won't bore you all with an extended trip report. Basically I burned 30k points in a last 36hr 6-sector "fling" before I start full time work for Canberra Airport on Monday. As it turned out, it involved flights on all QFLInk airlines bar Airlink as well as PH 738 and FJ 73G.
(times are listed according to my watch... not necessarily official)
CBR-MEL, QF 2137, 1312-1430
Eastern Australia, Dash-8-100, VH-TQW (new airframe for me). Unusual to have cbr-mel on Eastern - usually Southern. Originally booked on QF 815 but changed at the gate.
MEL-WLG, QF 137, 1845-2353
Polynesian 737-800, 5W-SAO, crew fabulous, flight empty, plane in very good condition (except the safety cards)
4 hours in overnight lounge at WLG. No sleep
WLG-SYD, QF 118, 0607-0714
Air Pacific 737-700, DQ-FJF, flight even emptier (approx 30 pax), plane poor condition, saftey cards new! A decent breakfast for a change.
SYD-NTL, QF 7108, 0945-1007
Impulse B1900D, VH-IMQ. These planes were supposed to be gone by now but lucky for me the Horizon AOC hasn't come through yet. First ride on B1900D after many tries. Supposed to be on the 1200 service but scored a seat here when 2 transit pax didn't turn up.
NTL-BNE, QF 2416, 1043-1210
Sunstate Dash 8-100, VH-TNU. First ride on Sunstate. Most impressed. F/A (Danielle - do you know her mick) was brilliant and the flight crew very kind. Offered me the jumseat if I had my pilots licence or was QF employee (take note people... jumpseats are around for some...). Got on this service by chance because it was delayed - otherwise would have been stuck until 1730!
BNE-CBR, QF 2657, 1608-1754
Southern BAe146-200, VH-YAD. Nothing special but much better food than mainline. Flight longer than normal due military activity.
- I was overall VERY impressed with the inflight service, which is a rare compliment with QF these days. However I must stress that all domestic sectors were on Qantaslink and in my experience it makes a HUGE difference. Catering is also generally better on Qantaslink. Special note to the great crews on MEL-WLG and particularly NTL-BNE.
- Although I was on a FF ticket, many thanks to the ground staff in CBR, SYD and NTL who were willing to put me on earlier services (preventing overnight in BNE). This was always done with a smile and no hassles (except see below).
My one big gripe (such a pity that there had to be a gripe at all as so much was so good):
On arrival in BNE I asked at the customer service desk to see if I could change my BNE-CBR from tomorrow morning to this afternoon. Lady says she cannot do it because of fare rules (probably correct, but that said they happily did it for me in cbr, syd, ntl). The lady then goes and gets the duty manager who concurs and says that to change anything i should contact reservations or the FF centre. I had no problems with this, as strictly this is correct, despite there being plenty of empty seats this afternoon.
I go to ticketing on the ground floor (which to me is similar to calling reservations) and explain the situation. The lovely woman says no problems (and she checked with her direct superior) - she'll put me on the 1600 flight as there are plenty of open seats. Not 10 mins later I get a call on the intercom to go to the customer service desk immediately. There the first lady (who was obviously monitoring my booking) loudly accuses me of crossing both her and the duty manager and goes to ask the manager to prevent my boarding of the 1600 service. When he convinces her otherwise, they agree to call FF and deduct all necessary points for this "illegitimate" change of booking... I will see what happens re: the points (surely that isn't permitted!), but I was totally stunned to see that instead of being pleased that there was a satisfactory solution which saw a happy QF customer, she took it is a personal affront and believe me, she came out all guns blazing. To me, in such an area, the customer is king... and here I can't see what I had done wrong.
Oh well - 9.5/10 to Qantas (except BNE), 0/10 to the woman in BNE who let the company down.