Oneworld member Qatar Airways offers some attractive Business Class fares to Chinese cities Hangzhou and Chongqing. Flights with a single layover in Doha start at HUF 426,000 (~€1,097) for a roundtrip to Chongqing and HUF 452,000 (~€1,164) to Hangzhou. Since Qatar recently upgraded its afternoon flights from Budapest to Airbus A330 service, you can expect lie flat seats on all flight segments.
If you leave Budapest on QR200 in the afternoon, all flights are scheduled to be Airbus A330 service. These planes feature Qatar Airways’ oldest business class product. You can expect lie flat seats arranged in a 2-2-2 pattern. You can find a detailed review of the product here. Choosing the morning departure QR202 may result in boarding an Qatar Airways A320 and ending up in a short haul business class cabin.
Search & Book
According to fare rules, these cheap tickets are available for trips of at least four days, but not longer than a month. Tickets could be sold until April 28th and the offer is valid for trips commencing until the same date. A stopover in Doha can be added on either the out- or inbound leg, free of charge.
You can find dates on which the lowest fare easily on Google Flights (instructions). You can use these dates to book directly on qatarairways.com. While this is the safest option, you may get lucky finding an even cheaper ticket by using the same dates in our flight search.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airline has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead of receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem-solving.
This especially applies to premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
- 29,222 Award Miles + 16,234 Tier Miles on Alaska Mileage Plan
- 26,128 Points on Finnair Plus
- 19,484 Miles on American AAdvantage
- 16,234 Avios + 560 TP on British Airways Executive Club
- 16,234 Avios + 130 Qpoints on Qatar Privilege Club
- 16,234 Avios + 1,450 TP on Iberia Plus
- 16,234 Award Miles + 170 Tier Miles on Asia Miles
- 16,234 Miles on Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- 16,234 Miles on LATAM Pass
- 16,234 Miles on MEA Cedar Miles
- 16,234 Miles on Royal Air Maroc Safar Flyer
- 16,234 Miles on Royal Jordanian Royal Club
- 16,232 Miles on Virgin Australia Velocity
- 16,232 Miles on JetBlue TrueBlue
- 16,232 Miles on S7 Airlines Priority Club
- 12,988 Award Miles on Bangkok Airways FlyerBonus
- 12,988 Award Miles + 28 Tier Miles on Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- 12,988 Miles on SriLankan FlySmiles
To earn this status and the alliance wide lounge access that comes with it, you need additional 40 tier points and 4 flight segments on either British Airways or Iberia. A basic economy ticket from Budapest to i.e. Portugal via London or Madrid should do the trick.
Information & Tips for China
China is the most populous and the third largest country in the world, so naturally, there is a lot to see. The most touristically important cities are the capital of China, Beijing and the financial and trade center Shanghai.
Best Time to Travel
Since the country is vast and extends over several climate zones, there is no best travel time for China. China is connected to Europe through numerous direct flights and the travel time is about 11-13 hours. Flights to China can be found for less than 400€ throughout the year, and there are also often excellent Business Class fares.
A general advice is that travel should be avoided during the Chinese national holidays, which span over the first two weeks of October. During these time tourist destinations are overcrowded with Chinese tourists on their domestic vacation.
Visa for China
Most European citizens will need a visa to enter China.
You can apply for a tourist visa at a Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) in your country. There you’ll hand in your visa application personally and can pick it up again after a few days. There is no faster and cheaper way.
Alternatively, you can apply for a visa by mail. The processing time will be up to two weeks, and you’ll have to pay for extra for shipping.
There are also so-called Visa services available that sometimes offer a faster (and maybe even cheaper) way to get your Visa. Check local sites to find out more.
→ All Dealz for China
Information & Tips for Hangzhou
With its iconic West Lake and famous buddhist monasteries, Hangzhou is one of China’s premier cultural destinations. Large recreational areas and a rebuilt historic center make up a huge part of the city center. Excellent train connections to Shanghai (taking less than an hour) make Hangzhou a great alternative when travelling to China’s mega boomtown. But with more than six million inhabitants itself, Hangzhou is a buzzing city worth a visit.
Best Time to Visit
Since Hangzhou is located in a subtropical climate zone, spring and autumn are the best travel times thanks to moderate temperatures and a few rainy days. April, May and September particularly suitable for a visit to the Chinese city thanks to the low rainfall and humidity.
From the airport to the city
Hangzhou Xiaoshan Int’l Aiport enjoys a growing reputation and attracts more international airlines each year. It is approx. 30 kilometers away from downtown Hangzhou and connected through bus and taxi services. Bus services are offered to many points of interest like the East Railway Station (30 Minutes) where bullet trains to Shanghai depart, or the West Lake in the very heart of the city (50 Minutes). Buses cost around 3-5€ while a taxi to downtown Hangzhou takes about an hour, costing 12-15€.
→ All Dealz for Hangzhou
Information & Tips for Chongqing
Thanks to a bit of trickery of the Chinese government, Chongqing is the world's largest city in population as well as size. Officially counting more than 30 million inhabitants, this huge number was artificially inflated by redefining Chongqing's city limits. The city now contains a space roughly the size of Austria. Still, the metropolis in the midst of a mountain range at the banks of the famous Yangzi River is one of China's most important industrial and economical hotspots. As a result, it shares a special administrative status with only Beijing, Shanghai & Tianjin.
Best Time to Visit
Chongqing is part of the subtropical climate zone. This results in hot, humid summers and mild winters, in which temperatures rarely drop below 0 degrees. March and April are great times to visit the city, just before a conflux of heat and daily monsoons make it an unpleasant place to visit.
From the airport to the city
Chongqing Jiangbei Int'l airport is extremely well connected to the city center. Two subway lines (taking about 50 minutes, costing approx. 1€) and a shuttle bus (60 minutes, 2€) take you to downtown Chongqing all day long. Taxi drivers will charge you 7-10€ for the 50-60 minute long ride down to the Yangzi River.
→ All Dealz for Chongqing