How I saved over £4,500 on Abu Dhabi First Class Flights

I’m so excited. I’ve just saved over £4,500 on Abu Dhabi First Class flights!!!! Yes, I’m upgrading from business, wiping out my airmiles balance, and heading to Abu Dhabi in First Class in August. After a few days there, we will fly on to Doha with Qatar Airways, also in First Class.

Mosque in Abu Dhabi
Source: PIxabay

Thanks to the Points Guy for inspiring me to push the boat out and use my points for this experience. That First Class lounge in Doha totally sold me on the idea!

Abu Dhabi First class flights

Here is what it costs us, and how that compares with simply buying First Class fares (come on, I’m from Yorkshire! As if I would do that!).

  • 23rd August departure from Manchester to Abu Dhabi, via London Heathrow with British Airways – cost £1210.52 and 160,000 AVIOS
  • 25th August departure from Abu Dhabi to Doha on Qatar Airways in First – £150.60 and 72,000 AVIOS.
  • 28th August return from Doha to Abu Dhabi in First – no additional cost
  • 29th August return from Abu Dhabi to Manchester in First – no additional cost

how does this compare?

Reward Flights Reward Price Cash Price Cheapest flight Saving on cheapest fare Points value
Manchester to Abu Dhabi 160,000 plus £1210.52 £4,092 £3,822  £2611.48  0.0163
Abu Dhabi to Doha 72,000 plus £150.60  £2,118 £2,112  1961.4  0.2724
Total 232,000 plus £1361.12  £6,210  £5,934  £4572.88  0.0197

Note: all prices are correct as at 12th May 2017 and are totals for two people.

British Airways plane
Source: Pixabay

Manchester to Abu Dhabi

The cheapest flights from Manchester to Doha on Skyscanner were £1,911, flying First with British Airways but at slightly different times. For two, this would obviously set us back a whopping £3,822. The cash price for the same flights would set us back £2,046 each, although to be fair, not as expensive as many Club World flights I’ve seen. I don’t however, want to spend £4,092 before arriving at my destination.

Abu Dhabi to Doha

The cheapest First Class flights from Abu Dhabi to Doha on Skyscanner were Qatar Airways for £1,056 each. Wowsers, £2,112 for a flight of just over one hour. Do people really pay that?! The cash price for our exact flights were £1,059 each, or £2,118. There must be some seriously rich people living in Doha!

Total cost

So I’ve paid a total cost of £1,361.12, saving £4,572.88 on the cheapest First Class fare. Furthermore, I’ve got pretty decent value for my points too when compared to other options.

Fly Qatar Airways First Class
Source: Pixabay

Why do it?

Some would say I’m foolish booking short haul flights, and it does seem like a lot of points, but I am desperate to check out the ultra luxurious lounges of the Middle East. Furthermore the cheapest economy flight was over £150 each so if I’m going to pay that, I may as well travel in style!

Have you ever bagged a great bargain like this? If so, please feel free to share and watch out for our posts reviewing the First Class lounges in London, Abu Dhabi and Doha!!

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About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips


  1. It appears to me that you are spending a lot of money and Avios to be 4 days on vacation (excluding 2 days of travel).

    No lounge visit would be worth that money to me.

    Have a safe trip.

  2. What will you be doing in Doha in August? Staying indoors?
    I truly hope you come to your senses and cancel this trip and put your Avios to better use…

    • Not sure why you would say that…! If you mean because of the heat we were in Bahrain in August last year and loved it. Swimming pools help….

      • So you are really spending around GBP4,000 (cash and value of Avios) on a luxury transfer to a pool?
        Quite possibly you have been EVERYWHERE ELSE already 😉

  3. Sorry to break it to you.. You will not fly from Abu Dhabi to doha and not from doha to Abu Dhabi.
    Maybe you have not heard to no UAE country and others are not allowing Qatar (any airline) to travel between the two cities.

    • I’m fully aware of that situation however it arose after we booked flights, and at this moment in time QAtar airlines are not refunding flights for those dates in August in the hope that the situation may be resolved. Whilst I’m not hopeful, I have a plan B. With avios it is possible for us to get a refund on our original tickets and rebook direct to QAtar which is likely what we will do if the situation doesn’t resolve, so it seems I will be going to Doha one way or another

      • To me it looks like nothing will change but I have my fingers crossed for you.. I was more wondering as you put so much effort into you story…
        Knowing that possibly it will all change.
        If I was you I would change the entire plan and fly through LHR and try to pick up the new Qatar business class. I have a return coming up from bkk and I have been looking almost every day to spot if Qatar will give up award seats.. Less miles and an fantastic product with a double bed. Also you do not have to worry about Abu Dhabi anymore..
        Enjoy you trip

        • I think I’m inclined to agree. I find the whole situation bizarre. It’s a bit gutting as I was super excited booking this and we got sn amazing deal but thankfully Qatar fly direct from Manchester as do BA (albeit via London) so we have options. Realistically though we have to fly BA as we used a companion voucher

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