a seat in a plane

16+ Hours Of Qatar Airways  First Class For Just 50,000 Points…

Points really are magical- and they’re simpler than you think. There have never been as many ways to become fully loaded (with points that is), without even traveling. With that in mind- if you’ve got the dough to buy a Big Mac, the McDonalds kind, not the expensive computer kind- you can unlock some incredible, luxurious air travel experiences. Like First Class between the Middle East and Asia in either direction…

a seat in a planeLike…Qatar Airways First Class For Buying A Big Mac.

The first step here is believing that just because it doesn’t sound real, doesn’t mean it isn’t. Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific are all partners of American Airlines. American Airlines charges just 50,000 points for one way in First Class between the Middle East or India and all of  Asia in either direction. Asia and the Middle East aren’t exactly next door, so whichever way you fly, you can log a lot of time in pure luxury. This is a top first class complete with $150 a bottle champagne, a huge bed and an actual cocktail bar on board. You’re now probably wondering how the Big Mac ties in…

an airplane flying in the sky60,000 Points For One Purchase, But You Only Need 50,000…

We say Big Mac, you say gum, beer, coffee, sushi- it doesn’t matter. One purchase is all it takes to trigger a 60,000 point bonus- giving you 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for the Barclaycard Aviator Red credit card. All you need is 50,000 for one way in first class. If Qatar Airways award winning business class is all you need to be happy, you need just 40,000 points- leaving enough left over for a free trip in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world…

a city with many buildings and a city skylineFree Checked Bags + Priority Boarding Covers The $95 Fee.

We don’t get paid a dime by the credit card companies- we just think this offer is too cool to pass up. The card has a $95 annual fee- but you get unlimited free checked bags for everyone on your reservation and priority boarding. This is massive. At $25 a bag on American, two people doing one round trip would save $100- instantly netting $5 in savings, not including the perks of priority boarding. You get the gist- it’s really 60,000 points for buying a Big Mac!

a red building with a tall tower with Sensō-ji in the backgroundMaximizing Your Experience With A Cool  Routing Trick…

American Airlines has a rule which allows you to add a second flight for no extra miles. If you’re coming from Japan or Korea to the Middle East or India, or vice versa, you can build in a stop up to 23 hours and 59 minutes in Southeast Asia en route (either direction). SO- you could fly from Japan to Guangzhou, China or Bangkok, Thailand in business class- spend a night and a day in either destination and then connect onto Qatar Airways First Class aboard their A380.

a room with a vase of roses and people in the backgroundDon’t Stop There

Japan to Hong Kong is about 4 hours in the air, and Bangkok to Doha is around 8, giving you ample time to unwind and enjoy! This is just one example. If going to or from Asia 1, you can make a brief stopover anywhere in Asia 2, before carrying onto the Middle East or Indian sub continent on Qatar, Etihad, Cathay or Japan Airlines to Doha, Dubai and beyond. That’s right- it’s possible to fly Etihad instead, if you’d prefer to fly direct between Tokyo and Abu Dhabi. Get creative- but no matter what- get out and do this. No telling how long First Class will still go for just 50,000 points.


Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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    1. About 6-7 Hours to Bangkok from Tokyo in OneWorld Business. And then 8 Hours back to Doha/Abu Dhabi in A380 First. Could easily find a longer routing.

  1. Flew Doha to Manchester on Qatar business class as award ticket. Amazing experience. It took me 4 business class return trips from Lahore, Pakistan to Houston,US on Qatar airways to get enough miles for this award ticket.

  2. Your title says 16 (now 15 ) hours on Qatar in F/B but this is not correct. The only Qatar plane is from Bangkok or Guangzhou which are both much less than 15 hours. You should think about changing the title

    1. You’re entitled to your opinion but so am I. You receive 15 hours or more of business class and first class on these flights. Coming west, you’d get about 7 hours to Bangkok and then a further 8 on from Bangkok to Doha in First. So I still don’t know what the problem is. You would fly JAL or Cathay as it says in the post on the intra Asian legs.

  3. It is not 15 hours on Qatar but rather a combination of airlines. Your title implies that it is 15 hours all on Qatar for 50,000 miles, which in fact, would be fantastic. I don’ t have a problem..just simply pointing out the title is misleading.

  4. Hi, I have tried several times over several weeks to redeem my AA miles on Qatar. From Australia, Thailand, China etc to Doha, and Qatar never comes up. On any date in the future. Royal Jordanian does however. And the AA site does not give me the choice of First Class on most routes, just business. Please provide me with dates that you have found from BKK to DOH on Qatar, with screen shots using 50,000 in First. Or is the trick that we have to call in to a specific call center in a specific country and request the airline. I have also tried the BA site even though it is more Avios miles and still, Qatar does not come up. Would love your help on this.

    1. Hello, you need to use the BA site and ignore the amounts quoted. If it’s available for BA, it’s available for American- at the 50,000 price. I am sorry, but I just don’t have time to sit and search- but if you use the BA site you’ll find something. You can also try Guanghzou. See if any availability comes up closer in, like in the next two weeks or towards end of calendar. Best of luck.

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