I am going to approach my report differently using a score based system rather than going into various trip details. Hopefully this may give a worthwhile overall comparison.
Aircraft Fleet 5/5
In Flight Entertainment 4/5
Cabin Crew 3/5
Plus + Worldwide connections, FF program, Free Meals, Nice varied fleet,
Minus - Sometimes snarly staff
Aircraft Fleet 4/5
In Flight Entertainment 3/5
Cabin Crew 4/5
Plus + Allocated seating, Friendly staff with “can-help” attitude
Minus - Few last minute discounts
Aircraft Fleet 3/5 (After All A320 fleet 5/5)
In Flight Entertainment 3/5 (After All A320 fleet 4/5)
Comfort 3/5 (After All A320 fleet 4/5)
Cabin Crew 3/5
TOTAL 35 ... (After All A320 fleet 39)
Plus + Will be all A320 fleet with leather seating by 2007, Availability of heavily discounted fares
Minus - B717 basic seating, On board coffee is foul, VERY strict on 20kg luggage limit, NO allocated seating, NO through baggage check-in.
I really miss Ansett . But I do appreciate the availability of cheaper travel. Firstly one of my beefs about domestic travel in Australia is the crasy 20kg luggae limit. This is very restrictive, compared with say the US, and must be a real bug for foreign travellers. Qantas seems the most lenient in this regard and Jetstar the worst charging $5 for every kg. over. Therefore a $69 fare for a passenger with 40kg of luggage just cost $169.
Jetstar and Virginblue are of course unashmabedly low cost carriers. At least Virgin Blue offers seat allocations and the coffee is drinkable – Jetstar offer a paper cup
Overall for $10-$20 there is no doubt that Qantas is worth the extra but VirginBlue is an acceptable alternative. If Jetstar is cheaper and I had no luggage then maybe I would deal with the no seat allocation scramble. Utlimately, it all comes back to the $$$ and fare availability. They are all good safe carriers - just be aware of what to expect and you will be right
PS. I am off to the USA on QF175 Bne-Lax (non-stop) on Sunday and will be flying to SJD,LAS,MSP,PHX,AUS,HOU,FLL, ORD,DTW and MSY on a variety of carriers so I will have then flown every major US carrier by the time I return
[Edited 2005-06-08 11:32:33]