EtihadvsEmirates-feature

Etihad vs Emirates

Learn which airline is worth spending your money on with this detailed comparison of Etihad and Emirates which will help you find the perfect flight for the right price.

Etihad and Emirates are two leading airlines with many flights from Australia to destinations across the globe.

Both airlines are popular and known for their luxury, but which should you choose? We went ahead and compared all aspects of airline travel between the two carriers so you know exactly what you’re going to get from each.

From travelling with pets and infants to finding the cheapest price, star ratings and more, we share everything you need to know about these two top airlines.

Etihad vs Emirates

Feature Etihad Emirates Verdict
Where does it fly to? 90+ destinations in these regions:
  • Africa
  • Asia Pacific
  • Europe
  • The Americas
  • The Middle East
150+ destinations in these regions:
  • Africa
  • Asia and the Pacific
  • Europe
  • The Americas
  • The Middle East
Both fly to the same regions around the world but Emirates flies to more cities.
What star rating is it? 5-star 4-star Etihad has a higher star rating.
What classes are available? The Residence (a three-room suite), first class, business class and economy class. First class, business class and economy class. Etihad offers a three-room suite.
What is the baggage allowance? Economy class allows one 7kg carry-on and two 23kg checked bags. Economy class allows one 7kg carry-on and two 23kg checked bags. Both allow for one carry-on and two checked bags for economy passengers.
Where does it fly from in Australia?
  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney
  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney
Both fly from the same Australian locations.
What's the in-flight entertainment like?
  • 140 movies
  • 350 TV shows
  • 7 live TV channels for news and sports
  • Live sports channel
  • CD library
  • 16 radio channels
  • 60 interactive games
Emirates offers 2,500+ options of movies, TV shows, music and games. Emirates offers a wider range of in-flight entertainment.
Can I make changes/cancellations? Yes, but fees apply. Changes or cancellations made within 96 hours of departure have an additional 10% fee applied. Yes on certain tickets, though fees apply. All Etihad flights can be cancelled.
What type of plane will I fly on? Etihad has a fleet of six types of planes:
  • A380
  • A340
  • A330
  • Airbus A320
  • Boeing 737-9
  • Boeing 777
Emirates only flies two types of planes:
  • A380
  • Boeing 777
Both offer flights on an A380 but Etihad has more plane options.
Which frequent flyer programs is it with? Etihad Guest Skywards Both offer a frequent flyer program affiliated with various travel partners.
Is there Wi-Fi? Yes, Wi-Fi must be purchased or you can use roaming with select partners. Data plans start from US$4.95. Yes, 20MB is free for the first two hours. More data can be purchased from US$9.99 for 150MB. Emirates offers free Wi-Fi, though limited.
Can I price match? Yes. If the same flight on a third party site is US$25 cheaper for economy or US$100 cheaper for business or first class, Etihad will refund the difference. Yes. If the same flight on another site is US$20+ cheaper, Emirates will refund the difference. Emirates has a lower price point for price matching.
Does it serve alcohol? Yes. Beer, wine and spirits are served. Yes. Wine, beer, cold and hot drinks are served. Both airlines offer complimentary beverages.
Is there online chat? Contact is only available by phone or email. Contact is only available by email. Neither offers online chat but Emirates offers a more comprehensive help centre with FAQ.
Does it charge for infants? Etihad charges infants under 2 years 10% of the adult fare if they sit on the adult's lap. Infants under 2 are charged 10% of the adult fare when sitting on the adult's lap. Both offer the same discounted price for infants.
Does it fly pets? Yes. Guide dogs are allowed in the main cabin. All other animals travel as cargo. Yes. Guide dogs are permitted in the main cabin. All other animals must travel as checked baggage or cargo depending on the route. Both airlines fly animals and have the same restrictions.
What are my payment options?
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Diners Club
  • American Express
  • Debit cards
  • PayPal
  • Real-time bank transfer
  • Offline payments
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Diners Club
  • American Express
  • PayPal
  • Real-time or online bank transfer
  • Western Union
  • Offline bank transfer
Emirates offers more payment options.
Can I book round-the-world fares? No. Yes, up to six stopovers can be made. Only Emirates offers round-the-world fares.
Can I book multi-city fares? Yes, up to six cities can be booked. Both airlines offer multi-stop bookings.
Any features to find the best price? Etihad features a deals page for flights. Emirates offers Featured Fares. Both airlines offer regular deals.

Which offers the best price?

Etihad and Emirates often have very similar prices and depending on the flight, one airline may be cheaper than the other.

The verdict?

When comparing similar flights from Sydney to New York City for the same dates, Etihad came out on top with a round-trip flight priced $200 less than Emirates.


Etihad:

Etihad-flight


Emirates:

Emirates vs Etihad 2


Are they good airlines to fly with?

Skytrax features a wide range of reviews for both airlines. While both are praised, Emirates falls a little short in food and its service while Etihad has received complaints about its service quality.

The verdict?

Emirates has a higher overall rating with 6 out of 10 stars while Etihad only received 5.

Emirates also has higher ratings for each category including staff service, inflight entertainment and more. Etihad comes in as average for all categories.


What are the deals like?

Etihad and Emirates offer similar fare deals. Etihad shares multiple deals to featured destinations while Emirates offers a wider range of destinations on their deals page.

The verdict?

Emirates’ Featured Fares offers a much bigger selection of destinations and is easier to use, allowing you to choose dates easily. You can also watch the fare and it tells you when the deal will expire. Since both offer similar prices, Emirates wins this round for ease of use and selection.

Top deals from Emirates and Etihad

Etihad Airways Australia Etihad Airways Australia

Europe flights from $1,086 return

Valid for travel from 15 January - 11 September 2019. Destinations include Paris, Amsterdam, London, Dublin, Athens and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Amsterdam.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal expires

Emirates Emirates

Europe flights from $1,259 return

Valid for travel from 1 February - 6 June 2019. Destinations include London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam and more. Sample fare Melbourne-London.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal expires

Emirates Emirates

Free Dubai transfers

Valid on all dates. Must book an Economy Flex Plus flight to get one free ride from Dubai International Airport to anywhere in Dubai and Economy Flex passengers will get 50% off one ride. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal expires

Etihad Airways Australia Etihad Airways Australia

Free coach transfer with Etihad tickets

Take a free luxury coach transfer to Dubai or Al Ain in United Arab Emirates, available with your Etihad ticket.

Last verified

Etihad Airways Australia Etihad Airways Australia

Free airport chauffeur service

Book a Business or First class ticket with Etihad and get a free chauffered airport transfer at select airports. In Australia, the service is available to destinations up to 50km from Perth or Sydney airports, 60km from Brisbane airport and 80km form Melbourne airport. Not available on Business Breaking Deals or other discounted tickets.

Last verified

Etihad Airways Australia Etihad Airways Australia

Europe Christmas flights from $1,878 return

Valid for travel until 31 December 2018. Destinations include Rome, Paris, Dublin, London and more. Sample fare is Perth-Amsterdam.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal expires



Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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