Is Qatar airways better than emirates?

16/04/2021

The big question when deciding between the two Middle Eastern carriers is which one provides the better flight experience. So, which business class is better Qatar or Emirates? Here are some facts and my thoughts on their Business Class services:

QATAR AIRWAYS VS EMIRATES: CHOOSE BEFORE YOU TAKE OFF!

1. CHAUFFEUR: Emirates provides free chauffeur-driven airport transfers for its Business Class passengers all over the world. Qatar Airways does not provide free airport transportation (even not in First Class). This is a major win for Emirates.

2. LOUNGES: All two airlines have a large network of lounges, both at their hubs and at their international destinations.

  • Qatar Airways Al Mourjan lounge at Doha's Hamad International Airport is the best and most visually beautiful Business Class lounge I've ever visited in my life. It simply outperforms all of the existing competition. If you are travelling through the Middle East, Qatar will provide you with the best lounge experience. Unfortunately, Qatar does not have many lounges outside of Doha (and instead relies on the lounges of other airlines at these locations).
  • In Dubai, Emirates has a large lounge with excellent facilities, but it is not as polished or architecturally impressive as Qatar's Al Mourjan lounge. Emirates also runs its own lounges in a number of international locations, ensuring that its passengers have a consistent experience.

3. CONSISTENCY OF THE BUSINESS CLASS COMMODITY THROUGH THE ENTIRE FLEET: Unfortunately, since none of the two major Middle Eastern airlines provides a standardized Business Class product across their widebody fleet, the configuration of the Business Class cabin and the seat type you'll get are dependent on the aircraft type. Although Emirates and Qatar continue to fly wide-body planes with (inconvenient) angled flatbed seats.

4. INTERIOR AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE CABIN:

  • In Qatar Airways' A350, A380, and B777 aircraft, LED mood lighting bathes the Business Class cabins in the carrier's signature burgundy light, a calming color palette enhanced with elegant and warm rose gold detailing and even some marble-finish whites. If you don't like roses, however, you may not like Qatar's cabin style.
  • The interiors of Emirates' B777 and A380 planes are very opulent, with lots of walnut veneer, gold trim, and pearlized plastic, which isn't entirely to my taste.

5. FLAT BEDS: While Emirates' latest B777 planes are delivered with complete lie-flat seats, the B777s have angled lie-flat beds. Qatar Airways is replacing its Airbus A330 fleet (very uncomfortable) angled flatbed seats with real lie-flat seats (after which the whole Qatar fleet will offer flatbeds).

6. AMENITY KITS: Emirates has by far the best amenity package of the two airlines, but it is only available on long-haul flights, while Qatar Airways provides amenity kits on both medium- and long-haul flights.

  • The Emirates amenity kit comes in the form of a big toiletry bag and includes everything from toothbrushes and toothpaste to handkerchiefs and deodorant, all in a luxe version. Gillette shaving cream and a razor are included in the men's amenity package, as well as Bvlgari moisturizers and aftershaves. The women's section is special, with a variety of feminine toiletries.
  • BRIC'S, a trendy Italian luggage company, created Qatar's softshell amenity kits. Socks, sunglasses, and earplugs are among the basic pieces included in the pack for long-haul travel. It also includes Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio lip balm, hydrating facial mist, and moisturizer, all of which are natural skincare products with actives derived from olive extracts.

7. DUVETS: On medium-haul flights, Qatar Airways and Emirates have duvets (to increase sleeping comfort).

8. FOOD: All two airlines serve decent meals, but Qatar Airways and Emirates have consistently provided me with the best culinary experiences. In reality, Qatar Airways' Business Class food is on par with what you'd find in First Class or at a high-end restaurant on the ground (with an amuse-bouche, soup, and luxury chocolates accompanying every three-course dinner).

In its Business Class cabins, the Doha-based carrier also provides dine-on-demand service, allowing you to dine whenever you want and order whatever you want from the menu. In terms of catering, Qatar Airways is obviously the winner.

9. NUMBER OF MEAL OPTIONS: all two airlines sell two meal options on long-haul flights (one after takeoff and one 90 minutes prior to landing). However, on medium-haul flights (e.g., Europe to the Middle East), Emirates only serves one meal; Qatar Airways used to serve a second light meal before landing, but now only serves a snack menu in case you get hungry again, so Qatar Airways wins (again).

10. IN FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT: All two Middle Eastern airlines have a decent range of in-flight entertainment, and most passengers won't note the difference:

  • With big screens and a fantastic range of films, television shows, and audio choices, Emirates has the best inflight entertainment product in the world (dubbed ICE). There isn't any airline in the world with such a wide range of options, so you'll never be bored, except on ultra-long flights.
  • Qatar Airways inflight entertainment system, dubbed "Oryx One," allows you to choose from up to 3000 entertainment options, including movies, films, TV shows, music, games, and books. The newest Qatar Airways planes also have a contactless NFC reader, allowing you to switch your pre-selected playlist from the Qatar Airways app to your screen with a single tap.

11. WIFI: Wi-Fi is available onboard. All two Middle Eastern      carriers provide Wi-Fi, but at a different price:

  • The cheapest Wi-Fi is provided by Emirates. On most of its flights, you get 20MB of free Wi-Fi across all your devices within the first two hours of logging in. If you want to use onboard Wi-Fi for longer periods of time or need more data, you can choose from one of Emirates' data plans, which vary in price depending on whether or not you are a member of Emirates' loyalty programmed, Skywards.
  • The first 30 minutes of Wi-Fi are complimentary on Qatar Airways. Different tariff plans will be offered if you want to use onboard Wi-Fi for longer periods of time or if you need more info (which are about twice as expensive compared to Emirates).

12. ONBOARD BAR: Only the Airbus A380 aircraft have an onboard bar, which is only available to passengers flying in luxury cabins. However, the chances of flying an Airbus A380 and socializing with other passengers in a great onboard bar are best with Emirates, which operates over 100 of these mega planes (Qatar Airways own 10 A380s).

Qatar Airways has the best Business Class product onboard (by far). It is your time to decide is Qatar Airways better than Emirates?

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