Qantas Domestic is now no better than Virgin - so why pay more?

I have flown both Qantas Domestic and Virgin on a few occasions this year and wonder what sets these two airlines apart. While Virgin have done a lot to improve their inflight service and now offer free entertainment, snacks and drinks (including alcohol on evening flights), Qantas appears to be doing the opposite on their domestic flights in an attempt to save costs. The food served is really not consistent with the full service tag that Qantas claims for itself. My food on the Melbourne to Brisbane flight recently was kid’s school lunch sized snacks made up of a small packet of biscuits and even a smaller packet of chips. The coffee was awful even by airline standards. This has been the case on most recent Qantas domestic flights. This is why I like to fly Virgin as it’s often cheaper, and offers in-flight service that exceeds Qantas Domestic.

In my opinion, Qantas advertising themselves as a full service airline on their domestic routes is a bit misleading.

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I’ve flown both and I prefer Qantas. All the Qantas planes I’ve been on had USB ports; none of the Virgin flights I’ve been on had them. Twice, when my business meetings finished early, Qantas put me on earlier flights home at no extra charge. Qantas apps are easy to use and helpful. I don’t have any specific complaints about Virgin, but I Qantas goes the extra mile. I find that dealing with Qantas is easier and flying with them is more pleasant.

My latest experience with Qantas was so awful I never want to travel with them again. Booked on last flight from Sydney to Brisbane at 21.00, delayed 2 hours waiting for passengers on a flight from Johannesburg. That flight takes over 11 hours, so they knew before I left Brisbane in the morning that it would miss our flight by hours. We were told nothing, sat in aircraft at gate for 1 hour, not even offered a drink. Got home eventually at 01.00, elderly husband nearly hospitalised with stress. Our transport from Brisbane airport included a woman who had flown Virgin from Perth, said they were marvellous.

Sorry to hear about your bad experience @margaret.eva. We’ve certainly seen that flight delays and cancellations are a huge hassle for customers and we think that the airlines should provide a better customer service experience to passengers when something goes wrong and it is their fault.

We’ve got some information up here on your rights when a flight is delayed or cancelled. QANTAS’ policy is to offer meal or refreshment vouchers while you wait at the airport, though this would depend on how long you were waiting.

Watch this space as we will have some updated information and tools for you in the next week or two to help with these kind of problems.

Tilly South
Policy and campaigns advisor - travel

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