International flights from $989 each way
Emirates vs KLM
Emirates and KLM are both 4-star airlines, but which offers the better deal?
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
If you’re planning an international trip, Emirates and KLM are two airlines that should be high up on your list. Both have a 4-star Skytrax rating, and both strive to be at the forefront of innovation in the flight industry. We’ve compared their destinations, ticket classes and inclusions, baggage policies, inflight entertainment, deals and more to help you find the perfect flight.
Emirates vs KLM
|Where does it fly to?||Emirates flies to more destinations.|
|What star rating is it?||4-star||4-star||Both airlines have a 4-star rating with Skytrax.|
|What classes are available?||Economy, Business and First Class.||Economy and Business Class.||Emirates offers three class tiers.|
|What is the baggage allowance?||Economy class tickets include 1 x carry-on bag up to 7kg and 1 x 30kg of check-in baggage. Business class gets 1 x 40kg of checked luggage and First Class comes with 1 x 50kg.||Economy passengers can bring 1 piece of hand luggage and one accessory with a combined weight of up to 12kg and 1 checked-in bag up to 23kg. Business Class passengers may bring 2 x check-in bags of up to 32kg each.||Emirates has a greater combined weight allowance for economy tickets.|
|Where does it fly from in Australia?||Through its partner airlines, KLM services:||Emirates flies from more locations in Australia.|
|What's the in-flight entertainment like?||Films, TV shows, music, games, language learning, flight information and communication services in multiple languages.||Films, TV shows, music, audiobooks, games, language courses, flight information and communication with other passengers, all in multiple languages.||Emirates has a more modern range of communication options, such as Wi-Fi and data roaming services.|
|Can I make changes/ cancellations?||Depending on your ticket type, you may be able to cancel your ticket and request a refund, subject to fees. Changes to dates, passenger details, locations and more can be made online.||Some ticket types can be cancelled and fully reimbursed. Many flight dates, times and destinations can be changed online. Fees apply.||Both companies allow changes and cancellations to certain ticket types.|
|What type of plane will I fly on?||The Emirates fleet is comprised entirely of A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft.||KLM’s fleet consists of Airbus A330, Boeing 737, 747, 777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft.||KLM has more types of aircraft, while Emirates has many A380s.|
|Which frequent flyer programmes is it with?||Emirates Skywards. Emirates is also partnered part of the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program.||Flying Blue is KLM’s in-house programme however the airline is also part of the Star Alliance and OneWorld alliances.||Both airlines have excellent in-house frequent flyer programmes.|
|Is there Wi-Fi?||Yes. 20MB of free Wi-Fi is included on most flights.||Yes, on all Boeing 787 Dreamliners. A number of Wi-Fi vouchers are available.||Emirates has generous Wi-Fi inclusions.|
|Can I price match?||Yes.||No.||Emirates price matches.|
|Does it serve alcohol?||Yes.||Yes.||Emirates and KLM both serve alcohol.|
|Is there online chat?||Yes.||KLM promises to answer 24/7 via Facebook Messenger.||Both companies offer online chat, although Emirates offers a more official service.|
|Does it charge for infants?||Children under two years old travel free if seated on an adult’s lap.||Children under two years old travel free when seated on an adult’s lap. Additional infants need to be booked a seat.||Emirates and KLM do not charge for infants unless they require their own seat.|
|Does it fly pets?||Yes, but only guide dogs are permitted in the cabin. All other animals must be transported in the hold.||Yes. Small cats and dogs can fly in the cabin in a suitable travel bag. Larger pets can be transported as check-in baggage.||Both airlines fly pets; KLM allows small cats and dogs to travel in the cabin.|
|What are my payment options?||KLM offers more payment options, depending on the location.|
|Can I book round the world fares?||Yes.||Yes.||Both companies offer round the world fares.|
|Can I book multi-city fares?||Yes.||Yes.||Multi-city fares are available from both companies.|
|Any features to find the best price?||The lists current specials, with an adjustable price range.||The KLM Travel Guide allows you to search for flights within your budget, and the Flight Deals page showcases cheap flights by region.||KLM and Emirates have similar tools for finding cheap flights.|
|Book||Fly with Emirates||Fly with KLM|
Who offers the best price?
The Emirates Best Price symbol guarantees that you won’t find a cheaper fare on any other website. If you find another fare that is at least €15 cheaper, Emirates will refund the difference.
KLM, however, does not price match, so you can’t be sure that fares on the KLM website are the lowest available. However, price matching isn’t the only factor that needs to be accounted for.
We compared like-for-like journeys across both airlines to see which came out on top:
Looking at flights with the same locations and dates through both Emirates and KLM we found KLM offered a much cheaper base fare than Emirates.
Considering both journeys include two stopovers and have a total journey time of around 27 hours, there’s very little in it in terms of experience difference. The major consideration would be in the reward points with Emirates also tied in with Qantas, giving you the opportunity to build Qantas Frequent Flyer (QFF) points as opposed to Star Alliance or OneWorld points with KLM.
Is it a good airline to fly with?
Both Emirates and KLM have a 4-star rating on Skytrax. We looked beyond the ratings to see how much difference there is between the two airlines.
On Skytrax, Emirates consistently scores higher in the areas of inflight entertainment and connectivity, but KLM tends to receive higher ratings in the areas of cabin staff service and hospitality.
Customer reviews on AirlineEquality.com give KLM an overall score of 7/10, while Emirates is scored 6/10, being let down by its staff service, value for money and catering.
On the whole, both airlines are a good choice. If entertainment and connectivity matters to you most, consider flying with Emirates, but for better food and beverages and reliably excellent staff service, fly with KLM.
Any other differences worth noting?
KLM is the “best-in-class” among large international airlines for fuel efficiency and has several measures in place to reduce, control and compensate for carbon dioxide emissions. It offers a simple compensation scheme that allows passengers to make their journey carbon neutral.
KLM also has a collection of mobile apps that allow you to take complete control of your booking, stay entertained with games, and and catch up on your reading.
Emirates offers a complimentary chauffeur-drive service to and from the airport for First Class and Business Class customers. The Emirates App also makes it easy to manage your booking, track your Skywards miles and explore Emirates destinations.
It is also available as an Apple Watch app.
What are the deals like?
Emirates has a huge range of special offers that can be filtered by destination, dates, budget, interests and ticket class. Some top deals departing from Australia have included return flights from Melbourne to London from $1,199, return flights to Delhi from $749 and return flights to Nairobi from $1,819.
KLM’s flight deals page is slightly less sleek and adjustable, but there is an excellent range of deals tailored to your current location. Return flight deals we’ve seen include Sydney - London for $1,465, Sydney - Rome for $1,331 and Melbourne - Stockholm for $1,290.
Emirates has a simpler and more efficient deals page, as well as a wider selection of destinations available.
Top deals with Emirates and KLM
More guides on Finder
Jetstar sale: You have 48 hours to get $29 flights
EXPIRED: Sort out your winter travel with fares to 18 destinations including New Zealand.
Jetstar sale creates first direct flight between 2 holiday hotspots
EXPIRED: Forget having to wait at the airport for your connecting flight! Jetstar has you covered.
Ripper Jetstar sale: $34 fares + NZ flights
EXPIRED: Fly to 17 cities in this special long weekend Fare Frenzy.
Virgin Australia Happy Hour: Fares from $49
Here's everything you need to know when booking flights in Virgin Australia's Happy Hour sale.
Virgin/Rex price war: $39 fares, what’s next?
EXPIRED: The two major airlines are gearing up for battle on the Sydney to Melbourne route.
Jetstar sale: Our favourite fares from just $33
EXPIRED: 22 Australian and New Zealand destinations on sale until 26 April.
Qantas competition: Canberra flights for $99
EXPIRED: Air travel is heating up with Rex Airlines' launch of Sydney to Canberra flights.
Virgin Australia drops unmissable $49 Sydney to Melbourne flight sale
EXPIRED: Rex did it first. Now, Virgin has joined in offering super-low full-service fares and Velocity points.
The best Black Friday 2020 flight sales in Australia
Suitcase? Check. Destination? Check. Cheap airfares? Check.
Qantas: Why ultra-long-haul is still the future
Airlines can survive coronavirus by pivoting to longer flights, as Linus Bauer from the University of London explains.
Ask an Expert