KrisworldB777 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 570 posts, RR: 3 Posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4632 times:
Well for some of you who know me quite well, the following trip may come as an unusual surprise for many of you are quite aware of my avid discontent and hatred of my nation’s flag carrier, Qantas. Well, either I have since fallen and hit my head which has caused massive haemorrhaging within my brain or I’ve become complacent in my whole sixteen years of life because I came of my last flight one happy chappy…so here the story goes.
Flight: Qantas Flight QF 566
Aircraft type: Boeing 767-300ER
Scheduled Time of departure: 1630
Actual time of departure: 1650
Scheduled time of arrival: 2230
Actual time of arrival: 2225
Class of travel: Economy
Wednesday the 26th was an extraordinarily busy day for me and my holiday therefore couldn’t have come at a better time. God send. The morning was to be tied up with school commitments which would see me completing all final assessments prior to my departure. At 2pm I was home and still had an empty suitcase and full wardrobe…not even I’m usually this disorganised so it was all a bit of a rush. Needless to say, good old grandma delivered us to the airport safe and sound at 3:45 ready for our 4:30 departure. Terminal was somewhat subdued but nevertheless took the opportunity to use the Business Class check in and was greeted by an ultra-efficient check-in agent who literally had us checked in and on our way in 45 seconds. Impressive girl. Very smooth. I’m impressed.
Now here’s the dreaded part. Security. And boy has it been stepped up in the last few months. I was forced to deprive myself of my belt in order to pass through the security check. Fine…I’m now trying desperately to hold my jeans up and am then told that my computer must also be taken out of the bag with the adapter and accompanying paraphernalia. Okay…bit of a struggle. I’m sure all the girls within the vicinity enjoyed looking at the patterns on my boxer shorts and so I’m through the check. Fastened up with the belt and computer in hand. Aaaah. How nice! To be tapped on the shoulder by one ultra kind bloke with my boarding passes was somewhat ego-damaging and I found myself cringing at my stupidity of almost leaving 4 boarding passes on the other side. Smooth and intelligent, Anthony. What a godsend that bloke was, three cheers!
So, somewhat harried and confused we finally make it up to the boarding lounge deciding to give the Qantas Club a miss in fear of them not honouring dad’s membership to his impoverished relatives. Gate one empty. Interesting so took a look around and watched a 734 depart to Paraburdoo. Even post Ansett, the QF terminal was dead but even still, there wasn’t enough room for everyone to have seats. Out the corner of my eye, I could see a coloured aircraft which to me looked like VH-VXB. Now I knew it had been into Perth earlier that afternoon so I actually thought that it must have returned with some kind of problem. I was therefore pretty surprised to see it was VH-OGJ pulling into gate 1 which would be taking me to Sydney as QF 566. And guys, this is one magnificent machine. Pristine and what a fabulous livery. Quite stunning indeed, especially close up. An announcement was made that due to the late arrival of the aircraft, boarding would be delayed by approximately 15 minutes. No skin off my nose when I look out at this truly wonderful machine. Top marks Mr. Austalian Airlines livery designer because you’re a saint!
Took the chance to watch the myriad of 2 planes departing (we’re deprived souls in Perth)). First was Singapore Airlines 777-200 9V-SRD departing to Singapore as SQ 226, always an elegant aircraft basking in the lovely afternoon light and it looked clean too because I originally thought it must have been SRL. Following was Malaysia Airlines’ MH 125 service to Kuala Lumpur but I didn’t get the chance to catch the registration. Malaysia Airlines’ livery really doesn’t do justice to the magnificent 777 in my very humble opinion. Anyway, QF 566 was called for boarding and I was aboard. Incidentally, I’m impressed with the Qantas artwork in the aerobridges now. Most elegant indeed. Top effort Qantas.
Aboard QGJ and I was welcomed aboard the flight by the CSM who was actually a very cheery bloke. Nice welcome. I’m impressed already. Was surprised to see OGJ still had the Dreamtime Business Class seats still looking quite pristine indeed. Haggled my way through to the Economy cabin to 43A, my seat for today. Stowed my gear in the overhead compartments and took my seat quite surprised at the lack of cabin crew on hand to assist. No one. Not impressed Qantas. People filed aboard and it was evident that this was going to be one full flight this afternoon with very little in the way of spare seats. Cabin crew appeared for the safety demo as we pushed back at 1650 and taxied out for a runway 21 departure. A very casual but friendly welcome aboard from the CSM which was a big change from the oh-so-lovely and formal Singapore girl announcements which I love. Intonation from them is always so interesting! No word from the captain other than a rather curt “cabin crew be seated for takeoff”. Hmmm. Need I say more?
The GE’s make a great noise on takeoff and we were airborne with one of the 767’s famous climbs into cloud. Made a rather unusual left turn which seemed to last forever and we were in cloud. Nothing to see. Seatbelt sign off about five minutes later, CSM informed us about Qantas’ antiquated entertainment and it was all hunky dory. The QF YCL seats are perfectly comfortable for my 6’1 stature and those headrests are fantastic. Much much better than any other YCL headrests, especially SIA’s. Meal tray had coffee spilt all over but being the pleasant and retiring person that I am, I made do and settled in to read Wheels. Yipee. Qantas finally addressed us and told us a little about the flight.. Sorry to say I can’t remember a bloody word apart from the fact that the flight would be 25 minutes shorter than expected Meal service started about 40 minutes into the flight. No choices today. Typical Qantas I say to myself. Dinner was an unusual affair with red wine steak on pasta. Interesting combination and I don’t buy it. Edible though if only just. Salad with dressing plus a roll with butter on hand. Nothing even remotely exiting. Especially the dessert: 2 Anzac biscuits which, as nice as they were, were disappointing when JCL was indulging in Connoisseur ice cream. But, you get what you pay for so my dad can open his wallet for the second time and spend some money. Hopefully he hears me.
Was exceedingly impressed with the Qantas service. One flight attendant, I’m sorry I can’t remember her name was just lovely. Really really good and very genuine. It’s a pity I can’t remember her name. All the crew were good but she stood out. So, I took it upon myself to congratulate the crew and headed for the rear galley to pick up a comment form. They didn’t have one so they got the Cabin Service Director’s sheet was interesting reading and I filled my comments in. I was met with the remark “only if its good!” and I expressed my satisfaction at the best Qantas service I’d ever had. I was called a honey but what’s new? Aren’t I delightful? Was then told that the reason the service was good was they were all ex-Ansett. Aaaah it all clicks now. I knew it was too good for Qantas. Was asked by the crew if I wanted anything to which I responded desperately “ice cream!” No problem. I’m pop up the front and found myself tucking into a tub of chocolate Connoisseur. Yum yum. Well done guys!
Returned to my seat with a pen and continued reading. Watched a bit of the croc hunter which was unmitigated crap. As much as I enjoy old Steve’s show, don’t bother watching it. Diabolical. Please trust me, I’m very honest! Crew constantly on their feet with the drinks cart which came around twice after the meal and also a water service. Even better than my last (excellent) Singapore Airlines flights. Descent commenced and we turned and turned and turned on approach into Sydney. I was disorientated. All I knew was that the landing was an absolute shocker and I could feel us zigzagging down the runway. Not impressed boys, especially with the lovely balmy weather which Sydney had greeted us with. Taxied past the QF hanger into our bay to find that the aerobridge was on strike and didn’t want to move. VH-ZXD arrived from Melbourne, disembarked and went to sleep for the night whilst the poor old Perth passengers waited 20 minutes. Captain did keep us informed and repeatedly apologised. He was probably still feeling guilty for the crappy landing. Bless his heart. Stepped into the magnificent new Qantas domestic terminal and arrived at the baggage carousel to find that bags still not there. Hmmm. Not impressed. Mine was, however, first out. The Singapore Airlines First Class tag certainly earned its keep and infuriated all the Qantas Business Class passengers who waited as I strolled away.
So, there you have it ladies and gentlemen. I was genuinely impressed with this flight. It was truly excellent and would have been highly satisfactory should it have been a long-haul intercontinental. But for a domestic hop, well done! But really it wasn’t a real Qantas flight. We all know very well that Ansett was far more service orientated so lets hope that some of their charm wears of on the old Qantas grannies. Time will tell when I embard upon QF 580 on the 14th of next month. Stay tuned…will the real Qantas show its real colours?
MilesDependent From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 838 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4532 times:
I am also a loyal and regular SQ flyer who has taken a few QF flights this year (9 to be exact). Like you, I have been relatively impressed with the cabin service (I've only had a few prison matrons). The food is a different story. I find the main meals to be disgusting, whereas the snacks are always delicious. Just love that spicy dip / breadsticks, and pack of chips combo!
Carmy From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 627 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4499 times:
Bravo Tony! Very nicely written, really enjoyed the very story-telling kind of style you've adopted here. You really should persuade daddy to pay for a few more trips so that all of us here can read more of your lovely trip reports.
Ryanair!!! From Singapore, joined Mar 2002, 4652 posts, RR: 27 Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4438 times:
The MAS 777-200 you saw would have been MH 124. MH 125 is the outbound flight fm KUL. I thought MAS' livery os one of the best around? No? Hmm... a clear case of one man's meat is another man's poison!
I never knew that ex-Ansett staff crossed over to QF? Nevertheless, lets hope they do QF proud! QF needs a big push in improvement of cabin service.
Great report by the way!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
AirNewZealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2538 posts, RR: 6 Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4403 times:
It is quite amazing how different Flight Attendants from different airlines bring aboard different service standards!! I hope they do do QF proud, but hopefully they will not overtake my airline of choice!!...AirNZ!!
Thadocta From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 396 posts, RR: 2 Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 4334 times:
I really do not know why people have such a problem with the food on Qantas, and why they go onto flights with such preconceived ideas about what they will receive.
Granted, it is not the full deal like we had a few years ago in the heyday of Ansett and Australian Airlines, where you would receive a hot meal even on extremely short sectors such as SYD-CBR, but what you get - even if it is the dreaded breadsticks - is more than what you will get on Vermin Blue after having paid the same fare - they even want to charge you for a Coke!
And when you look at the third world of air travel - the United States - some carriers don't give you anything on a three hour flight. This is the same country where most carriers until recently charged you to use the IFE, even if you supplied your own headset.
So I am glad that you were pleasantly surprised by your experience. It is nowhere near as bad as people have been saying, it is just that we were spoilt for all those years and things are now a little bit more realistic.
Now, I DO agree with you about the prison matrons though.
KrisworldB777 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 570 posts, RR: 3 Reply 10, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 4326 times:
Thanks very much for all your comments guys!
Milesdependent: Sounds like I got food on a good day! Hate to see a bad day.
Carmy: I’ll put you in touch with my dad. You can sponsor me to fly if you like! Thanks very much for your praise!
Cmk10: The thing that has really annoyed me with Qantas is the attitude to service whereby the crew give the impression that it the passengers should feel lucky to have them aboard. An extraordinarily arrogant demeanour and those horrible prison matrons!
Chepos: Oh I sure did enjoy the ice cream. Some little kids saw me walking down the aisle with it and asked where I got it from to which I responded “I’m a VIP”. Needless to say, 5 minutes later they were enjoying some too.
Ryanair!!!: Too right…don’t know why I got that around the wrong way. I just don’t like the grey too much on MAS aircraft. Looks pretty dated to me. Certainly nothing offensive though, is it?
AirNewZealand: I’ll give the big thumbs up for Ansett’s cabin crew human resources. They will do Qantas proud so I hope they are acknowledged for the effort they put in. On a sidenote, the crew scraped up from Ansett are allowed only to fly Qantas’ domestic routes.
MilesDependent: You’re too kind!
I’ll post the return report on the 14th October for you to have a squiz at. Will be aboard QF 580 which is a 747-200. Will the real Qantas service shine through?!
KrisworldB777 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 570 posts, RR: 3 Reply 11, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 4329 times:
Thadocta: It isn't THAT bad but its certainly nothing nice. I'd rather have something smaller and simpler which is far tastier instead of the bland stuff they're serving right now. Dessert would be nice!
Capt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4305 times:
Thanks much for your trip report--great to read, and very detailed.
I'm due to fly the exact same routing in Jan, but with Virgin Blue in place of QF; I will however, also be flying QF up to Brisbane from Sydney, so should get a chance to sample how the service might have changed...I've flown QF LHR-SIN-SYD and wasn't very impressed at all, so perhaps they've changed!
Thadocta From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 396 posts, RR: 2 Reply 14, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4266 times:
I forgot to mention the free booze on CityFlyer services - SYD-BNE, SYD-MEL, BNE-MEL, SYD-ADL and MEL-ADL - and in Y as well. What other airline gives you free grog on a domestic flight lasting around an hour?
TNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 21 Reply 15, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4261 times:
I think we are actually seeing a turnaround. Last week I flew from Perth to Cairns and back - followed the coast on the way out, and came back via the centre. I'll file the trip report in a couple of days, but I noticed a huge improvement in service and attitude. It's good to see.
Cabincrewboy From Australia, joined Jun 2001, 58 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4258 times:
Hey Bill how are you doing - have not heard from you in a while??
In regard to this report i must say that while i do find that some QF cabin crew need an overhaul, the majority are friendly, attentive and service orientated. I actually find it poor that the crew on your flight referred to them as ex-Ansett. For all intensive purposes they are Qantas/MAM crew and that is how they should be seen. If they donot wish to be seen as Qantas crew then why work for them ....
KrisworldB777 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 570 posts, RR: 3 Reply 17, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4230 times:
I couldn't agree more Cabincrewboy in regards to the fact that the ex-Ansett crew refer to themselves not as true Qantas employees...they most certainly should considering Qantas is now their employer and pays their salary. But it probably is the first indication that they don't like Qantas, they don't like their colleagues' service delivery and are devoted to their now defunct airline. I'd say it's more a case of clinging on to the old Ansett carcas. But, it would appear things are finally on the mend at Qantas after nearly 10 years of horrifying service. Most of you will still remember the pre 1994 service which had Qantas as one of the very finest airlines. It appears that they are close to regaining that mantle so lets hope that things consistently improve and us Australians can again be proud of our successful flag carrier.
QANTASpower From Australia, joined Aug 2002, 516 posts, RR: 7 Reply 18, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4219 times:
I agree that QF let their product & service slip over the period James Strong was CEO. However they have acknowledged this and are improving big time especially in the product area - like new aircraft, PTV's, Business beds, New lounges etc. I also think the domestic terminal in Sydney is totally world class and would have to be one of the best in the world.
In regard to the much maligned cabin crew I find the overwhelming majority very friendly and service orientated. However it is a different service to that of Singapore and Cathay due to cultural differences. Have you ever noticed the different service you get from hotel staff in Asia compared to Australia.
Sure QF have awful crew as do all airlines and they have a policy of not discriminating against long serving cabin crew which means they can't replace them with newer models so to speak. But overall they are fine and they have to be otherwise Qantas would not continue to grow and prosper.
Beno From Australia, joined Aug 2002, 428 posts, RR: 4 Reply 19, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4222 times:
I agree Qantas has started to concentrate on there service more so in the last year than at anytime in the past 10 years. I think Geoff Dixon is doing a great job and has not really had as much time as he would have liked to further improve service because of Sept 11 and the Ansett collapse. Qantas will now begin to bring things up to speed again which can be seen in the P.T.Vs which 14 744s have (743 begin in April), the replacement of the leased in aircraft with QF aircraft, the retirement of the 742s, and the cabin refurb of all the 737s, and the delivery of the A330s and more 717s, and 73H aircraft. I think in the next 2/3 years you will see a great change for the better at Qantas.
KrisworldB777 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 570 posts, RR: 3 Reply 20, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4171 times:
The thing that let Qantas down was indeed James Strong in the eyes of many. Strong was a conservative finance man. He wanted to maximise profits, minimise spending and minimise change. All good and well theoretically. The attitude of Strong was that Qantas was the best airline in the world. It needed little investment and was travelling quite nicely with quite healthy returns. This attitude filtered right through operations as the cabin crew especially became more and more complacent and comfortable that they would always have a job. In a word they became lazy.
But, the clever marketing man, Geoff Dixon has taken over the helm and we can all see the change. This is a guy of marketing origins – someone who wants to spend and reap the benefits with an entirely different perspective on the operations and he is, on all accounts a visionary. This has been evidenced by his huge aircraft orders, upgrading of terminals and aircraft interiors. This has been a wake up call for Qantas staff who now realise that their complacency led them down a path which has left them behind the competition and now they really realise that they have a lot of catching up to do and this is true when compared with Qantas’ Asian competitors such as Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. Morale is now high. They’re excited to have new equipment so it’s going to work a bit like a merry-go-round: new management=new products & services=high morale=good service & products=happy passengers=more passengers=more money and so it starts its cycle again. The key: to make money you have to spend money!
Beno From Australia, joined Aug 2002, 428 posts, RR: 4 Reply 21, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4166 times:
I remember seeing an interview with Geoff Dixon and he said the board are always paying him out about wanting to buy new planes or upgrade more of the fleet or build bigger and better terminals. Its good to see a man at QF who is willing to spend money and lots of it 25+ billion he hopes to spend in the coming years.