Ryanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3221 posts, RR: 16 Posted (12 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4764 times:
Well, finally my holiday in Thailand had come to an end, and it was time to fly back to the UK, this time on Qantas (the inward trip was on BA). Date, 25th June 2001 - scheduled departure 00.30.
Imagine my surprise when the airport bus turned up at the Qantas 744 in WUNALA DREAMING colourscheme. It actually looks nicer up close than in the photos, although if you ask me I'm not the greatest fan of this scheme.
Anyway, I was seated in seat 61 H, by the window towards the rear of the A/C. Fisrst impressions of the cabin was that it was noticeably inferior to that of BA. No PTV, no footrest, and tatty seats weren't all that impressive compared to the inward flight on BA. Still, a cabin is not the be all and end all, so I took my seat, and we pushed back about 5 minutes late (00.35).
Rotation was prompt, and a nice view of Bangkok at night was seen from my window. We headed up to a cruising altitude of 37,000 feet, and the route took us over Myanmar, India Afghanistan, various ex-Soviet states, Russia, Latvia, passing underneath Scandinavia before heading down towards the Netherlands, then descending into the UK.
Dinner was served about 2 hours after rotation, it was a choice of Chicken with vegetables or Spaghetti in a tomato-based sauce. Accompanying was a Thai-style Somtam salad (spicy papaya salad) and a dessert of a type of egg custard flan. I had the chicken. The food was okay, but paled into insignificance compared to BA's offerings. Still, the BA food was prepared at its home airport of LHR, whereas QF's food was done by Thai caterers, so I cannot leap to any conclusions based on that.
Breakfast was a choice of tropical fruit, or a vegetable quiche (I opted for the quiche - again it was so-so)
There was a 'Movie Marathon' on offer, but as this prevented the Route and statistics map being shown on the screen, I was a bit annoyed by this. For me, the major advantage of PTV is the fact that you can keep the Airshow on your screen at all times.
The flight was absolutely packed, and subsequently the cabin was a bit noisy, with the Aussies being the major culprits! The BA flight was only about half full, so obviously was quieter for this reason.
Okay, so far I have talked about areas in which Qantas needs to catch up a bit, but there were some nice touches too. The F/A's were in my opinion, excellent, very friendly. BA's F/A's were very efficient, but quite aloof (very British) whereas the Qantas F/A's were very approachable and smiling. Drinks could have been offered more frequently (BA came around every 30 minutes with drinks), but you have to consider here that the QF flight was packed and the BA flight was 50% full.
Another nice touch was the fact that on the QF F/A's name badges there is a flag indicating the foreign language(s) spoken by that attendant. This is a great idea in my opinion, and shows a degree of thoughtfulness on the part of the airline towards it's passengers.
Another nice touch was the presentation movie on the destination, showing all the good areas in London and the UK etc - again this shows a great degree of thoughtfulness towards pax.
We landed around 2 minutes later than scheduled (06.32 UK time), and after a flight of around 12 hours we deplaned.
Final thoughts. At the moment, if you want good food, PTV and a nice cabin, take BA's New World Traveller - it absolutely smashes Qantas away in this respect. However, Qantas is believed to be undergoing cabin modernisation in it's 744 fleet shortly, so this argument may not be valid for long.
What Qantas does have going for it is a very friendly, unpretentious Flight Crew, and this counts for a lot in my opinion. Okay, so it is clear that as things stand, BA is the better airline at the moment, but I look forward to trying Qantas' new 744 cabins in the near future, to see the difference.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
BA747-436 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 1259 posts, RR: 12 Reply 2, posted (12 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4494 times:
Very nice report! A+
I too totaly agree with you about BA & QF There's some major differances that need to be sorted on QF. But the FA's are pretty good. One thing: I swear Wunala Dreaming is a B747-300, could be wrong but in all the pics i can remember one thing, no winglits!
Tbone202 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 169 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (12 years 5 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4514 times:
Very nice trip report! Could you tell me more about the British Airways economy (whatever they call them) seats in their 744's? Do they have PTV's? Comfortable?
Thanks, and looking foward to your response.
Swiss-airplane From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 591 posts, RR: 4 Reply 7, posted (12 years 5 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4462 times:
Great your trip report. I enjoyed you reading your story. I would like to fly to Australia soon, this or next year, but I don't know which airline I will take. All of my choices are good airliens, BA, QF, MH, CX, ANZ and lots more.
BA747-436 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 1259 posts, RR: 12 Reply 8, posted (12 years 5 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4451 times:
If your going economy or Business, basicaly iff your going at all, go either British Airways or Cathay Pacific. Obviously the best choices for going to Australia. You will go to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific and the to Australia on a A340 probebley or with British Airways to Singapore and then to Australia on B744.
Your choice, both excellent airlines.
AJ From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 2380 posts, RR: 26 Reply 10, posted (12 years 5 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4431 times:
You'll be glad to know that VH-OJE, the first Qantas aircraft with PTVs throughout, should be winging its way to Heathrow as you read these words .
I have yet to see the new interior however I understand it is quite impressive.
As for the food, well, it's hard to cater for hundreds of different people, normally one should limit intake to the bare minimum anyway.
I'm glad that Wunala appeared for you Ryan, what timing!
AJ From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 2380 posts, RR: 26 Reply 15, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4384 times:
That's quite a stutter Mikey!
The aircraft's release will not be huge news, as the last thing wanted is for every passenger on every flight to be expecting PTVs when there is only ONE aircraft on line. This news came from the engineers at LHR expecting the aircraft for training, however it is still aviation so it may have changed since!
Trintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3211 posts, RR: 4 Reply 17, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4331 times:
Great trip report. I can see that you enjoyed the flight despite the shortcomings of QF in you mind. I just flew on BA this week and I noticed that the F/A's badges do feature flags suggestive of foreign languages which they speak. Perhaps BA has caught onto QF's lead in this regard.
Aussie_ From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1766 posts, RR: 5 Reply 23, posted (12 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4260 times:
I'm glad you liked the Qantas crew. There are some good crews around but in my experience they are few and far between. It is sad to see fellow Australians being so haughty and pretentious and it doesn't fit in with the F/A role.
I flew QF SIN-ADL 2 days ago and was appalled by the poor state of the cabin. I thought all the 767s had had the cabin refit but I assure you this one hadn't. The food was also poor, and with so many flights out of SIN, QF ought to be able to have a certain amount of control on the quality out of there.
Anyway, glad YOU enjoyed the flight. I'm envious that you flew the "flying bloodclot" however.