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These Are The Best Airlines To Fly Economy Between Europe & Australia

Everyone has their limits as to how much physical discomfort they will endure to save money. This list will help you find yours.

So you’re off to the land of cheese and wine? Or maybe you’re going on a gastronomy tour of England’s warmest beer? You could even be heading to siesta-land for some well earned tapas. Whatever it is: you want to book your trip wisely so that you have as much money possible to spend on the various museum, beach or pub-based debauchery you have planned. All without sacrificing too much leg room, of course.

Is it possible? Well, everyone has their own limits as to how much physical discomfort they are willing to endure in order to save money. That’s why we compiled this list of airlines, explaining their pros and cons, and are leaving the judgement of which is right for you… well… up to you. So: these are the best economy experiences between Europe and Australia, using Sydney and London as reference points.

Emirates

As far as economy goes, the Emirates A380 isn’t a bad option.

Route

14 hour flight from Sydney to Dubai, followed by a layover, and a 7 hour flight from Dubai to London.

Legroom (Seat Pitch)

32-34 inches.

Food and Drink

Global flavours, fresh ingredients, complimentary drinks, tends to be above average.

Price

From $1,300 return.

Aircraft

Airbus A380.

TripAdvisor Rating

3522 passengers rated their experience on this trip excellent, 1718 rated it very good, 836 rated it average, 425 called it poor, and 577 called it terrible.

Conclusion

Not the most budget friendly option out there, but you get one of the best entertainment systems, above average legroom and the layovers tend to be quicker (and the route much more direct) than the sketchy, “cheap as chips” options you find on Skyscanner at 1am.

Qatar

With the best cabin crew in the middle east, and these seats, Qatar is a good choice too.

Route

15 hour flight from Sydney to Doha, layover, 7 hour flight from Doha to London.

Legroom (Seat Pitch)

31-33 inches (depending on which model aircraft you book).

Food and Drink

Like Emirates, Qatar’s meals and desserts are prepared with a focus on quality and freshness. Yes, it’s still airplane food, but they do try to inject a bit of flavour—and there’s a wide selection of beverages.

Price

From $1,200.

Aircraft

Airbus A380 800.

TripAdvisor Rating

98 people rated this trip excellent, 41 rated it very good, 21 called it average, 11 called it poor and 17 called it terrible.

Conclusion

Their cabin crew has been voted “best in the middle east” for seven consecutive years, and their prices tend to slightly undercut Emirates, so you could do worse than to book with Qatar.

Qantas

If only economy always looked like this… In other words: watch out for code shares…

Route

Your first option is: 8 hours from Sydney to Singapore, a layover, then 14 hours from Singapore to London. Your second option is: a four hour domestic flight from Sydney to Perth, then a 17 hour mammoth (direct) flight from Perth to London.

Legroom (Seat Pitch)

31 inches.

Food and Drink

At Qantas a welcome drink is offered after take-off, as well as continuous snacks and refreshments throughout the flight. You can pre-select your meal online before takeoff, or leave your fate in the hands of the Qantas chefs.

Price

From $1,350.

Aircraft

For Sydney to Singapore routes you’ll be on an Airbus A330-300, and for the longer flight from Singapore to London, the larger Airbus A380. For the other route (via Perth) an Airbus Industrie A330-200 takes care of the domestic Sydney to Perth leg, while a Boeing 787 is used for the international Perth to London leg.

Tripadvisor Reviews

For international flights via Singapore, Tripadvisor users rated the experience as following: 316 excellent, 305 very good, 207 average, 131 poor and 110 terrible. For international flights via Perth Tripadvisor users rated the experience as follows: 151 excellent, 117 very good, 63 average, 65 poor and 62 terrible.

Conclusion

With the introduction (a few years ago now) of Middle Eastern airlines like Emirates, who often provide superior (or equally good) service for a cheaper price, Qantas has declined of late as traveller’s first choice for travelling to Europe. That said, it’s still a quality airline that just needs to give its price/value offering a bit of a tweak to keep up with the competition.

Etihad

The experience is similar to Qatar – but looks a touch classier.

Route

15-14 hours from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, a (hopefully) short layover, then a 7-8 hour flight to London.

Legroom (Seat Pitch)

31-33 inches, depending on which Aircraft you’re on.

Food and Drink

If you have any special dietary needs, request your meal 24 hours in advance. Otherwise sit back and enjoy the stock standard fare, which isn’t too bad (for economy).

Price

From $1,200.

Aircraft

Either a Boeing 747 or an Airbus A380, depending on the route.

Tripadvisor Reviews

Tripadvisor ratings for this route are as follows; 618: excellent, 534: very good, 363: average, 218: poor, 330: terrible.

Conclusion

Similar price range and level of service to Qatar. Punch in your dates and see which of the two have a better deal.

Cathay Pacific

Not quite as sleek as its Middle Eastern counterparts, but you skip the 14 hour slog.

Route

9-10 hours from Sydney to Hong Kong, layover, then 12 hours from Hong Kong to London.

Legroom (Seat Pitch)

32 inches.

Food and Drink

Standard economy fare, with an asian twist. Check out their sample menus here.

Price

From $1,200.

Aircraft

Either a Boeing 777-300ER or an Airbus Industrie A330-300.

Tripadvisor Reviews

Tripadvisor reviews of Cathay Pacific’s Sydney-London route via Hong Kong were as follows: 560 called it excellent, 588 said it was very good, 295 reckoned it was average, 122 called it poor and 121 said it was terrible.

Conclusion

A great option to consider if the 14 hour slog from Sydney to Dubai fills you with dread. But remember – there’s no cute 7 hour journey to top the trip off if you go via Hong Kong—it’s another 10 hours.

British Airways

Premium experience, premium price.

Route

Sydney to Singapore: 8 hours. Layover: depends. Singapore to London: 14 hours.

Legroom (Seat Pitch)

31 inches.

Food and Drink

Naturally, your British Airways experience includes complimentary drinks and a sumptuous assortment of fine foods designed by world renowned chefs.

Price

From $1,400.

Aircraft

Airbus A380, then a Boeing 777.

Tripadvisor Reviews

46 passengers called it excellent, 80 called it very good, 65 called it average, 41 said it was poor and 36 said their experience was terrible.

Conclusion

Because British Airways are known for their premium service, they often receive bad reviews because people’s expectations are so high, and because cheaper airlines have been slowly catching up in terms of service. Combine that with the changes they made to their Boeing 777’s, to fit more people, in order to keep up with the high density competition, and you might think the mighty BA has experienced a fall from grace. Rest assured though, they are still a damn good airline—you just might need a stiff G&T to cope with the price tag.

RELATED: Jaw Dropping First Class Flights To Europe From Australia 

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