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Qantas Woes Begin To Show

Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:36 am

source: Sydney Morning Herald
By Darren Goodsir, Transport Writer

Qantas staff at one of Australia's top airports have a "couldn't care less" attitude that means many passengers wait longer for their baggage than they spend in the air.

In a candid assessment of "unacceptable" failures, the acting ramp services manager for Qantas at Melbourne airport, Paul Pearson, last week told staff that he hoped these passengers would not defect to Ansett.

Qantas has already strongly capitalised on its rival's troubles to grab 85 per cent of the total domestic market.

Despite the airline's recent axing of 400 staff to counter the global aviation downturn, Mr Pearson said there were not enough employees, belt-loaders or equipment to cope with the surge in passengers.

Some days were "chaos" and "a debacle" at the baggage collection ramps, and customers were regularly getting poor service.

Just days before Ansett is set to get new owners, and a restoration of in-flight service and a frequent flyer program, Mr Pearson said he feared the worst.

"Ansett Mark II will [soon] be vigorously competing for our business and the way we have been treating our customers lately, I am hopeful they won't see this revamped competitor as a better option than us," he said in the memo, dated January 23, and obtained by Channel 9.

"That will depend on how many of them have to wait an hour for their bags or how many of them sat on a plane for 20 minutes waiting to be pushed off.

"Our operation is currently experiencing unacceptable service delivery failures and I acknowledge that this probably isn't news to many of you.

"Our customers, on too many occasions, are waiting for their bags for up to an hour after their flight has arrived. Sometimes it takes longer to collect their baggage than it took to fly here."

Mr Pearson, who is in charge of baggage delivery and retrieval and aircraft "push-backs", indicated that rostering relied on overtime.

At weekends, if staff rejected offers to work extra hours, the system virtually collapsed.

"Last Sunday, for instance, Melbourne's accountable delayed departures reported 59.6 per cent of all accountable ramp delays for the entire network," Mr Pearson wrote.

"On this particular Sunday, approximately 20 of the required 30 shift extensions were knocked back and we were left in a terrible operational mess from which we did not recover.

"I acknowledge that with staff having worked their quota of overtime, working extensions aren't that attractive and that is why we had the chaos we had last week ...

"Pride in work performance in terms of on-time departures, baggage delivery to the arrivals belts and maximising freight uplift appears to have been put aside and has been replaced with a 'couldn't care less' attitude."

Last night, Qantas's executive general manager of sales and marketing, John Borghetti, conceded that the domestic network was having problems.

"Quite clearly, some of the areas identified in Melbourne have not been performing as we might have hoped," he said.

"But Qantas really has moved very quickly to accommodate the high domestic increase in passengers that we have had.

"With Ansett relaunching, and Virgin Blue expanding, it is absolutely paramount that Qantas keeps its service standards excellent right across the network."

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Joined: Thu Aug 05, 1999 1:14 pm

RE: Qantas Woes Begin To Show

Tue Jan 29, 2002 7:03 am

As someone who flies QF domestic regularly, I can only say that none of this is a surprise.

After a number of very late departures I have taken to going up to SYD on int'l services which tend to leave more or less on time and if I need to get back home at a definite time I'll come back on AN rather than QF.

During November I flew 8 QF sectors in 3 weeks and the closest I had to an on-time departure was 30 minutes late and that was on a Dash 8 from SYD-CBR. My worst experience was a CBR-MEL service which was delayed 90 minutes but no announcement or apology was ever made that the plane was delayed. The only way you could tell was that every 5 minutes the ETD was put back 5 minutes on the screens.

I rarely travel with checked luggage but colleagues who do have told me horrific tales of waiting up to one hour for luggage to arrive in the baggage call from QF domestic flights.

If you want to see the extent of QF's MEL problems and delays check out the Melbourne Airport website and check the domestic departures of QF.
717, 721/2, 732/3/4/5/7/8/9, 742/3/4, 752/3, 762/3, 772/E/W, 300,310, 319,320/1, 332/3, 359, 388, DC9, DC10, F28, F100, 142,143, E90, CR2, D82/3/4, SF3, ATR
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RE: Qantas Woes Begin To Show

Tue Jan 29, 2002 7:36 am

Will be flying QF this march. Wonder what could I expect?

Boeing747 万岁!
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RE: Qantas Woes Begin To Show

Tue Jan 29, 2002 8:02 am

australians love to complain about american domestic service. well this time they have the worst inflight products and service standards. basically there arent any. No pillows. no blanketts. no magazines. no meal choice. no table cloths or amenities in J class. Its really gone down hill. What Qantas are cutting now will only serve to backfire on them in the future. I hope they change there ' to bad you have to fly us' attitude. Its not ALL about saving money.
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2001 4:32 am

RE: Qantas Woes Begin To Show

Tue Jan 29, 2002 9:35 am


Can well believe your QF experiance, looking at
MEL domestic departures now I note that 2
flights departed on time out of 31, thats on the
nose, mind you VB is not much better.

Melbourne Departures:*&DomSearch=Go&SearchType=Domestic+Departures&whichSP=OnlineDep


RE: Qantas Woes Begin To Show

Tue Jan 29, 2002 9:50 am


Done the cityflier SYD-MEL-SYD and was not particularly impressed. Rather than blather on about how 'great' the old AN was and how awful QF are in the service stakes.

I'll just say that QF have 85% of the oz domestic market which means they have taken on a lot of extra work since September. Obviously it will take them some time to get everything back on the ground to normal. People don't function too well when they are overworked - but at least they must be trying.

Let's hope that AN can take some of that excess work that QF has off their hands... LOL



A new star is born..
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RE: Qantas Woes Begin To Show

Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:41 pm

Just had a look
funny how AN's both left early.
even though they only have 2 flights
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2000 10:28 pm

RE: Qantas Woes Begin To Show

Tue Jan 29, 2002 7:28 pm

QF will be hurt by it's poor in-flight service more than anything. The QF cabin crew have gone from some of the best in the world to some of the worst with an attitude of “we’re so superior to you, the passenger”. An attitude change is mandatory otherwise QF will loose it’s domestic market to Ansett, it’s Asian and European market to airlines like Singapore, Cathay, Thai, JAL etc.. leaving it with only the Americas. Something needs to be changed in QF pronto.
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 1999 12:13 pm

RE: Qantas Woes Begin To Show

Tue Jan 29, 2002 10:29 pm

QF just typifies the management arrogance that unfortunately has become commonplace in Australia.

You plan for 30 "required .. shift extensions" (particularly on a weekend) and you expect to get a high level of compliance (particularly with quotas in place and staff having worked flat out since AN's collapse)? Come on get real you Wanker!

I sympathise with all passengers having delays and experiencing a complete lack of service as I have experienced it first hand as well particularly on Qantaslink Sunstate.

These morons took over from AN and Flight West on the CNS - WEI route and it has been a total disaster. Note that as this route is the last (?) regulated route in Australia by the Queensland State Government (whose Transport Minister is Steve Bredhauer) they also have to shoulder part of the blame for this mess. While : AN mainly operated this route with a BAe146-200; and Flight West a Fokker 100; Kilmartin's clowns started this route with a Dash 8-100!

Absolutely Brilliant! Result : very little chance of flying when you need or want to; no freight to speak of let alone any chance on time; slow cramped aircraft; no or shit "service" (literally had the cardboard box thrown at me and just ignored when I asked for a Tomato Juice); and little or no chance (depending on size) of getting pets in or out.

Given : that the historical average for the route was 47 pax (assuming that the average countrywide loading of 73% would be factored down for a regional route meaning that around 70 pax should be allowed for); and that underfloor freight capacity is essential (particularly in the wet season when the only ways in or out are by air or barge); the obvious choice for the route was a BAe146-100 / RJ70.

But no we should be "lucky" and "grateful" to have a service at all!

Can't wait for the day QF (now I know what that stands for) gets what it deserves.

Had to vent my frustration.



P.S. If you would like an example how QF / Sunstate / Australian Air Express indulge in extortion here it is : My Wife needed some medicine to be airbagged in on a Sunday and was organising it on Saturday morning which used to be no problem and very cheap with Ansett / Flight West. However with these extortionists "To airbag it will cost $16 and it will travel sometime between Monday and Thursday but if you want it to have a chance of getting on tomorrow's (Sunday's) flight it will cost $ 146 however we can't guarantee it will make tomorrow's flight."

I rest my case.

"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan

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