Thursday, December 14, 2006

Flying Kangaroo as roadkill, *sobs

IF the Americans gain a stake in Qantas, the flying kangaroo's unique character is likely to become road kill.

Not because of financing plans which will see planes mortgaged, or because of expectations of further cost-cutting or restructuring.

An American stake in Qantas will stuff the Aussie icon because the in-flight experience in the nation that invented the aeroplane is about 20 years behind what we're used to. And they simply don't understand what Australian travellers expect.

Qantas's international economy, much as we love to grumble about it, is almost at business-class level in terms of US carriers, whose contribution to the modern in-flight experience has basically been to bolt wings and a tail on to a Greyhound bus (with a couple of extra toilets down the back).

In-flight entertainment is either very ordinary or works on a pay-per-view basis; the meals are spartan (if they exist); and in-flight service is basic at best. And don't try to order a Bundy and Coke.

Technically, while Qantas might still be majority Australian-owned even if a consortium headed by Macquarie Bank and US private equity group Texas Pacific succeeded in taking control, it would be a takeover that really would take the "Q" out of Qantas.

Texas Pacific, the aviation brains behind the buyout group, might know all about American travellers -- but we Aussies are a very different breed.

8 comments:

Brizpaul said...

Qantas planes flown by Australian pilots never crash, they have the best safety record in the airline industry. Hands off America.

Char said...

I would be sorry to have anything change about Qantus. When I visited Au the first time I flew United. The second time I was on Qantus. Will never fly United to Au again!! I was so impressed with all we were offered in coach. I felt like I was important (and not just a cheapo, lol)! And on the return flight I had some of the same crew....one attendant even remembered me!!

dieter said...

We want to live in a global world and compete with the rest this is what happens. Its not because of Australian pilots that Qantas has a high safety record, pilots from other countries are just as good, in fact I don't think Qantas only employs Australian Pilots. Its more likely the safety record is due to first class Maintenance we had and now that it's been outsourced. how long will our perfect record last? Its all about the dollar

Sue said...

When I visited Australia, we flew Quantas, one of my requests. If we had to fly someone else, I probably wouldn't have flew at all.

It was the only time I have ever flown. I was petrified. Still am.

Brizpaul said...

From the mouth of the Rainman, " Qantas never crashes"

Patty said...

We flew from LA to Detroit, and onto New Orleans, then back to Salt Lake City, and finall toLA again, on American Airlines, it was crap, sorry. We were amazed, having been told we were to fly "first class" we all sat there gob-smacked.

The food, service and fit-out was rubbish!

We were amazed that Americans think what we had was first-class, it was all we could do not to a) laugh, and then b) cry.

When we finally boraded our Qantas flight back to Australia, we fell into the hostesses arms with "boy are we glad to see you!" to which she replied..."you're home now".

Never had those words sounded so good, and she meant it. Everything was immaculate, well presented, and classy.

I just love Qantas.

Patty said...

and another thing.....when I brough MUm back from Cairns a month ago, the Qantas hostess remembered her, and she stopped to chat for a good 5 minutes, she ended up presenting MUm with a Torres Strait Islander badge she was wearing, with a dismissive "You are a TI Mum, and I can get another one of these, it would be my honour if you would wear it please" Mum and I were very touched. Going over to New Zeakland the following week, a Qantas hostess came over and presented MUM with a bottle of French champers, to celebrate her first international flight. Talk about good service!!!!!!!

Char said...

Patty, I have to agree about "first class" service here. The only thing first about it is you sit at the front of the plane and get to board first (and be jossled by the rest of us boarding). I will not pay the extra price. We also get no meals here, just snacks. I was impressed also on my flight from Cairns to Brisbane. When they served us breakfast shortly after takeoff I wasn't quite sure what to do with it, lol. Not to mention it was the best cereal I've ever eaten. Wish I knew what it was....not that it matters. Wouldn't be able to get it here anyway. :( All I can say is: Qantus rules!!....oh, and Patty--I think most Americans don't realize what they haven't been getting! I know I didn't.