How do you rate the Gulf carriersBack to Forum
Anonymous12 Mar 2012
I guess for those of us who mostly east the Gulf carriers have the potential to play an ever greater role in our travel plans. Almost all of them have grown from nowhere over recent years and most offer an excellent standard of premium services.
I was trying to sort out how I rate them and came to the following conclusions placing them in order:
Qatar (where it is offered)
Gulf Air – no offering
Emirates – inconsistent offering
Lounges – based on home base
Just my thoughts, I wonder what others think?12 Mar 2012
I don’t fly on the broad range of Gulf carriers that you do and my experience is rectricted to C, but FWIW
Etihad (eat anytime is a big differentiator)
Emirates – agree too inconsistent to get a top rating, although at its best, it is up there with anyone
Lounges (home base)
To be honest, none are great, EK is too crowded, EY is small at peak times and Gulf Air is average
The EY lounge at LHR is top class, though.
Gulf Air12 Mar 2012
This is timely as I fly Qatar today, JNB – DOH – MXP with my 8 year old (well behaved) boy in Business – no F available!
I’ll let you know tomorrow how I fared.12 Mar 2012
Despite the consistently good reviews the gulf carriers receive, I have, unfortunately, not had the greatest experiences with them.
Etihad (business) was by far the best gulf carrier I’ve flown with.
Service faultless, bed a little short for my especially tall frame, but otherwise I cannot find flaws with their onboard product. Overcrowded lounges and no apology or explanation for delays did spoil my good experience though.
Qatar (economy) is good, FAs excellent, entertainment marvellous, food delicious, but the seats were not especially roomy or comfortable. I’d be interested to try their business if I need to fly with them again.
Emirates (business) – I found the seats a little uncomfortable, especially when flat, and that they lacked shoulder room (777 aircraft, I haven’t experienced the fully flat A380). The food was good but far from class leading, and the service inconsistent (perhaps I was unlucky and caught their FAs on bad days).
I cannot comment on Oman or Gulf.
I only fly with these airlines if I actually need to visit UAE / Qatar. I find that some other airlines, particularly the best Far East carriers, offer far more attractive alternatives if flying between Asia and Europe or Africa.12 Mar 2012
I would rate in line with LPPS but I’ve never flown with Gulf Air. I have always seen them as the also ran of the gulf but I’ve never seriously considered them.
Oman are a rising star on all fronts but their network is small. I understand their ambition is to be a point to point carrier bringing people to Muscat and not to follow the model of the others. They do however have an excellent range of fares where connections are involved and as a developing carrier clearly need to fill seats.
Qatar are generally very good but their decision to discontinue F is a strange one. C is very good, up there with LX and CX as the best there is IMO but it still isn’t F in spite of the comments made by the CEO.
Etihad have an edge, in the main they offer very good service, their F suite is second only to SIA and they are the only carrier who really IMO do offer dine on demand, everywhere else it is suggested there is still a mealtime and if you eat outside of it you will generally get a second rate meal but on EY it really does work. Lounges are excellent to.
Emirates, who out of necessity I currently fly with more than the others offer a good and consistent product out of LHR and soon 80% of seats will be on the A380 which is so much nicer than the 777. The suite is good but a little on the glam side for me. Service in F is generally very good. Lounges at outstations are often better than the ones in DXB simply because they are not so huge and don’t have to deal with the volume.
I still often prefer to use LH or LX for a change and because both offer consistently excellent service in F and culturally they make a change to the gulf carriers. Yes there’s a stop on the way home but I don’t mind it, I use it as an opportunity to have a shower so when I get off at LHR I’m ready to hit the ground running – but of course on the EK A380 I can have a shower anyway.13 Mar 2012
We arrived back yesterday after two very smooth flights. First leg in a 777 and the second in a 330 with a 3 class config but 1st was not being sold. We both agreed the 777 was far more comfortable with plenty of space for ones bits and pieces, watch, glasses etc. The bed is flatter on the 777 and on the 330 the tables do not fit flush with the arm rest so it’s quite uncomfortable unless you put a pillow there, which we did.
The crew were great but lack that polished professionalism found on Swiss. They try hard but are lacking on the finer detail.
For me the bugbear is having to change in Doha. We arrived from JNB at 7 am and deplaned onto a small bus reserved for Business Class. We then headed off for 5 mins to drop one person at Doha arrivals before turning back, driving past our plane back to the transit terminal. Of course we got stuck in all the airport traffic so only reached the terminal 20 mins later.
At this point you go through security so at least that’s over and done with, but there was by now a long queue with only one of three machines open!
Finally, my son and I wanted bacon! But there was only chicken bacon available. Ughhh! It’s the rules apparently, no pork. I understand the point but then why serve alcohol? It’s a bit hypocritical I think!
It was fine but I’ll go back to Swiss for my next flight.14 Mar 2012
I agree with you. I fly Gulf airlines when on my way to the Gulf only. Some of the airlines are good (Qatar, OmanAir) but the transit at night in shopping malls makes you lose time, then money. Nothing will replace the advantages of a direct flight. European airlines offer good standards, Asian as well. Why transitting in DXB or DOH when JetAirways offers a perfect service to India, SQ/ANA to Far East The shorter the flight the better. I do not click on glittering ads..These are only ads, not an advantage. Sipping a glass of Champagne in a tin can never attracted me enough to extend the length of my trips.15 Mar 2012
Never thought of it as a tin can before Pierre, but I guess you’re right. Though it is made of titanium and composites and does have seats 😉
Shopping not much cheaper either. Cigars in fact more expensive!15 Mar 2012
I really do begin to doubt that many contributors to this forum have the free choice of carrier they claim to for business trips. My employer allows business class for flights over 6 hours but it still has to be with the best cost available assuming the overall flight times do not impede or extend the required time for the business travel.
While I am sure many of you may have a status within your organisations that requires you to have the fastest transit times, I really question if so many have the choice of preference often claimed to meet the individuals preference.15 Mar 2012
I travel most of my time, and by company rules, must check the most competitive offer on flown routes. Today, on line agencies, airlines offer a very wide range of prices(I prefer contacting American Express rather than Opodo). I organize my travels as early as possible to get better prices. I am paid on my work not flights, and transit time. Flying for instance to India from Paris (where I live), why should I transit via the Gulf, losing time and shape, when the daily flights allow me to land late evening in Mumbai/Delhi for instance, rest and be fine the next early morning to meet my counterparts. The same everywhere. To South Africa, why transiting by the Gulf, when the daily AF on a 380 is convenient.
Preparing a trip to Japan, I will fly SWISS because they have a better offer than AF or LH, but the connection is at the end/beginning of the trip, not in the middle, reducing the hassle to the minimum. Job at first, my preference goes to the quickest & simplest way to reach my destination, the true quality is there. I prefer the moto taxi to the limo. Luckily, I was not said to fly Gulf carriers.15 Mar 2012
In my experience Qatar excellent , have not been to the new lounge at heathrow but Doha a real pleasure.
Gulf very good service and the 1-2-1 seats are very comfortable but lounge average at Bahrain (the newly refurbished one) and bangkok although I liked the one at Hearthrow15 Mar 2012
G&T, I choose who I want to fly with, the class I want and when subject only to seat availability.
I’m happy to pay, and indeed fortunate, to be able to choose my preferred carrier according to convenience. Mine that is, not the airlines.
I understand this is not the case for everyone but I think most company’s recognise that a 10 hour direct flight is preferable to a 12 hour flight broken up in the middle of the night with a 2 hour stopover on top.15 Mar 2012