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Etihad vs Qatar

We’re sharing everything we’ve learned about Etihad and Qatar airlines so you can make an informed decision to help you fly on the better airline.

There will be no need for debate after reading this article. You’ll find out whether Etihad or Qatar is better for your needs after we show you the comparisons based on price, customer feedback, airline ratings, flying with infants and more.

Etihad vs Qatar

FeatureEtihadQatarVerdict
Where does it fly to?90+ destinations 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
Qatar flies to more destinations globally
What star rating is it?5-star5-starBoth airlines have Skytrax 5-star ratings
What classes are available?The Residence (a three-room suite), first class, business class and economy classFirst class, business class, economy class and Qsuite, a new type of business first classBoth offer the same classes plus additional luxury classes
What is the baggage allowance?Economy class allows one 7kg carry-on and two 23kg checked bagsEconomy class is allowed one piece of carry-on baggage not exceeding 7kg and one 30kg checked bagEtihad offers economy customers more checked baggage
Where does it fly from in Australia?
  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney
  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Canberra
  • Hobart
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney
Qatar flies to more Australian destinations
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
Qatar’s Oryx One entertainment program offers movies, audio, TV and games and has been awarded for Best Content Innovation in 2017Both airlines offer a wide variety of entertainment. However, Qatar’s Oryx One has won awards
Can I make changes/cancellations?Yes, but fees apply. Changes or cancellations made within 96 hours of departure have an additional 10% fee appliedYes, certain flights can be cancelled or changed but fees applyBoth airlines accept changes and cancellations on certain ticket types with fees
What type of plane will I fly on? (And will I fly on an A380?)Etihad has a fleet of six types of planes:

  • A380
  • A340
  • A330
  • Airbus A320
  • Boeing 737-9
  • Boeing 777
Qatar flies:

  • A380
  • A350
  • A340
  • A320
  • A330
  • A321
  • A380
  • Boeing 777
  • Boeing 787
Qatar flies more types of planes
Which frequent flyer programs is it with?Etihad GuestPrivilege ClubEtihad Guest offers frequent flyers more opportunities to claim points for a wider selection of products
Is there Wi-Fi?Yes, Wi-Fi must be purchased or you can use roaming with select partners. Data plans start from US$4.95Yes, on select flights Wi-Fi is available to purchase. Prices are available once on the aircraft and above 10,000 feetEtihad has Wi-Fi available on all planes
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 differenceYes. If the same flight is found on another site at a cheaper price within an hour of booking, Qatar will refund the differenceBoth price match but Qatar does not require you to have a minimum price difference for a refund
Does it serve alcohol?Yes. Beer, wine and spirits are servedYesBoth airlines serve alcohol
Is there online chat on the airline's website?Contact is by phone or emailContact is available by email or mailEtihad offers a faster method of communication via phone
Does it charge for infants?Etihad charges infants under two years 10% of the adult fare if they sit on the adult's lapIf a child is two or under an infant fare is charged which is typically 10% of an adult fare if sitting on an adult’s lap. A child fare is charged if sitting in their own seatBoth airlines offer the same discounted price for infants travelling on an adult’s lap
Does it fly pets?Yes. Guide dogs are allowed in the main cabin. All other animals travel as cargoYes, service dogs may be transported free of charge in the cabin. All other animals must travel as checked baggage or cargoBoth airlines have the same restrictions for pets travelling
What are my payment options?
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Diners Club
  • American Express
  • Debit cards
  • PayPal
  • Real-time bank transfer
  • Offline payments
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Diners Club
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • UATP
  • Apple Pay
  • PayPal
  • POLi
  • UnionPay International
Qatar accepts more forms of payment
Can I book round the world fares?NoYesOnly Qatar offers round the world fares
Can I book multi-city fares?Yes, up to six cities can be bookedYes, up to six flights can be booked togetherBoth airlines offer the same restrictions for booking multi-city fares
Any features to find the best price?Etihad features a deals page for flightsQatar has a section online to find flight deals called offersBoth airlines offer deals for flights from Australia to destinations across the globe

Who offers the best price?

We put Etihad and Qatar head to head to see which airline has the best price by comparing flights from Perth to Paris on the same day.

The verdict?

Qatar saves you money when you book according to this test. Similar flights on the same day with Qatar were $125 cheaper than with Etihad.

Etihad:

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Qatar:

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Is it a good airline to fly with?

Since both airlines have received 5-star ratings, we took a look at what customers have to say on Skytrax to find out which airline comes out on top for customer satisfaction.

The verdict?

Qatar beats Etihad in this round with an amazing 8/10 rating overall and 4-star ratings for all categories such as food and beverages, inflight entertainment, seat comfort, staff service and value for money. Etihad falls behind with only a 5/10 rating overall and 3-star ratings in all categories.

Any other differences worth noting?

Both airlines offer a more luxurious class than most airlines. However, it is important to note that Etihad’s The Residence is a 3-room suite for the ultimate airplane luxury experience. Qatar’s more luxurious class, Qsuite, is not a private suite like Etihad's but is an option that more than one person can book or upgrade to and provides more privacy in business class.

What are the deals like?

We checked out the deals on both Etihad’s deals page and Qatar’s offers page to find out which airline really has the best deals. Both have deals for destinations around the world from multiple departure locations in Australia.

The verdict?

After comparing the deals, there was no comparison here and Qatar takes the lead in this round. The deals were significantly cheaper from Qatar, sometimes cheaper by $1,000 for flights to Europe.

Aisa flights from $639 return

Deal expires

Valid for travel from 17 June 2018 - 31 January 2019. Destinations are Singapore and Bangkok. Sample fare is Melbourne-Singapore.

Last verified

Europe flights from $1,219 return

Deal expires

Valid for travel from 4 September - 30 November 2018 and 14 January - 31 March 2019. Minimum of 2 passenger. Destinations include Dublin, Barcelona, Paris, Athens, Rome and more. Sample fare is Perth-Dublin. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Europe flights from $1,140 return

Deal expires

Valid for travel until 31 March 2019. Sample fare is Perth-London Gatwick. Destinations include Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham and more.

Last verified

Greece flights from $1,125 return

Deal expires

Valid for travel between 16 May - 14 June 2018, 27 September - 30 November 2018 and 13 January - 31 March 2019. Sample fare is Perth-Athens. Destinations include Mykonos and Thessaloniki.

Last verified

Dubai flights from $1,309 return

Deal expires

Book for two people and save, valid for travel between 4 September - 30 November 2018 and 14 January - 31 March 2019. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Free stopover hotel stay + transit visa Have an extensive layover in Doha? Fly Qatar and receive a 2hr 45 minute tour of the city. This deal is strictly on a first come, first served basis and has limited departure times.

Last verified


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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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