Great Qatar Airways Business Class Fares From South Africa To The US

I always like highlighting great premium class fares, especially on airlines that belong to the major global alliances, given that these can be a great way to earn lots of miles in comfort. Qatar Airways is probably the airline with the most consistently excellent business class fares, and at the moment they have an especially good fare for anyone looking to travel from Cape Town to the US.

Per Unionruler on FlyerTalk, Qatar Airways has ~$2,000 roundtrip business class fares from Cape Town to many cities in the US, including Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, etc. The fare is valid for travel through next May, and there’s pretty good availability even during peak season. The fare has a minimum stay of three days, and a maximum stay of 12 months.

Obviously this won’t be for everyone since it’s only valid for travel originating in South Africa, and not for travel originating in the other direction. However, this could be useful for:

  • Anyone who lives in South Africa or the region
  • Anyone who is planning a trip to South Africa, as you could book this for the return, and then plan the return portion of the ticket for a subsequent trip, or even just use the Los Angeles to Doha segment and throw away the Doha to Cape Town segment; there’s a maximum stay of 12 months, so you could book the outbound for August and the return for next May, for example
  • Anyone who is crazy and loves to earn miles

As an example, let’s crunch the numbers on a Cape Town to Los Angeles routing. For those crediting these flights to American, you’d earn:

  • 150% elite qualifying miles for segments in first or business class
  • 100% redeemable miles for segments in the “R” fare class
  • A 120% mileage bonus if you’re an Executive Platinum member
  • 20% elite qualifying dollars (elite qualifying dollars for this fare are calculated as 20% of the distance flown)

As an American Executive Platinum member flying roundtrip from Cape Town to Los Angeles you’d earn:

  • 38,763 elite qualifying miles
  • 56,852 redeemable miles
  • 5,168 elite qualifying dollars

That’s a lot of miles! If you value those redeemable miles at ~1.3 cents each (as I do), that’s a return of ~$750, and that’s without placing any value on the elite qualifying miles or dollars.

The one downside is that these flights are operated by 777s, which don’t yet feature Qatar’s new business product. These planes have fully flat seats, though there’s not direct aisle access from every seat.

Qatar Airways’ first 777-300ER has Qsuites, and hopefully they’ll install the product on more planes over the coming months. However, I wouldn’t count on having it on any of these flights between now and next May. New York is supposed to be the first US airport to get the new product as of this September, but even that isn’t official yet.

Anyone considering taking advantage of one of these great Qatar Airways fares?


  1. I’m really want to take advantage of this, but repositioning from the US to CPT isn’t easy or cheap. (sigh…)

  2. Can you still get credit with Qatar for EQD EQM ? i thought American changed earning with Qatar

  3. Gregg,

    They also have some great offers from places like Helsinki and Copenhagen to CapeTown. But not from London. It’s a lot easier for someone in the UK to reposition for those flights, obviously. But take a look for flights from Europe if that makes more sense

  4. @Gregg

    Latam Brazil always have some really great fares from SAO/RIO to JNB/CPT in C class. The product is not so great (former LAN 767), but if you manage to find some great deals on the US to Brazil with AA/JJ, it can be a great mileage run.

  5. Great deal,
    But that product is an old Business Class scheme, they have introduced the reverse herring-bone and then the Qsuite….
    Tested them all.

  6. I have just purchased 2 roundtrip MIA/DOH/CPT business class tickets for me and my wife and paid almost twice as much, US$7,200 for both tickets, so this is a very depressing moment.

  7. @ FabinhoBP — Cancel and re-book if the math works. QR usually has low cancel fees on their business class fares.

  8. @ FabinhoBP — Looks like you are originating in the US, so ignore my advice unless you want to get creative…

  9. @ Gene – yes, we are starting in Miami.
    I could cancel and book an award for our outgoing flight and just use the second leg of the new tickets for a future trip, but we’ve done a similar thing in the past and it is too much hassle.
    This might work for some people but not for us.

  10. The best sleep I ever had on a flight was on a B777-300 Qatar Airways plane.
    I would prefer this type of seat on any flight compare to reverse herringbone seats which installed on B787 or A350. My kness was kept hitting the tray table which stowed under IFE screen. Not cool!

  11. I’m finding great fares from AMS to JNB. Only 2,300 USD for Emirates Business Class round-trip . 36 hours of pure joy. Will probably book this at some point. Planning a trip to South Africa in July 2018.

  12. Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the credit (it’s Unionruler though haha). I was inspired by you to start blogging only 3 months back or so. Keep up the good work!

  13. Tried to find fares in late Feb ’18 but that’s high season and nothing available (at 28,000 ZAR 1 seat)

    Good for now but not in high season

    Thanks anyway.

  14. How many tier miles would I earn crediting the flight to BA I wonder? I’d like to earn BA Gold in as smart a way as possible and I’m based in JNB so getting to CPT isn’t a problem at all.

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