Along with many other passangers, I have been putting up with increasingly poor performance from Qantas for years. I suppose it comes with the territiroy when you are essentially a monopoly. But increasingly now I hear other people expressing their disatisfaction and voting with their feet by using other carriers.
I think Qantas is in for a bit of a rude shock in the next six months. I am just one of many people giving serious thought to the value propisition that Qantas offers. It has decreased greatly in the last few years, to the point now that Virgin is an attractive alternative.
Firstly, lets look at in flight meals. Qantas has progressivly phased these out on most flights now. Instead offering “refreshments”. Their idea of a snack, and mine are vastly different. Some cherry coconut cupcake that is so solid, sticky and cold that I could possibly use it as a hammer is not refreshing in the slightest.
Still on food, but now in the Qantas Club Lounge. We have seen the steady scaling back of the provisions in the lounge now to something that is almost an embarrasment. If I want to actually eat something, I now have to eat at a food outlet outside of the lounge before going in to it to … sit down. That is essentially all the lounge offers me now, as I don’t drink alcohol. It is simply a place to sit.
Back on board the aircraft and we should look at the in flight entertainment. Well, we would – if it was working. At the moment I am flying about twice a week. And in my last four weeks, I have not been on a flight that has not had major issues with the in flight system. Issues ranging from missing tapes, to tapes that won’t play, to screens that don’t work or are unwatchable, headset sockets that no longer operate… the list is almost never ending.
Baggage allowances on Qantas are now “simpler”. What this actually means is – you get less luggage allowance then what you previously did – see – simple! Also, the staff have had it drilled in to them that they have to charge for everything over the allowance. Gone are the days of staff being able to overlook a few kilograms here or there.
Finally, points and rewards are now almost impossible to redeem and they are getting worse.
Now, lets briefly compare all of the above to somebody like Virgin.
You select, and pay for your own in flight meal as you see fit. They have a fairly wide range of things available, including meals at appropriate times.
The Virgin in flight entertianment offers you over 20 channels of live video fed by Foxtel on most flights for a couple of dollers. This far exceeds the single screen single channel offering of Qantas (even when it works).
Virgin are sticklers on their baggage allowance and charging, but now that Qantas are the same way it somewhat nullifies itself.
All in all, I don’t see many reasons to remain with Qantas. I have tried raising my concerns with them, but they refuse to reply. I can only suggest if you have ended up here trying to find information about Qantas, don’t bother – just fly somebody else.