Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Emirates vs Qatar vs Etihad

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

I am now at Abu Dhabi airport. Killing time till my next flight to KL. Another 3.5 hours to go. This is my first time taking Etihad. I've always been a loyal customer of Qatar Airways. But due to some constraint that I will describe later, I am trying Etihad for the very first time, on this trip.

When I started travelling more than one flight, I started with Emirates, as they were among the first airlines that has superb network connection. In 2010, my experience with Emirates was good, or maybe because it was my first time, everything looks fine. :)

Somehow when I started working in Nigeria, I started using Qatar instead. When I travelled with Emirates again, I began to compare, and now Emirates irks me on many front. So after almost 2 years of jetsetting, I am going to lay down my comparison of these 3.

1. Ticket price: Hands down, Qatar wins. Even the business class ticket is 30% cheaper than Emirates. Etihad loose on prices, they are higher than Emirates.
Qatar < Emirates < Etihad.

2. Flight schedule: This one is a bit tricky. I stayed in Port Harcourt, and therefore, in order to fly all these middle eastern airlines, I need to travel to Lagos. We are entitled to it and by right it's not a big deal, its written, once you have a flight from Lagos, the company will bore the cost of flight from PHC to Lagos, with one night hotel stay before and after the trip. However... I have a GM and supervisor that has very deep pocket. Emirates and Qatar depart on 2pm daily from Lagos. Therefore I can take the morning flight from PHC and reached Lagos just in time to check in for my international flight. Etihad on the other hand, now departs at 8.55 am every other day, which then makes me have go travel to Lagos a day earlier and incur the hotel stay cost (Which company pays for it).
For the leg travelling back to Nigeria, Emirates reached Lagos around 12.30 pm, and I will have to rush for the last flight of the day back to PHC. While Qatar only reached at 1.30, which leaves no room for me to travel and get back to PHC on the same day, hence I will incur the one night hotel stay. (Which is still paid by the company anyway). Etihad on the other hand, arrived at 8am, therefore I can comfortably travel back on the same day.
With the current situation of budget crunch, my supervisor keeps on imposing on me to take the cheapest option for the company. Forget the fact that I am entitled to it, that is not the case anymore.
On this part, Emirates win. In terms of flight time, transit time, I prefer Qatar compared to Etihad. Too long transit time (Etihad 6 hours) bores me. I want to get to my destination ASAP.

3. The airport: On this part, I have to breakdown based on my preferred criteria:
a. Internet access: WiFi. For this I'm considering Etihad as the winner. Smooth wifi access and unlimited time. (like now..hehehe). Qatar falls second due to the 3 hours limit, but I got connected instantly when I arrived at the transfer area. Emirates does not get my vote at all, twice, I was there, and I could not even connect to the WiFi. It keep on saying my subscription has expired, whereas I just got there, what the..?
b. Toilet and musolla (surau). Qatar wins, hands down. The toilet is clean, musolla is huge and very comfortable. I barely remember Emirates's toilet and musolla, must be average, as I can't recall anything special. As for Etihad, the toilet is average, the floor is wet, and musolla is nice.
c. Distance between gates. It's a tie for all of the airport. As usual, all the transit hub has huge airport, and somehow just my luck, my terminals are all towards end of the world.

4. In flight service. For this one, I am biased. Just because I am a gold member for Qatar, they will greet me by name every time I went on board. The cabin crew all mostly friendly, and the food is OK. For Emirates, the service is not bad, I remembered the food being superb! Etihad's food is average, but the cabin crew not friendly. The took the headset 30 minutes before landing! Qatar allow me to hang on to it till touch down :)

5. In flight entertainment and others: All are good compared to Europe airlines..(Air France, Lufthansa)  hehehe... Emirates and Etihad fly Airbus, all seats comes with USB port, therefore I get to charge my phone in flight, Qatar fly Boeing, sometimes I get Airbus, but it's not often..

There it is my comparison of all these 3 airlines and airport. My preference would still be Qatar Airways. If Mr Boss insist on tightening the budget, I'll see how I can manage... :)

Till next time,  Wassalam.