two weeks ago.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

  • Only applicable on Qatar Airways operated flights on select routes.
  • Award seats are limited and subject to availability
  • Easy Deals Award levels are applicable only for award tickets redeemed online at qmiles.com.
  • Members need to register for the offer at least  24 hours prior to booking an award ticket.
  • Not valid in conjuction with any other offer.
  • Redemptions are valid for anyone the member chooses. Each redemption may include up to 9 passengers on the same transaction.
  • Qmiles plus Cash option and award upgrades are excluded from Easy Deals Awards.
  • Date changes not within the offer period or route changes not part of sectors on offer will be subject to the corresponding fees and additional Qmiles will be charged.
  • If some sectors of your trip are not within the offer period or part of the promotional sectors, those sectors will be charged at regular Qmiles.
  • Regular award tickets Terms and Conditions apply.

Last Call for Awards on Qatar Airways Using United Mileage Plus

United partners are dropping like flies. First Emirates was gone, then was Virgin Atlantic’s turn earlier this year, and now it is a final couple of days to redeem awards on Qatar Airways. United gave heads up of this change on June 1st.

United Qatar Announcement
United Qatar Announcement

You can still continue booking awards that have Qatar legs until and on 14th of this month. Theoretically you should be able to do this over the phone as well, but you may encounter uninformed agents that tell you that the partnership has already ended when, in fact, it has not.

United Qatar BCN PER via DOH
United Qatar BCN PER via DOH

I have flown quite a bit on Qatar this year and have come to like their business class product and often empty cabins. Most often than not I have the entire two seat sections just for myself. I am not a huge fan, however, of the Qatar transit experience and the premium terminal that is at capacity often during the flight banks.

Qatar Plenty of Space
Qatar Plenty of Space

Conclusion

If you are contemplating using United miles on award tickets on Qatar, this is the last choice. The Qatar’s business class product is fantastic compared to United.

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.

qatar-boarding-time

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.

qatar-qpoint

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.

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