Emirates vs Etihad

Emirates vs Etihad

Should I choose Emirates or Etihad?

The two UAE owned airlines are renowned for their onboard facilities especially the legroom, recline and in-flight entertainment (IFE). With innovative premium cabins most can only dream of travelling in; including   private suites and even a butler service on Etihad’s Residence class – they are leading the way for premium and business travel.  With both airlines flying similar routes with hubs in the UAE; Emirates in Dubai and Etihad in Abu Dhabi, there is only a short distance between the 2 cities, allowing passengers to choose the airline which best fits their price and schedule. However, if it’s all very similar, who do you choose? Is there really much difference in terms of their economy product?

Etihad A380 and Emirates A380 cabin Images copyright Etihad and Emirates

Emirates vs Etihad economy at a glance.

ECONOMY FACILITIESEMIRATES B777 EMIRATES A380ETIHAD B777ETIHAD A380ETIHAD B787-9ETIHAD A330/A340ETIHAD A319/A320
Short haul
Seat Pitch32-34 inches32-34 inches 31-33 inches31 inches31-32 inches31.5-33 inches32 inches
Seat Width17 inches18 inches17.5 inches17.5 inches17.2 inches17.5 inchesA319 - 17 inches
A320 18.1 inches
In Seat powerYes and USBYes and USB Yes and USB YesYesYes and USBNo
WiFiYes, from $4.95Yes 20MB for free, rest chargeableAvailable from $4.95 Available from $4.95Available from $4.95Available from $4.95Not known.
TV screen size13.3 inches.13.3 inches10.6-inch touch-screen TV 11-inch touch-screen TV (Economy Smart Seat)
11-inch touch-screen TV (Economy Smart Seat)
10.6-inch touch-screen TV (Economy Seat)10.6-inch touch-screen TV (Economy Seat) selected planes only
Amenity KitYes on selected flights, toothbrush and toothpaste, eye shade, socks and ear plugs. Yes on selected flights, toothbrush and toothpaste, eye shade, socks and ear plugs. Selected flights. Dental kit and eyeshades on request.Selected flights. Dental kit and eyeshades on request. Option to purchase Christian Lacroix sleep wear ($35) and kit bags $22) on ultra long haul flights. Selected flights. Dental kit and eyeshades on request. Option to purchase Christian Lacroix sleep wear ($35) and kit bags $22) on ultra long haul flights.Selected flights. Dental kit and eyeshades on request.Selected flights. Dental kit and eyeshades on request.
Family friendly features
Further details here:
Kids movies, TV & games, amenity packs, child and baby meals can be requested.Kids movies, TV & games, amenity packs, child and baby meals can be requested.Sky Nanny provided for free.
Kids movies, TV & games, activity packs for over 3's, child and baby meals can be requested.
Sky Nanny provided for free.
Kids movies, TV & games, activity packs for over 3's, child and baby meals can be requested.
Sky Nanny provided for free.
Kids movies, TV & games, activity packs for over 3's, child and baby meals can be requested.
Sky Nanny provided for free on long haul flights.
Kids movies, TV & games, activity packs for over 3's, child and baby meals can be requested.
Kids movies, TV & games on MOST aircraft. Activity packs for over 3's, child and baby meals can be requested.
Choose seat for free?You can also choose a seat for free at check-in, up to 48 hours before your flight.You can also choose a seat for free at check-in, up to 48 hours before your flight.Standard seat is free. Fee applicable for preferred seatsStandard seat is free. Fee applicable for preferred seatsStandard seat is free. Fee applicable for preferred seatsStandard seat is free. Fee applicable for preferred seatsStandard seat is free. Fee applicable for preferred seats
Is the bassinet seat for free if with an infant?YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Bid for upgrade or Neighbour-Free Seat serviceSky bid is coming soon.Sky bid is coming soon.YesYesYesYesYes

 

In Flight Service

In flight service wise, the Middle Eastern airlines dominate with little touches in economy such as menus, amenity packs, and headphones (noise reduction for Emirates and noise cancellations headphones with Etihad)

Emirates vs Etihad

Emirates headphones. Copyright Emirates

 

Etihad offers an innovative ‘Economy Smart Seat’ on its newer long haul planes including the A380, with a ‘fixed wing’ headrest on each seat. Furthermore, a selection of three main courses at meal times, along with a café service featuring hot chocolates and cappuccinos are offered. Both airlines offer economy passengers free coach services to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain when arriving to, or departing from, Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Both airlines offer free airport strollers for transit and disembarking passengers at their hub airports.

Baggage

Baggage Allowance – Emirates Economy

Checked Baggage 

  • Saver fares are 20 kg and all other 30kg. The weight concept applies to all routes, excluding travel to or from destinations in Canada, North America and South America.
  • If your journey includes any destinations in Canada, North America or South America, or you are flying from Africa, different baggage rules apply. The total dimensions (length + width + height) of each piece must not exceed 150cm (59 inches).

Emirates Cabin Baggage

  • As a general rule Emirates Economy Class customers are permitted one (1) piece of carry-on baggage that should not exceed 22 x 15 x 8 inches (55 x 38 x 20cm) and must weigh no more than 7kg (15lb).
  • Customers in any class of service who are travelling with an infant are permitted one extra piece of checked-in baggage that may not exceed 22 x 15 x 8 inches (55 x 38 x 20cm) in size or 22lb (10kg) where the weight concept applies and 50lb (23kg) where the piece concept applies.

If flying with a baby:

  • In addition, customers travelling with infants (and without a child seat) are permitted to bring one carry-cot or one fully collapsible stroller into the cabin if there is room. If there is no space for these items in the cabin, they will have to be checked. However, if checked, they will not count against your baggage allowance. Passengers travelling with infants in any class are also permitted one (1) handbag for inflight necessities and infant food (weight must not exceed 5 kg/11lb)
  • Emirates also provide separate family check-in desks for families travelling with young children.
  • Read my review on flying with a baby on Emirates.
Emirates vs Etihad

Etihad offer a sky nanny on long haul flights. Copyright Etihad

Baggage Allowance – Etihad Economy

Checked Baggage

  • Maximum dimensions – to / from Canada and the US: 158cm (50x70x38)
  • Maximum dimensions – to / from all other destinations: 207cm (45x72x90)
  • The weight of each item must not exceed 32kg. Any item in excess of 32kg will not be accepted for carriage.

If flying with a baby:

  • To/from USA and Canada: 1 bag (up to 23kg)
  • To/from all other destinations: up to 10kg

Guests travelling with infants or children up to 11 years old are permitted to check in one stroller, pushchair, carrycot or approved car seat per infant/child as checked baggage. This is free of charge in addition to the ticketed checked baggage allowance.

Etihad cabin baggage

115cm (50+40+25), equivalent to 45 linear inches. In addition to your cabin baggage, you may carry one personal item.

 

Has this helped you decide who to book? Why not take a peak at the latest fares to compare prices too?

Book flights with Etihad? or compare flight prices?

 

Pin for Later?

 

Emirates or Etihad? Which of these airlines offers the best service? What are the differences? #familytravel

7 Comments

  1. This is such an interesting comparison Carrie. I used to get asked this question all the time when I worked at the tour operators and to be honest alot of the time it just came down to flights times. I really could have made use of your statistics above!

  2. That must have taken you ages! It will be so helpful for people trying to make a decision though. I have heard nothing but good things about both airlines! 🙂

  3. What a fantastically useful breakdown of all the differences. We’ve flown both airlines (Etihad just the other week). If we were doing a stopover, we often prefer Abu Dhabi. But if we are travelling straight through with a short layover, we would always prefer Etihad as Abu Dhabi airport is hard work – it’s just so small and cannot cope with the capacity – always hectic there.

  4. There is always so much to think about when deciding which airline to go with isn’t there? We’ve never flown with a ‘luxury’ airline like this before but I’ll definitely be referring back to this post if we ever do decide to head to Dubai – it’s on my husband’s bucket list so I’m sure we’ll get there one day.

  5. These both sound very luxurious! It would be fab to have a choice of three dishes at meal times….very helpful to have the comparison.

  6. This is such a detailed comparison. I hadn’t thought of looking at things like seat size etc but actually these things are quite important. When we are heading in this direction I will be coming back to this post for reference

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