cabin service quality falling?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by mianos, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. mianos

    mianos Newbie

    Nov 30, 2004
    8
    0
    Sydney
    After holding a gold FF for 6 years and qualifying for platinum for a few years I changed my travel patterns and have not been using qantas for most of my flights (I'm a povo gold FF now :lol: ). I have been to Europe a few times in the last 6 months, all D. I must say compared to other airlines the staff in the business class cabin are getting very arrogant. For the second time in two trips they have missed serving part of the meal. I know it’s not a big issue but the QF5/6 flights don’t have any first class so I was in the small first class cabin area. That area really does not seat that many people. When I asked, in both cases they did not apologise but gave some excuse but offered to get the meal as soon as possible. The second time, a dessert, it took thirty minutes as they had to heat it but when it arrived it was stone cold. When asked why I did not eat it I told the steward that it was cold and she proceeded to tell me she had just taken it out of the heater before she served it. I said to her, no, there must have been some mistake and she just started arguing with me (well, as much as someone can speak to me without any reply).

    Has anyone else experienced such bad behaviour in business class?

    Last time something went wrong in the economy class cabin (which seems to be less often to me but I don’t do many economy class flights), the steward immediately apologised and said she will try and rectify it. That would be how I expect the service in the business class cabin to work but maybe it is because the people in the business class cabin have been such a long time out of training they no longer know the basics of customer service?
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    Suffice to say, I won’t be booking anything else Qantas for some time if I can help it.

    (I should add Qantas are about 3K over the basic business price on Austrian to Zurich from Sydney and have the same old style seats. Unless they get sleepers on that leg I am never going to bother with Qantas again. On the other QF1 with the sleeper seats is worth the premium over other airlines).
     
  2. cssaus

    cssaus Active Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    891
    62
    Sydney
    I maintain that if you encounter bad service or the like you ought to get the flight attendant's name and write a complaint setting out the circumstances.

    On the other hand, if you encounter something that's out of the ordinary in the way of service then you should do the same, get the attendant's name and write a letter of praise to the airline's PR department.

    At one time United used to provide coupons to its Frequent Flyers that if you encountered exceptional employee service you could fill-in the coupon with the employee's staff number and name, sign it and complete your MileagePlus details and give it to the employee to send into their personnel dept. The employee apparently got some reward.

    Steve
     
  3. Platy

    Platy Guest

    Qantas First/Business standards

    Qantas has trained crew especially to work in the First and Business cabins of their International flights so you would have been unlucky to come across one or more unfortunate experiences. I can remember one disaster meal, a breakfast with stone cold poached eggs. Indeed, my own experiences flying SYD-LHR on business and first have featured good standards of service from cabin crews. At any rate, a quite friendly word with the Customer Service Manager at the time of the incident would most likely resolve any disappointing situations.

    In my experience it usually isn't the front line staff who are responsible for declining standards. The areas that do disappoint, for example the domestic sectors of First/Business International flights which are run to the catering standards of the business class domestic service, which can be lacking in the details that we all once enjoyed in the days of Ansett competition (linen on foldaway tables, real butter, drink runs ahead of a meal, etc) and appear to be as a result of cost cutting particularly on domestic route service levels (although this situation has been partically redeemed by the new catering since August 04) despite an 18% increase in fares over the last two years.

    Tne other area of discontent is the lack of upgrade opportunities (recently on a flight Qantas was disinclined to upgrade at the first class lounge despite their being 60 free business class seats on the aircraft and subload staff happily occupying some of them!!!) - that may be changed in May with a clearing system in status order 30 minutes before the flight to avoid the reliance on insufficient allocation of u class seats.

    Talking with the cabin crew, many are most embarassed at having to provide a service with inadequate tools to work with.

    Every Customer Service Manager I speak to is quietly frustrated at hearing customer issues which relate to poor catering and management decisions and then not having their feedback listened to by the key managers and executives in the airline. In fact the name of the Group GM of customer service at Qantas is DIRT with EVERY customer service manager I have ever spoken with. Personally, I can't wait for a coincidental seating on a flight that would allow me to tell her exactly what I think of some of the senior management's decisions relating to poor standards.

    It often amazes me that so many of the cabin crew manage to keep up a good level of service knowing that they are being poorly supported by management and their CEO has a stock trade in putting down his staff publicly.

    Yes, it is vital to check whether a particular route has skybeds!

    I just joined Skywards (Emirates) and am looking forward to trying them when next going to Europe - hint, go through Brsbane with the extra stop in Singapore and enjoy half price first class!!!

    Domestically I now travel Virgin a well as Qantas and buy the blue zone and get the phone agent to request seat 1A giving me lots of space and a front row seat for an extra $30!!!
     
  4. mianos

    mianos Newbie

    Nov 30, 2004
    8
    0
    Sydney
    Re: Qantas First/Business standards

    I don't really think missing a course of a meal a disaster, my main complaint is they never say sorry. If I eat at a good restaurant and that sort of thing happens and I bring it to their attention, the normal thing would be for the waiter to apologise first then sort it out, not start arguing that it is not their fault. In many cases I am sure it is not the person’s fault I am speaking to (in both cases).

    Have you ever asked a crewmember, aside from the cabin supervisor, their name before? Believe me you will get a stone cold reception. I have made a complaint before and all I ever got was a form letter, no one ever called or emailed. I think I can safely assume they don’t really care about individual cases. If they looked up my flight records they would find I have been a very regular flyer (sometimes at least 5 international flights a year) over the last 10 years (I sure have accumulated a lot of FF points :) , enough to do QF1 first class last year ). If I was running a company and I saw someone going from such a regular flyer to next to none I would be asking them. (It would be interesting to look at people that drop from platinum to none and ask them why from a markting point of view).

    I really don't want to sound like a winger here but I have never had these issues with Singapore in the last few years.
     
  5. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    My experiences in Qantas business class (too many to count) and first class (can count on one hand) have always been positive. I am yet to find a flight attendant that I would feel the need to complain about. Some are excellent and some are ok, but I have not expereinced any bad ones.

    I have had a business class FA on a domestic flight lie to me - "Sorry sir, all the cooked breakfasts are gone, I only have the cerial left" only to find her sitting in the galley 10 mins later eating the cooked breakfast. But no such issues on international flights.

    Most of my Qantas international flights are trans-Pacific or Kangaroo route, including QF6 FRA-SIN on several occasions (one of my first class trips back when they still offered F on that route).
     
  6. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Re: Qantas First/Business standards

    Huh it's not just the domestic sectors of these flights, I am wondering if it's the "secondary" sectors that suffer the same treatment. I was extremely disappointed - not to mention hungry - when flying (in the J cabin of a 767) MNL-SYD last year to be merely served "supper" on a 7 hr flight departing at 19:50.

    In my mind (and stomach ) I would have expected dinner at this time of the day. Instead out came some chicken balti with rice and the usual Qantas lettuce leaf salad, finished off with a dessert comprising of a whole 2 slices of melon. Two weeks earlier I consumed a nearly identical meal in quantity & quality (minus the melon - but with a mini-magnum ice cream and cadbury chocolate bar instead) flying in economy from MEL to PER. Is it normal to pass off domestic Y meals - albeit served on china plates - as J meals, for these "second class" routes where competition is only from a second tier airline?

    Oh and too cap it off they "forgot" to hand out the chocolates listed on the menu as well!!
     
  7. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,689
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    Canberra / London
    Hey guys,

    I can relate to everything you have said, but why do you continue to throw money away on that arrogant carrier. I guess it must be that your employer requires it (eg the Commonwealth Government).

    :)
     
  8. NM

    NM
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    Not Government, but yes my employer has a prefered carrier agreement with Qantas that includes a minimum percentage of our corporate travel will be Qantas and its OneWorld partners.
     
  9. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    My preferred carrier was QF, but since we've been thrown out QBT for being too small (I assume) we have some more freedom, although we do have some "route deals" to SIN and the US.

    For me it's a careful calculation around retaining platinum status (which does have huge advantages in trying to redeem points, not too mention lounge access at any time, and in getting a seat the 5:30pm CBR-MEL flight). It looks like my projected domestic flying will get me close to retaining this year (requal at end of Jan), although difficult to crystal ball 12 mths out.

    However I'm not just going to sit here and whine - with 2 trips to Asia coming up, I'm going to try SQ out - and see what they offer up front in the J cabin. And because NZ's new program is very generous for J class travel, it should be quite lucrative in terms of what I can redeem the points for (not too mention adding a * gold status to my OW emerald).
     
  10. HardieBoys

    HardieBoys Member

    Sep 28, 2003
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    I've had two contrasting experiences with cabin crew in the past few months. The first was flying HKG-SYD in business overnight on a 744 with long haul crew. Filled out the new 'room service' menu for breakfast, and went to sleep. When I woke up, breakfast was being served... except to me. Despite the fact I was on an aisle seat and the crew could see me, no-one stopped to ask if I wanted breakfast. Finally I asked, and they said they didn't have my order, but managed to organise breakfast. I can accept that things do get misplaced, but was annoyed that no-one enquired at the time.

    More positively, I flew HKG-SYD business on a new A330, crewed by short haul. The crew were great: friendly, enthusiastic and charming. Occasionally they were unfamiliar with some aspects of the service (i.e. which credit cards were accepted for inflight purchases) but these were very minor, and overall I was really impressed with the crew.

    One small postscript: after the first flight, I sent some feedback to Qantas. A few weeks later I recieved a phone call from their customer service department, apologising for the service, and asking me to describe it in more detail, before again apologising.
     
  11. MetroAir

    MetroAir Guest

    It does seem QANTAS are trying (some say very trying!).
    In the main the cabin crew on QANTAS are officious and unfriendly, I am lucky in that I only fly at the front of the 'plane so I can't comment on the attitude in the back.
    The exceptions have been few and on each occasion (3) they have turned out to be ex Ansett staff. Ansett always did have a better domestic premium product.
    Air New Zealand have some of the consistantly better cabin crew, in my opinion, older but helpful, polite, friendly and attentive. Thai and Cathay also rate right up there (Thai more so).
    Singapore is erratic and I have seen them, and experianced, fawning over euros and ignoring asian passengers in F and J.
    BA are OK but only on long haul, fairly shabby service on short haul.
    The american airlines are just awful, one exception is Hawaiian, but I have only used them fo inter island short hops.
    I haven't tried any of the Middle Eastern airlines and am hoping to try Emirates F class later in the year.
     
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