Since I make the trip between the US and Europe often, I am always on the lookout for interesting ways to go that can service my schedule and give me different products/airlines to try. Last fall, I flew a hybrid one way business class ticket on Qatar from Athens to NYC for under $1,300 (thanks to my newly minted CSR at the time, I actually paid $300 less than that!). While I still do not have a review up on it yet, it was definitely my most comfortable business class experience from Europe to the US! 🙂
Edit 2:00AM ET – It appears that the sale prices are gone but the 15% off with Mastercard still works. It just costs much more now.
Fly Qatar Business R/T from Athens to the US for $1,650
Now, there are some great prices back again – the catch is that you need to start in Athens. Considering how beautiful Greece is, that shouldn’t be too hard of a sell! Not only that, but you could get to Athens from anywhere in Europe for fairly cheap. If you only wanted one way, you could do a hybrid one way (business to the US/economy back – cheaper than a simple one way in business) for under $1,200. But, for the extra $450, it could be a nice way to return to Athens!
There is a current promo going on that is good through May 21. It requires you to use the promo code MASTERCARD and to pay with a Mastercard but you get up to 15% off! Here are the details and dates:
- Sales period: 26th April – 21st May 2017
- Offer valid for travel from 26th April to 10th December 2017.
- Blackout dates (travel not allowed):
- 22nd June -01st July 2017
- 15th August – 10th September 2017 on Qatar Airways operated flights worldwide.
- 14th July -29th July on Qatar Airways operated flights from Europe.
- The Journey has to be completed by 10th December 2017.
- Offer valid for MasterCard cardholders only on Qatar Airways operated flights worldwide, with the following exception:
- All itineraries to and from Qatar & Iran, as well as Economy Class flights to and from Kathmandu.
- Eligibility: You can only avail this Promotion by applying the unique promo code ‘MASTERCARD’ in the ‘Promo code’ area on www.qatarairways.com or qatarairways.com/mastercard and pay with your MasterCard credit, debit or prepaid cards.
- Valid for return fares only.
- Valid for Business Class and Economy Class bookings.
- Minimum and maximum stay is dependent on the booking class.
- Children (2-11 years) fare is 75% of applicable adult fare. Adult fare is applicable for unaccompanied children.
- Infant (0-2 years without a seat) fare is 10% of applicable adult fare. Infant with a seat pays 75% of applicable adult fare.
So, you need to book by May 21 but can travel up until December 10, 2017. There are a few weeks where it is not eligible, but this has September 11 – December 10 wide open with a few dates before June 22 at slightly higher prices ($1,750 roundtrip).
How to Search for Qatar Business Class Deals
Link: Google Flights
I like to start with Google Flights since it will let you view a lot of the calendar in easy steps. From there, you can punch in the dates on the Qatar Airways page via the link above to execute the promo code and take the 15% off.
The cheapest dates are definitely from September – December with many great options available. I searched many days and there was not a ton of availability on the A350 to JFK but there is a fair amount on the A350 from JFK.
When Should You Go?
Keep in mind that the current electronics ban on flights from Doha to the US is in effect until October 14, but that could be extended. I would try to book after that date if you will be bringing electronics along that you don’t want to check.
Also, consider this – Qatar has promised to start rolling out the newly-installed QSuites on multiple routes through the latter part of this year with the goal of being done in 2018. This means that you may be able to end up flying in the new QSuites to NYC if your plane is one of the ones upgraded!
Booking a “Hybrid” Business Class One Way Ticket
Basically, you would treat the return to Athens as a throwaway ticket so you could book it in economy. Multiple dates are available this way for only 1080€ with business to NY and economy on the return (as opposed to 1496€ for roundtrip business). If you don’t plan on returning but you want the business class experience, go with the hybrid one way – much cheaper than actually purchasing a one way!
Combine With Qatar’s Generous Hotel/Visa on Layovers
Link: Free Doha Stopover
Qatar announced earlier this month that they will be offering hotels and visa for layovers in Doha. If you wanted to go from Athens to Doha, stay a couple of days and then fly to NY, this could be a great way to check out another country/city on the cheap!
While $1,650 is still a lot of money, this is a great deal for a roundtrip ticket from Europe to the US – in Qatar’s excellent business class with a stopover in Doha! Not only that, but you will pickup 25,000 elite miles if you credit to AA – enough for AAdvantage Gold status in one trip!
Being able to take your time and enjoy a nice long-haul from Europe is a pretty great experience! You will be going 4 hours to Doha and then 14 hours to NYC – that is a nice ride on Qatar!
If you want to get an even nicer ride from Athens, make sure you check for the flight that is on the A330. The other flights (8pm and 1am) are on A320s. The A330 is a nicer business class seat.
Yes, you can find cheaper tickets from Cairo but visiting Athens might be more enjoyable for most people since it is easy to reach from throughout Europe and possibly higher on people’s destination list.
Featured image from Qatar Airways website