Qantas domestic business class experience

By David69 | Jan 17, 2019, 03:14 PM
I don't know if I just caught them on a bad day but I found my Sydney to Brisbane business class flight with Qantas to be a pretty poor experience. I regularly fly this route on Virgin but thought I'd give my wife a chance to experience the Qantas business class offering for the first time.

STAFF SERVICE: It started with the greeting as we boarded - "Oh, you're here now". You'd think we were late but there were still 20 to 30 people behind us. We always get a warm greeting on Virgin and once seated, the crew person greets us using our names and introduces themselves by name as the person looking after us. This is promptly followed by an offer of water, juice or sparkling wine. Once seated with Qantas, we got "here's some water" as the bottle was plonked down. There was no attempt whatsoever to greet us in a polite way. As the meal was quite small, I asked for some cheese and crackers that had been mentioned previously. These were then promised but never delivered. Another good thing that Virgin does upon landing is to have a crew person stand at the rear of business class to block the aisle until business passengers have departed. This didn't happen on my Qantas flight so there was a scramble to the front as soon as the seat belt light was turned off. There was also no friendly farewell upon disembarking.

MEALS: I've had better meals in economy than what was served up. This is an area where Virgin seems to be well ahead in terms of meal quality and presentation.

CABIN EXPERIENCE: The seats are comfortable but the buttons didn't work on either seat to recline the back or put the leg rest up. There was also a known problem with the air conditioning. It felt that the heater was on more often than any cool air, making it a quite uncomfortable flight.

ENTERTAINMENT: We flew 4 legs on our trip. On both occasions, I was half way through a movie which I intended to finish watching on the 2nd leg. Unfortunately they don't synchronise the offerings on their two different in flight entertainment systems so I was stuck with unfinished movies.

LOUNGE ACCESS ON ARRIVAL: I guess I've just been spoiled by Virgin but I was surprised that we weren't allowed into the lounge upon arrival to freshen up.

I'll have to give them another go just to check if it was a one off but I'd definitely be more inclined to book Virgin for future flights.
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theworld2

By sgb | Jan 17, 2019, 03:47 PM
Yes standards are indeed falling, my brother is a pilot with QF and says the thongs and shorts brigade have taken over, it's a miracle one of the last row mob didn't claim your overhead locker on their way through before you arrived, that often happens, saves them carrying oversized stuff all the way to the rear. I just don't think cabin crew attending to Business class should be that underwhelmed, if that's how they behave i think they should be reeducated with a stint at Jetstar so they appreciate their positions of Power.
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By koji | Jan 17, 2019, 03:54 PM
I almost 100% agree with you. The inflight service, including cabin crew , inflight meal and seats, of VA is much better than QF. But the overall lounge quality of QF is extraordinary, though the arrival lounge is not accessible. Personally, I found it useless for a domestic flight, except for the overnight transcontinent flights while Qantas has already arranged special treatment.
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By BrisLuxe | Jan 17, 2019, 04:13 PM
I have only flown business with Virgin over the last few years and didn't realise how accustomed I was to their " Welcome Mr ... and welcome Mrs.." and other attentive touches. I assumed Qantas did the same. But, we just flew business with Qantas to HK and back and were shocked at the level of service, so if they serve up the same on their domestic routes, I'll stay away. I swore i'd never fly Jeststar after they threw the meal boxes at us on a trip to Hawaii a few years ago, but Qantas business wasn't very far behind.
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By adethyasjce | Jan 17, 2019, 04:19 PM
@ David69 : Whoa! that experience from QF sounds bad and I feel for you and your wife that you'd to go through with that

Re Staff Experience : For me, it was not as bad as you mentioned - have done a few MEL-SYD, MEL-BNE legs and the flight attendants are usually attentive and offer drinks (water or juice) on seating and do introduce themselves to each passenger in the cabin.


Re the Food : I particularly found the food to be of good quality, but, point to note is, I always pre-order my meals (I'm strict Indian Veg.) & I'm not sure if you took the meals that were on the menu the day you flew or pre-ordered your food?


Re disembarking : I have seen this happen a lot and my guess is it depends on what flight is being flown that day - for instance, if the flight was a A330 where J extends for 2 sections in the front - then the J passengers get the chance to disembark or Y passengers are unable to get to the front as quickly as the seat belt sign is turned off. However, if you were in one of those flights where you turn left for J and right for Y, then Y passengers tend to crown the door as soon as the seat belt sign is turned off


Re Cabin Experience : most of the times, if the cabin isn't fully occupied, FA's offer to move you to a different seat where the recline works fine ? I assume your cabin was full or as you mentioned you travelled w/ your wife, you'd have preferred to sit next to each other and no two seats next to each other were free in the cabin ?


Re Entertainment : Have to agree w/ you. Also what I find some what frustrating is the frequent interruptions through the PA system - most of the announcements are well timed and necessary, however, a few have been interrupting my watching the IFE - but for me, interruption during IFE isn't the main issue. I try to get some sleep on my flights as I always take red-eyes or early AM flights for work and the PA keeps waking me up... but I guess that's something we have to put up with :)


Re lounge on arrival - I take it you are not QFF Platinum and that's why there is lounge access on arrival?


However, on your experience, did you have a chance to write to QF or call up the customer care to lodge your concerns? I'm not sure how much of help if would be or it could simply be "We've taken note of this and shall make sure that this doesn't happen in the future" or "We're terribly sorry for what you've gone through, our sincere apologies blah blah"

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By adethyasjce | Jan 17, 2019, 04:25 PM
Yes standards are indeed falling, my brother is a pilot with QF and says the thongs and shorts brigade have taken over, it's a miracle one of the last row mob didn't claim your overhead locker on their way through before you arrived, that often happens, saves them carrying oversized stuff all the way to the rear. I just don't think cabin crew attending to Business class should be that underwhelmed, if that's how they behave i think they should be reeducated with a stint at Jetstar so they appreciate their positions of Power.

Re sending FA's for re-education w/ Jetstar - I sometimes take JQ for domestic J and I found that they are very good in customer service. I couldn't find anything to say about the way J passengers are treated (any passenger in a JQ service for that matter - have flown numerous Y with JQ over the years). They make sure that each passenger is tended to and try to assist as much as possible. From what @David69 been through, it certainly seems fair for QF FA to undergo a crash course on hospitality from JQ
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aklrunway

By GBRGB | Jan 17, 2019, 06:46 PM
Seems to be a growing issue, many of our middle management have asked the CEO and GM to reconsider our QF only policy due to many of the issues raised here, especially the poor service.
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By airADL | Jan 17, 2019, 06:57 PM
I have to unfortunately agree the meals are especially bad.
Last edited by airADL at Jan 17, 2019, 06.58 PM.
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By djtech | Jan 17, 2019, 09:20 PM
I would definitely say that the Luke Mangan menu on Virgin is much better than Qantas and seems the portions are bigger too!
Lounge is quite a bit better with Qantas though despite the lack of arrivals access.
I thought service on both were quite similar but maybe Qantas has a bit more bad apples than Virgin.
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By stoffel | Jan 17, 2019, 11:45 PM
I had the good fortune of receiving an invitation from Qantas to fill out a survey after what was a pretty dismal run of flights. I went into quite some detail on where I felt their shortcomings were. Whether any of it will be taken on board is another question. I gave pretty average scores for food quality/quantity and the IFE amongst others.

Around Christmas I flew the red-eye from Perth to Melbourne and while waiting for boarding to complete I had a browse through the IFE to see what I could watch on the flight up to Asia the next day. There was a good selection of movies including some Christmas favourites and I made a mental note of which ones to watch. Lo and behold the aircraft that took me up to Asia the next day had a vastly inferior selection of programming, and all the movies I wanted to watch were missing. Both legs were on the A330.

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By Aidan | Jan 17, 2019, 11:55 PM
To put some perspective, how bad is this service level of Qantas compared to US airlines?
United has topped my list!
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John Harley

By tommygun | Jan 18, 2019, 07:48 AM
I almost always use Virgin domestic and one more thing is that VA have a barrier that prevents economy passengers using the forward toilet. I like that. As for US airlines, I don't think it's fair to generalize although United is pretty bad. But some are much better than others. But that isn't really the point. Poor QF standards cannot be rationalized by reference to poor standards elsewhere, otherwise let's also look at Air Zimbabwe etc. and conclude Qantas is OK if they can get over that sort of low bar.
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By Aidan | Jan 18, 2019, 11:39 AM
I almost always use Virgin domestic and one more thing is that VA have a barrier that prevents economy passengers using the forward toilet. I like that. As for US airlines, I don't think it's fair to generalize although United is pretty bad. But some are much better than others. But that isn't really the point. Poor QF standards cannot be rationalized by reference to poor standards elsewhere, otherwise let's also look at Air Zimbabwe etc. and conclude Qantas is OK if they can get over that sort of low bar.

Good point, no excuses, as our main domestic flying is Qantas or Virgin Australia. Considering the cost difference for business domestic, I'm surprised at the comments here.
Hopefully things continually improve for both airlines and for the passengers.
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By Brett77 | Jan 19, 2019, 08:21 AM
With QF i always look at the metal when flying domestically.
As a general rule if its a 737 then don't book it.
If its an a330 then book away!
If an A330 isn't offered then book DJ or lets be honest - Jetstar - As even Jetstar on an A320 is better than QF business on a 737.
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By newbieADL | Jan 19, 2019, 04:51 PM
I would agree with most of your observations David.

Over the last 12 months I have noticed the pre-takeoff drinks have gone from being a choice of juice, water or even champagne on some flights, to now only water or sparkling water. Towards the end of the flight you are now offered a small, plastic bottle of water instead of a top up in your glass.


The food options on the triangle sectors are usually limited to either a toasted sandwich or soup, which must cost QF a whole $2 to prepare.


There is no separation from Economy since QF removed the curtain and replaced it with the opaque glass partition between rows 3 and 4. Economy passengers are never challenged when they use the business class toilet or overhead locker space.

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By Red Cee | Jan 19, 2019, 10:38 PM
Does anyone know if QF monitor these posts? If not, they should be.
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