If you fly out of Europe and love free flights, clear your schedule for Monday afternoon, September 5th.
Qatar Airways is having a Travel Festival and will be hosting a “treasure hunt” to a mystery destination. Basically, you’ll be running searches to find the “golden ticket,” which is a zero-fare ticket plus whatever the taxes and fees for that destination are.
- You can book from September 15, 2016 to June 30, 2017.
- You can only get one return Economy Class ticket.
- The treasure hunt will only be live for one hour, so get your work station prepped now.
Check out the time table in the chart below and get ready for Monday:
The first two time slots are actually running at the same time because of the time difference.
The treasure hunt originating in Russia, Armenia, Cyprus, Finland, and Greece is actually 11 am U.K. time, so I plan to do a practice run at 11 am for flights out of those cities.
Qatar Airways has compiled some videos to give you hints on the destinations which may be included in the mystery destinations, which is specific to your country of origin. You can watch them here:
- For Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia or Turkey based readers, watch this video.
- For Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland or the United Kingdom based readers, watch this video.
- For Russia based readers, watch this video.
I’ve just watched the one for the UK. More information is provided in the video than I was expecting. The airport code is on the top left corner with the potential months included in the sale. Here are the clues in the UK video:
- SIN (Singapore): December 2016, January 2017
- AKL (Aukland, New Zealand): February 2017
- SEZ (Seychelles): January, February, March, May 2017
- CMB (Katunayake, Sri Lanka): November 2016, January, February, March, April, May 2017
- KBV (Nuea Khlong, Thailand): February, March, May 2017
- MLE (Maldives): November 2016, January, February, March 2017
- ADL (Adelaide Airport, South Australia, South Australia): February 2017
- RKT (Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates): November, May 2017
In my opinion, these are some pretty off-beat destinations. My top three are Maldives, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka, and they are possibly available in January, which is when we have time to go.
It’s a good idea to run some searches before hand to know where they fly before the one-hour sale begins. For example, there are no flights out of Aberdeen to Aukland or Seychelles.
You can run some searches on Qatar Airways now, and look at the fare breakdown. The “Taxes and Carrier-Imposed Fees” price shown in the picture below is what you would pay if you find the hidden ticket. So for this ticket from Aberdeen to the Maldives, I’d pay 293.01 GBP:
I plan to run some other searches when I have the time to determine what destination has the lowest taxes, and base my treasure hunt searches off that.
I’ve read of other participants scoring roundtrip tickets from Tokyo to Pisa for $65, Indonesia to Finland for $50, and India to UK for < $150.
This fare sale actually was supposed to launch in Europe a few days ago, but their website crashed!
If I can find a free ticket within the hour, I’m booking it without giving it a second thought.