Not only is Qatar Airways offering cheap business class tickets to Saipan, but they are also selling them to Palau. The country is also in Micronesia, but even less well-known among tourists as the Northern Mariana Islands. It is known to be a paradise for divers, among other things.
The deal is especially attractive from Budapest: From there, you’ll get the roundtrip with Qatar Airways and Asiana in business class for HUF 647,700 (~€1,780) – even in the Business Comfort fare, including lounge access. Another great part of this deal: You can add free stopovers in Doha and Seoul!
Palau has not yet had a single confirmed Covid-19 case. Currently, there are barely any flights to Palau and there are strict quarantine regulations. Soon, a majority of the mere 18,000 inhabitants could be vaccinated against Covid-19 (Source). There are no specific plans to open the borders yet.
Qatar Airways, however, offers very generous Corona goodwill policies. If you can’t travel as planned, you can simply cancel the flights for free. You’ll then be refunded the full price. Alternatively, you can decide to get a voucher with 10% more value.
There’s availability from the end of October 2021 until February 2022. You always have to leave on a Wednesday or Saturday, and fly back on a Friday or Monday.
Routing and Aircraft
The flights from Budapest to Doha are generally operated by a Boeing 787. You have to be careful while booking the flights, though, as there’s also a second daily flight using an Airbus A320. The Airbus A320 offers less comfort and increases the trip’s length. From Doha, Qatar Airways would fly you to Seoul with a Boeing 777. Currently, it seems that it should already have the QSuite installed.
The flight from Seoul to Palau is operated on one of Asiana’s Airbus A321s. These do not have a lie-flat business class, but at least wide recliner-seats like you’d see on a domestic first class in North America. Nevertheless, Asiana will probably be taken over by Korean Air soon, so there could be some changes. On the way back, you’ll have a long layover in Seoul (roughly 14 hours).
Search & Book
According to the fare rules, these flights can be booked until April 26, 2021. The minimum stay requirement is of three days (or a Sunday) with no maximum being set. Usually, you won’t need a visa for stays of up to 90 days. The environmental protection fee of US$100 (~€83) is already included in the flight price.
Sadly, Google Flights won’t help you find available dates. To search for the cheap dates, you can use the Matrix. Use the routing code
DOH ICN to be shown all connections. You can also limit the connection time, so that you’re only shown the fastest options:
Using the flexible calendar search, you’ll be shown all cheap dates within the stated period.
Stopover in Seoul and / or Doha
The fare allows free stopovers of up to 30 days. You can stay in Doha and in Seoul, South Korea. The price will merely increase by a couple of Euros due to higher taxes and fees.
Normally, stopover bookings can be booked directly on Qatar Airways’s website. In this case, that doesn’t seem to work, as Qatar doesn’t sell flights between Seoul and Palau separately.
Nevertheless, Expedia shows a cancellation fee of US$235 (~€195), should you not wish to fly. It should actually be free if you cancel directly at Qatar Airways.
The Qatar Airways flights are issued in booking class I, while the Asiana segments are issued in booking class C. As both airlines are in different alliances, you’ll get two different options. For the flights from Budapest to Seoul, you’ll get:
- 30,220 Miles on Alaska Mileage Plan
- 27,020 Points on Finnair Plus
- 23,510 Qmiles + 160 Qpoints on Qatar Privilege Club
- 16,790 Award Miles + 170 Tier Miles on Asia Miles
- 16,790 Miles on MEA Cedar Miles
- 16,790 Miles on GOL Aéreos Smiles
- 16,790 Miles on Royal Air Maroc Safar Flyer
- 16,790 Avios + 560 TP on British Airways Executive Club
- 16,790 Award Miles + 1,450 Tier Miles on Iberia Plus
- 16,790 Miles on Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- 16,790 Miles on S7 Airlines Priority Club
- 16,790 Miles on Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- 13,430 Miles on SriLankan FlySmiles
- 13,430 Miles on LATAM Pass
- 13,430 Miles on American AAdvantage
- 13,430 Miles on Royal Jordanian Royal Club
- 13,430 Miles on Bangkok Airways FlyerBonus
- 8,760 Miles on Asiana Club
For the Asiana flights, you can choose from the following programs:
- 10,330 Kilometers on Air China PhoenixMiles
- 8,560 Miles on Miles&More
- 8,550 Miles on Avianca LifeMiles
- 8,550 Miles on Air India Flying Returns
- 8,550 Points on SAS EuroBonus
- 8,550 Miles on TAP Miles & Go
- 6,410 Miles on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- 6,410 Miles on Aegean Miles+Bonus
- 6,410 Miles on EgyptAir Plus
- 5,350 Miles on Ethiopian ShebaMiles
- 5,350 Miles on Air Canada Aeroplan
- 5,350 Miles on Copa ConnectMiles
- 5,350 Miles on Asiana Club
- 5,350 Miles on Thai Royal Orchid Plus
- 5,350 Miles on ANA Mileage Club
- 5,350 Miles on Etihad Guest
- 5,350 Miles on South African Voyager
- 5,350 Miles on EVA Infinity MileageLands
- 5,350 Miles on United MileagePlus
- 5,350 Miles on Singapore KrisFlyer
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