Qatar vs Emirates ~ Which Airline Really is Best?

Been traveling extensively from South Africa to the world of late and I have been very blessed to be flying with some of the worlds best airlines. In South Africa we have two competing airlines that connects South Africans with the world, Emirates Airways and Qatar Airways.

Recently I have been privileged to in a very short period apart try both Economy & Business class of both Emirates & Qatar Airways and herewith is my experience.



Now let met first state that having the opportunity to travel Business Class in any of these two airlines is a pleasure, and both the Economy class cabin’s are really a step above most other airlines, however there is a few differences in both.

Before I start pointing out these differences, it has to be noted that for me the Small Things Matter, therefore some of these statements might be minimal however it did make a huge difference and definitely influences my decision as to which airline to pick on my next trip.

ECONOMY CLASS – Winner Qatar Airways

There seems to be not too much of a difference in seats however Qatar wins with the bigger seat on the Boeing 777 with max 48cm where Emirates comes in at 43cm.

In terms of food, Qatar for me is the clear winner as the food is fresh, tasty and “like I mentioned about the small things”… the bread rolls they serve with your meals are always hot and fresh as to Emirates who serves you bread/muffins {straight from the cold storage as it is always hard and cold} – PLEASE STOP THIS EMIRATES IT’S HORRIBLE!

In terms of food packaging, the Qatar food service providers are superb and leaves the Emirates team in their dust.

In the Inflight Entertainment area, Emirates is the winner with more movies, tv shows etc to choose from. I did find the Qatar choices a bit limiting.

Service from Staff: Both Airlines offer great service from their cabin crew who is always helpful and ready to assist.



BUSINESS CLASS – Winner Qatar Airways

Now this is where the big difference between the two airlines comes in.

Qatar Airways take Business class to a new level with their booth like seats a 180 degree recline with superb cabin service and food from the crew,

I loved the fact that you had your own booth, you are  separate from other travelers in the same class and you have as much privacy and space as can be expected.

Emirates seats however do not fully recline and your knees does stay slightly bended while you sleep, while Qatar has extra leg space under the booth in front of you, that allow you to fully recline with a comfortable sleep/foot rest space.

Qatar seat is also very comfortable and does not need any extra padding/mattress as the Emirates seats needs when it is time to catch some much needed sleep.

Overnight bag: Emirates does have the best overnight bag by Bulgari (as in perfume samples etc), however the fact that you get comfy pajamas from Qatar (which Emirates apparently stopped providing) to sleep in, makes the experience just extra special.

qatar business class


In terms of price (depending on location), Emirates does come out as the “cheaper” option of the two but not by far, there is some travel destinations that has Qatar coming out as the cheaper option.

In terms of layover times, depending on location, it is a toss up between Qatar and Emirates as to which one is the one with the least amount of waiting.

In short, from now on I will always check Qatar airways first before I check Emirates as there is definitely a few things that makes me prefer Qatar at this stage. This does not say Emirates is bad, just that Qatar really “get the small stuff”.

There is always room for improvement and I would love to see some changes in the Emirates camp.

Until then… safe travels!

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