ME3 Business Class Deals: Asia to Europe from $1,400
When you think of the the Big Three Middle Eastern airlines (Emirates, Qatar, and Etihad), you probably think of blingy, over-the-top experiences. To be honest, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong either. It’s part of what makes them so much fun.
While business class deals on Qatar aren’t that rare, Emirates are usually harder to come by. When an Emirates deal pops up, people run. Well, put on your running shoes, sneakers, trainers, whatever you call them, because we’ve got some great business class deals for you.
Without a doubt, some of the most sought after deals are on Emirates – for good reason too. Their A380s feature on-board bars and countless passenger-friendly amenities.
In addition to the on-board product, Emirates is also a partner of Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan. According to Alaska’s partner earning chart, Emirates business class flights earn 225% of the mileage flown for redeemable miles and 125% of the mileage flown for elite qualifying miles. If you hold elite status with Alaska, you’ll earn even more redeemable miles.
When booking your flights with Emirates, be careful with your aircraft selection. Some of Emirates’ 777s feature a business class with angle-flat seats in a 2-3-2 layout. While not all routes feature the A380, those that do should feature lie-flat business class seats in a 1-2-1 layout. Just make sure to check the seat map before booking.
Some of the best Emirates deals we found were:
Another real crowd pleaser is Qatar Airways business class. Their highly touted Qsuites business class is widely regarded as the world’s best business class. While not every route features Qsuites, those that do are in for a real treat. Even if the route doesn’t feature Qsuites, Qatar still has a top notch business class with fantastic service and catering.
If you’re looking for status, a Qatar Airways business class deal is a great way to swing it. All of these flights will earn 560 tier points on British Airways, which is just shy of the 600 required for mid-tier Silver status. BA Silver also gets you Oneworld Sapphire, which gives you access to Oneworld lounges around the world, including Admirals Clubs in the US. American Airlines top tier status won’t even give you that.
For the best deals, you’ll generally want to look in April, but can find some decent availability before and after those dates. April is a perfect time to visit Europe. It’s shoulder season, which means smaller crowds and lower prices.
- Istanbul: $1,591
- Rome: $1,601
- Athens: $1,695
- Amsterdam: $1,735
- Barcelona: $1,745
- Frankfurt: $1,755
- Dublin: $1,795
- Madrid: $1,834
- Paris: $1,860
Not to be forgotten, Etihad rounds out the Big Three Middle Eastern airlines. Etihad’s business class certainly isn’t to be overlooked either. If you’re flying on one of their A380s or 787s, you’ll be treated to their Business Studio, which is one of the best business class seats out there.
If you’re an American Airlines loyalist, you’re also in luck. Despite not belonging to any of the major alliances, you’ll be able to credit Etihad flights to American’s AAdvantage program and should earn at least 100% of the distance flown. Some of the best deals include:
How to Make These Work
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most of you aren’t based in Manila. If you are, props. Please give a shout out in the comments.
For the rest of you, I’m going to assume you probably aren’t even based in Southeast Asia. So, that begs the question, “how does this deal do me any good?”. Well, there are two ways to approach this.
1. Use points or cash to get to Manila
The most straightforward way to go about this is to use points to get to South East Asia. A one-way business class ticket from the US to Asia can cost as little as 50,000 Alaska miles. That’s definitely one of the best values out there. If you’re short on vacation time, it’s also a great opportunity to see both Asia and Europe in one trip.
2. Get crazy and turn this into a 2-in-1 trip
This method definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. If you can pull it off though, it’s one of my favorite ways to book travel deals. I’m actually in the middle of one as we speak.
The general idea is to book the outbound and return portions of the flight months apart. You’d fill in the rest with cash or points. The main benefit is that this allows you to turn one flight into two separate trips. No one ever complains about having to visit Europe a second time anyway. If you’re looking for a more detailed guide on how we pulled this off, we’ve got a handy guide here.
Maybe starting in Manila isn’t the ideal location. However, at these rates, it’s hard to resist. $1,400 for over 20 hours in some of the world’s best business classes is a fantastic value.