Friday, July 05, 2013

Qatar Airways vs Pegasus Airlines

So I've been invited to my friend’s place in Turkey for the upcoming Eid holiday, which is an invitation I’ll rarely turn down (Turkey is a great place). That meant booking a flight to Istanbul at one of the busiest times of the year in the Middle East.

Thankfully there’s now two options for direct flights: 5-star airline Qatar Airways and no-frills carrier Pegasus Airlines.

Living in Qatar I of course use Qatar Airways frequently. It is a good airline: their food is great, the entertainment system fantastic, and I like their membership program. I'm always reminded of this fact when I fly any North American airline on a domestic flight -- the difference between them and Qatar Airways is like night and day.

Naturally you expect a high-quality airline to be more expensive than a no-frills flight so if there was a reasonable difference in price I’d pay extra for Qatar Airways. So what was a return flight to Istanbul (less than 4 hour flight)?

Qatar Airways ~QAR 4000 ($1,100)
Pegasus Airlines ~QAR 1400 ($380)

So, um, Qatar Airways is almost TRIPLE the price!! Are you serious?!

I noted in my blog in the past that Middle Eastern carriers charge more money for people who live in the home city (i.e. gouge) but this is ridiculous.

As for Pegasus Airlines, that price is less than what I typically pay to fly between Calgary and Vancouver, and that is only an 80 minute flight.

Since I have not had a lobotomy recently I immediately booked with Pegasus Airlines.

Qatar Airways - you've got to be more reasonable towards domestic customers. I’d have paid more to fly with you but not triple.

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