Oneworld member Qatar Airways keeps pushing their business class fares. This time, they offer discounted fares from Oslo to Johannesburg and Bangkok, the former starting at NOK 15,101 (~€1,417). All routes have a single layover in Doha. On some flights, you may even get to fly in Qatar’s Qsuite. You may want to check the airlines’ current refund and rebooking policies before purchasing an expensive ticket.
Qatar’s business class deals no longer include lounge access and seat reservation!
Worldwide travel restrictions are in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. We strongly recommend gathering detailed information about the travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to your desired origin and destination.
A good start is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website. It provides current updates on a country’s current immigration policies. Even better, the Covid-19 Travel Regulations Map is one of the most useful tools you can find.
Flights between Oslo and Doha are serviced by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner or Airbus A350-900 aircraft. A variation of Boeing 787 or 777 will take you to Bangkok. We can certainly say that the Dreamliners do not feature Qsuites. In contrast, an A350-1000 operates flights between Doha and South Africa. All planes of this type offer Qsuites in their premium cabin.
We expect further shakeups in the airline industry over the following months. Some services might be cancelled, aircraft changed or downgraded. The schedule we describe may very well change.
Search & Book
The sales and travel period are not limited. A minimum stay of five days applies as well as a maximum stay of one month. Flights at the lowest fare show scattered availability between November 2020 and September 2021. However, all holiday seasons seems to be blocked.
You can use Google Flights to find suiting travel dates at the lowest fare. Enter your flight dates directly at qatarairways.com to make sure you can cancel or rearrange your flights without any hassle. If you are sure you’re going, our flight search might show you some cheaper tickets, distributed by online travel agencies.
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 airlines 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 receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for 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.
Tickets are issued in booking class I. According to wheretocredit.com. A roundtrip to Bangkok should earn you the following mileage:
- 27,910 on Finnair Plus
- 17,340 on British Airways Executive Club
- 17,340 on Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- 17,340 on GOL Aéreos Smiles
- 17,340 on Iberia Plus
- 17,340 on S7 Airlines Priority Club
- 17,340 on MEA Cedar Miles
- 17,340 on Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- 17,340 on Asia Miles
- 17,340 on Royal Air Maroc Safar Flyer
- 17,340 on Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- 13,870 on American AAdvantage
- 13,870 on Royal Jordanian Royal Club
- 13,870 on LATAM Pass
- 13,870 on SriLankan FlySmiles
- 13,870 on Bangkok Airways FlyerBonus
In addition, both roundtrips are worth 560 tier points in British Airways Executive Club. You need 600 tier points and 4 flight segments in British Airways or Iberia to gain Oneworld Sapphire status. A regular economy ticket connecting in London or Madrid in addition to this flight should do the trick.
Information & Tips for Thailand
Thailand is an increasingly popular holiday destination for Europeans – both beach and party tourists get their money’s worth in the South Asian tropical state.
Whether Bangkok, Koh Samui or Phuket, Thailand offers multi-faceted cities and quiet beaches. Also, the country is always easy to reach from Europe. Especially to Bangkok, there is almost always at least a good deal!
Best Time to Visit
While hot summer temperatures prevail the whole year long in tropical Thailand, the best travel time is definitely the winter from November to February. Thanks to the northwest monsoon it doesn’t get warmer than 33 degrees. In summer the temperatures can quickly reach 40 degrees. The rainy season also starts in June and will last until October – high humidity is what you’ll have to prepare for!
Entry & Visa
Most EU citizens do not need a visa for stays up to a length of 30 days. The entry permit can be extended by another 30 days before expiration by local immigration authorities.
The national currency of Thailand is the Baht (THB) which is divided into Satang. One Euro is about 40 THB.
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Information & Tips for Singapore
The city-state of Singapore is a financial metropolis in Southeast Asia. Especially its geographical location is responsible for its rise. Singapore is one of the largest air traffic hubs in Asia and therefore very well connected to the rest of the world. Various airlines offer good deals to Singapore.
Best Time to Visit
The climate is best suited for visits in autumn and spring. Summers are sweltering and the rainy season starts in November and lasts until January. You have to be prepared for high temperatures and humidity all year round.
Entry & Visa
Most European citizens can enter Singapore without a visa and with a passport only. A residence permit for 90 days will be issued upon arrival.
From the airport to the city center
Singapore Changi Airport is connected to the city center by metro. A ride to City Hall takes about 40 minutes and costs S$ 2,30€. Taking a taxi will cost about S$ 20-30.
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Information & Tips for South Africa
South Africa is the touristically most visited country in the south of Africa. Whether its Safaris, tours of wine regions or the Table Mountain – visitors won’t be disappointed!
Traditionally, flights from Europa to South Africa have been quite expensive. In recent years however, airlines such as Iberia, Egyptair and British Airways have been offering cheaper and cheaper flights – even in premium cabins! If you are flexible in regards to your point of departure, the array of airlines with cheap tickets becomes even greater.
Best Time to Visit
South Africa is a huge country and therefore doesn’t have a single best time to visit. It really depends on what you want to see. The cities Johannesburg and Cape Town have the best weather in Fall (March – Mai) and Spring (September – November).
Immigration & Visa Requirements
If you have a valid EU passport and a valid return ticket, you will be given a visitor’s visa with a validity of 90 days. Turn to the ministry of foreign affairs of your country for more information.
The currency used in South Africa is the Rand (ZAR). One Euro are approximately 16 ZAR. Make sure to use a credit card that does not charge high fees for withdrawals or payments in foreign currencies.
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Cover Picture: © Qatar Airways