Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Fri Jun 23, 2000 9:54 am

I would like to know what my fellow poster's think about the following. Will quality coach domestic travel in Australia deteriorate due to the competition from Virgin Blue & Impulse?
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RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Fri Jun 23, 2000 10:39 am

No, if you want to pay over the odds you will still be able to do so on QANTAS & Ansett. They won't refuse your money
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RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Fri Jun 23, 2000 10:43 am

Well we call it economy in Australia.

Well, I dont think so. Qantas and Ansett will use that as bait in order to keep there current customers.

But what will be good is that Qantas and Ansett will need to drag the ridiculous fare prices down.

As of July 1, the cheapest ticket from Perth to Melb return is 650AUD, what a joke. Spirit who have recently anounced there intentions are offering 225 one way, when they start of course, and when Virgin aquire there 737NGs, they will offer 169 one way, alot cheaper, but I still think I'll keep with Qantas, mainly for loyalty schemes.

Although, loyalty schemes in Australia at the moment are a joke aswell, it almost immposible to use frequent flyer points because they only allocate about 2% of seats to frequent flyers.

Note: Qantas took delivery of a new 767-300 yesterday. That takes there tally of new aircraft to 4 since September last year.
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RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Fri Jun 23, 2000 11:23 am

It's already declined into a mere shadow of it's former self on the big two anyway. There's not much left they can minimise on except cut back on catering even further. Staffing levels at airports are already at barebone minimums creating havoc at checkin areas and the such. The big two don't need the others to prompt them to cut back on their previous quality service - they've manged to do quite nicely on their own.
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RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Fri Jun 23, 2000 11:27 am

Is it true that Qantas and Ansett charge an an annual fee to be part of the frequent flyer programme? In many countries around the world enrollment is free.

I don´t think QF and AN will lower their quality of service, but they will certainly retouch their probably high margins to offer more competitive fares to keep customers.
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RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Fri Jun 23, 2000 2:10 pm

Qantas charge a joining fee and then you have to re new that every 5 years.

Ansett has recently dropped all fees in order to woo more customers.
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RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Fri Jun 23, 2000 9:40 pm

Oh please. Australian air travellers get the worst deal in the developed world. How could it get worse? Paying to join frequent flier clubs which don't allow you to claim rewards? Until Compass came along, you needed to do something like 100 Sydney-Melbourne returns on Australian Airlines (now QF) just to get a free...toaster! After paying AUS100 to join! Fares are so high it is a national scandal, and service is no different from any other domestic flight (maybe a little better than DL though).

The only worry is that QF and AN have such deep pockets that they could bleed Impulse and Virgin dry, as they did to both Compasses. Branson should be very careful, BA could finally bankrupt him via their southern associate Qantas if they choose to. The fare wars are going to be amazing...then Impulse will go under, then finally Virgin will either withdraw or collapse (hopefully not taking it's more viable northern operation with it). Then Australians will go back to paying $800 for an eighty minute flight to Brisbane. Cheers!
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Sat Jun 24, 2000 12:13 am

Wake up guys it already has been, QANTAS started cutting back 2 years ago, why do you think they've had so many problems recently? QANTAS is run by accountants these days not pilot.

On the other hand in the US even the lowest of socio economic families can afford to fly across the nation. When was the last time you remember taking the whole family from say Brisbane to Sydney in an aeroplane? sure its only 1000km.

Theres always going to be cons and pros...


v jet
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RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Sat Jun 24, 2000 1:37 am

Cedarjet...80min flt to BNE from where exactly. Also are you just pulling the figure of AUD800 out of the air? Is that one way or return?
Aussiemite, thank God Qantas is not run by pilots otherwise it would be just one big pilots club like it was many years ago. Its a public company and its responsibility to shareholders is to return them a dividend. I think you should all remember that Australia has high wages which is the biggest cost to probably any major company in Australia. What really make me laugh is that people complain about waiting for 10 or 15 minutes when they call the reservations number then they write letters to newspapers saying airlines should employ enough people to answer the calls without any waiting. I wonder if these people would like to pay even the higher airfares if this sort of thing was to happen. There are plenty of very discounted fares available in Australia with Ansett and Qantas. it just takes a little planning which is something most leisure travellers can do. Oh well thats enough for now  

RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Sat Jun 24, 2000 2:57 am

Point 1: Virgin and Impulse (and maybe Spirit) in a major sense are not taking QF and AN head on, but rather targeting those passengers who would normally travel by bus and/or train....a totally different market altogether.

Point 2: Let's look at this.

Since the mid-90s, we have had two domestic airlines here in Australia. The US has literally dozens of airlines. There was a study only just over (or was it under) a year ago, in which the Aussie and US markets were compared. A Perth-Sydney return ticket is available at a discounted price of AUD$499. They then looked at a comparable US domestic route, Los Angeles-New York, and it turns out that us Aussies are paying only $10 more than the Yanks over a comparable distance. (This is of course on the advance purchase discount red-eye restricted tickets).

People will say, "But you can fly Los Angeles-New York return on a discount ticket for way less than that. But when I fly, do I want to go LAX-LAS-PHX-BWI-Noneck Virginia-New York, to take advantage of this el cheapo fare? NOT!!

So the question I would be asking is why in the US, where there are several airlines operating LAX-NYC, are fares only $10 cheaper than Aussie fares where there are only 2 incumbent airlines.
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Sat Jun 24, 2000 10:27 am

Id rather the LAX-LAS-PHX-BWI-Noneck Virginia-New York option. Think of all the different airports Id get to suss out.

Now, what I want to know is, why have the cheapest airfares in Australia (PER-East coast) raised from 500 to 650. Thats not 10%, thats 30%, and after speaking to me friend at Flight Centre, she said thats the lowest possible fare on any scheme.

Ohwell, were opening up a PER-MEL route next year.
Seats are going to be about 1500 dollars return.
Well be flying a 310, so If you are interested, let me know and I'll mark you down.

*forgets to mention that its a Cessna 310, not a A310*

Were taking a light aircraft over for the Avalon airshow  
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RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Sat Jun 24, 2000 10:50 am

Lots of good points outlined by respondents from VC10 down inclusive.

In a 60 minutes interview/story with Richard Branson outlined how Australians have the most expensive fair structures in the world and said "Australians have been getting ripped off for too long" and made mention of a duopoly etc.

He's a hell of a guy and I'd love to fly with or work for his airline!

As a friend of mine who works for Qantas said, it'll be a no frills flight, if you want more than nuts and juice, you have to pay for it....fair enough I say.

No doubt Qantas, Ansett, Impulse (who has huge backing BTW, one is AMP) will aim to compete at some level and we all have that to look forward to.

Just because the flight is cheaper and no meal served(perhaps) doesnt mean the aircraft wont be clean and the attendants helpful and friendly, lets not forget, there is a Govt requirement of X attendants to X passengers irrespective of in flight service levels.

RE: Scotty!

Sat Jun 24, 2000 11:01 am

The $650 fares could be in response to surging oil prices, or maybe QF and AN are just trying to make a bit of money before they have to lower their fares to match Virgin and Impulse.

About the Avalon trip....that would be one thing....over Xmas/New Year I am off to Toronto and Montreal for about six weeks, so I will just miss Avalon. Although I could cancel my Canadian trip I suppose....and hell could freeze over too   But I will be back in how about flying this 310 up to Singapore for Asian Aerospace? Imagine what routing one would have to take for such a trip and all the weird and wonderful airports one would have to stop at. about a trip to MEL for the GF in September? That would be the way to go.

P.S. Can you email me, as the email addy I have for you keeps bouncing...about the thing we were talking about a week or two back. Cheers dude.
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Amazing. Do Most Of U Know What U Speak Of?

Sat Jun 24, 2000 11:45 am

It's clearly evident that *most* of the respondents in this thread have no clue about the aviation industry at all. Sounds more like uneducated hysteria that one reads in the media than informed comment. I'm particularly surprised at you Cedarjet in your comments - I'd expect much better from you, and have seen much better in the past - perhaps there is a Cedarjet imposter lurking! Both Compasses had severe monetary problems of their *own* doing - AN and QF didn't help, but that's called competition. The big two certainly were NOT the cause of either Compass collapse as has been documented and agreed upon by all manner of experts, analysts and financial types.
I've seen some frequent flyer International redemption tickets that have paid more in taxes than what some domestic advance purchase tickets have cost. Anyone who says air travel is overpriced in this country *really* needs to get out there in the big world and have a good look - Europe is a good place for you for starters.
Cheers. Al.
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RE: Amazing. Do Most Of U Know What U Speak Of?

Sat Jun 24, 2000 12:41 pm

After getting edumecated in cost of air tavel in other countries I withdraw my comments regarding the cost factor.

Next time i won't be speaking out of my ass.

Hey, atleast I can admit to my mistakes.


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RE: Al

Sat Jun 24, 2000 4:08 pm

I have been in the "real world"

When I was in london I could have flown return to the US cheaper than from Sydney to Perth!

I flew one way Business class from Edinburgh to London cheaper than one way Melb Adel economy.

Face the facts, while there has been only two airlines operating we pay higher prices, while Compass was in I flew Adel melb return for $120, which was about $200 cheaper than Qantas usually charged, and that price was with Qantas.

The more airlines the more competitive the market...that applies to most industries!

All I want ( and expect most others would agree) is to see reasonably priced full flights. I understand that companies need to trade profitably and hopefully once the market grows and stabilizes somewhat we will see consistant sustainable lower fare prices across the board.

Let's remember, this is a public forum where everyones opinion should be respectfully addressed........ I think you may have hit back a little too hard!
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RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Sat Jun 24, 2000 9:56 pm

OKOK, maybe a little OTT - I know Compass I had the wrong (VERY wrong) a/c (looked great though), and both incarnations were undercapitalised.

What I was trying to say is that QF and AN will lower fares below the level where they can money, to steal Impulse and Virgin Blue (what the hell are their 2 letter codes?? I can't keep typing out their full names yawn!) customers. The difference is that Impulse and VS Blue will be offering fares at levels that they CAN make money on, but people will fly with AN and QF for the same (unprofitable for them) fares. AN and QF must have built up the most enormous warchests, after seeing off Compass (Y something wasn't it?) they must have known there would someday be another upstart.

I know and you know that Impulse and VS Blue (hey, I like that!) will be mostly picking up the pax who would otherwise spend 14 hours in their ute on the Pacific Highway with l'il Bruce screeching in the kiddy seat, but no way will QF and AN allow anyone to achieve any kind of market share if they can help it. I pity Impulse and VS Blue, I hope AMP et al and Branson have pockets as deep as AN and QF.

It's going to be like two guys with their fingers between the teeth of the other (does that turn you on BTW? just kidding) - who will scream first?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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Follow Up Replies

Sun Jun 25, 2000 3:54 pm

Okay, Okay. Maybe I was a little harsh, but re-read most of the original respondents answers and there are quite a few points made that were inaccurate! I am the last to deny anyone's freedom of speech or views, however views/thoughts are far different to "facts", and some of the "facts" that others were presenting as deadset truths were far from it.
Cedarjet - matey. Impulse is VQ - Virgin Blue is as yet uncoded AFAIK - VB sounds good for them though - certainly very Aussie!!   So far, AN & QF have offered nothing more than their normal "sale" specials prices to counter VQ - $189-$199 returns advance purchase. If they had gone under that, then there is a problem as it's under what they've been charging on these specials for the past few years. VQ is a winner for the last minute (within 7 days) must travel group who would be gouged if using the big two. I really don't think AN/QF are stupid enough to go under what they've been charging the past few years.
My own gut feeling really feels that VB and AN are actually going to work closely together and feed each other. I wouldn't be surprised to see VB virtually act as a AN low cost carrier. Again, it's nothing but a hunch based on certain things that have happened since VB's announcement.
DNalor - I accept that you have flown from UK to USA for a cheap price. This route is known as one of the most heavily discounted routes in the world and the competition trans-atlantic is enormous with charter carriers added to the fray. However - I would like to ask what you paid for the return trip as it must have been about GBP200 return to beat the best advance purchase PER-SYD return fare level.
To give an example of what I was stating in my original post let's compare LHR-FRA to SYD-MEL : LHR-FRA is 420 mls and SYD-MEL is 408 miles. The cheapest *fully refundable* fare on either LH BA or BD is AUD1,163.00 whereas the cheapest fully refundable fare on both QF and AN is at AUD598.00. These comparisons are repeated all over Europe.
In America - the home of the discounted and cheap fares - it's just as staggering.
LAX-ORD is 1745 miles, 300 miles *less* than SYD-PER. The LAX-ORD route has massive competition, not just between AA and UA who both hub in ORD but with many other carriers who can get you there with a one-stop etc. The cheapest *fully refundable* fare is AUD3,357.00 on either UA or AA. The cheapest *fully refundable* fare on AN or QF on SYD-PER is AUD1502.00.
These samples I've used are the fares freely available on 3 web sites (I checked 3 sites to get an accurate fare reading)and are based on the normal purchase conditions in each country used in the sample. Sure - there are discounts to be had and advance purchase fares that will differ, but this is a comparison between the same rules, same fare type and same distances in each country, which is the only way to fairly compare the different fares available.
Aussiemite - matey, please don't hesitate to add your thoughts/views on any topic as we all bounce off each other with different trains of thought and it is enlightening and educating to read the various thoughts of all concerned. As you yourself have admitted in your follow up though, please be careful when putting things up as "facts". I normally let things slide by in here, but after seeing all of the misinformation given out in the first few posts, I "snapped" and replied as I did.
Cheers to all - hope this post has helped to explain my reaction in my original post in this thread.
Regards. Al.

RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Sun Jun 25, 2000 7:54 pm

Thanks everyone for your comments. Let's face it, Aussie air fares are not always the cheapest, but the service for domestic craps on most other countries airlines. However, thanks to a spineless conservitive government who are very pro de-regulation it has made it easy for "cheap" airlines to make startup's.

The worst thing that can happen to a countries air industry is to take away the regulations that ensure safe travel. We have enjoyed safe air travel in this country for so long that people take it for granted. Not so any more. Look what has happened to Qantas. In Australia we take for granted that we can fly with the minimum of fuss to any place without the need of constant hub changes. To this I give great credit to the major two who have always got me to my destination in one piece and without drama. Not many other nations can claim to have that. Australia's air safety record is (sorry was) impeccable. Nuff said.
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RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Wed Jun 28, 2000 9:14 pm

I have to echo what Al's said - it's all quite true.

People often compare talk about how high our airfares are, full fare, etc. But who actually flies on full fare. The people who have to worry about high costs fly on the touristy holiday airfares, ala MEL-SYD $189 deals.

In comparison to some airfares in Europe, ours are bloody dirt cheap. I'm planning a trip next year, and I can tell you LON-BSL airfares (~BNE-CBR) are scary. Try $926 oneway. But then again, you can buy Lufthansa coupons for $83.

I'm not saying that our airfares are cheap and wonderful, but sometimes people really pick on the worst case example. Our airfares can naturally go lower, AN needs to get its cost structure fixed up with its high unit costs, while QF sweeps up the cream. Not 100% sure about AN having huge pockets either.

Competition is good, although I'd rather just have Impulse than Virgin as well - because the sad thing is because Branson is such a great media "manipulator", Impulse is probably going to be the forgotten hero. Never mind its the only 100% Aussie airline - it's just Gerry McGowan can't seem to click as well with the media. I'm not sure about the $139 anytime anyway formula - it seems like it's somehow trying to appeal to the business market (cheap unrestricted tickets), but I don't think they'll get too much support from them. Joe Bloggs travellers will find the airfares expensive compared to the AN/QF sales, because they don't give any nice discounted holiday tickets; face it $278+GST pales in comparison to the $198 (GST incl) that the airlines are offering. Although I'll say one thing - if you're going to they Olympics, Impulse is probably going to be a godsend - no AN/QF $450 MEL-SYD tickets for me thank you. If VQ had $139 return MEL-SYD, I think you'd get queues. Because at the moment, holiday travellers really have no incentive to fly them, when their fares are higher, they don't get the FF points and they don't get anything.

Just watch the way the media responds to Impulse and then to Virgin. It's like bloody Branson is a god or something!

In regards to service levels - I think the discount carriers may have a negative effect. I just sense that coming, especially with the carriers trying to cut costs. I mean, what you get on the KD CRJ's really is pretty pitiful. The only real noticeable service difference between the cheapos and the big two is catering and I can't really see that improving. I don't know whether people really care about inflight audio. AN already tried to cutback on legroom with their 733s, apparently they've had to stop on their refurbishment (20 rows turned into 21) because of customer outrage.

I suppose at the end of the day, you really aren't getting much more with the established carriers over the newbies. But as long as the big two continue to offer good deals, I really can't forsee the new carriers taking off unless they offer significant cost benefits to consumers.


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RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Wed Jun 28, 2000 9:48 pm

This is kind of silly. Why would "quality" travel be ruined? What is
"quality" travel? Air travel, with a few exceptions, is a convenience
that comes with major headaches. It's uncomfortable, it isn't
always cheap, it can be frustrating. Virgin has an excellent quality
service reputation and I would not be worried. I am sure that
Qantas and Ansett charge high fares on their domestic routes,
for the sheer fact that competition is limited.

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CO EWR - Quality Travel In Oz Is.....

Wed Jun 28, 2000 11:07 pm

As you are from the USA, here is a brief rundown on Domestic travel within Oz, and why it is defined as "Quality" travel and why some people are concerned should it slip:
-Free headsets to watch video/movies and listen to Audio. No rip off USA charges of $5 or so to watch a movie.
-Hot Meal every flight every meal time and hot or cold snacks every flight out of meal times. The prawn and champagne snack offered by Kendell on it's 40 minute SYD-CBR leg is quite nice!
-Being put up overnight at a hotel by either carrier if last connection missed due to airline fault or weather delay. Unlike the U.S. carriers who conveniently blame weather/ATC and leave you stranded and to your own devices with no help.
-Decent seat pitch on most aircraft.
Numerous other "little'" touches that all help to make it a relatively enjoyable experience rather than the chore it has become elsewhere. Sure - we've still got our problems with understaffed terminals and longer and longer checkin lines, mishandled baggage and the such, but on the whole flying down here is a whole lot nicer than doing it domestically in the USA.
Cheers. Al.
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Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2000 3:56 pm

RE: Will Quality Travel In Oz Be Ruined By Virgin & Im

Sat Jul 01, 2000 5:12 pm

Qantas service cant possibly get any worse as it is now.... Impulse and Virgin aren't there to provide service, just the flights. If Qantas wanted to get more customers they could start by improving their services dramatically. Ansett is still a good airline.

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