Amazeballs: Fly Almost Anywhere In The World For $1650 Roundtrip In Business Class

The Qatar Airways business class deal is just amazing. Book the cheapest flight you can find from the U.S. and then change the city you fly from and change where you fly to anywhere within 5000 miles of your originally booked destination.

For instance book Philadelphia – Kiev (via Doha) for less than $1650 roundtrip in business class.

Then you can change to another city Qatar Airways flies from – like Miami, if that’s where you live – and you can change the destination from Kiev to, say, Hong Kong (Singapore would be too far) or Nairobi (South Africa would be too far).

I’ve had several successful reports from readers. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s best to call during the U.S. business day, to avoid rolling over to the Philippines call center where readers have had some challenges.

Here’s how the policy works for travel through December 31:

  • Changes on tickets are free and unlimited: change your dates and destinations without charge
  • You can change your origin city to another airport in the same country, and change where you’re going to anywhere within 5000 miles of your original destination.
  • You can cancel and take a voucher good for two years and get a 10% bonus
  • Instead of taking a voucher you can convert your ticket into frequent flyer miles at a rate of 100 miles per dollar (buying miles at 1 cent apiece)

Here’s one report of success,

It worked! First she said you could not change origination only destination, but she put it through with no issues. Changed [Philadelphia – Kiev] to [Miami – Bangko]. Took all of 15 minutes. Rep said they are getting calls from people making [round the world] trips, multiple trips with back to back travel and 2 one way flights – best deals are from Europe.

Qatar Airways QSuites are one of the two best business class products in the world, along with ANA’s new offering.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Yes its best to avoid any call center in the Philippines including the horrible IHG call center
    Nice people but clueless about how to conduct business
    The bargain looks amazing but sadly I’ll pass health and well being over great deal

  2. I am thinking of doing this. Looked last night. I wish there was a list of cities that qualify within the mileage range. You said Singapore is over the 5K limit but I think BKK is ok? I know how airlines decide distance miles can be tricky.

  3. @Stuart you can use the great circle mapper to find out airport within a range of, say, 4340 nautical miles (that’s about 5000 standard miles) from whichever airport you’re looking for as a destination.

  4. I’m interested in taking advantage of this, but unsure of how to start. Any advice? Hoping to travel from NY to Europe

  5. Qatar flights don’t come up anywhere on google. Tried your exact routing above and nothing. Do you have to book on their website?

  6. @qofmiwok

    You should always book on an airline’s website. Use Google Flights to FIND flights but, for goodness’ sake, not to book them

  7. Yes, I’m just looking for them. But I actually tried the Qatar site too and they don’t come up. Something’s up.

  8. I’m a tiny bit confused on how date changes work. Do your NEW travel dates also have to be on or before December 31st in order for fare difference, change fees, etc. to be waived?

  9. @Gary – Have you done this for yourself or your family? If so, I think that would inspire a lot more confidence among dubious readers.

  10. I looked at this same route. Yes you can get it round trip for $1600, but I can’t seem to see where it states free changes and refunds, etc

  11. Can you book this through Expedia/Chase portal and still make these changes or does it have to be booked directly through Qatar website?

  12. Is there a knowledgeable frequent flyer type agent who would book these? I wish there were people who booked great fare tickets like the award guys do. Having been to several FTUs and Chicago Seminars, the most valuable lesson I learned is to engage one of these guys or gals, (like Gary), and spend the time needed to pay them in your day job.

  13. Yes I agree with dwonderment that IHG call center in the Philippines is the worst.

  14. @pipo – if you book through expedia/chase you have to get them to make the changes for you (yes the ticket is eligible, whether they will be willing to do it given their customer service limitations is a great question)

  15. I successfully booked the initial PHL-KBP for $1638 and then called QR to change from JFK to BKK. Was on hold for an hour before getting someone from the Philippine call center who gave me differing information. I demanded to speak to his supervisor and that was when things went very smoothly. I have two pieces of advice to give when speaking to a rep who is inexperienced: demand to speak to a supervisor and and make sure to check the confirmation after the itinerary is changed.

  16. Note to all who want to try:
    There are success DP that changed to BKK or even HKG, however, the 3 times I tried, both BKK and HAN are out of range (based on their system) (They told me 5454 from KBP to HAN). It seems like the “system” calculated distance from KBP via DOH, then to your new destination. Doesn’t seem to align with the rule “5000 miles from original destination”.
    I’ll keep trying and post any change I can get.

  17. Don’t give any money to Qatar. Their leader is a misogynistic swine loving dictator that relies on bullying and intimidation to get his way

  18. @Charles As opposed to Trump or any of a number of other bigoted dictators and dictator wanna-bes in the Middle East and elsewhere?

  19. @Charles
    If you think Qatar is turning profits on $1600 Qsuites fares from LAX – DOH – MLE – DOH – MLE then we have a problem

  20. Be careful. If they go bankrupt they’ll keep your $1600 and you’ll get nothing. Booking out to December probably exceeds the chargeback period for most or all credit cards. I’m so tempted here for my upcoming Maldives trip in Feb but super leery for this reason…

  21. They are likely more than covering marginal costs on seats they know will otherwise go empty.

    And the promotion is convoluted enough it isn’t likely to trade off with tickets they’d have sold to the same passengers at a higher price. There aren’t exactly a bunch of corporate travel departments doing this.

  22. ” I’m so tempted here for my upcoming Maldives trip in Feb but super leery for this reason…”
    I thought this was for travel before 12-31-2020. ?

  23. Does it work on open-jaw routes? Or it must be a return flight?
    Emirates has a similar offer but you can change your destination to another in the same region.

  24. So ticketing for dates this year would allow changes to new dates, but new dates also have to be this year?

  25. It will not last long. Once Qatar see what is happening they will move the goal posts and change the deal.
    Book quickly .

  26. @ Mike — The government of Qatar NEEDS Qatar Airways to operate (check out the geography + embargo against them). Unless something way worse than COVID-19 occurs, QR won’t be failing.

  27. @Gary – TY! Still can’t seem to find $1600. More like $2500 each. Any other hints? Trying to book this for my sister as a wedding gift!!

  28. Does everyone really think that we will be traveling freely around the world by Nov/Dec?

  29. @ Corky — No, but one can hope! If not, the money is good for 2 years. I am very confident we will be travelling freely around the world within 2 years.

  30. @Mike
    @Gary
    Amex Platinum calls these advance purchases and allows the charge to be based on the date of service, not the purchase date. I was able to charge-back Broadway tickets that I purchased 5 months before the show was canceled. So, you should be able to dispute the charge and get a refund if Qatar fails.

  31. I was never able to recreate the PHL-KBP flight. Lowest I ever saw was 2300 or so and now nothing that low. They might have fixed this. Still poking around though.

  32. It looks like all the sub-$3k fares are gone. I’ve been hunting with Matrix and QR, and even when Matrix has a ~$2k fare, QR prices it at $4-6k.

  33. I booked JFK-KBP, wanted BOS-HKG and finally settled for BOS-BKK, after making 6 phone calls to Qatar Airways. These are the responses I got from the agents at QR’s call centers.

    Agent 1 (Qatar Phone Number): He said outright that there can be no change to the region. Refused to connect me to a supervisor.

    Agent 2 (Qatar Phone Number): Wouldn’t change from KBP to anywhere in Asia. Refused to connect me to a supervisor. Even called me out saying I am “abusing” the policy.

    Agent 3 (UK Phone Number): After a lot of discussion and confusion, the agent talked to his supervisor. He was finally able to change JFK-KBP to JFK-BKK. HKG, MLE or anywhere in India was not allowed but BKK was allowed (very surprising).

    Agent 4 (Qatar Phone Number): Wouldn’t/Couldn’t make any further change.

    Agent 5 (Qatar Phone Number): Again no luck.

    Agent 6 (UK Phone Number): Managed to change JFK-BKK to BOS-BKK without much trouble.

    I finally settled with BOS-BKK. It was a painful experience dealing with QR’s customer service. I assume individual call centers are using their own discretion when rebooking.

  34. I’ve been looking for the $1650 fare’s and it appears that they are gone. Trying to get from the East Coast (DC area but happy to originate elsewhere) to HKT. Found some fares in the mid-$3000 range but none of the $1650’s. Looked at a variety of origination and arrival points but no luck.

  35. How does one check which destinations fall in the 5000 miles range?
    I intend to travel from NY to India.
    Any suggestions on routing.?
    I tried a couple but nowhere near $1650 sadly….

  36. The deal is long over. The rules now require that new flights book into the same booking inventory, which for cheap fares is ‘R’. This means that even if you are able to find a cheap fare to someplace within 5000 nautical miles of where you want to fly, trying to change flights will be difficult, because there aren’t a lot of flights with ‘R’ inventory.

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