Today I was on my ďall too familiarĒ return home to KGI from DRW. Being that the company I work for has a strict travel procedure I normally do all my travels in Y, but today I was looking for a little more. So below is how it turned out:
Yesterday Around Lunch Time: I logged into QFF in the hope to use some points and upgrade myself to J. But unfortunately I was greeted with the message stating there was no option to upgrade. I guessed this was due to my company choosing the cheapest flights. I thought to myself that the possibility was unfortunately low of an upgrade but decided to checked the availability in J by going through the process of booking a flight to PER. There were no issue with the availability according to the Qantas website, so I had hopes that requesting an upgrade at the QF lounge would be more successful.
Today at 12:35: After checking in via the business / platinum / emerald lane I made my way to the QF lounge. For those who have not travelled from DRW and never visited the lounge, it is quite large compared to the rest of the departures lounge. And of course it comes with the QF service we all know and love. I showed the lounge friendly staff member who greeted me my boarding pass for QF 973 and asked (yet again) if there were any upgrades available for my flight. To my surprise I was informed that there were seats available in J and for the cost of 10,000 points. I was able to secure one J. I have asked this question several times now on arrival to the lounge and always end up on a waiting list which results in me sitting in Y. The friendly staff member took my boarding pass for 13A (exit row seat) and said she would sort it out for me. So I went and enjoyed a few beers while doing some last minute work on the laptop.
14:07: Our flight is called for boarding and I have not heard from the staff member at the counter of the QF lounge. I was expecting to hear my name called out prior to my flight requesting me to attend the service desk, I've heard this for other people and figured I'd have my turn today but apparently not. I called into the service desk on my departure from the lounge when I was given my boarding pass. I was seated in 1A on QF 973 to PER. Now I have never been seated in J on Qantas and was extremely excited to experience the service. DRW has not yet adapted the priority boarding scheme so it was a short wait in line with the rest of the travellers till I made my way to the gate at which I was kindly greeted and welcomed to the flight.
14:27: We push off from gate 3 and make the reasonably long taxi to the south end of the runway. The take off was normal with a few clouds to get through before the seat belt sing was extinguished.
As soon as the seat belt sign was off I went to make my way to the lavatory as the beers wanted out! But unfortunately two other people (one for J and another from Y needed to go before me apparently.. L
Soon after that I was offered my entre which consisted of a very nice serve of smoked salmon with a side salad followed by my choice of main which was the duck pasta dish. That was extremely nice too! I followed up with the strawberry cream ice cream and a few wild turkeys. I sat back with my foot rest up and listened to a few tunes enjoying the comfort of having a larger seat and no one next to me. Before I knew we were on our approach to PER and the cabin crew cleaned up. I must say, the level of service in business is 10 folds better than economy. The fact all the flight attendants greeted me with my name each time was tops and nothing was too hard for them to do. I have had my fair share of poor service in Y and it may have left a lasting impression, but today this was erased. Well till my next Y flight maybe...
16:25 WST: We arrived in PER 10 minutes ahead of schedule and quick made our way to gate 15 at T2, Qantas domestic. Being at the front I was the first off the plane and straight up to the QF lounge.
On my arrival I decided to go one step further and request an upgrade for the PER-KGI sector. This was granted at the cost of 5,000 QFF point. I know, this is a lot for a one hour flight and trust me I wonít be making this mistake again.
17:16 WST: PER-KGI QF 1064 738 1D: The walk to gate 15 from the QF lounge is rather short compared to other capital cityís airports and as I arrived I was a little confused as to where to join the line. They had two lanes, one priority and the other for everyone else. However both lines were full of, well everyone... Being I was a little disappointed I jumped the queue in the priority lane. Iím sure a felt a few people looking at m but I frankly didnít care. I got to my seat and got ready for departure. After a glass of OJ of course!!
We pushed off at 17:34 and set course for KGI. HOME!
The J product on a short trip was, well disappointing. The meal was served and was only two salty pieces of silverside and some beans! There was no hot towel or service that I received on the DRW-PER flight. And for half of the price in points for such a short trip I felt a little ripped off. The only benefit in J over Y is the ability to have spirits to drink as they are not offered in Y, only beer and wine @ $6.00 each..
We arrived in KGI at 18:40 and disembarked the plane quickly. My bag was on the carousel about midway through the process and off I went with my kids and wife.
The upgrade from DRW-PER was extremely great. I will have dreams about this for weeks now. I wish I could do this all the time but I wish to save my point for a family trip some day. I can understand why J is expensive now, you are treated like a valued customer. Not saying that Y customers are not important but you can feel the difference.
The 5,000 points for the PER-KGI was a total waste. Iíll never do this again. Itís a shame my experience was poor as my wife and son fly J a few weeks back and had a great service. I guess it comes down to the crew members on the day.
But for me itís back to Y.. L