An Unbiased Review of Both Carriers Flight Experience
When Qantas decided to end the long-term joint venture with British Airways to start a new one with Emirates, many were surprised by the move.
Four years later, it seems a smart decision by Qantas management team.
Not only they can offer 1-stop journeys from Australia to most European destinations (Qantas now offers non-stop flights from the UK to Perth), but also because of the increased frequencies and destinations in the Asia/Pacific region (due to allocated aircraft to those routes).
If you are in Europe and want to visit Australia – whether you’re traveling non-stop to Dubai or backtracking to London – the question is, however, if you should choose Emirates or Qantas as your carrier to the biggest leg (about 14 ½ hours from Dubai to Australia).
In fact, despite the Emirates-Qantas tie-up there are substancial diferences between both carriers… more than you may think!
Having flown with both Emirates and Qantas, here are the some features you have to consider when buying your ticket.
It’s not a easy decision and you will be surprised with how your travel experience may vary among them…
Qantas Airways has always been a synonym of good food with Australian chef Neil Perry’s inspired menus. In 2015, the airline completely overhauled its economy meals on international flights, introducing more meal choices, bigger sizes and a stronger emphasis on upmarket Australian products such as wagyu beef… even if you are travelling in Economy!
In addition, the Australian carrier has also introduced on selected routes the ability to pre-order your meal 7 days before your flight, including exclusive online dishes, which was an innovative way to connect with customers even before the flight.
Choosing your inflight meal couldn't be simpler, in fact. From seven days until 12 hours before departure time, just go to Qantas website, enter your booking reservation code and last name under “Manage my Booking” tab, and click the 'select your inflight meal' button. Easy!
In order to make customers pre-order their meals, Qantas has also introduced online specials. In this case, it was a "Toasted Panini with corned beef, gruyère mustard and shredded red cabage slew"! We decided to give it a try and it was delicious!
Emirates offers a very well presented menu and great food, but we found the service slower than Qantas.
Neil Perry’s inspired menus and the overall service makes the flying Kangaroo winner of the first round!
Take a look at the salmon dishes offered on both airlines:
If you’re a One World loyal and value your air miles, Qantas business flights will earn you lots of points that you can redeem later on any One World carrier. Fly Emirates and you’ll earn Skywards points only...
If you’re looking to pile up some points with your flight - and the possibility of an award ticket - Qantas wins.
If you’re flying Qantas business class, you can access Press Reader app from your tablet/smartphone and download any newspaper or magazine from around the world before your flight!
It’s available 12 hours prior to your flight and it’s a great way to add reading material. It’s a downloadable reading buffet!
(Emirates, on the other hand, offers wi-fi on your flight, but we found out difficult to connect and a slow connection speed.)
Once again, our vote goes to this smart tchnological feature by Qantas.
Emirates offers a world-class suite-style business class seat. Qantas, on the other hand, offers a dated shell seat with a configuration of 2-2-2 on their A380 fleet but with a much bigger and wider bed.
However, we found the Emirates mini suite a bit cramped (especially if you are tall), as well as the overall cabin. On top of that, if you’re flying on an Emirates Beoing 777 you won’t find a suite-style suite. Instead, you’ll get a 2-3-2 configuration with an angle lie-flat seat, which means you won’t sleep on a 180º position.
On the other hand, Qantas seat gets you a cool massage feature during your flight, which is a bonus for such a long flight.
If you’re flying A380, it may be a tough decision. If not, Qantas wins, hands down.
It’s a signature feature for Qantas business class. They’re one of the few carriers that offers pijamas in Business class and you won’t get them when flying Emirates. You can take it with you and use at home as well or give it as a souvenir. Either way, it’s an added feature and a delicated touch to make your flight better, we think.
Vote for Qantas once again.
It’s always difficult to evaluate the overal crew experience on an airline. You can get lucky or not on any flight. The fact is that crews can make your journey a most pleasent one if they want to.
Having flown both airlines, we found out Emirates crews seem younger, polite and motivated. However, beign nice isn’t enough. Fly Qantas and you will feel an “Aussie” feeling, they work as a team and you feel they share a common culture.
On the other side, Emirates crews are a melting pot of nationalities. It doesn’t add anything to your trip, other than trying to figure out where are they from.
Consider it as a tie…
It’s almost “unfair” to compare Qantas offering (or any other carrier in the world) with Emirates.
The award-winning ICE (Information-communication-entertainment) by Emirates will keep you occupied for endless days and you don't want your flight to come to an end!
There is so much to see that you almost feel overwhelmed with all the choices!
On the other hand, Qantas offers a standard touch-screen entertainment system but on a much smaller screen. It has everything you “need” (films, TV shows, games, documentaries and even a smart “build your own playlist”) feature, but Emirates wins, beyond any doubt.
Both carriers offer a bar/lounge area on their A380’s.
However, while Qantas has a sofa-style área with magazines, it’s empty most of the time.
On the other side, Emirates bar is a great feature and it’s a place where many passengers gather to eat a snack or have a drink. It’s a much pleasent place toi stay and to explore.
Keep in mind, however, there is no bar on Emirates Beign 777’s, so make sure you fly the A380 if you want to have a drink at the bar. Anyway, our vote goes to Emirates on this one.
The lounge/bar area on emirates has always been a success and it's definitely a winner here!
And the winner is.........
All in all, despite the much better inflight entertainment and the great bar lounge on their A380’s, our choice goes to Qantas.
Why, you may ask?!
The accumulated air miles and One World membership is a plus to the australian carrier, in our opinion.
We also found out our seat less cramped than Emirates mini-suite, as we prefer to sacrifice some privacy (Qantas business class configuration is a 2-2-2) in favor of more personal space and a bigger bed!
On top of that, the Press Reader app, the pijama and Neil Perry’s inspired menus (including the exclusive online meal choice) gives you some extra touches to make your flight customized to your specific needs, whether you want to eat something differet, want to get a better sleep or enjoy reading.
If you’re flying business class to Australia, make the smartest choice. Fly Qantas instead!
(Please note: This article is an unbiased review of both airlines offerings based on our flight experiences. Travel Consulting Hub paid for their our own flights)