Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Emirates A380 and 777 v Qatar Airways Dreamliner

Compare Business Class flight on Emirates A380 and 777  to Qatar Airways Dreamliner Flights.  

October 2016. Manchester to Doha to Cape Town return. Qatar Airways

 Feb 2017. Manchester to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi to Manchester.  Air Emirates.

Manchester Airport

In March 2016 when looking to book a flight from Manchester to Cape Town, the business class flights on Emirates were very expensive whilst Qatar had special offers on due to the new Dreamliner out of Manchester. So I booked the flight with Qatar Airways and thought I would compare the experiences.
Chaffer Pick up.

Air Emirates offer all business class passengers the Chauffer Service, Qatar did not offer this so this is a win for Emirates.

Emirates has its own designated lounge at Manchester, in Terminal  One , and it is great with a view of the runway, free champagne as well as other drinks and a good selection of delicious food.
For Qatar, they don’t have their own Lounge at Manchester but use the Aspire Lounge  in Terminal Two.  It was OK, quite basic with no view, free pies, cheese, savory biscuits wine and beer, tea and biscuits. But not a patch on Emirates, so again this is a win for Emirates.
Aspire Lounge Manchester

The Qatar Dreamliner.

I flew In October 2016 as soon as we boarded we were offered drinks, there was choice of normal or pink Champagne, the pink was my choice.
Champagne on Qatar Airways
Champagne on Qatar Airways
As soon as I sat down I was given an amenity bag, this had ear plugs, eye shades a lip balm, body lotion and perfume, this was Si for ladies. I was also given some very stylish pyjamas.
Qatar Business Class Goodies
Qatar Dreamliner

Qatar Dreamliner seat
This was a two class aircraft with 23 seats in business class. The seats were like a small capsule, the configuration was 1-2-1 so each passenger can get to the aisle without climbing over someone.
The seat was 22’’ wide with a pitch of 80’’, so feels very private and roomy.  The seats do go into fully flat beds, they also have a very stylish duvet/ cover and large pillow.  The windows on this air craft really are large and it feels very roomy.

The crew were attentive at all times, with the meals service being ‘dine on demand’. The food choices sounded odd, so I asked for 2 starters and they were delicious and very well served and presented. My partner had the Arabic Chicken and it looked and smelt gorgeous and I wished I had had it!! There were plenty of drinks being served, the Martini was great.  The crew were visible in the cabin at all times, offering snacks and drinks, they had a very relaxed and friendly manner and nothing was to much trouble for them.

The soup
Salad cream at 36000 feet
Entertainment, this was a large screen with games and films, the headphones were good quality noise cancelling. I am not a good judge of this as I tend to read my book, but my partner watched films all the way to Cape Town and back, so there was ample selection.

The A380. Emirates
I flew out of Manchester in Feb 2017,  the three class A380 has been replaced with a newer two class A380.  This has 58 business class seats and they seemed to be very cramped and smaller than the 3 class A380.  The seats were 1- 2- 1 so again you didn’t have to scramble over anyone to get out. The seat is small at 18.5’’ wide with a pitch of 70’’.

Emirates A380

The bar is a big attraction on the A380, but on this route, and with this crew it was needed. 
Drinks were in very short supply, just one glass of champagne on arrival, and then nothing else, all the way on the 7 hour flight to Dubai, no drinks service, you had to go to the bar to get a drink. The food choices were also very limited. I had a good Arabic Mezze to start, but with only 2 pieces of tiny Arabic bread! That’s rubbish! The main was a chicken rice dish or beef, and the beef ran out.  I had a Chocolate and Mango pudding, but it was horrid and I did not eat it.
The bar, as I have said it was busy, the bar snacks are now all cold, the hot selection a dim distant memory.  
The crew were lazy and disinterested, almost robotic. They did not come around with any drinks just all gathered round the bar chatting to each other.  This experience was the same on the Manchester to Dubai night flight (EK20) and the Dubai to Manchester morning flight (EK17).  The worst thing of all was that when asking for a cup of tea, it came in a lovely china mug only too taste of coffee. I think it was made in a pot that had had coffee in it…absolutely vile! I also asked for more milk for my tea, to be told by the abrupt crew member that it was because I hadn’t stirred it; I stirred it, it still needed milk.
Amenity packs were given out on the night flights, the bags have been upgraded but the contents are the same as they have been for ages. Bvlgari perfume, hand and body lotion. Toothbrush and toothpaste, hairbrush, shaving foam & razor, tissues. All very nice.
Entertainment, the ICE system is really good, I love all the cameras and my partner loves all the films.
So the A380 service has really gone downhill, maybe its just to many passengers to be dealt with or maybe the crew have been worked too hard? But it’s not the onboard experience it was!
Bar snacks Emirates A380

777-300ER. Emirates
Emirates 777
Emirates 777
The next aircraft from Dubai to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) was a two class 777. The 777 seating is still 2 -3 -2 so you do have to clamber over your neighbour to get out.  The seat is 22.5’’ wide with a pitch of 60’’, so seems less cramped than the A380.
The service on the 777 was far better than the A380, but the food selection was again very odd, a breakfast and a snack and again the choices ran out.  
Connection times & Lounges
The lounge at Doha airport, the business class lounge is huge. With a good selection of food and drink and plenty of seating. The wait was very short just 2 hours.

The lounge in Dubai has been upgraded and looks very smart, it also has a good selection of food drink and places to chill out. The connection time was 2 hours on the way back. On the way out due to a late departure from Manchester we only just made the connection for the Saigon flight . So no lounge experience.  
Lounge at Manchester
Aircraft Seats
Amenity bags / PJs
ü  PJs and pillow
ü  +++++++
Lounge at Doha / Dubai
Layover time / connection
Value for money

 So, the onboard experience with Qatar was so superior to the onboard experience with Emirates that in future I will be favoring Qatar Airways.