Business Class to Delhi – Qatar vs SwissBack to Forum
Anonymous29 Aug 2012
I’m travelling for business to Delhi at the end of October and I’m looking at my options before booking.
I’ve managed to secure business class flights approval from my management (result!) so I want to make sure that I make the most of it.
I would have the option of flying direct with BA or VS but they are at least £300 more than Swiss or Qatar.
As I’m flying J, I’m not bothered having to stop en-route.
I’m finding difficult to get a real winner between LX and QR and I would appreciate your input on which airline you would choose and why.
Many many thanks in advance for your help!
Julmops29 Aug 2012
First you will need to check on connection times. Are they feasable (i.e. not too short, or far too long)
Also the LX long haul seat is consistent, the QR may not be, as they use different aircraft (333, 332 346 & 77W) on the LHR Doha route.
Do you collect air miles? Any Star Alliance programme? If you have not already, then join the Swiss/Lufthansa programme so you can. A trip to Delhi in J will be a nice robust start!
Not sure how easy /pleasant Doha is to transfer in (new airport not yet completed) but know that ZRH is very pleasant indeed.
So if it was me, I would choose Swiss.
Let us know what you choose, and after the trip how it went!29 Aug 2012
Thanks for your input. I’ve noticed the lack of consistency on QR in terms of aircraft and features but what attracts me to Qatar is the 5 star airline/ best airline in the world kind of glow and apparently their Premium Terminal in Doha is fantastic.
I collect air miles on Miles & More so it would obviously be a good option but it’s not my main concern as I’m not flying that often and mostly on BA for the rest of the time.
I will let you know what I choose when I’ve booked 😉29 Aug 2012
My pleasure. I understand the appeal on flying Qatar for the reasons you state.Some of their seats are very comfy indeed and the champagne is really special. If I had a choice of LHR BA vs QR to Doha the latter would be my choice.
I reckon they use A332 on the Doha Delhi route, and so if you catch the flight which arrives at 8ish in the morning, then most likely you will be on the 77W from LHR to connect with that. Their 77W J product is superb, and frankly more First than Business.
About miles on QR you used to be able to get UA miles, but not sure if that is still the case. They may also have an agreement with LH, so maybe check on that. It would be a shame not to get some miles for a trip like that.29 Aug 2012
Pay the extra and go direct.
I have been persuaded to change for either significant saving (£500 saving on WT+ for Swiss J for example – those were the days) or to try F. The other thing is your are spitting a medium length long haul for a shorter long haul and a short haul. Not really an issue during the day, but minimises sleep over night.
At least 2 hours of your trip will be in a short haul seat (like Club Europe) not to mention 2 hours sat in an airport. Plus the extra risk of complications. (A trip of mine via Zurich ended up being re-routed from Zurich to Paris and onwards, for example. I didn’t feel too clever for my imaginative routing that day I can tell you – especially as my luggage didn’t arrive at all).
So trust me on this. While the purists on boards like this can argue the merits of one J class over another, nothing beats a direct, non-stop flight. And in the round, a £300 saving is probably not much more than 10% of the ticket price.
If you absolutely must, The LX seat is the closest to BA (Lie flat and privacy), the food is good and you will maintain the longest sector for sleep on the overnight.29 Aug 2012
I’ve flown both airlines quite regularly (though not to Delhi). The premium terminal at Doha is great but I think you’ll eat better in any 4* hotel in Delhi. Breakfast is with chicken or sometimes beef bacon and in my opinion the Swiss breakfast is much better.
The A3xx seats are vastly inferior to Swiss, though the 777’s are great.
For me it boils down to comfort, and where you change planes. With LX you’ll arrive into ZRH, clear security, enjoy the excellent lounge then board and get off in Delhi late at night.
With QR You have to change. Be bussed to/from the terminal. Go through security, re board with all hand luggage etc. and arrive around 3am.
QR seem to arrive and depart Delhi in the middle of the night, this would be a huge put off for me. With a 4.30 QR departure from Delhi you probably have to leave your hotel around 1 am. With LX at 1.15 you leave about 10pm when you’re still Corpus Mentis.
So from my perspective and for those reasons I’d go Swiss.29 Aug 2012
I’d go Swiss as it is a much shorter trip than via Doha. Both good airlines but if not that much cheaper then Swiss for the shorter travel time.
Good point about going direct on BA/VS for only £300 more or so – in this instance I’d look at that as % not a great saving. It used to be that EK First was cheaper than BA Business for last minute bookings that didn’t cover a Saturday night. Curious to know dates and prices you’ve gor for LX/QR.
Either way LX/QR are good products and if you’re very lucky you could find yourself on a QR 787 again depending on dates (and that would be lucky as they haven’t announced which flight will have this yet).29 Aug 2012
Everyone seems to think connecting in ZRH is easy. It isn’t. The main lounge is Schengen, and you’ll arrive in B and depart in E. Train rides, passport control, long walks, and you’ll probably be bused to the terminal anyway at ZRH (probably in the rain, and definitely with Y pax on the same bus). The benefits of LX are (a) more miles and more, (b) a flat bed on the long haul route, and (c) the ability to depart/arrive LCY, which is worth the detour of a connection, as it saves you from navigating Heathrow
QR will be great for food and service, and the connection will be easy in J (but awful in Y) – Business class-only bus from the door of the plane to premium terminal, then a bus from the premium terminal to the plane. Not sure why various posters are finding that difficult. Apparently they would rather pass through passport control (twice), and walk the length of Zurich duty free shop to get into the distinctly average Swiss business lounge instead29 Aug 2012
I don’t know if you want to consider Emirates and Etihad too, as they both fly to New Delhi (albeit night flights).
We’ve been lucky enough to experience QR’s Premium Terminal over the years, and it has everything you’d need for a short/medium/lengthy stopover – meet and greet service, health spa, lounges, meeting facilities, secretarial services, medical centre and casual/fine dining.
And you can see some pictures of the airline’s LHR lounge here:29 Aug 2012
Many many thanks to all of you for your replies ! It’s very interesting to see all the different opinions.
To get back to your different points, I agree that direct would be the most sensible option, in which case , I might give Virgin a go but only as I would like to take the opportunity to experience something different than Club World. In terms of arrival and departure times, I’m used to fly Economy to Bangalore with BA, so trust me, arrivals at 4.30 and departures at 7 aren’t a big deal for me ;-). I would fly around 28th October and back around 30th November. Prices in J are 1509 for QR and 1603 for LX versus 1922 for both BA and VS. I appreciate LCY is a good alternative to LHR, however as I live in Reading, LHR is the best option for me. I’ve also checked Emirates, it comes to around 1700 and I could fly the A380 (finally !) … Ethihad is well over 2200 so it’s a no-no. As far as I can see, there are pros and cons on both airlines as expected. VS might become the solution as it’s direct and a change from BA Club World.
I really appreciate your time, guys ! Keep on commenting, I probably won’t book until 10-12 days so any more opinions will be welcome !29 Aug 2012
…nonstop on Jet (flat beds, and usually cheaper than VS/BA)
…via VIE on OS (sensational food, normally cheaper than LH/LX, although the connection at VIE is not as convenient as it used to be)29 Aug 2012
Worth bearing in mind also is the aircraft LX uses – 330 & 340, which in my opinion is more attractive than a BA777 with the 8 abreast seating in J. LX has flat beds but only 4 or 5 across.If you are lucky enough to get on the top deck of a BA 747 that is another story.
Also the LX flight is more conducive to sleep, the longer flight being 8 hours, as opposed to 6.5 on Qatar.
Virgin is another option – worth checking when their 333 replaces the 346!
Another one could be Jet Airways, they have a similar herringbone product to Virgin, but may have lower fares. You can still get VS miles with this option.
If Kingfisher was still on the route, and if they were part of Oneworld, that would have been my choice, but sadly that is not an option now.
What are Lufthansa offering price wise? Remember Delhi is the next destination for the brand new 747-8!29 Aug 2012
Hi Cityprofessional, I’ve had a look on Jet, looks good, on the 77W, marginally cheaper than VS/BA on my dates..
OS could be an option (the cheapest one actually) but I’m not sure about the hard product compared to the others … However if you say the food is sensational, it definitely rings my bell ! 😉
Will double check both as well !
Thanks !29 Aug 2012