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back to article Qantas' biggest problems are … Apple, Samsung and Google?

Australia's flag carrier Qantas last week announced it will cut 5,000 jobs, ground planes, quit unprofitable routes, stop expansion of its budget offshoots and, in all likelihood try to replace its little sachets of peanuts with something cheaper. The airline blamed legislation, market conditions, foreign governments and just …

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Anonymous Coward

I've flown long-haul on Qantas a number of times because I had no choice. More often than not the poor quality of the food made me feel ill, so even that's not a differentiator as far as I'm concerned.

I flew internationally on an Indian airline once and the food was fantastic.

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Couldn't agree more

Qantas is in trouble because it's a shitty airline and the worst I've had the misfortune to fly with (apart from LOT. I once flew with them in the 70s and it was a bit scary.)

As for Indian food, many airlines offer Asian meals as an option and they are always better than the standard fare.

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Qantas can just about be trusted do cheese and biscuits and their coffee was decent on domestic routes.

I learnt years ago to avoid eating on flights international or otherwise. Even if its good, the environment means you won't enjoy it. Besides, skipping a meal helps to screw up your body clock and makes it easier to get it reset for local time.

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Bronze badge

Re: Couldn't agree more

I certainly don't regard QANTAS as the worst airline I've flown with ... that award would go to the (now defunct) Olympic Airways. QANTAS are by no means the best, but they're not the worst either, and I have not had any truly horrendous experiences with them.

As to the budget airlines, it's not always a real economy - the last trip I booked to Jakarta, after taking into account the potential charges for food, luggage, seat allocation, etc, etc, the QANTAS fare in fact came in cheaper (as well as avoiding a lengthy layover in KL).

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Meh

Re: Couldn't agree more

I certainly don't regard QANTAS as the worst airline I've flown with

If you'd been fucked about by Qantas as often and as badly as I have then you'd have a different opinion. They are awful.

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Anonymous Coward

Stilnox

Half an hour awake in Economy class on Stilnox (Ambien) still beats nineteen hours in business class.

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bep

On the other hand

I recently booked some long-haul flights and I deliberately paid a (admittedly small) premium to go on the national carrier of a small Asian island state rather than a middle-eastern carrier that is a Qantas partner. This was owing to a nightmare experience on said carrier, which is somehow very highly rated, and first-hand experience that the stop-over airport did not match the publicity shots. The entertainment system helps, but it doesn't make any difference to flight delays or other shambles.

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Where is this noteworthy 'entertainment' and 'comfort' I'm hearing about on QANTAS flights that supposedly sets them above others?

I am not the most frequent of fliers - either domestically or internationally - but I have flown my fair share and in my experience it's all about luck; flying with one carrier over another is no surety of things going well.

That said, I am not going to fly QANTAS on my UK trip this year as I have gone through Dubai before and do not wish to do so again.

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Keep Pointing, QANTAS

Many of us remember what you did to Ansett!

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Re: Keep Pointing, QANTAS

Uh, what? Ansett did it all to themselves. Or, if you prefer, Air New Zealand, who owned Ansett at the time, did it all to them.

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Coat

I support two teams...

Sounds like the typical whining you get from them ozzies whenever they're not winning at something.

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Joke

Re: I support two teams...

Hey Pomgolian, how can you tell when a plane load of Aussies has landed?

The whining doesn't stop when they shutdown the engines!

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I've flown Emirates a few times from Oz to Europe and back. The stopover in Dubai is a PITA, though the view on departure can be pretty amazing. But the planes are new, the interiors are pleasant (for people tubes), the seats are relatively comfy (for aeroplane seats), the entertainment system (it's Linux - I saw them boot it) is awesome and the food was restaurant quality (not Michelin star, but I've had much worse).

Oh - and the prices were less than those of Qantas.

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Facepalm

@Big-nosed Pengie, @Winkypop

I've flown Emirates a few times from Oz to Europe and back. The stopover in Dubai is a PITA, though the view on departure can be pretty amazing...

Oh - and the prices were less than those of Qantas.

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QANTAS will soon stop all international flights from Perth.

So the decision is clear.

Emirates all the way. They are superior anyway...

As a bloated plutocrat (retired) who flies from Perth to Europe, I have travelled in the pointy end on both. I have just booked for two of us to travel to the UK to enjoy a cool, wet, summer (as opposed to a cool, wet, Perth winter). Originally Qantas went through Singapore, a longer flight, but a pleasant stop-over. Now that they both go through Dubai (not that pleasant) there is little difference, other than cost and service:-

Qantas - Food OK; staff friendly; service is so, so.

Emirates - Food OK, particularly if you like it spicy, service good; staff a bit reserved.

I am not that bothered about the in-flight entertainment. I take a book/iPad and go to sleep. The seat/beds are better on Qantas, but not enough to make much difference.

A hint to Qantas: The pointy end people pay 4 times the cost of cattle-class. The cost of Qantas (on a special deal) was $60 less than a similar deal with Emirates. Emirates always arrange for a chauffeur-driven limo to and from the airport, and will chauffeur you up to 100 miles to and from your destination airport - This would cost them less than $100 x 4 - If I am paying you $16,000 for two people, I WANT this. Yes I know that I could (and have) arranged this myself, but with this concept called "service", I should not have to...

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IT Angle

Re: @Big-nosed Pengie, @Winkypop

Economy is more money per square meter and kg of seats. All those people in the back are paying more than their fair share and it is time to end the heavy first class discounts.

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Re: @-tim

"Economy is more money per square meter and kg of seats. All those people in the back are paying more than their fair share and it is time to end the heavy first class discounts."

Probably not. See link here

...Though first class represents less than 5 percent of all seats flown on long-haul routes, and business class accounts for 15 percent, those seats combined to generate 40 to 50 percent of airlines’ revenue, according to Peter Morris, the chief economist at Ascend, an aviation consulting firm...

A rough rule is that Business Class is about 4 times the cost of Economy, and takes up about twice the space. First Class, which I no longer use, is about 7 times the cost of Economy and uses about 4 times the space. The relative mass of the seats and other goodies is less than this ratio. The cabin-crew ratio would however be more favorable to the pointy-end people. A better case might be made that Business Class subsidizes everybody else on long distance routes?

As an aside, when I was working, I was the main shareholder in the company, so how I spent the money on travel tended to be literally, and figuratively, my business.

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Coat

Five Words ...

Alan Joyce and the Board

As the old saying goes: "The fish rots from the head".

When the problem is this bad there's no one else to blame but those in charge. And when they (especially Alan Joyce) blame everyone and everything else, then that's the clear marker that the blame really lies with the one doing all of the finger pointing.

Hopefully, as another oldish saying goes "Alan Joyce. You are the weakest link. Goodbye"

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Facepalm

Yeah, no.

The in-flight entertainment was never a reason to choose Qantas. Besides, once I had *any* form of entertainment that was out of the THIS IS YOUR CABIN CREW SHOUTING THROUGH YOUR EARPHONES, YOU ARE ON A PLANE, IT IS GOING SOMEWHERE, THAT PLACE HAS WEATHER, ENJOY YOUR FLIGHT ear pain loop it won over anything any airline had to offer, even if it was just an mp3 player, screens be damned.

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Not my usual routes, however...

I have never travelled to Oceania, so Qantas is completely off my map. But living in Mexico and having an Argentinian wife means a sizable chunk of our money goes to the airline that best delivers us South for vacations.

We have taken Aeromexico, which has direct flights between Mexico and Argentina, and seems to be on the same league as what you describe of Qantas. But it is oh-so-expensive, we have only used it in recent years when we could "pay" with miles flown with LAN (thankfully in an alliance).

Now, LAN is a Chilean airline. We sometimes lay over in Chile, sometimes in Peru. LAN has a better entertainment system, yes, but I don't really mind it so much — I can perfectly stand being bored for twelve hours, the world won't stop turning. And yes, I don't travel without my Kindle. But the differentiator for me (besides being cheaper) is that it has better seating. I am not _that_ tall (1.85) although am somewhat overweight, but I just fit better in LAN's aircraft. And that's worth a lot.

What we think to do next time, however, is not to choose based on neither of those factors: We will try to fly to Rosario, via Brazil. This means, the trip will be a bit longer, maybe even a bit more expensive, but we will avoid the quite uncomfortable transit from the international airport to Buenos Aires, and then 3hr of the trip North by land (our family lives ~500Km from Buenos Aires).

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No escape for us

QANTAS will soon stop all international flights from Perth.

So the decision is clear.

Emirates all the way. They are superior anyway.

They even have power sockets and USB in their seat backs on the 777.

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Happy

Re: No escape for us

Ethiad do too, and I think you can hook certain devices into the screen and speakers.

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Happy

...and in other news....

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-27/air-new-zealand-posts-40-per-cent-profit-rise-as-qantas-flounde/5288062

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FAIL

Re: ...and in other news.... Air NZ profit

... AIr New Zealand's profit is nothing to do with its performance or being a National carrier. It has everything to do with its asset sales and contraction (this year only).

After all, its their first reported profit for a decade or so. There is no way a carrier for a far-flung island like ours can possibly turn a profit, unless local regulation allows it to do so. And doing that flies in the face of supporting competition (and hikes prices on the consumer).

Qantas on the other hand has also been busy flogging assets, contracting its business and diverging into other nation's markets. Hardly the core business of a national carrier. By focusing on investing elsewhere, local management have failed to develop the core business (or even compete). In fact the company's managers have deliberately or stupidly caused operational shutdowns to have run ins with staff in line with a misguided strategy/advice.

Now looking the other way is one thing, but

- Focusing all your business resources (let alone capital and capacity) on other markets

- Cooking the books to do it

- Having barely any ad campaigns to build the brand other than an occasional abysmal failure

- Fighting misguided national political and PR battles

- Losing investors money to force the government to bank-roll and/or deregulate your business

... all this points to another management team explaining evaporating profits whilst dumping money on speculative and risky overseas ventures through hasty and secretive restructuring, just like Telstra (Sensis, PCCW, Spike, Massive, etc.)

When all is said and done, once the Leprechaun has done the bidding of the asset strippers and eventually gets seen by the government for the appalling stooge he really is. And Abbot and Hockey will be known for driving flat out as the dying kangaroo as it tries to crawl off the road on their way to the worst recession we didn't have to have.

In the end, all this is about maximising the returns for those who control the business. At the moment, they are nothing more than asset stripping bankers, and their mates are telling them they can strip the government's pockets of some tax-payer funds at the same time as they take the cash they're collecting from the poor ol' dying kangaroo's pouch.

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Re: ...and in other news.... Air NZ profit

@ Pu02

"... AIr New Zealand's profit is nothing to do with its performance or being a National carrier. It has everything to do with its asset sales and contraction "

Evidence?

They admit to retrenching 441 staff, but all businesses do that from time to time. I can find no evidence of asset sales, and a lot of evidence that a lot of the profit is due to a 3.2% rise in passenger revenue. I wasn't aware that being a 'national carrier' was part of the discussion in the article, other than one of many of QF's excuses.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/financial-results/8363153/Air-NZ-interim-profit-soars

If you can post a link to anything contrary to that, I would be most interested.

"There is no way a carrier for a far-flung island like ours can possibly turn a profit,"

I beg to differ. Air New Zealand has made legitimate profits in the past after protection was removed by the implementation of a form of 'open skies' policy. They've had their rough passages as have all airlines in a rapidly changing environment, so again, if you have a link to any evidence for your thinking, kindly post it for our own edification - unless this is just your own opinion!

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Anyone else notice?

It's more expensive to fly SYD->LHR return than the other way around?

If its clear to an IT bod as to what the problem is, why has the highly-paid CEO not seen it coming?

My impression is that Australia in general is used to having geographical monopolies and price gouging whenever possible. They have grown fat on this but now the internet is beginning to bite and the internal economy is struggling a lot to re-adjust.

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bep

Re: Anyone else notice?

This is standard operating procedure for airlines everywhere. For example, compare fares from the USA to South America and vice versa. There is no logic whatever to airfares, and if there is it is that the fares will be whatever the locals can afford to pay. Try flying to Brazil for the World Cup, for example, and you will even find situations where flying the second leg of a two-leg flight costs MORE than the full trip. Crazy stuff.

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Really? Wow.

I had to fly Economy from England to New Zealand twice last year. Once with Air New Zealand, and another with Quantas. I was very happy with both flights. Food was fine, comfort was good, hostesses were friendly, etc.

The worst part of those trips was returning from Sydney to England on BA. OMG. There's an airline that does NOT represent England, or comfort, or quality.

Tiny video screens, crappy-looking cramped aircraft, no "full service" here.

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Joke

Well BA was being run by an Aussie (Eddington) a short while ago!! Getting their own back for the Ashes loss, perhaps?

Or just good healthy competition. Infiltrate the opposition and disable them.

Or more realistically, maybe this is the real reason for QANTAS's downfall!

http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/09/22/how-geoff-dixons-millions-grounded-qantas/

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I've flown overseas a few times over the years, and I have found the experience much worse when not flying Qantas. BA seems less well maintained (in the sense of cleaning the cabin, rather than keeping the plane flying), and Virgin made me check in separately for each leg of an international flight.

The latter is my fear if they re-separate the domestic and international arms of Qantas. And if they do separate, will they both be called Qantas? Or will they come up with a new name for the domestic carrier? How about "Trans Australia Airlines"? That has a nice ring to it...

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Sorry to burst your bubble that but noone chooses airline based on entertainment.

Price, time flown, convenience of connecting flights, even seat width - yes, entertainment - no.

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