I typically don’t post destination specific deals, since they are – well – so specific. This deal to Doha, Qatar (which is shown in the featured image) was one I couldn’t resist, so here it goes.
This flight deal consists of two separate award flights, for a combined total of 23,000 points. I’ll start with the highlights and then go into detail. You can now fly from select US cities to Dublin, Ireland for 13,000 British Airways Avios, one-way. Keep in mind that these flights to Dublin at 13,000 points O/W are during off-peak. If you are in Florida or California, this same deal to Doha will run you a total of 26,250 points. Still a great proposition.
Your off-peak dates to/from Ireland to the US are actually pretty reasonable (about 8 months of the year):
• January 5th – April 6th
• April 24th – June 16th
• September 11th – December 15th
For starters, you will look for “saver economy” availability of Aer Lingus award flights via United.com. As long as you find a nonstop flight from one of the above cities to Dublin, operated by Aer Lingus, you can book using your BA Avios. You will need to call British Airways to book the flight since it cannot be booked online.
Once you have picked out your flight to Dublin, you will just need to look for availability on Flying Blue heading to Doha. Flying Blue is the partner program of KLM and AirFrance. You can find some sweet deals with Flying Blue Promo’s, like a one-way to Doha, Qatar for just 10,000 points. As long as you are flexible on your destination and dates, you can get a lot of bang-for-your-buck.
As you can see, you can book one-way to/from Europe to Doha for 10,000 Flying Blue points. This is a KLM promo which means you will have a connection in Amsterdam. In addition, you can work in a 24 hour stopover in Amsterdam if you find the right flight combinations. You MUST book by December 31st and you must fly between February 1st and March 31st. You will need to create a free Flying Blue account and then look for award space to Doha, here.
This example flight combination has a 14.5 hour layover in Amsterdam which is plenty of time for a quick waltz through the city. (one of my favorite cities). Because you are booking an award flight to Dublin and a separate award to Doha, you can stay as long as you’d like in Dublin. This allows for two trips in one! Not to mention a possible stop in Amsterdam.
So the question remains for some, how do I get British Airways Avios and Flying Blue points? Great news is that both programs are partners with Ultimate Rewards (Chase) and Membership Rewards (American Express). You can also transfer points from Starwood’s SPG program. Chase added Flying Blue as a transfer partner about six months ago, so if you have points ready to burn, this is a great opportunity.
You’ll need just 13,000 British Airways Avios points for a one-way from select US cities to Dublin, Ireland during off-peak. You can then use 10,000 Flying Blue points for a one-way from most European cities to Doha, Qatar. (IE: Dublin).
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards points to Flying Blue and British Airways. You will pay roughly $55 in fees + 23,000 points to fly one-way from the US to Doha, Qatar with a stop in Dublin (and Amsterdam for up to 24 hours).
What do the other guys charge?
• Delta charges 35,000 miles + $20 in fees to Doha one-way
• United charges 42,500 miles + $27 in fees to Doha one-way
• American charges 40,000 miles + $54 in fees to Doha one-way
If flying from Chicago or the North East, you will need just 23,000 points + $55 in fees one-way. If flying from Florida or California you will need 26,250 points + $55 in fees by using this Aer Lingus/Flying Blue combination.
On the return you will need to same amount of points, however you will have about $94 in fees as you will be departing Qatar and Ireland on separate tickets. Delta, for example, will charge you about $60 to return to the US when using points, so not a huge difference.
Delta: 70,000 points round-trip + $80 in fees
Aer Lingus/Flying Blue: 46,000 + $149 in fees (or 52,500 round-trip from CA or FL)