Emirates vs Thai Airways

Stuck choosing between Emirates and Thai Airways? Read on to see how they compare.

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Choosing an airline is one of the most difficult aspects of organising a trip. Emirates and Thai Airways are both excellent options, so how do you decide between them?

We’ve made it easy by comparing their destinations, prices, inflight entertainment and connectivity, baggage policies, special offers, fare inclusions and more. You’ll be in the air in no time.

Emirates vs Thai Airways

FeatureEmiratesThai AirwaysVerdict
Where does it fly to?
  • Europe
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Latin America
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • Asia
  • Australia and New Zealand
Emirates flies to more destinations.
What star rating is it?4-stars4-starsBoth companies have the same star rating.
What classes are available?Economy, business and first class.Economy, business and first class.Emirates and Thai Airways both have three ticket classes.
What is the baggage allowance?Economy class tickets include 1 carry-on bag up to 7kg plus up to 30kg of check-in baggage. Business class comes with 40kg of checked luggage, and first class with 50kg.Each passenger can have 1 carry-on bag up to 7kg plus a small personal item. On international flights, the checked baggage allowance is 30kg for economy, 40kg for business and 50kg for first class.Both airlines have similar baggage allowances.
Where does it fly from in Australia?Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Hobart, Darwin, Canberra and various regional destinations.Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.Emirates flies from more locations in Australia.
What's the in-flight entertainment like?TV shows, music, games, language learning, flight information and communication services.Films, TV shows and short films, games, music, news and information. Children’s toys and games are available.Emirates has a slightly wider range of inflight entertainment in more languages.
Can I make changes / cancellations?Depending on your ticket type, cancellation with a full refund is possible. Fees apply. Changes to dates, passenger details and destinations can be made online.Yes. Cancellations and changes to the flight, date and cabin class can be made online up to 6 hours before the flight, subject to the fare conditions. Fees apply.Both companies allow you to change or cancel your booking.
What type of plane will I fly on?The Emirates fleet consists entirely of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft.Thai Airways uses Boeing 737, 747, 777, 787 and Airbus 330, 340 and 380 aircraft.Both airlines use A380 aircraft, although Emirates has many more.
Which frequent flyer programmes is it with?Emirates Skywards allows frequent flyers to earn miles. Emirates is partnered with Qantas, Virgin America, South African Airways and more. It is also part of the Starwood Alliance.Thai Airways runs Royal Orchid Plus, which lets members earn miles with Thai Airways and its Star Alliance partner airlines.Emirates and Thai Airways both operate their own frequent flyer programmes.
Is there Wi-Fi?Yes. 20MB of Wi-Fi is complimentary on most flights.Yes. Wi-Fi packages available on selected aircraft.Emirates has Wi-Fi available on almost all flights.
Can I price match?Yes.No.Emirates will price match.
Does it serve alcohol?Yes.Yes.Both airlines serve alcohol.
Is there online chat?Yes.Yes, from 8am to 5pm (GMT+7)Online chat is available all the time with Emirates.
Does it charge for infants?Infants travel free if seated on an adult’s lap. Otherwise, a ticket must be purchased.No, unless they require a seat, in which case a child’s fare must be bought.Neither airline charges for infants if they share an adult’s seat.
Does it fly pets?Guide dogs are permitted in the cabin. Other animals must be transported in the hold.Yes. Pets must travel as checked baggage.Both airlines fly pets as checked baggage.
What are my payment options?
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • PayPal
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • PayPal
  • Pay Later (via above methods or at a Thai Airways office)
Emirates and Thai Airways have a similar range of payment options.
Can I book round the world fares?Yes.Yes, with the Star Alliance Round the World Fare.You can book round the world fares with both airlines.
Can I book multi-city fares?Yes.Yes.Both airlines offer multi-city fares.
Any features to find the best price?Keep abreast of the featured fares page shows all current specials, with a range of filter options to help you browse.The special offers page lists all current flight deals.Emirates has more features to help you find the best price.
BookBook with Emirates Book with Thai Airways

Who offers the best price?

Emirates price matches if you find the same fare elsewhere for at least €15 less, while Thai Airways does not price match. This means that there is no guarantee that the price offered by Thai Airways is the cheapest available. However, Emirates tends to have higher prices than Thai Airways in general.

The verdict?

We searched for flights from Melbourne to Paris on the same date with both Emirates and Thai Airways to see how they compared.

It turned out almost $500 cheaper to fly with Thai Airways than with Emirates. This is a significant difference, particular considering both are 4-star airlines. As a note these prices are only correct at the time of search and can vary depending on sale periods.

Is it a good airline to fly with?

Emirates has a global reputation as a high-quality airline, while Thai Airways is less-known and services a smaller range of countries.

We looked into the star ratings of both airlines as well as customer reviews, to find out which is better to fly with.

The verdict?

Both Emirates and Thai Airways are 4-star airlines on Skytrax. On AirlineEquality.com, customers have given Emirates a rating of 6/10, while Thai Airways scores 7/10.

Thai Airways has achieved 4-stars across the board, while Emirates only has 3-stars for its food and beverages, staff service and value for money. It seems the popularity of Emirates is largely based on the number of destinations it flies to, which in turn creates valuable brand exposure. Thai Airlines certainly seems to be better value for money.

Any other differences worth noting?

Emirates offers a complimentary chauffeur service to and from the airport for first and business class passengers. The Emirates App makes managing bookings, tracking Skywards miles and exploring Emirates destinations easy to do from anywhere, and is also available for Apple Watch.

At its home airport in Bangkok, Thai Airways operates three lounges and a spa. The spa is accessible to business and first class passengers and offers a full range of traditional Thai spa and massage services from 6am to 11:30pm.

What are the deals like?

Emirates has many special offers on its featured fares page, which allows you to filter by destination, dates, budget, interests and class.

Some of Emirates’ past deals include return flights from Melbourne to London from $1,199, return flights to Delhi from $749 and return flights to Nairobi from $1,819.

Thai Airways has a huge range of deals on specific routes. In the past it’s had companion flights to Japan from $699 and Europe from $1,020 return. It also regularly offers deals on business and first class seats.

The verdict?

Both airlines offer regular deals on specific flight routes with similarly-priced sale fares. Emirates sale fares seem to occur more frequently with many of Thai Airways’ sales surrounding events such as seasons or anniversaries.

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