One of the Best Business Class Fares is Back

by Enoch

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).

Fly Qatar Business Class from Cairo to New York for ~$1300

Fly Qatar Business Class from Cairo to New York for ~$1300

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.

Qatar Airways Business Class A350. Qatar Airways/Flickr

Qatar Airways Business Class A350. Qatar Airways/Flickr

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.

American Airlines earning chart with Qatar Airways

American Airlines earning chart with Qatar Airways

Cairo to Doha is 1,280 miles, and Doha to New York is 6,704 miles.

Cairo to Doha is 1,280 miles, and Doha to New York is 6,704 miles.

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!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Ryan October 25, 2016 - 5:41 am

And of course if your EXP I believe you also get your 100% bonus on miles earned

Enoch October 25, 2016 - 8:54 am

Hi Ryan! EXPs will actually earn 120% bonus on the base miles with partner airlines!

Tony Baker October 25, 2016 - 7:29 am

Can you clarify about the first class lounge the way I understand it the first class leg has to be more than 4 hours in order to get in and from Cairo it’s 3 or less also my aa redemption was just devalued bcause I am actually returning from Cairo on Qatar first then business this exact trip your talking about ..

Nico October 25, 2016 - 8:03 am

Did Qatar change the policy on access to their First Class lounge? Not long after it opened, I flew in on a short haul “first class” flight connecting to long-haul business class. At that point, you had to be outbound on long-haul first to access the first class lounge.

Still, the business class lounge is incredible.

Enoch October 25, 2016 - 8:52 am

@Tony and @Nico, you guys are right. Qatar doesn’t follow the policy at their old Premium terminal for the Al Safwa Lounge, so sadly it’s only for people who either arrived from or are departing on a “real” First Class ticket. I’ve updated the post to reflect that—thanks!

sian F October 25, 2016 - 10:05 pm

If you’re travelling on a short haul flight in first class you can use the Al Safwa lounge. I often travel AUH-LHR (via DOH) in business and can use the lounge when traveling on the last sector AUH-DOH

Nothing could ever persuade me to fly to Cairo however good the fare is. However I have gone out of my way to fly from BKK, MCT and DUB in the past


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