* Prices may differ from that shown
A little background on my flying status before I begin. I've been abroad a number of times and travelled with the likes of BA, First Choice, Thomas Cook and Thompson. Never until this year had I been on a plane for over 10 hours. This year I was embarking on a study exchange for one semester in Australia, and who better to fly with than Qantas. My first impression of the plane as I boarded was good. The seats (I was in economy), were further apart than I had expected and were comfortable. I was supplied with a free pillow and blanket, as well as a toiletry kit which included a toothbrush, toothpaste and a face mask. I was also give free headphones, which was a first. The plane was clean, no mess on the floor or seats and no smell coming from the toilets. In terms of entertainment I could not fault Qantas. There was such a choice I was a little overwhelmed at what to choose. There were TV shows (e.g. Idiot Abroad), including full series in some cases, documentaries, new films and old films. Some of the new films included On The Road, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Taken 2 and Brave. Up In The Air, and The Devil Wears Prada were also titles that I remember from the flight. There was such a great selection. For Kids there was a separate section with films and Tv shows to suit a range of ages. The music was good to. It was separated into genres, and like the movies, included old and new stuff. You also had the option to add albums and songs to a playlist, which you could listen to for the duration of your flight, including take off and landing. Games were also available for you to play, including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. And like most long haul flight you were able to tack the plane and see how long you were in to your journey. The entertainment choices were so good that I didn't even need to read my Kindle or the magazines that I had bought for the flight. The staff were faultless too. Considering it was such a long and busy flight, they never looked stressed or miserable. They were always happy and helpful towards all passengers. Now to the food. I am one who loves aeroplane food. But I hadn't before this flight eaten on a plane as a vegetarian. This switch in my diet worried me a little. I had pre-booked my meal, using the online service. But after reading negative reviews about this service online, I was worried that my food would not turn up or would contain meat. I kindly asked the staff about my meal, and after checking confirmed that it had been ordered, but as my seat had been changed they had to re-mark my meals and let the staff know that I was now sitting in a different seat. This was very comforting as I then knew that the staff were aware of my needs. In terms of the actual meal I was very happy. The salad was lovely and fresh and my main meal had plenty of vegetables in it. Desert was a fruit bowl, a little less exciting but still nice. For another meal I had mushroom spaghetti, which was nice, although looked a little unappetising. Again my desert was fruit. Snacks were handed out during the flight, which included water, dried fruit, crisps and a chocolate snack bar. Refreshments were available to take form the back of the aircraft, which included water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. Tea and coffee were also served wit every meal Overall my experience was excellent. Having never flown long haul, solo or on a jumbo jet I felt that my experience was eased by the helpful staff and great food that was available. I would recommend flying with Qantas to everyone.
In a former life I flew First Class Internationally on a frequent basis I was a Qantas Frequent Flyer when you needed to be travelling around the world twice a year to be one! Recently I booked a First Class ticket to Hong Kong with Qantas and assumed that I would get First Class Service. How Wrong can an old traveller be. My suspicions were aroused when I first entered the so called first class loung at Sydney International Airport, I actually had to ask the desk staff whether this was actually the First Class Lounge ? A great Barn of a place full of business class and upgrade masses Certainly not a patch on the small exclusive First Class Lounge of Yesteryear. The experience then only got worse The food and service on board the aircraft were very sub standard and not at all what one would expect in First Class. The seat was uncomfortable the Audio Visual system was broken (return Flight )To add insult to Injury on the return flight First Class were treated to a stale continental breakfast while business class could order from a selection of hot items such as you would find in a five star hotel. Qantas have recently announced that they are removing First Class from many flights due to lack of demand. Perhaps they should look at what they are offering for the money they charge. Around $10,000 for a return trip to Hong Kong is not small money by any standard and unless some unfortunate corporation is paying your fare then I would imagine that any self respecting Individual would not waste their money. For Myself will I fly First Class again YES BUT I will use all possible means to fly with another Airline
I am rather pleased that I can now review Qantas- there are many things about this company that are simply ridiculous. I chose to fly with Qantas for first long haul flight on the basis of their good reputation and what a mistake that was! First of all for the friend I originally was booked to travel with could not fly as for medical reasons that occurred just a few weeks before the flight. Throughout my hour long call to the service centre- at least half of that time being on hold- I discovered that they were going to charge £300 for this cancellation. I suppose I can understand that is company policy, but not once did they actually offer me any assistance and couldn't even assure me that I would get to sit with the other person who was taking her place (which had to be under a separate booking of course.) I was also subject to a £50 fee to change the outgoing flight date. I understand that many airlines are like this, but read on for it only gets worse... On this same phone call I request that I have a window seat and a vegetarian meal which she says ok to. I also request this on the website. A week before I am due to fly I decide to call them once again just to confirm the details, again asking for my vegetarian meal. (Can you guess what's going to happen yet?) She assures me this will be ok. Then I ask her to merge our two bookings into one, which she actually does. Then, I request again a window seat and she replies "ok I can do that from Singapore to Perth but not from London." What a ridiculous thing to say! Then comes the day of the flight. And we ask the flight attendant for a window seat, considering its our first ever big trip but surprise suprise, there isn't any left. In fact, we have to sit in the right middle of the plane. Luckily for me, I was sat next to a nice guy who kept getting up regularly anyway. My cousin wasn't so lucky... Anyhow, meal time comes and oh what a shock, I don't have a vegetarian meal. After speaking to several flight attendants I finally got my meal- a cold, 'chinease vegetarian.' I really didn't mind that it was chinese, but the fuss they made was ridiculous. The same went for the next flight when they actually stole a vegetarian meal from a sleeping person to give to me. So unorganised. It was so ridiculous that I even wished I had gone with British Airways instead. The only reason I will give two stars is for the fact that we arrived there and back safely (even through a huge storm) and they showed great movies...well for some of the time at least!
We have had several flights with Quantas over the last year, this includes a return trip from Auckland to Christchurch, a flight from Auckland to Sydney, Sydney to Perth, Perth to Singapore and finally Singapore to the UK. I can say that the service for the most part was excellent. The staff were always friendly and helpful (which is a bonus when travelling with a 3 year old). Each flight we went on my daughter got a play bag which features a ruler, pencils, shapener, jigsaw, colouring book as well as a few other things to help keep her entertained. The food was good for the most part and came arround regulary enough so as to not to feel hungry. The long haul flights generally had ice creams after the meal which was a nice bonus that I hadn't had on flights with other carriers. The entertainment was a little sparse on the shorter flights as it involved watching a shared screen, and as such having no choice in what to watch (the PSP, also reviewed by me, came in really handy here with cartoons for the little one and me). The long haul flights though were excellent as there were individule screens with a good chioce of films and shows as well as a kids channel with a good mixture of cartoons and shows. The seats were comfortable and the leg room was quite good although not as good, in my opinion, as Air New Zealand which felt more comfortable and spacious. In all I enjoyed the flights with Quantas and would definately fly with them again.
I have just flown back from Australia and I flew with Qantas. I was amazed how smoothly everything went from my arrival to leave for Australia at Heathrow and the time I landed at Melbourne. The staff were so helpful and cheerful nothing was a problem for them. When I arrived at Melbourne I then discovered that my luggage did not come with me and in fact it was still at London Heathrow so the lady at the help desk gave me an overnight bag and sad she would sort things for me also took my details of where I was staying as I was getting a connecting flight up to Cairns. When i arrived at Cairns I then checked things out with Qantas and after a few minutes they said my suitcase had arrived at Melbourne and it was going to be flown up to Cairns where then someone would drive it to me to where I was staying. It was amazing to see my suitcase again as I had thought it would never be found so i should have more faith just like the lady at the Qantas Desk at Melbourne. While I was waiting for my suitcase I had an allowance of 200AUD so I couls buy the basics. We were told that when we arrived back at Melbourne Airport we could then get our money refunded. So that is what was done went to the desk with all our receipts this was not totalling up to 200AUD they were not interested in seeing the receiptts but promptly refunded the full 200 AUD. I certainly would fly with them again .
Qantas is the worst airline in the world. I have flew with them many times and no time that they satisfy me event small things. 1. The service is very very bad. Slow and inefficient. 2. The staffs are rude and no helpful. 3. The aircrafts are old and not clean. 4. The price is premium to get rotten service! I have flew with my baby (3 months) from Perth to Singapore, it was 5 hours flight. I have booked for bassinet and when I checked in they did not say anything about bassinet, so I assumed that everything was fine. When I was on board, my seat was in the middle of the aircraft without bassinet. I had to carry my son 5 hours flight. When they serve meal, I tried all my best to eat with one hand. When I finished I asked for removal of the tray so I could go to the restroom. The staff answered me that "You have to wait to your turn" (!!!). So disappointed and piss off I said "Thanks for your concern" From that point of time, I never fly Qantas unless I have no choice.
Qantas were brilliant on the long haul from London to Bangkok, then Bangkok to Sydney, but after that...it all went downhill! I flew from Sydney to Christchurch NZ, and the staff were rude and abrupt. I was nearly asleep with my head down on the tray and I was POKED by a stewardess and rudly asked if I wanted breakfast!!!!!!! I had to wait over 30 minutes for some water. Upon arriving in sydney, I discovered my bags were not on the NZ flight, and the person at the desk assured me they would be there after she transferred them onto the flight. She was very rude, even down t the point when I asked her what gate the flight was leaving from, she snaped at me to "look at the screens" because she did not know everything and had more important things to do. I was very tired as had not slept on the flight over, and at the time was only 19, this was my first flight on my own, so didnt really know what I was doing!! Anyway....upon arriving in New Zealand..... No bags!!! Understandably, after a VERY long flight, I needed a shower, and to get changed, and I was exhausted. I went to the desk, and the women there asked me to "describe" the bag. She kept asking for more details, but how many details can you give for a black suitcase with wheels??! Well, she told me the bag was still in sydney, and advised it would be coming on the next flight over in 12 hours, and the bag would be taxied straight out to where I was staying, so she took the address and so on. One positive thing, they did give me an overnight bag with some small PJ's and toothpaste in etc, and the hotel I stayed at provided me with lots of other free things! :) After waiting around at the hotel for 16 hours, the bag had still not arrived, so I called the airline, and was passed to so many different departments it was unreal. I ended up calling on 5 occassions, and on the 5th occasion (which was nearly 30 hours after I landed) the women who answered told me my bag had been at her desk since yesterday, and she told me I had to come and get it!!! I was not impressed! After a LOT of arguing, she said she would taxi out the bag!!! So finally..after a LOT of rudeness, not just on board, but off as well, 32 hours after I landed in Christchurch, I recvd my bag, battered, dented and punctured, but I could not be bothered to call up and complain about that as well. I was just happy I got it! I'm sure my case is one of the few, as I have heard lots of good things about qantas, but this was my experience!!!
Arriving from a UK domestic flight, I transferred quickly between terminal one and four. British Airways are handling agents for Qantas at Heathrow and I was able to use the Concorde Lounge before my flight. It is located in the lounge pavilion, which has a club lounge, first class lounge, The Concorde lounge and a shower suite. The lounge has plenty of comfortable leather seats and snacks and light meals are available from the bar as well as self-serve drinks. The individual shower rooms were clean and I was provided with towels and Molten Brown toiletries. Boarding commenced on time and there was a separate channel at the gate for first and business class passengers. Boarding of this Boeing 747-400 took place through one door behind business class. The flight attendant had trouble finding my seat number on my boarding card, but he eventually pointed me left in the direction of first class. Two smiling flight attendants were standing in the galley behind First Class and welcomed us aboard. As I settled into my seat, 2A, my jacket was hung and I was asked whether I would like a drink, which came with a bowl of either olives or smoked almonds. Menus, blankets and a large pillow were on the seats. This was followed with hot towels and then an offering of newspapers. A rack at the front of the cabin held many current magazines. A manual safety demonstration was carried out before take-off. Once we levelled out, the cabin crew changed into black serving uniforms. The flight attendants introduced themselves, addressing passengers by name. Sleep suits were handed out which were very comfortable. There were two toilets for first class, each containing a variety of skin lotions and cotton hand towels and a view of the ocean. The IFE system was turned on - eighteen continuous channels plus a choice of 70 movies from a personal video library. The screen was touch sensitive and was of a good size and quality. Noise cancelling headsets were already in the seats - I had to try a few sets before I found ones that worked properly. Drinks were offered and then the lunch service began. Orders were taken and I was asked whether I would prefer butter of olive oil and balsamic vinegar with my bread. Canapés were served, seconds were offered and then the tables were laid for lunch. Plastic cutlery was used due to security regulations, placed on a linen tablecloth along with rock salt and water. A choice of rolls was offered, which were quite hard. Cream of Sweet Corn Soup with Capsicum Salsa to start, followed by Lamb fillet with Mediterranean Vegetables and Mint Jus, which was quite tough. A side salad was also served. The food is served by hand and not from trolleys. Although the crew was friendly, the service on this flight seemed slightly slow and muddled. Many people in First Class were complaining and they forgot to offer me desert, only doing so when I stopped them from clearing away my table because I hadn't finished! It was worth the wait, however. I had baked Mango Tart with Clotted Cream, which was delicious. Coffee and tea were offered, served in individual Bodums along with Petites Fours. A "help yourself" tray was set up in the galley with fruit and snacks. Window blinds were pulled and people began to go to sleep. The seat is very comfortable and converts into a 6' 6'' flat bed. It also has lumbar support and a fibre optic reading light. All of the seats have access to an isle and so moving in and out of the seat was easy. Bottles of water were handed out and I asked the crew to make up my bed; they laid a soft Duna duvet and ensured I was comfortable. The cabin was full, but was not too cra mped even with all the seats made into beds. Half way through the flight, I was hungry and our flight attendant, brought Belgian chocolate ice cream. She was very approachable and friendly, chatting with the passengers and regularly patrolling the cabin offering drinks to those who were awake. The bed and extra personal space in First Class allowed me to get a decent night's sleep. About two hours out of Singapore, the cabin lights were turned on and those who wanted breakfast were woken up and our orders taken. Breakfast consisted of fruit salad, cereal, bakery items and a variety of hot choices. The meal was very satisfactory, the scrambled eggs being cooked to order. Many fresh fruit juices were available as well as a wake-up energiser drink. More croissants and rolls were offered before the tables were cleared. There was ample time to freshen up and change before the decent. The purser shook passenger's hands before an early landing into a deserted Changi airport. After a quick walk around the airport, boarding re-commenced for our flight to Sydney. There was a pre-board announcement for First/Business passengers and we boarded through a separate aerobridge. A young male flight attendant welcomed aboard and again offered drinks/almonds/olives and copies of the Sydney Herald. We took off early and the IFE system was switched on before orders for "morning refreshment" were taken. Fresh Tropical Fruit followed by Penne with Roasted Red and Yellow Capsicum Sauce. It was delicious and the service on this leg seemed much more organised. Again, flight attendants were friendly and chatty. The crew quickly offered help making up the beds and offered drinks regularly. The remaining four or five hours of the flight was over the Australian desert and a light dinner was served before landing, which, as I was eating out in Sydney, I refused. The toilets were clean and well - stocked throughout the flight and we landed on time. My luggage arrived very quickly, despite the lack of priority tag (it had been checked in by British Airways at Glasgow) and I was able to clear customs very quickly. I was in a taxi only fifteen minutes after leaving the aircraft. Overall, this was a pleasant trip, helped by the very friendly Qantas cabin crew, however there are a few aspects of the service that could be improved.
~ A little Background info ~ In 1920 a company was formed called Queensland And Northern Territories Aerial Services Ltd. It was with Qantas aircraft that the flying doctors service was launched in 1928 and basically the company has gone from precariously flying one or two passengers around in flimsy bi-planes to a huge airline with numerous worldwide routes. They own more than 130 aircraft and fly around 15 million passengers globally per year. Flights with Qantas available from London Heathrow head out to Singapore, Bangkok, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. If those three Australian destinations arent suitable you can of course transfer planes in either Singapore or Bangkok and from there flights are available to all major airports in both Aussie and New Zealand. There are three flights I shall be referring to during this review? QF 10 ? Heathrow to Singapore (747-338 Longreach) QF 82 ? Singapore to Adelaide (767-438) QF 484 ? Adelaide to Melbourne (737) (domestic flight) For the purposes of clarity I shall first write about the International flights! ~ The Planes ~ Despite my journey being on two different aeroplanes, luckily (from a writing this down point of view) the in flight basics were all the same so no ones going to get confused here. Both planes were what I would call roomy. Not over-spacious of course, this is economy flighing Im referring to! What I mean is that the aisles were wide enough to stroll down without tripping over my fellow passengers and the stewards/esses certainly didnt seem to have any trouble with their trolleys when moving up and down the plane. The overhead lockers were also located at a height where all but the shortest of people could access them easily but not so low down as I (at only just 5 foot tall) couldnt stand upright in my window seat. Seat pitch on a Qantas international aircraft is 32?. Now I know Im only a shorty, but the se at pitch was fine for me, I could even stand up with ease and get past my row mate without waking them up. The seats I have to admit arent the widest but they have lumbar support and they were very comfortable. The headrests also have adjustable wings which stops you falling onto your neighbours shoulder when you fall into a stupor or worse still having someone else slobbering all over you when they go to sleep! The seats of course recline and you can actually do so without the feeling that youre going to be looking up the person sat behind you?s nose if you do! What this means, is that yes I did get to sleep on both flights, although granted I did most of my snoring on the Singapore to Adelaide leg because the plane was half empty and I could lay down. Incidentally on both flights we all got a pillow, blanket, (neither were huge but hey they did the trick), eye mask, socks and a toothbrush/toothpaste set. Piece of useless information?my eye masks are still going strong?! The loos (sorry but got to go there..) were plentiful and spotless. ~ In-flight Entertainment ~ Now on both flights there were no back-of-seat built in television screens, which was a bit of a pain but not on the scale of things detrimental to the Qantas experience. The movies were shown on big screens at the front of each seating block and on small television screens suspended from the cabin ceiling at intervals down the aisles. The down side to this of course you have no choice as to what film youre watching; but as most airline in-flight movies are dire?! We were treated (and I mean that in the loosest sense of the word) to two films on the Heathrow ? Singapore leg, both of which were so memorable I cant remember a thing about either! I do however remember falling asleep during Crocodile Dundee III on the Adelaide leg. Headsets were given out at the beginning of each flight free of charge and were very well soundproofed. With these you could hear the soundtr ack to the film being shown and access the 15 or so radio channels. These werent that bad; endlessly looping of course but each loop did last around an hour. Examples of these channels I can remember include a rock station, one for classical music and by far the best?the comedy station. There was of course the obligatory in-flight magazine, which was of a fairly high standard. The articles were interesting; it was well laid out and did give details of what entertainment was available and the menus etc. I believe that now Qantas are installing back-of-seat entertainment units so things should be very different to what I have described here. According to their website they hope to have all of these changes implemented across the whole network by the end of 2003 and that these consoles will include movie channels, games and a telephone facility. ~ The Crew ~ The people who work for Qantas have to be the friendliest people in the whole world. Absolutely every little task they did was accompanied by a smile and nothing was too much trouble for them. Customer satisfaction is clearly very important to them and they will come running if you hit your in-seat call button although in my experience you didnt need to because they were all just so available and visible. Water was brought round roughly each and every hour and we were all encouraged to keep hydrated and to do our in-flight exercises (which were demonstrated on a pre-flight video). All in all they were just a very chatty bunch, and this IS both flights to which I am referring. They regularly went around the cabin with torches after lights out (these were both night flights) and if they saw you awake they would ensure you had everything you needed or theyd just stop for a natter! The pilots were different, the one we had from Singapore to Adelaide was a quiet sort of guy, but the one from London to Singapore did like to communicate with us mere mortals and did give updates when needed (for example when we diverted somewhere over Russia due to bad weather). ~ The Food ~ Now this may shock a lot of you. Not only were all four meals I was served edible, they were actually quite good and in one case delicious. Most unusual for airline food I have to admit. On each flight we were greeted on board with a glass of wine and breadsticks and the main meal was served as soon as we got to cruising altitude. The meal that stands out for me was a tomato and mushroom tagliatele followed by tiramisu. I could have eaten seconds and I did ask a passing stewardess if there were any spare meals! Now how many of you in cattle class can say you could even say what you had been given was edible, let alone want more?!?!?! A big well done from me to the Qantas chefs; they clearly paid attention in chef school! ~ Qantas Domestic ~ The brief (around 45 minutes) flight between Adelaide and Melbourne was on an aging 737. Seat pitch on here was slightly less than on their international aircraft but not enough to make things uncomfortable. Despite this clearly being an older aircraft the seating was well padded and comfortable, and there was enough room under the seat in front to stow my hand luggage without having to use the overhead locker. With this being such a short flight there obviously no in-flight meal provided, but we did all get breadsticks and a drink of fruit juice each. The entertainment was an episode of Seinfeld shown on the 2 televisions hung from the cabin ceiling. Of course we all got the complimentary headsets. Again the crew were a friendly bunch, and despite this being the briefest of flights they still took time to make sure everyone was ok and to chat to passengers. ~ Summing Up ~ Would I fly Qantas again is, I suppose the obvious question here and the answer is a resounding YES PLEASE! The international aircraft standard is excellent, they are clean, co mfortable and the staff really do help make your flight an enjoyable one. Qantas are at the upper end of the ticket-price scale but in this case you really do get what you pay for. Incidentally I paid £740 for my return flights during Australian off-season, which was a discounted price because I only booked a few weeks in advance of travel. My advice would be to shop around to get the best deal, or check out their website for the best deals available?
Well, the last thing you want is to be stuck in some cattle market-like economy class cabin for a 24-hour flight. It seems that our friends at Qantas are experts at this however. Yes, today we look at the world of Qantas, Australia?s national carrier. The flights in question are QF002 and QF047, the first involving a trip from London Heathrow to Sydney with a fuel stop in Bangkok and the second flight, QF047 being a short leg from Sydney to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand?s northern island. Sorry for the delay in writing, but as most of you are aware, this op actually comes from New Zealand with all the facts about the airline still remaining fresh in the back of my head. I have collected my thoughts and am now ready to tell you all about Qantas. Who Qantas Are? Qantas are the flagship Australian airline, that is, it is their responsibility to ferry people back and forth to their land and make sure that those who pay less to travel in economy class have a very uncomfortable ride indeed. Their main base sits at Sydney but they also now have plenty of flights between Brisbane and Melbourne ? their CityFlyer service has just been extended to offer some very regular flights ? up to one every half-hour between these three destinations. What they own? Their long haul fleet mainly comprises of 747-400s ? the largest aircraft currently in existence, and more commonly known as the jumbo jet, but it is soon to be knocked off its thrown by Airbus? latest offering ? the rather bulky A380. They also have plenty of domestic routes linking many of the cities within their home country of Australia and there are also some shorter flights which hop across to New Zealand ? up to ten times a day during peak seasons from Sydney to Wellington. Where they fly? These marvellous contraptions link cities dotted all over the world ? quite amazing really. The large beasts take off and ferry passeng ers to and forth from places located all around the globe. The remote bush-covered island is linked internationally by Qantas. But even though their route network is disgustingly extensive, that certainly doesn?t mean that their customer service can?t be absolutely useless. And if you keep reading you will realise this may well be the case. There?s no point being big and bad! Flight Focus? Let?s take a closer look. I?m going to outline my experience of Qantas to you in a rather long [and very, very boring] story so that perhaps you can get an idea of what the company is like and what my sufferings were for this opinion. We start way back at Heathrow airport, stuck in sombre London. The time is 8 O?clock and the Etheridge clan emerge out of their cab and gather their belongings, heading towards the Terminal Four entrance, where all of the Qantas flights depart from. Checking In? Because every airline has decided that they want to cut costs since the events of September 11, they have decided that six check-in desks are enough to get 400 passengers registered on to the flight. I unsurprisingly disagree. But before queuing is permitted, a letter about offloading is dished out ? the flight was overbooked and therefore they wanted to dispose of passengers with some rather uninviting deal. The request was that if you skipped that day?s flight you could have a free trip. But once you get on board the manky Qantasmobile you will conclude that you do not actually want the free flight since it will be so uncomfortable that you may in fact not take advantage of the deal. But I?m rambling ? I must move on. Well, your feet join the excessively long queue and you slowly inch forward through the maze-like marked path. With no exaggeration I will tell you that I spent an hour and a half waiting to hand over our bags. But eventually our turn came. We waddled slowly to the desk and the man sat in front of us grinned and looked at our tickets. I?m not sure if the grin was at my passport photo or my son?s cheeky grin though? But he was friendly enough and checked us in through to Wellington. Roaming? Time was passing slowly and we sat around the airport although we didn?t have much time to spare simply because we had spent so long in the queue at check-in, which trust me was a seriously long and boring process which should be avoidable. But our time came. We made our way towards gate 42 [I think ? sorry, mind is somewhat rusty] and had our boarding passes torn, after spending long enough in a dull queue again. But finally we were on our way. We walked down the air bridge and took our seats. On Board? Yes, we parked our bottoms in row 48 after dumping our bags in the overhead lockers. The crew were helpful enough and did their bit to make sure that we were happy and comfortable. But we have to be careful when we sit down. You see, the headphones were rather annoyingly dumped on our seats along with a pillow, leaving the aircraft looking rather a mess which is a shame for such a colossal beast. But the headphones were removed from their crushing and promptly plugged in. Second Impressions? Well, we were comfortable now so wee settled in to our seats and flicked through the inflight magazine [more later]. But it looked rather dull so a look at the large screen was taken. This screen is shared by all of the passengers in the cabin and also rather unclear. But shown from the red, green and blue projector was a series of images of cities from around the world. From Auckland to Zimbabwe, everything you could imagine was shown in this brief ?Q Postcards? offering from the company. But time was getting on and the 10 O?clock takeoff slot was nearing, so it was time to start the final procedures before the great machine left the ground. It was the hour for the cabin crew?s ultimate humiliation ? the safety demonstration. The event passed seamlessly and we took off on time. But now it was time for something worse. It was time for the dreaded, the hated, the evil? the inflight meal. I will tell you, this is something that ALL departures from London fail at ? they are useless. Culinary Excellence? We sat for a while ? since we were in the middle of the cabin that made us the last people to be served the meal. The revolting concoction took over half an hour to distribute but I wasn?t jealous of the other passengers [or customers as they are now called] who already had their meals. London has a disease. They are stuck on their little island chanting ?God save the queen? thinking they are the masters of the world when everything around Lizzie II is collapsing. And the biggest British failure by far is their inflight meal service. No matter which airline you travel with out of London you can guarantee that the meal will be revolting. Qantas is no exception. My wife rather unfortunately for herself requested to eat the ?fish option.? Inflight salmon. Sounds avoidable. I can tell you that even though all meals out of Heathrow are bad, The one with Qantas was by far the worst I have experienced. The bread was somewhat less than crusty and the gourmet food was somewhat less than gourmet. The milk was somewhat less than fresh. The meal was described my fellow ?customers? as ?absolutely disgusting.? I can say that I agree strongly with these remarks because the food really was disgusting, as was my child?s vomit which promptly followed it. Entertainment? We have concluded that we don?t like the meal so perhaps we should look at the entertainment to keep us smiling and to take our mind off the rather bad stomach ache which has formed within our bellies. Lets take a look at the communal screen. So we observe the large projector screen and upon it we have never seen bef ore offerings, or not very good offerings. We had news films dated by two days since they were recorded in Australia before the plane came out to pick us up in London. And we had a look at some boasting films by Qantas which told us how wonderful the paintwork on their newest 737-800 is, which even has blended winglets ? hooray! An ugly lady presented us this information and also told us more about the CityFlyer service. The Magazine? Named ?Qantas: The Australian Way? this publication seems to be the only decent thing on board the whole aircraft. There are plenty of articles but don?t expect current affairs. There are all sorts of things about ancient ozzie tribes and cultures. There are also plenty of details about cities and focuses taking a look at what?s on around the country ? readable but not revoltingly interesting, but will keep you more entertained than craning your neck to see the tiny screen which is showing a poor film anyway. The publication is well designed though and contains interesting info as well as practical details including how to use the audio systems and some exercises to help prevent you from suffering from the dreaded deep vein thrombosis, or economy class syndrome. Space, décor and comfort? The cabin is rather dated and the panels which make up the walls of the interior as well as the ceiling were somewhat separated with age in that they had drifted apart under the strain of many years of turbulence. The aircraft should be up for refurbishment soon. The common on Qantas disastrous interior design looks a serious mess with the nasty patterns and ugly panels along the sides of the cabin. I think all passengers will agree that the aircraft could look somewhat better to all folk on board. For some reason, long distance aircraft always come across as more cramped and uncomfortable with all of the seats terribly squashed in and it seems that they are more squashed than their shorthaul counterparts which is not good news. My Qantas experience proved a miserable one since I was rather squashed and my tall self did not adapt well to the conditions it was subjected to in the cramped fuselage of the 747. I would much rather be in a private jet. Even better in first class ? Dan and economy don?t mix. My Seat? Let?s have a more detailed glance at my bum-support. The rather nasty looking fabric design was certainly not the best achievement of the textiles world but because I was fortunate enough to suffer a nightflight it was hidden away. As you sit in it, you will find a control panel on your right which allows you to switch through audio channels as well as activate a reading light which all passengers have and to call a member of cabin crew to attend to your every need. The headrest over your head [amazingly] will have two flaps which can be folded in order to make a cradle for your head which is nice and comfy. This is great if you want to sleep but the guy next to you has unwillingly nicked your pillow. And of course in front of you is positioned the pocket which contains documentation for all sorts of things you might want to know about. There?s stuff about duty free and also endless detail in the inflight magazine about many topics along with a grand sickbag. Other Classes? And as always, as you leave the aircraft you are forced to exit through the whole aircraft if you begin your voyage in economy, so you have to see the comfort and luxury you could have experienced had you been willing to fork out that little bit extra. Unfortunately for me at my 6 foot 7 I was stuck in cattle class all the way, which trust me, was not a good experience at all. In fact, it was far from it. I was wedged between my seat and the one in front throughout the whole journey. But at least Economy looked tidy. I passed through business class at the start of the flight and the cabin looked tired and overused. The leather armrests were sagging from overuse and were obviously in need of replacement. However, I have no complaint about the first class cabin I observed. There were reclining seats which form beds identical to ones experiencable on Iberia airlines of Spain which made me incredibly jealous. The cabin looked new and fresh. Service? The staff are rather friendly although if you annoy them or perhaps get in their way when they are doing the meal service etc they may get a little fed up but generally they are fine. But you should try and avoid calling them on the button when the cabin lights are dimmed. You see, the crew will often sleep and relax, and perhaps eat a meal when they have the lights dimmed and I personally believe it is a bit inconsiderate and a little nasty to disturb them during their break. If you want some water, there are simple coolers throughout the plane. Alliances? Qantas has many agreements with other airlines, which include its involvement in the OneWorld alliance, whose aims remain unclear but is basically an agreement between many of the world?s airlines to provide better customer service. The aim of the alliance is for the airlines to sell each other?s tickets ? that?s what the companies get out of them. Say you live in the UK and you want to book a flight from Malaga to Madrid. No problem ? BA will sell you a seat on the Iberia flight. There is also Qantas? agreement with BA which consists on many codeshares on flights. This is basically the same idea as the OneWorld alliance, only its on a smaller scale ? so BA and Qantas sell each other?s tickets here. Good for the passenger. Destinations? Glancing out of my hotel window, I can see a Qantas advert and I can tell you from that that the airline flies to 110 cities in 33 countries, across most of the world in six continents ? they do have the globe pret ty well covered. But the problem is, as I have said, that these cities are linked by a rather aged fleet. Although many of the aircraft are being retired, Qantas are reluctant to say goodbye to older aircraft because they are not sure if it?s economically worth buying new fleet in the short term. But if you want to get to Australia then you shouldn?t really have much trouble since Qantas have the world covered although it is probably worth trying to avoid them if at all possible, although I will say they are preferable to a flight with BA! It?s a long flight? Well, you are going to be locked up in that germ spreader for a long time so I think it?s only fair for me to give you my tips for travelling in economy class. I fly a lot involving many time zone changes so I hope you think I?m qualified to dish out tips? [Catching some sleep] Trying to sleep on a plane can be difficult. Sleeping in economy can be very difficult. However, if you are stuck on a long flight you will want to get some rest to help you feel fresh for when you arrive at your destination. Well my advice to you is to take the pillow you should have been given. If you don?t get one, ask for one. Get a blanket too. Cover yourself with the blanket and then hold your head with your hand, leaning on the armrest, with the pillow between your hand and head. This should keep your head comfortable and avoid pins and needles in your arm, which is great. You should avoid using a blindfold ? they are uncomfortable and can often distract you from dozing off in to a nice deep relaxation period. [Fresh on arrival] If you are on a long flight, you should get a basic toiletry kit. It?s worth nipping in to the loo about twenty minutes before you land to give your teeth a quick scrub as well as comb your hair, perhaps shave [guys] and wash your face etc. [Beat jet lag] The best way to get your body in to the swing of things is to completely ignore what it wants to do. Start doing everything at local time ? sleep, food, wash, exercise ? everything. You may feel a bit dodgy at first? ?I still feel rather dodgy and as though I?m floating through turbulence but it is getting better. If you can?t sleep, read a book for a bit. You?ll tire. Ahh, and the best sleeping position is to rest with your hands on your chest, lying on your back with your eyes closed. Well these tips should help you have a better time so that you don?t feel terrible when you arrive although I am feeling rather dizzy ? so apologies if any of this opinion doesn?t make sense but my body is programmed to be asleep right now ? not typing and sipping coffee! Summary? Ahh, yes, back to the opinion. You should try and avoid Qantas although they are tolerable and better than many other airlines you?ll find around. The meals are gross and check-in takes ages. It?s probably an idea to try and sleep as you wont miss many decent films. The bottom line? They are OK, and sure, they get you from A to B relatively safely although their aircraft are getting on a bit and the rust on the tail really isn?t encouraging. And one last thing, as I hinted at in my title, you don?t get a sweet to suck to stop your ears popping! ©, Daniel Etheridge for uk.ciao.com and dooyoo.co.uk, 2002
I hate to be negative, I really do. In fact, if I didn't know any better, I probably wouldn't even be writing this. But I do - I flew the same route on BA! I'm talking about a longhaul flight back from Bangkok to Heathrow. The outward leg was BA and brilliant. Strangely enough I had heard that BA was awful and Qantas was great, so after my BA heaven I was expecting great stuff. Sadly, it was not to be... Instead of individual video screens, we were forced to crane our necks to see over the people in front to a small screen several rows away. Worse - since there was only one screen, there was only one channel, and therefore no choice of entertainment. The food was fine, but I felt that drinks were almost rationed! There were no self-service water coolers, but instead the cabin crew would come round at rare intervals offering drinks. Similarly, when requesting wine with my meal, it was carefully measured from a large bottle rather than handed over in a mini bottle as with most other airlines. By far the worst aspect though was the near-freezing temperature on board. We had left temperatures of about 30 degrees, but the aircon on board was on full. I, and several other, passengers were shivering, and I was wearing a pashmina as well as the airplane blanket. When asked for an extra blanket, I ws told "I'm sorry, the plane is full, we don't have any spares". Now, not for one minute do I believe that they have no spares! What about spares kept in case of passenger illness? I explained that the temperature was so low that many of us were very cold, and was told "Research has shown that 16 degrees is the optimum ambient temperature for travellers". OK, well maybe so (although I find this claim rather dubious), but my goosebumps were showing that it was clearly not the case! I'm trying to think what annoyed me more: the bad facilities and the cold, or the attitude of the staff. Probably the l atter, but I would never use Qantas again.
I have just spent the summer travelling with the 'One World' alliance around Australia and America. This included 2 flights with Qantas. I had heard great things about the company so was expecting to have a reasonably comfortable flights. The first flight was from Singapore to Perth and lasted for around 5 hours. The service wasn't great but it wasn't terrible either. We survived the flight and convinced ourselves that the second would be better as it was 13 hours from Sydney to LA. We couldn't have been more wrong! We were positioned about 3/4 of the way towards the back of the plane which meant that whenever they came down with drinks, flight packs etc they always ran out before reaching us. Rather than just go and find some more they preferred the option that we should just go without! If you asked for a drink etc you had to wait for ages for someone to acknowledge your request let alone bring you one. One member of the crew was blatantly rude to us when we asked for a glass of water, flouncing off saying that 'He was doing Duty Free not drinks!'. Also the style of plane meant that even though there were films shown unless you could sit in the most awkward positions there wasn't a hope in hell of you being able to see the screens. Even then it was only ok if you were lucky enough to be sat in one of the seats where the earphones actually worked! Everyone knows that long haul flights aren't much fun, but you do expect a little bit of customer services on flights that have cost a fortune!
I’ve flown with Quantas on a trip to (yes you guessed it) Australia (Cairns). The trip from the UK is very long so be prepared for a marathon trip. The first sector was from London Heathrow to Singapore. We then had a four hour wait in Singapore for out next leg to Darwin. From Darwin after another wait we flew on to our final destination Cairns. The whole trip took around 24 hours (with stops). I’m sure there are quicker routes but most people are trying to get the best deal hence the less direct journey. The experience was still a good one (apart from my partners dislike to the turbulence). The staff were excellent. I don’t know how they do it. We were exhausted just travelling never mind working. We also took an internal flight from Cairns to Melbourne which went smoothly. The return flight home from Melbourne to London was more straight foreword than the outgoing flight. The overall experience was pleasant and I would have no hesitation in recommending Quantas to anyone. The only criticisms and this applies to most airlines was the lack of leg room (try and wangle an upgrade) on the plane and the excessive waiting which is not always communicated.
Ive flown to many places around the world and I would have to say that Quantas are the best long haul yet. It has the best safety record in the worlsd for a major airline. At 777 pounds return to Oz via Singapore with two free internal flights you have to say that is a real bargain as most cities in Australia are far apart so it saves on the budget if your backpacking or on a low cost tour.You can change the return date while you are there up to three times with out a fee which is a real must for travellers.Even after that you can stillsweet talk the airline for more. The food isn’t too bad and the in-flight movies are up to date with out the Mr. Bean episode that seems compulsory these days. Well the yanks love him. If you ask for another free beer its no problem and a bit of strategic seating near the stewardesses on long haul flights will guarantee extras to keep you refreshed through the 20 hour flight although You do tend to be in the wrong place to see the TV screen here, then again you don’t get to watch Mr. Bean! The cheaper summer flights with Quantas start in May packed full of students on the “year out”at around 680-700 quid but fill quickly as the other cheaper airlines that run out to Oz like Olympic and Garuda can be a night mare with cramped seats and full toilets as the food can be bad I have heard from friends.
A few weeks ago I flew to Australia on Quantas. I found the cabin crew were very helpful and nice. It is also the only airline I have flown on which has a decent selection of radio programmes. I flew in Economy class which was nice, spacious and comfortable. The selection of food was good and there was something for everyone in the drinks department! Overall a comfortable and friendly experience, and they always seemed to get to the destination 20 minutes early!