I took my first Emirates flight back in 2004 and it was many years later that I would fly on Qatar Airways, but over the last few years, I have been able to experience many Qatar Airways Emirates flights across their economy and premium cabins.
In my post, I will explore the two airlines dominating the skies. I will share my personal experience and insights with these Middle East carriers.
Exploring Qatar vs Emirates Airlines
When you chose to fly with Qatar Airways or Emirates Airlines, you will find the latest technologies and innovations. They are dedicated to excellence and this is evident throughout the journey of booking and flying with them.
I remember my first flight on Emirates when I was greeted with a hot towel upon boarding the aircraft. This was an unusual experience for flying economy class. This is a testament to the level of detail and excellence you can experience when flying with them.
These two airlines started dominating the skies quickly and it’s easy to understand why. Their offerings are hard to beat. They have more spacious interiors, amazing in-flight entertainment, extra luggage allowance, and cheaper prices.
Qatar Airways and Emirates are committed to impeccable service and luxurious offerings.
Qatar Airways, with its exquisite attention to detail, has gained a reputation for creating a refined atmosphere in the skies. Emirates spark glamour and indulgence, appealing to those seeking an upscaled travel experience.
In the following sections, I will look at the details of each airline’s fleet, from Qatar Airways’ state-of-the-art Airbus A350s to Emirates’ iconic double-decker Airbus A380s, I will look at the remarkable innovations and technological advancements that define their aircraft to ensure that ensure your journey is enjoyable.
I will also guide you through the route networks of Qatar Airways and Emirates, highlighting the destinations they connect to and the convenience they offer.
Qatar Airways vs Emirates – Fleet and Route Network
Qatar Airways – Focus on Economy and Business Class
At the heart of Qatar Airways’ success lies a young fleet of cutting-edge aircraft meticulously designed to offer the utmost comfort and convenience to passengers.
They are dedicated to innovation and the airline has curated a fleet that combines fuel efficiency, advanced technologies, and luxurious amenities in all cabin classes.
Qatar Airways takes pride in its modern fleet, which includes the Airbus A350, Boeing 777, and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. These aircraft provide an unmatched travel experience, featuring spacious plush cabins, comfortable seating, and advanced inflight entertainment systems.
The Airbus A350 which is fuel efficient and has a reduced environmental impact takes the spotlight in Qatar Airways’ fleet. Its plush spacious interiors, whisper-quiet engines, and customizable ambient lighting allow for a smooth flight.
The Boeing 777 fleet offers a range of configurations. All cabins are designed for passenger comfort. This aircraft features the Qsuites which is one of the best premium flying experiences in the world.
The company’s focus is extensively on the Qatar Airways Economy Class and Business Class Cabins. For this reason, they do not promote a first-class cabin, although a few aircraft do have the Qatar Airways First Class Cabin.
Qatar Airways’ extensive route network connects travelers to over 150 destinations worldwide. Their fleet consists of about 200 aircraft.
Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha is home to Qatar Airways.
Emirates – Economy, Premium Economy, Business Class, and First Class Cabins
Emirates was the first Middle Eastern carrier to dominate the skies. They have managed to create a vast network of global connectivity options.
While many airline struggle to remain profitable, Emirates has returned an 81% increase in their revenue for the 2023 financial year end. They continue to invest in their fleet, route expansion, innovation and enhancing the customer experience.
The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft is the star of their fleet. This aircraft is designed for maximum comfort and space in all cabins. When flying on the A380, I feel that even economy long-haul flights are more comfortable and I would accredit this to the cabin pressure.
The premium First and Business Class Cabins are located on the upper deck. If you are lucky enough to be seated upstairs, you can enjoy the onboard lounge to socialize and stretch out. The A380 experience is truly extraordinary.
Emirates’ fleet also includes the Boeing 777, renowned for its reliability and comfort. The Boeing 777 also offers a great premium-class product that has been revamped.
If flying Economy, I would definitely opt for a flight on an A380 instead of the 777 if the option is available.
Emirates aircraft have been designed to incorporate all four cabins, Economy Class, Premium Economy, Business Class, and First Class. However, all four classes are not available on every route and will depend on the aircraft.
Emirates is the world’s largest international airline. Their fleet of 269 aircraft fly to 158 destinations in 85 countries. From its home, Dubai International Airport (DXB), you can connect to almost anywhere you want to.
Emirates has also been at the forefront of opening new routes, connecting travelers to destinations that were previously difficult to access. This commitment to expanding its route network has solidified its position as a global leader in aviation.
As I compare the fleet and route networks of Qatar Airways and Emirates, it becomes evident that both airlines excel in providing vast connectivity, superior comfort, and a commitment to delivering an extraordinary travel experience.
If you chose Emirates of Qatar Airways, you can be almost assured that you will have a comfortable and enjoyable flying experience.
The Airport Experience
Qatar Airways, Hamad International Airport (HIA) – The main terminal is designed in the shape of an oval. This is to minimize the distance passengers need to travel when boarding, disembarking, shopping or enjoying a meal.
In the terminal lies a 23 foot yellow sculpted bear which is intended to be playful, celebrating travel reminiscent of childhood.
There have recently added a new food court, increasing the dining options at the airport. There is an area for kids to play and even a Harrods (Yes Harrods of Knightsbridge).
Overall the experience is nice and there is plenty to keep you occupied during a transit.
Emirates Airlines, Dubai International Airport (DXB) – The airport is huge and that’s expected given the number of connecting flights. There is a dedicated A380 terminal as Emirates is the largest operator of the A380.
There is a transit hotel, plenty of food, and shopping options.
They have recently opened a new dedicated “passport control” for kids where kids can skip the queues and even stamp their own passports.
The process when visiting Dubai Airport is seamless, from check in to passport control, and receiving your baggage. It is super efficient.
Inflight Services and Amenities: A World of Unrivaled Comfort and Luxury
Qatar Airways onboard experience
From the moment you step on board a Qatar Airways aircraft, the airline’s commitment to elegance and personalized service becomes evident. The crew is welcoming. The plush cabins are burgundy and grey with rose gold trimmings – creating a luxe feel.
Cabin Comfort and Seating: Qatar Airways ensures passenger comfort with its spacious seating arrangements. Whether you’re in Economy Class or the Qsuite Business Class, you will find that cabins that are optimally designed.
The QSuite is an exceptional product. It is clear that they have gone the extra mile to provide a superior business-class product that is unmatched by other airlines. I love this product and everything about it.
Entertainment and Connectivity: The Oryx One inflight entertainment system is enough to keep you entertained during your flight. There is a huge selection of movies, TV shows, music, and games. They also provide complimentary Wi-Fi so that you can stay connected during your flight.
Dining and Refreshments: Qatar Airways takes inflight dining to new heights, offering a delectable array of gourmet meals inspired by both local and international cuisines. Dining in business class is an experience in itself. From the signature lemon and mint drink to the mezze starter platter, this meal is of excellent quality and presentation.
Young travellers Ammenties: Kids have access to the Oryx kids club amenities when flying with Qatar airways. They receive special kids meals, amenity kits and entertainment packs.
Emirates onboard experience
Emirates redefines luxury in the skies, transforming each flight into an experience reminiscent of a five-star hotel. All passengers receive the hot towel before takeoff and landing. This is a nice touch that add to the experience.
Cabin Comfort and Seating: Emirates pampers its passengers with lavish cabin interiors and seats that prioritize comfort. The economy class is better than the economy class on other airlines.
The premium economy cabin has been the latest addition to some of their A380 fleets. The cream leather seats are wider and allow more legroom.
The Emirates Business Class can be found on their A380’s as well as the 777’s. They took inspiration from the Bentley Bentayga for their newly refreshed seats in the 777. Both of these come with their own personal mini bar. However on the A380 you can have the advantage of the on board lounge.
The exclusive private suites in First Class are opulently designed with gold and wooden finishings. First Class passengers enjoy the comfort of private suites featuring sliding doors, fully flat beds, and the onboard shower, which is the most talked about feature amongst First Class travelers.
At night, the cabin turns dark, with the small starlights on the ceiling. I love this lighting design.
Entertainment and Connectivity: Emirates ICE (Information, Communication, Entertainment) is a game changer to in-flight entertainment. The airline’s award-winning system boasts an extensive collection of the latest movies, TV shows, music, games, and even live TV channels. Skywards members can enjoy free Wi-Fi. You can also charge your devices with on-seat power outlets.
Dining and Refreshments: Emirates elevates inflight dining to a culinary journey, offering an exquisite selection of meals inspired by global cuisines.
Young travelers’ amenities: Skysurfers received dedicated kids’ meals, amenity kits, and special toys to keep them entertained. Emirates is continually refreshing these to keep young travelers interested.
Both Qatar Airways and Emirates excel in providing great inflight services and amenities. They have really changed flying for the better and elevated the experience.
Both airlines offer an experience that I have yet to find on many other airlines, where comfort, entertainment, and meals come together to create a truly enjoyable flying experience.
Service Quality and Customer Experience
Customer experience and attention to detail is a very important aspect of traveling. When you have this satisfaction, you will be inclined to choose the same airline again.
Qatar Airways: Exemplary Service and Warmth
Qatar Airways has a reputation for its exceptional service and commitment to passenger satisfaction. The airline ensures that every aspect of the journey is enjoyable. It is clear they have a desire to exceed expectations.
Cabin Crew and Hospitality: Qatar Airways’ cabin crew members are renowned for their professionalism, warmth, and attention to detail. They are trained to anticipate passengers’ needs. As you step onto the aircraft, you’ll are greeted with smiles and a level of service that makes you feel great.
Lounge Facilities (Premium passengers): Qatar Airways offers passengers access to its luxurious Al Mourjan Business Lounge in Doha airport. The lounge features a dedicated area to refresh before your flight. There are private sleeping rooms (based on availability), family rooms, gourmet dining options, and lockers to store your luggage.
Baggage Allowance and Policies: Qatar Airways provides a generous baggage allowance, allowing you to travel with ease and convenience. The allocation is usually more than other carriers.
Emirates: Exceeding Expectations with Flawless Service
Emirates has made its mark for impeccable service and attention to detail. The airline’s commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience is evident in every interaction, making passengers feel valued throughout their journey.
Cabin Crew and Hospitality: Emirates’ cabin crew members are meticulously trained to provide the highest level of service and hospitality. With their immaculate red, and cream uniforms, hospitality, and assistance, the crew ensures passengers feel well attended to throughout the flight.
Lounge Facilities (Premium passengers): Emirates premium passengers have access to its Emirates Lounges which may be found at most major airports. Lounge facilities vary but you can usually find everything from dining options to relaxing spa treatments.
Baggage Allowance and Policies: Emirates also offers generous baggage allowances. This is also more than other carriers.
Pricing and Value for Money: Affordability and Added Benefits
Qatar Airways: Competitive Pricing and Exceptional Value
Qatar Airways offers competitive pricing without great quality of service.
They have been competitive in their Economy Class and Business Class products, with prices generally much cheaper than other airlines.
Promotional Offers and Discounts: Qatar Airways regularly introduces promotional offers, discounted fares, and special deals across various routes. You can also get a good deal on Business Class when booking one of the promo offers.
Additional Services and Benefits: Qatar Airways goes the extra mile to add value to its passengers’ journeys. They offer the complimentary Al Maha Meet and Assist, which offers a seamless airport experience, and the free stopover program you can enjoy a day exploring the Qatar during your connection in Doha.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club Loyalty Program: The program has adopted avios as its reward currency. This makes it easy to transfer British Airways Avios points to Qatar Airways Privilege Club easily. There are many options to upgrade using miles and the earning rate it good. I found this program to be quite useful.
Emirates: Premium Experience and Value Proposition
Promotional Offers and Discounts: Emirates started off in a competitive space, I have recently found their pricing to be higher than previously. They still offer a valuable product band you can snag a deal during one of their summertime promos, where you may be entitled to free tickets for attractions in Dubai, but it is tough to find a great deal in Business or Economy Class like you previously would have.
Additional Services and Benefits: The dedicated children’s passport control at Dubai International Airport. Emirates and Etihad Airways have recently announced a partnership that will allow you to fly out from either Abu Dhabi or Dubai without increasing the price on your ticket.
Emirates Skywards Loyalty Program: The Skywards program has gone through a devaluation lately and it has become almost impossible to upgrade using miles. The rate of earning miles has also decreased significantly over the years. There are many earning partners, but Skywards miles are much harder to accumulate than before and you need much more to upgrade.
When considering the pricing and value for money, it’s essential to weigh the overall experience and the services included in the fare. Both Qatar Airways and Emirates provide added benefits and strive to ensure that passengers receive value for their money.
Which is best Emirates or Qatar?
Qatar has a superior Business Class offering with its Qsuites product. Its loyalty program also offers more value than Emirates Skywards.
Emirates offers a great Economy Class product and an extensive network of destinations to connect from Dubai.
Is Qatar cheaper than Emirates?
Qatar has always offered great deals in Economy and Business Class. However, as of 2023, I am seeing a significant increase in their pricing which does not make it as cheap as before. Depending on the route, it is now only marginally cheaper than Emirates.
When are flights most expensive?
The closer to the departure, the more expensive the flight.
After an in-depth exploration of Qatar Airways and Emirates, it is clear that both airlines in provide an exceptional travel experience.
Both airlines have made global connectivity easy with their routes. They continue to innovate, refresh cabins and entertainment and enhance the passenger experience.
When it comes to pricing and value for money, both airlines strive to offer competitive fares and additional benefits.
Each airline has its unique charms, distinguishing itself in various aspects, from fleet composition and route networks to inflight services and customer experience.
Ultimately, the choice between Qatar Airways and Emirates depends on your personal preferences, travel priorities, and budget.
When choosing, consider factors such as:
- Value for price
- A loyalty program that will give you maximum benefits
- Preferred cabin class
- Desired destination and available connecting flights
- Stopover in Qatar or Dubai
My final thoughts
Qatar Airways have won me over with the QSuite. I would pick this airline for its premium cabin offering and for its loyalty program and I would pick Emirates for everything else.
As plan your next trip, I hope that my insights on Qatar Airways and Emirates will help you decide which carrier is best for you.
No matter which one you pick, you can expect a journey filled with luxury, comfort, and the promise of an upscaled experience in the air.