This is my first trip report- so here it goes.
I recently booked tickets to the Gold Coast as I wanted to compare the two airlines Qantas and its low cost rival Virgin Blue, I decided to take Virgin up to Queensland and take Qantas back home. We paid $59 for the VB flight and $62 for QF. Not a big difference in price, but the big difference in product and service was clearly evident.
Photo © Norbert Genci
Scheduled flight time 1:00
As we boarded our flight in Sydney we were warmly greeted by the fresh VB cabin crew. We took our seats and were soon airborne. As Virgin is a low cost carrier, everything on offer such as food and drink are for sale. NOTHING is free. Food is reasonably-Highly priced and of good quality. Aircraft was a brand new B737-800 Next Generation aircraft. Cabin comfort was fair. Seats are leather, there is no footrest,no adjustable headrests and seatpitch did seem inadequate for a long flight, but adequate for this length of flight. Service while not personalized was consistent. The thing that appeals most is Virgins image - A modern company with young employees, therefore portraying a fresh image. Regardless I still felt that something was missing from the experience. Anyway we landed at sunny Coolangatta with mixed emotions towards my VB experience and were soon off to Beautiful Surfers Paradise. Flight departed and landed on time.
Photo © Montague Smith
Scheduled flight time 00:54
As we waited at the newly refurbished sleek Coolangatta Qantas terminal we noticed a young- clearly noticeable member of the QF cabin crew ( with colourful aboriginal dress and all) Enter and smile. We waited for about 15 mins until boarding commenced all this time chatting with the very nice FA about her job, our holiday and the weather. She let us on first and we were soon onboard the refurbished Qantas B737-400. We were greeted by another two lovely members of the crew an older male and a younger female FA. We took our seat and before we knew it the safety demonstration had started. The newly designed uniforms by Morissey make the crew look so smart and classy, very nice indeed. After takeoff the Entertainment and service started. Cabin crew walked around the cabin frequently, always with smiles! Entertainment was an episode of just perfect and a selection of audio channels. Meals and snacks were great and comprised of sandwich, cake, peanuts, dried fruits, bar service and tea+coffee. However what I have been enjoying lately on Qantas is the absolutely excellent service, truly a world class standard. Traveling with younger children and the elderly can be difficult at best however Qantas made sure it was swift and easy. My grandparents actualy received hugs and kisses from the crew, and when the plane landed my grandparents didn't want to get off! To be honest neither did I. I was very surprised to see that Qantas managed to do a pretty good service on such a short flight and the difference between a low cost carrier and full service carrier was something that I found very obvious. Flight departed and landed on time.
No im not saying that VB is a bad carrier they have actually established themselves very well in the Australian market. What I am saying is that both airlines offer a great service QF being more personalized and not as mechanical as VB. VB is a low cost carrier but there prices are in most cases very similar to QF usually about a difference of $2. At these prices I would rather pay for a full service world class endorsement then travel on VB. However if QF wasn't available I would resort to VB without doubt. So all in all they are both great carriers, but Qantas is still better! I find Qantas' domestic product far superior to that of fights within Europe and the USA. What are your thoughts which carrier supplys the better domestic product?