London calling: but do you fly with Qantas or Emirates?

By Chris Chamberlin , March 16 2015
London calling: but do you fly with Qantas or Emirates?

TALKING POINT | It's been almost two years since the Qantas/Emirates alliance took wing, resulting in a dramatic shake-up of the way most Australians travel to Europe.

Gone was that much-loved Singapore stop-over – but also gone was the need to fly all the way to London before doubling back to Europe with BA.

(Apart from daily flights from Sydney to Frankfurt, which were axed in April 2013.)

The Emirates alliance not only put some 65 cities in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa just one flight away from Dubai, which replaced Singapore as pivot point for the Kangaroo Route, it also ensured many of those flights were on an Airbus A380 due to Emirates having the world's largest superjumbo fleet (59 already flying and 81 more on order).

London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports, Manchester, Paris, Rome, Milan, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Zurich and Moscow are all dots on Emirates' A380 network map, with Düsseldorf and Madrid following mid-year.

Qantas frequent flyers are afforded reciprocal lounge access and bonus luggage allowances on Emirates flights, and we've heard many stories of Platinum-grade Qantas flyers being upgraded from Emirates A380 business class seats to private first class suites.

There are still a few wrinkles. Qantas frequent flyer members earn far fewer points (and no status credits) on Emirates flights if they're booked under the native EK code, compared to a codeshared QF8xxx flight number; and there's no provision to use your Qantas points to upgrade on an Emirates ticket.

But it can't be argued that tapping into Emirates' vast network has delivered an extraordinary degree of convenience and choice for Aussies travelling to London and Europe – especially if you're prepared to fly with Emirates rather than the Red Roo.

All of which leads us to this week’s question: how has the Qantas/Emirates alliance changed your flying habits to London and Europe? If you're a rusted-on Red Roo traveller, have you sampled and possibly switched to Emirates?

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

qantas

10 Oct 2013

Total posts 114

living in adelaide its a no brainer - emirates all the way to blighty or denmark depending on which relatives being visited - one stop direct flights - gone are the days of the trip from ADL to SYD and then connecting at LHR for CPH or the drive up to the midlands for my relatives - service and seat better on qantas (IMHO) but emirates wins with times/connections and directness! although emirates service (can only speak for business) has never been a let down

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 162

Previously I always flew QF. No longer, as other airlines now offer better J seats and better service than QF or EK from PER.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 326

I'm flying to London this year from Hobart via Melbourne and Dubai. I'd much rather be booked all the way on Qantas metal rather than hop onto a Emirates service. Qantas also had a double points promotion when I'm travelling so it was a no-brainer. Also, I'm very wary of getting caught in a 10 abreast economy cabin on a Emirates Boeing 777 - no thanks!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

I know everybody loves SIN but I don't miss the annoying departure gate security that has everyone lining up. At least at DXB you can take the lift down straight from the lounge to the jetway - streamlined. SIN is good for Economy traveller, DXB is better for Business and First travellers (particularly if on the A380).

The greatest thing about the Qantas & Emirates hook-up is that it expanded QFF beyond OneWorld (covering you in more situations), and given the massive EK network, provided more direct routing options. And thanks to EK's love of the A380, which is a very passenger friendly plane, you have some nice options (especially if you aren't travelling Economy).

All in all, I'm of the view that the partnership delivers benefits to consumers as well as to the airlines involved.

Except for the "annoying departure gate security" in Dubai before flights home to Australia, of course!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

In SIN it's for every flight and there are no fast routes. DXB might not be perfect (and I get Australian flight security checks - manual hand luggage search, etc - at many airports that don't do gate entry x-Ray screening as standard for all flights like SIN - can't blame an airport for the strict controls Australian authorities create on LAGs), but at least you can speed up the process if you are travelling in a premium cabin (meaning you get more value for your ticket).

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 764

SQ delivers a superior product and consistency to either QF or EK and SIN remains a far better transit point than DXB.  

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

QF-EK marriage changed my preferences drastically – basically I have not flown via DXB yet and do not have any plans to do so any time soon. My favorite route now via BKK with AY – if you combine tickets with points wisely and you flexible and/or lucky enough you can get business to Europe for about 2.5K and even considering not that perfect seats in old AY A340 fleet it is true bargain and if you lucky enough to get new business it became basement bargain. Also I love BA and especially so when they have one-way upgrade to First  - another true bargain.

I do not like DXB route for few reason – I cannot get why QF serving only halal meal. They said that it is due to QF tradition to server meat according to custom of destination. It is fine, but how about DXB-MEL or DXB-LHR part? Also if we please our Arab partners I would expect them to please us. However it never happens. On this fact alone I hate QF-EK marriage and if I became fond of EK in the future I would rather book directly with them.

And accessibility of whole Europe from Australia in one hop IMHO greatly exaggerated – well so often to achieve this one need to arrive/departure at incredibly inconvenient time or have 12 hours layover or use lovely DXB-MEL service by EK via Kuala Lumpur – not only extra stop, but also arrives to Melbourne at 2am – yep, incredibly exciting, I already meet someone from this flight.

So neither. But if no choice then QF – as least I can try upgrade by points

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Oct 2013

Total posts 30

I am QF Platinum (mainly achieved from work trips) and currenlty planning my end of year Xmas trip to France on personal account for 2 perople. Whilst I would have liked to fly with EK or QF, based on current projected prices it does not make any financial sense for me to fly QF or QF code-share EK flights purely on the basis of prices / value for money. To stay witjhin One World  I can get better value tickets on Qatar, BA or CX. For example on Skyscanner, I can get a return ticket to CDG on CX for ca. $7,000 but for QF and EK the prices would be between $9,500 to $10,000. You can can a fare on QF and EK for around $7.6K for a mixed fare - but who would go for that when you can get full business on CX. And CX is a much better airline than QF in any case.

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 138

Agree.  I fly the other direction and I've noticed that whereas EK and QF used to offer competitive business class fares, they're now often EUR 1,200 more than BA or Etihad.

12 Feb 2014

Total posts 230

For Perth flyers, EK also opened up an alternative one stop to the east coast of the States. Being a recent migrant to Perth it still surprises me that west aussies fly to America via the ME and not the Pacific.

I would like to see QF metal flying daily to Dubai from here. 

How has the Qantas/Emirates alliance changed your flying habits to London and Europe?

With the alliance with Emirates and the end of the codeshare arrangement with BA, I have routed travel to London and the rest of Europe via the United States. The odd times when I do fly with Qantas via Dubai, I am reminded of how much I miss Singapore, even when I am able to access the EK First lounge in Dubai.

Whilst the timing of QF 9 and 10 is much improved, flying via Dubai does not give me the peace of mind of flying via Singapore. While the route via the United States is longer, the increase in mileage earned outweighs the marginal increase in flight time and cost.

A big part of my attitude to the QF/EK relationship is down to my loyalty to the oneworld regime. Compared to the other two major alliances, I believe oneworld provides an edge and a consistent product across the network, which has met my needs even when I fly Economy. Tim Clark, CEO of Emirates is correct in that alliances do "...distort and channel and direct for the greater good of the alliance..." But you know what, I want to be part of a team that does that. I like to think that I'm not so high and mighty to exist alone, impervious to others.

In my mind what Qantas has done is disloyal because the essence of their relationship with EK is more wide ranging and in-depth than any other codeshare arrangements that other oneworld alliance members have done with other carriers (e.g. AA with EY or MH with KL). I still very much enjoy Qantas and will pay a premium to fly them anywhere else besides London and Europe. But Qantas needs to do what it needs to do to survive. I can't fault it but I can certainly vote with my feet.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 580

I am surpised to hear that you think OneWorld offers a level of product consitancy. It is certainly not my experinace, same goes for all of the alliances, each airline still varies so much in terms of product and consistancy,

AJW,

While my approach is not scientific by a long shot, I find that few of my experiences on core oneworld carriers* in J and Y fall on either tail end of the normal distribution. i.e. they are neither horrible nor represent perfection. Perhaps I have a broad threshold?

A good deal of conformity is attributable to the on-ground experience, where booking systems, pax handling and lounge expereince is, in my opinion, very well harmonised. I consider the non-flying experience to be as important for the complete package.

Yes you do have the fantastic QF First Lounge experience but when taken into consideration with the domestic QF lounge experience, it averages out. 

*I define core to mean BA, QF, AA, CX and lately for me MH (biased on the basis of my Asia Pac location).

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 313

Not sure if I'm the only person who does this but I choose my carrier/route based on the most doable sleep patterns as I have to work on arrival (I do fly J and dept/arri from Sydney). For me UK/Europe is most doable via SIN, so I can sleep the Asia-Europe leg most logically from dept approx 9pm to arrival 6am and the same vice versa, so I've actually moved most of my Europe flights to Singapore Airlines. Flying to Europe on Emirates as OK only on the early AM or late PM flights. Qantas flights to Europe through DXB make for terrible sleeping patterns so I don't choose them, not for any other service issues.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

"Not sure if I'm the only person who does this"

If company pays then why not? I do not fly for business and even if I would I selfemployed and will pay my own money for tickets, so price for me is major concern when I flying J (difference negligible in economy anyway)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Oct 2013

Total posts 30

Agree with you that SIN is a better transit point than DXB from a sleep pattern perspective. For me the important thing is to avoid the night time SIN-SYD sector on any airline (BA, SQ or QF) as you don't have enough time to sleep. For this reason I prefer HKG (or NRT or BKK) as a transit point as, most likely, you will have a  better chance of catching up with some sleep and arrive fresher. The morning SQ flight from SIN is fine - but unfortunately SQ tends to use its regional 777 for this flight. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

Overnight SIN-SYD is manageable (just) on the later flights (SQ231 and QF6) - the earlier flights that get into SYD just after curfew lifts (SQ221, QF82 and BA15) are shatteringly awful because of the time difference.

Disregarding connections, the best LHR-SIN-SYD timing was the final form of QF32 with the morning arrival in SIN to form a day flight to SYD.

03 Jan 2012

Total posts 96

You wouldn't get me back on an Emirates plane if you paid me.  From Peth to Europe I go Qatar (One World). From Perth to LAX or Dallas I go QF via SYD. So QF lost my Europe business from Perth (2-3 J trips per year), but kept my US travel.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

And would you like to share why you hate EK that much? I dislike them, but would fly J of F for free and for sure if someone pays me to do so :-)))

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 303

Bring back Singapore!! Still the worlds best airport, and will always hold a softspot as my preferred transit city/airport. Give us options Qantas and see which one the public's preferred stopover port is.....it won't be Dubai.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Cannot agree more - Singapore as transit point is the best. And very lovely city also.

BTW how many of you know that you that there is swimming pool inside Singapore airport? Mere $13 and an hour and you completely refreshed. IMHO worth to consider longer layover just for this treat and get into airplane for second leg much fresher.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 May 2014

Total posts 5

I have booked flights to Europe with emirates and not Qantas from Perth even though the price was similiar the reason being is that Qantas ticketed Emirates

flights are not upgradeable shame that Qantas are turning away loyal customers such as me who has reached lifetime gold

03 Jan 2012

Total posts 96

Serg, long story. But basically, I flew Perth-Dubai-Moscow on EK about 10 years ago.  I got to Dubai and was refused permission to board as they said I didn't have valid visa.  No problem on first leg check in in Perth. Making alternative arangements (new flight to London, Hotel in London, then new flight to Moscow,  + loss of 2 days work, etc) cost me around $13,000. I got the Russian Consulate in Canberra to confirm my visa was valid for travel and then complained to Emirates seeking compensation for my out of pocket expenses associated with thier error.  They simply wrote back and said "you voluntarily off-loaded yourself"  off the flight to Moscow.  A straightforward lie!  Never again.  And buyer beware 

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Oh, well. We have unpleasant experience with Etihad and they where lie as well. I do not trust them either.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 580

As someone who has relatives in Thailand, the Qantas/EK tie up has changed my plans quite a bit, as before I would fly to Europe (London) without stopping over en-route and then fly back on the old QF2 and spend a week with the relos in BKK.

The wife and I still do that eg go to London no stopping, but the London to BKK leg is now a one stopper and goes via DXB on EK (would prefer BA but cannot get a ticket with the LHR-BKK at a reasonable price).

Not the end of the world, but not quite as good as direct on Qantas LHR-BKK. But frankly I cannot see the alternative, as clearly flying via Asia, BKK in particular was not the way to go in this day and age.

The one other change is out of London the wife and I like to use LGW, especially as we generally stay with friends in Essex rather than use LHR, but must admit as we base it on price, sometimes LHR is still a little cheaper.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Feb 2015

Total posts 20

maybe QF should do PER-DXB on referbished a330-200 or 300

 

 

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 162

And compete with EK's 380, or CX with their fantastic J seat, or even Qatar or Etihad at much cheaper prices? Why?

Qantas

16 Mar 2015

Total posts 4

Live in Western Australia and absolutely cannot understand why Qantas has none of its own planes flying from Perth to Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai to then enable you to fly onto Europe from these cities. If you book Perth to London on QF you must fly on Emirates (QF flight number) through Dubai. A lot of people may like Emirates but we still find Qantas much better. Emirates business on the A380 is very crowded and food is not as good as Qantas. The alliance may work for the airlines but not for us in Perth. Looking forward to Qantas commencing flights with the Red Roo on it out of Perth as soon as possible.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Jan 2015

Total posts 6

Totally agree with you John I am a Perth based customer who QF disregarded when they decided we would all be better off flying via DXB ,don't hold your breath waiting for QF metal to fly out of Perth ! SQ for me !

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Mar 2015

Total posts 1

Emirates will no longer allow Qantas Club members to enter the Emirates lounge in Dubai if you booked on an EK flight. We are looking at other roviders for the future.All round Qantas is looking old against other carriers.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jul 2014

Total posts 20

Like ADL if you live in Perth theres only one option and thats Emirates.........Come on QF.........

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Jan 2015

Total posts 29

The Qantas/Emirates tie up has certainly changed my flying habits to Europe and fortunately whilst still being able to book with Qantas - why ? - because whilst I believe Qantas' A380 upper deck business class to be the best, their economy is shocking compared to Emirates A380's. I recently was able to fly Qantas A380 from SYD - DXB, and then Emirates A380 from DXB - SYD and the difference is like flying on a budget airline compared to a premium airline . I hate to say it but Emirates were SO good  - the seat is SO much bigger offering more legroom and personal space plus an enormoius TV screen. The catering was excellent, full sized trays with abundant food and continual service, hot towels, bar service before and liquour service after. All in all a quality product. The Qantas meal was disgusting, 3 pieces of grissly meat with cous cous, no full bar round and much tighter seating. Qantas crew were friendly but lazy and couldn't wait to dissapear, Emirates crew were much more professional and available all the time - you didn't want for anything. So for my own private travel I will now book Qantas and choose the Emirates A380 and then go to any European destinatin from there ( we went on to Prague) ...easy ! 

Flying with emirates you have great inflight entertainment but in qantas you get a mini snackbar. Tough descision but i would choose qantas. Business class and first class should be with emirates but both have lie flat beds, but qantas can offer greater food while emirates has its horseshoe bar and a mini bar and greater comfort. Either ways it can be just up to how much it costs, but both can offer exceptional comfort.

Virgin Australia - Platinum

21 Dec 2012

Total posts 90

I simply use points and will take whatever J or F seats I can get with them. In saying that had some great success getting flights out of Adelaide. First class return tickets flying Emirates and recently business class tickets to London with Cathay pacific.Both were 23 hour direct connections.

So flying Qantas domestically to build up status and points that can then be used to make award bookings out of Adelaide has worked well for me and the Emirates Qantas partership while excluding Qantas metal has added way more seats per week (daily 777 versus 4 times a week A330) and as such more chances to redeem awards.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Feb 2015

Total posts 20

i wouldnt like to fly on emirates 777

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

14 Apr 2013

Total posts 333

QF ticket on EK metal. This is the way I know travel with Family. One Stop From Sydney = Perfect.


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