For certain markets, airlines consistently offer some outstanding fares in premium cabins. For example, you can fly Business Class, roundtrip, from cities like Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Cairo, Egypt to the US for about $2,000 most of the time. But Qatar Airways is currently offering Business Class tickets for ~$1,300 from Cairo to the US.
And before you read any further, sadly, this doesn’t work in the other direction. This fare is only valid for travel from Cairo to the US, which of course severely limit the population that can take advantage (in a reasonable way). However, this is a really remarkable fare, since it actually costs the same to fly in the other direction, on the same dates, in coach!
It’s also pretty curious on Qatar’s part, because just a few months ago Ben at One Mile at a Time wrote about how Qatar wasn’t selling any tickets from Cairo. Regardless, here is a sample route, from Cairo to New York in February, for 11,676 Egyptian Pound (~US$1,315).
It’s worth noting that for short haul flights, Qatar actually sells their Business Class cabin as First Class. As a result, you will get to experience their “First Class Lounge” created for oneworld flyers (not the Al Safwa First Class Lounge, so you’re actually better off spending time at their Al Mourjan Business Class lounge) in Doha. Qatar now also operates a number of routes to the US with their new A350, which features a solid business class.
If you are looking to credit these flights to American, the short-haul flights between Cairo and Doha are coded with fare class A, which earn 150% redeemable miles and elite-qualifying miles (EQM). You will also earn 30% of the miles flown as elite-qualifying dollars (EQD). The long haul flights between Doha and the US are coded as fare class R, which will earn 100% redeemable miles, 150% EQM, and 20% of the miles flown as EQD.
All in all, using Cairo-New York as an example, you would earn 17,428 redeemable miles, 23,952 EQMs, and $3,449 EQD when crediting the flights to American. Other than buying bulk fares, this is one of the easiest way to meet American Airlines’ new EQD requirements.
This fare is available to a number of US cities, and some require connections on American metal. Best I could tell, the fare is valid travel through the end of schedule.
- Houston (IAH), ~$1,300
- Washington DC (IAD), ~$1,300
- New York (JFK), $1,300
- Atlanta (ATL), ~$1,400
- Miami (MIA), ~$1,500
- Los Angeles (LAX), ~$1,600
- Dallas (DFW), ~$1,800
- Chicago (ORD), ~$1,800
- Philadelphia (PHL), ~$1,900
These flights are searchable on Google Flights (our guide here), and Google can take you directly to Qatar’s website to book the ticket. I’d use a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and you can check out popular travel cards here. Qatar is running a number of promotions, including one that takes 10% off the flight with coupon code FLYTEN. However, I didn’t see a change in pricing when I applied the code.
Again, this won’t be useful to most people, since you have to start from Cairo. However, I know people who are willing to go out of their way to fly flights like this, and some people might find it a reasonable price even if they only fly one-way (Cairo to US). Either way, for those interested out there, one of the best (non-mistake) Business Class fares is back!