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Qantas - Worth their premium pricing? Maybe Not

Although there are many components to operating a top airline, this is a singe episode…Qantas has apologised. That must make all the pax experiences just fine?

Having intimate knowledge of DFW and vicinity it is amazing even the laid back Aussies on the flight did not go postal.

For those unfamiliar there is a Hyatt (often busy) between the terminals, but getting out of the airport to other hotels is a l.o.n.g way. $USD costs, tips, taxi/uber, all priceless add-ons. Food? Top up too much food with servers expecting 20% tips. Perhaps Qantas should rename themselves Bunnings when it becomes a DIY exercise to take care of oneself?

I wonder if all the pax costs will be reimbursed, and then some.

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Some follow-up reporting. A stitch-up or reality that QF is not what it used to be, if it ever was.

One of my oldest experiences with QF was ‘QF Travel’ who booked me and new wife on a commuter flight inside the US on an Air Uganda flight number (1971). It was exciting to recover and get where we needed to go when we needed to be there. We were fortunate to be able to at the time (having enough $'s and the ability to pirouette quickly).

On return to Qld we tried to claim the extra costs incurred and QF Travel advised they would first need to re-rate the flight without that segment and I would thus owe them money. As a younger man they probably took advantage and won. QF lost me then but I recognise their marketing tugging heartstrings is as good as it gets for any airline. Whether QF and QF Travel were a singe entity was irrelevant as they used the same logos and naming, save for the word ‘Travel’.

They have always loved paying customers, customers experiencing problems on their trips, somewhat less so.

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Not a problem for me. Qantas is and has been on my banned list of airlines since 1992. By the way, how did you manage to fly Air Uganda domestic in the US??

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At the tine I trusted QF Travel. I found out it was Air Uganda at PHL while trying to find where the flight boarded. Until that day I was oblivious to flight numbers vs the airlines. Lots of US commuter airlines had seemingly random flight numbers at the time.

Solution - took shuttle to Philadelphia city, then to Greyhound Bus terminal, Greyhound to destination, and same for return since we couldn’t fund a replacement flight ticket for the hop to/from AVP (destination) back to PHL to catch the return connection. Those were the days before credit cards became common in Australia save for business people with Amex/Diners, so we were travelling cash.

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Not that well travelled or a discerning traveller?
Yes, 1992 saw the merger of TAA and Qantas. Ansett still existed but had long dropped the -ANA from it’s 1950’s branding.

Over time when travelling in Oz, it is impossible to avoid Qantas, private charters or taking to the road often the only alternative to choosing Qantas.

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Yes 1992 was the year Qantas took over Australian Airlines, and started their change from being a purely international airline focussed on that, to absorbing the domestic AA operations, cutting costs and picking fights with unions, getting ready to be sold off by the Gov, and generally letting their standards drop.
Oh, and setting out to destroy Ansett. In the end, they succeeded in doing that, with the final help from an inept Air NZ as owners who had no idea how to compete with the monster QF had become.

My sister just returned from London, and as far as she is concerned, never again QF.
Her return flight with QF was cancelled, but a flight a day earlier was available. Fine, booked on that with the flight number given.
Arrived at the airport for check in the usual two hour before boarding manner to be told that the flight number given had in fact flown off hours earlier.
Luckily a Oneworld partner Qatar Airways had seats back to Australia and even though codeshare arrangements exist, she had to pay for a new seat back.
The flight back on Qatar was great, she said, compared to QF.
Now of course she faces the task of getting back the money from QF.

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I look forward to updates on how that goes! I’ll not speculate nor hold my breath though.

Experienced similar with PanAm in their days of decline. Push back at MIA was about 45 minutes prior to the published boarding time and off we went, arriving in Rio well ahead of schedule. Unsure if anyone missed that flight or what/why. Never experienced that before or since although delays and cancellations have been rife across the board.

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Well, I have to say we have never had a problem with QANTAS with both domestic and overseas flights. In fact we try to fly QANTAS all the time.

I booked flights with Qantas around the start of the month to travel between Adelaide and Brisbane in November. I used part frequent flyer points and part card. I also bought carbon offsets and made my seat selection based on the 738 seat map as that was the aircraft due to flight the route.

The past week i got an email from Qantas with a change to my flight home - leaving 5 minutes earlier but arriving back at the same scheduled time. Also noticed the flight number had changed from a 3 digit one to a 4 digit one, before noticing the flight is no longer with the mainline but operated for Qantas by Alliance Airlines on one of their E190s. Going into my booking I saw the first flight had also been changed to a 4 digit flight number and was also being flown for Qantas by Alliance Airlines on an E190.

I tweeted Qantas asking if the carbon offsets are the same or less now that the route is being flown by the smaller E190 instead of the 738, and got crickets. Also it means with my seat selection now isnt where i want it to be. Alliance E190s also aren’t fitted with wifi or entertainment. So it feels like ive paid for a premium airline (granted with partial FF points) and traded over to a budget regional experience between 2 of the country’s major cities.

Looking at Qantas bookings it looks like they’ve pulled their mainline off of the ADL-BNE route altogether

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Qantas has bought out Alliance aviation and seem to consider Adl/Bne to be a non-premium route.
So Embraer 190s is what you would get since that is what they fly along with some Fockers.
You still have Virgin and Jetstar, former flying B737s, and later A320s.

Now Qantas seems to consider itself a premium service airline, so what they may offer in their aircraft configurations may not be in the others flown by Virgin and Jetstar.

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Qantas owns 19.9% of Alliance. Qantas announced it intended to buy the rest of Alliance on 5 May 2022. The ACCC are currently deciding whether they should give approval to the acquisition and was seeking public submissions. They plan to give a determination in early August. The E190s QantasLink currently uses are wet leased from Alliance. Alliance has twice as many Fokkers than it has E190s, and is in fact the world’s largest operator of Fokkers.

Qantas announced late last year which routes they would be flying the E190s on. ADL-BNE was not one of them. Alan Joyce told Simple Flying “The E190 is perfect for connecting capital cities and regional centers. Its size, range, and economics have already let us start seven new routes that wouldn’t have worked with our existing fleet.” Last time i checked Adelaide wasnt a regional centre, and ADL-BNE is an existing route.

The point is at the time i booked i was told the sectors would be flown by 738s - therefore expectations were of the premium service that has since been downgraded after being paid for. The carbon offsets i bought were based on the emissions of the 738. Being a smaller aircraft the E190 is likely to have smaller emissions, leading to a potential overcharge, hence my attempt to seek clarification from Qantas on twitter.

Side note - Virgin and Alliance have also had long standing wet-lease agreements. The ACCC gave Virgin and Alliance authorisation to co-ordinate on 41 regional routes and 2 short haul international routes until 31 March 2023

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Notwithstanding pending outcome of formal Qantas takeover of Alliance, they wetlease much of their fleet.
As you now find, those leased E190s are now deployed on the route you want to travel.
I am intrigued by what a 738 is. Do you mean a 737 model 800?

So your complaint is that despite what Qantas has said, your expected service on a specific type of plane has been changed to another type? And you cannot get a specific seat?
Or you have paid for carbon offsets. Why would you think that that is anything but a greenwashing spin and con?

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738 is aviation short hand for a 737-800. Sometimes 73NG is used to indicate any aircraft from 737-600, 737-700, 737-800 and 737-900 models. Im just use to using such shorthand especially when i have a friend thats a General Aviation pilot.

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Interesting discussion. As an international traveler, my experience with Qantas (pre-Privatisation) was excellent. Flew many times over the Tasman and to the UK and USA. But after the big P, service went south. Staff lay-offs, outsourcing, higher fares coupled with a reduction of travel benefits (such as free alcohol in economy class when flying to the USA and complimentary land transport from city terminal to the airport) followed. Needless to say, the CEO’s salary went from modest public service rates to that akin to international financiers and monopolistic technology companies. When my last booked-in-advance flight to New Zealand was cancelled because of the pandemic, and despite many texts and frustrating on-hold-for-an-hour phone calls, it took eight months for Qantas to refund my money. Frankly the so-called efficiencies of privatisation have worked well for the CEO and large shareholders, but not for the workforce nor the customers. One last comment. Losing 500,000 Frequent Flyer points when Ansett collapsed should have been a lesson to me. Recently I have been finding difficulty in getting reward seats to where I want to go. What seats are available some how require far more points than they once did. Couple this with many companies now awarding FF points with your purchases then I believe such “reward” schemes may be a triumph of marketing, but be aware that “loyalty” is all one-way, and it is not to you, the passenger!

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Greenpeace is an activist organisation and one might or might not agree with their inherent biases, but they published this commentary.

To the point about QF switching aircraft, similar changes happen regularly for scheduling and covering unexpected maintenance issues, and have no bearing on the base fares. From the airlines perspective, which a pax not need to agree with, the fare is to get a pax from A to B in a class of cabin, not in a particular airplane type. Differences in the aircraft type will deliver differing experiences regardless of cabin, some more premium than others.

Differences in original fares might (or might not) reflect differences in aircraft type amenities, but if one could identify such a difference it could be argued one deserves that amount of compensation for the switch. I’d not punt on the effort or success, but something to consider when one feels aggrieved. Will there be other changes before the flight? Could be so consider what an airline would entertain with the prospects of this or that happening over the coming 4 months.

For a November flight have you checked your flight booking management page to see if they have already updated the seating chart and if you could make a choice on the E190 that suits as best as any could on the configuration? Or is the point you would rather not fly since it is now a E190 not a B738?

Referring back to the Greenpeace article is your intention to offset your seat on the particular flight or contribute toward emission offsets? If one is happy to pay for ‘a seats worth on a particular aircraft’ why wouldn’t one be happy offset the same emissions on ‘a seats worth on the smaller aircraft and then a bit’ since it is essentially a free will contribution toward overall emissions. At best the emissions attributed to any particular seat on any particular flight is a Very Gross Estimate at best, not something with the accuracy of say a vehicle fuel/trip computer. The final emissions will be affected by load, winds aloft, actual airspeed, ATC routing, not just an aircraft type.

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The Saturday Paper has a rather telling report on Qantas this week → Inside the Qantas saga: ‘It is a wonder they can get a plane off the ground’

a subscription wall so most of us are unable to read the article.

Independently a mate retired from QF last year. He was an A380 LAME and already answered how they can get a plane off the ground, or at least one type in their fleet. He says the A380 is so ugly the earth repels it. :rofl:

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Not an endorsement I would proudly put forward as an airline. Given that Fokker went out of business in 1996 and the production line had already ceased by then.
But good sturdy planes.

Done that now, Thanks for that tip

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We can complain with some genuine concern about changes in flight times, bookings and aircraft. When we travel less frequently, does each unsatisfactory experience colour our thinking as the norm more than an exception? Applies to any airline, and not just Qantas.

Do we complain equally when the change is more convenient or to a better class of seat or aircraft?

We look to all 3+ options of carrier for any flight bookings. Convenience + price for the seat type required. Qantas in our experience of lesser routes will often use alternate aircraft where it is competing with Jetstar and Virgin for the same. Aircraft types can change, even on the day. We’ve experienced the same with Virgin and often the regional carriers.

Air travel is an imprecise service. We still need to make allowance for the unexpected. It may be worth considering how well an airline responds varies between airlines and within an airline. More than a random sample.

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