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Emirates or Qatar

Perth, Australia
posts: 16
reviews: 3
Emirates or Qatar

Help! I'm so confused. I am flying by myself in June 2013 from Perth to Manchester return. I am so confused as to go with Emirates or Qatar. I keep reading that Emirates economy seats are a lot more cramped? However, then I read that Qatar has terrible service and food and planes are always changed and you are allocated a random seat. Can anyone help that has flown on both airlines? Thanks

Hong Kong, China
posts: 2,295
reviews: 134
1. Re: Emirates or Qatar

I think they're both good airlines.

On Emirates' B777 aircraft, seating is 10 abreast as opposed to 9 on most carriers. However, seats down the back have rows of 2 on the window side, as the fuselage tapers in. I like these seats.

Service on both carriers is generally good. These two airlines have crew from all over the world, and the level of service depends on individual crew, just like every other carrier. However, I think it's better than your national carrier, Qantas.

Food is subjective. I always pre-order Indian vegetarian and I have enjoyed all meals on both carriers. Check airlinemeals.net if you are truly curious about what you'll be offered.

One thing I don't like about Qatar is that they often use narrow body A320 aircraft for flights from Doha to Europe. Check if Manchester is one of these routes. These aircraft still do have personal entertainment, but I personally prefer wide body aircraft. Not sure if that's an issue for you.

There are always people who hate either Dubai or Doha airport. I'm not a fan of the latter, but the new one is opening soon.

Really, they are both top-notch airlines as far as economy class goes. I read somewhere that Qatar is joining Oneworld alliance, so that might sway it for you if you want to collect the FF points. If that's not important to you, I would go by price and/or schedule. People will always complain about things but both EK and QR are solid carriers. I'm a loyal Skywards/EK traveller but fly QR if the fare is considerably lower.

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,879
reviews: 364
2. Re: Emirates or Qatar

Seats: EK has a standard product in economy, not more not less. On QR, the type of plane is critical: to Europe, they sometime fly on A320s: to be avoided. Their A330 product is quite poor as well. But their B777 is great, probably one of the best I flown in economy.

Food: at the end of the day, airline food is airline food, although some are indelible. In the case of these two, food is OK.

IFE: Both offer a great choice.

Hub: Both Doha and Dubai T3 are awful in my view. Doha: you spend hours in buses to end up in a small terminal with limited facilities. Dubai T3 is a gigantic mall where you walk a lot.

Finally regarding plane change: it can happen on any airline. Now yes, once I was on a B777 that had to go back to Doha for a technical reason and we ended up on a A330, free seating. Ridiculous...

Bottom line, I think I would choose EK to know what to expect.

Llandudno North...
posts: 2,582
reviews: 17
3. Re: Emirates or Qatar

I have flown both, if your flying economy Qatar is very generous for leg room, had about 34" in economy, emirates was a lot less.

In flight entertainment is good on both, and food on Qatar I found to be excellent. Food on emirates was good, but Qatar for airplane food I really enjoyed.

Transit is via Dubai on Emirates or Doha for Qatar. Never had a problem in either, except Dubai can get extremely busy, but always efficient I have found and it hasn't caused any issues.

If I had to choose I would probably use Qatar. If you can afford and are offered a good price upgrade take it as the one time I went business with Qatar I found it to be fantastic. But either airline you will have a comfortable and enjoyable flight.


Edited: 4:26 am, November 26, 2012
Destination Expert
for Thailand
posts: 17,476
reviews: 3
4. Re: Emirates or Qatar

Both are good, I would though go for Qatar Airways with their nice 777s on the Perth route, I have found food and service fine on both, also pleasant flight attendants, no worries :)

Aluthgama, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Bentota, Beruwala, Sri Lanka
posts: 36,968
reviews: 7
5. Re: Emirates or Qatar

then I read that Qatar has terrible service and food and planes are always changed


Where did you read that? Service is excellent (better than Emirates), food is OK and very seldom a change of aircraft. Could from an A220-300 to an A330-200 if load is low or the opposite.

Bus transfers in Doha is not hours!! Maximum 15-20 mins.

Qatar Airways don't use A320/321 to Manchester.

posts: 3,654
reviews: 16
6. Re: Emirates or Qatar

I am 5.8' and I weigh less than 60 kg, but Emirates Y seats were damned restrictive in width and esp. re seat pitch. I would rather opt for the airline offering more space than better food. EK food was nothing special from what I saw. Many people just touched the main meal and left the rest. I tend not to eat on planes. There wasnt even a hot drink in the morning before we got into DBX. I came from VIE.

posts: 52
reviews: 3
7. Re: Emirates or Qatar

I have used emirates and Qatar and would always choose Qatar . Look at the reviews for both airlines on skytrax ,

Tamworth, United...
Destination Expert
for Staffordshire
posts: 8,829
reviews: 8
8. Re: Emirates or Qatar

I've flown with both and both are good but Qatar does have the slight edge over Emirates. On Qatar the seat pitch is excellent. I was able to slide down in my seat for a sleep in economy class and still have space in front of me. Service was good as was the food. Qatar would be my first choice and then Emirates second.

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,338
reviews: 138
9. Re: Emirates or Qatar

We have flown with both and they're both very good but I would go with Emirates purely because of the Dubai airport, it's one of the best airports in the world whereas at the moment Doha is in the process of building a new airport for the upcoming football world cup and I'm sure it will be pretty spectacular when it's finished but at the moment it's pretty dismal.

Perth, Australia
posts: 16
reviews: 3
10. Re: Emirates or Qatar

Thank you so much for your help everyone... I think I am going to go with Qatar due to the extra room and cheaper ticket. There is only a 2 1/2 hour stop over one way and 2 hours the other so I'll just put up with the airport :)