Could we form a Lobby Group?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Ansett, Jul 5, 2017.

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  1. Ansett

    Ansett Established Member

    Jul 13, 2011
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    With the news this morning of Qantas now charging for extra leg room seats for all and sundry, other than P1 and CL, on domestic it got me thinking.

    Given that the majority of members are Frequent flyers with either, and or both. Qantas and Virgin. How do we get to make our selves heard when changes are being considered or enforced.

    Can we contribute to new ideas for both businesses and ensure that Frequent Flyers are more fairly represented and heard.

    With the collective knowledge and sheer numbers can we use that to form a lobby group as such.

    What do you all think and how could we initiate this?
     

  2. defurax

    defurax Established Member

    Jun 27, 2012
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    But according to QF they just made the seat selection fairer...you can't possibly want a lobby that is against being fair!

    Qantas says that expanding the scheme to cover all domestic flights "facilitates a fairer seat selection process, with the allocation of seats which have additional legroom space better reflecting the fee paid."

    Of course this is total rubbish and a PAX booked in Y,B,H has already paid way more than someone in E,O,N for his seat...
     
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  3. Ansett

    Ansett Established Member

    Jul 13, 2011
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    This is exactly my point perhaps it would be fairer if the fee only applied to certain lower booking classes for example....... We could present other options that may make these sort of changes more palatable.
     
  4. MEL_Traveller

    MEL_Traveller Enthusiast

    Apr 27, 2005
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    I like the idea. But there are several potential downsides.

    I think there's a more important issue - compensation for delayed and cancelled flights... a scheme similar to EU261. That would also cover overbooking and involuntary downgrades. Choice is a pretty big lobby group but seems to have so far failed to gain much traction. A lobby group for this... everyone writing to their local MPs to point out not only the benefits of the scheme - but more importantly for the pollies - the votes this would get them.

    Qantas already has a consultative group... the same one that brought us simpler and fairer, cafe breakfasts, removal of anytime lounge access, the charging for exit rows, and a raft of other 'enhancements'. And either the same group or another group that endorses, seemingly without question, all new cabin interiors no matter how far from what those interiors might actually be what the public wants. QF doesn't seem interested in what the general member thinks.

    Another major issue is that of status. It doesn't really matter what people might want, the drive for status means they never put their money where their mouth is. All of the above changes and people still post every day wanting to do a status run to reach gold, or platinum. Spending thousands of dollars to do so. Is the lobby group, even on AFF, big enough when you consider only those willing to take their business elsewhere?

    Cathay was offering triple or quadruple daily services from MEL and SYD, with a product light-years ahead of Qantas' angled MK1 skybeds. Did the competition even remotely spur QF to change their product? No.
     
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  5. opusman

    opusman Established Member

    Jun 27, 2006
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    Start booking VA instead of QF, and every time you fly tweet a photo of your VA boarding pass to the QF social media team...
     
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  6. Ansett

    Ansett Established Member

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    So basically sit back and take it.... Now that's not that the Aussie spirit that I know and love.
     
  7. trippin_the_rift

    trippin_the_rift Established Member

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    Cathay operates 72 services between Au ->Hkg weekly.
    Qantas operates 28 (?)
    With more than 3x the capacity, I'll take a wild stab in the dark and suggest CX is significantly affecting QF.

    Putting my frequent flyer industry cap on; charging for exit rows conversation probably went something like this at Qantas:

    Finance: WE NEED MORE CASH
    Product Team: Here's our list of 100 ways we want to charge for more... which shall we implement next...
    Ancillary Revenue Team: Exit rows, bloody great idea!
    Qantas Loyalty: Can you all stop pillaging our business, please?
    Analytics Team: Looking at A and B and C members propensity to continue booking QF at D and E, the drop in pax revenue from potentially lost customers < new revenue
    Finance: DONE! CHARGING FOR EXIT ROWS IT IS! GO SIT IN THE CORNER LOYALTY, NOBODY LIKES YOU
     
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  8. MEL_Traveller

    MEL_Traveller Enthusiast

    Apr 27, 2005
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    If it was affecting QF they took a long time to come to the party. Angled lie-flats, inferior IFE, charging for premium seats (free on CX to OWR and above, at time of reservation), fewer cabin crew. Many AFFers staunchly complained they had to waste a day flying to Asia on QF (day time flight ex AU), yet CX offered services at the time they needed (overnight). But still they stuck with QF. Reason? Golden handcuffs must play a large part?
     
  9. MEL_Traveller

    MEL_Traveller Enthusiast

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    Errr... perhaps it's not a case of sitting back, but focusing on the important issues? I'm sure QF would willingly give back exit rows for free to platinums in exchange for not having an EU261 scheme imposed on them. If you go in asking for multiple things, easy to concede the cheap things at the expense of the bigger picture.

    Lack of award availability, removal of chauffeur drive, difficult website, extraordinary fees and carrier charges for award bookings, 3-3-3 seating on the 789... yet people stick with them. A lobby group from AFF doesn't even appear to warrant a representative from QF, so I dunno, realistically, how a lobby group would be perceived. Not a single strategic issue was dealt with by the company rep previously, what would be different this time?
     
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  10. eastwest101

    eastwest101 Established Member

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    As MEL_Traveler says - its pretty clear that QF will not be listening to complaints from their higher tier members. They weren't listening 3-4 years ago and with the Qantas group now looking more profitable and VA looking a little wobbly they will definitely not be listening now. The previous post by trippin_the_rift pretty clearly explains the decision making process at work.

    Getting together and threating to move all your flying and FF earning credit cards to someone else is possibly an idea, but you have to be prepared to follow through and actually do it.

    I totally agree with MEL_Travelers point about a delay involuntary downgrade type compensation scheme, that would focus the airlines attention...
     
  11. Ansett

    Ansett Established Member

    Jul 13, 2011
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    Whilst I agree with the context of reply's surely doing nothing is not a good thing either perhaps if we all posted to QF Social Media on mass then perhaps they may listen.

    As for the EU261 scheme that was not instigated by Lobby Groups nor the airlines but by the EU itself so if ever that was to happen it would be down to the Australian Government to implement not an airline lobby group...
     
  12. MEL_Traveller

    MEL_Traveller Enthusiast

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    The Australian government will only do it, I suspect, if they think there are votes in it, either from the public at the next election or the cross-benchers. Otherwise why would they bother biting the hand that feeds them? Lobby groups writing to their MPs asking for an EU261, explaining the benefits (to the passenger and politician) might achieve something.

    Don't forget there is already a lobby group of sorts... the Airline Consumer Advocate. Funded by the airlines means no strategic issues (like involuntary downgrades) even get considered.
     
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  13. DaveB

    DaveB Active Member

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    Some form of lobbying makes sense, even just having on each Discussion Board a Thread for Airline/Scheme Improvements from which every six/12 months feedback can be provided.
     
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  14. harvyk

    harvyk Senior Member

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    Whilst I am very annoyed about the latest enhancement, the fact remains that I will still fly QF, and I suspect that I won't be the only one to write angry posts on the internet, but not then vote with my wallet. Unlike some of the other fairer and simpler enhancements which primarily targeted lower status pax, SG / WP's have far more to lose by changing airlines (eg lounge access). I hate to say it, but we've got a pretty powerful set of golden handcuff on right now.

    Let's assume that we did get a lobby group going, for a lobby group to be successful that lobby group either needs a carrot or a stick, and whilst there are certainly a few high status flyers here, we're hardly the bulk of QF's custom. If we were we'd make up a good percentage of the cabin on virtually every QF flight without fail.

    Even if every AFFer boycotted QF, I have no doubt that it would have an effect on the bottom line, but it would only be a very small dent, and likely part of the loss is then offset against the savings in lounges. Whilst we as a group in the wider community travel a lot compared to the average person, groups like these are not exactly a large revenue source for the airlines (as evidenced by the now lack of "Red Roo" and other airline reps)

    QF are simply following the current management thinking of making 999 cuts does not quite equal the death by 1000 cuts, and at that stage you are leaner than you've ever been before. They are hardly unique in that strategy.
     
  15. burmans

    burmans Senior Member

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    Umm, why do you think politicians do most things? Largely because they are getting significant political pressure, lobbying is one of the ways to apply that pressure. Cant guarantee it will work but I can certainly guarantee it will work better than just complaining privately and hoping your local MP picks up on your concerns by telekinesis.
     
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  16. exceladdict

    exceladdict Established Member

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    I think the discontinuation of RedRoo shows how much QF valued our opinions. :-|
     
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  17. trippin_the_rift

    trippin_the_rift Established Member

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    Wild guess here...
    - RedRoo & Qantas hearing the same things over and over.
    - Already extracted what they thought to be all the possible value from AFF
    - Why bother? Qantas Loyalty already super profitable
     
  18. Daver6

    Daver6 Established Member

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    Perhaps a social media campaign is an option. Thinking out aloud here.

    Say for this issue, a hash tag is agreed upon. Eg, #notfairer (but something more catchy). Then people can use this on Facebook and Twitter to let Qantas know about our disappointment on this issue. Using a hash tag has a couple of benefits. Firstly, if Qantas want to, they can easily see how many people have picked up on it. Ie, is it a vocal ten or do a hundred thousand feel the same. Secondly, if it gains traction, it becomes easy for the media to pick-up. A media outlet then might run a story about the many Qantas loyalists who are affected and disappointed by the change. Not great press for Qantas.

    Anyway, just a though. I'm sure others who work in the electronic media/social marketing sphere could improve on this idea.
     
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  19. TheInsider

    TheInsider Established Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    The media are usually all over airlines issues, but charging a fee for the elite frequent flyers for an exit row isn't really going to pass the 'pub test'. Considering no other frequent flyers could even get a look in at the exit rows - unless available at check-in.

    Another thing in relation to seating allocation, that there are so many high tier frequent flyers that don't even bother selecting their seats before check-in. So really it's in the minority for people selecting seats at booking time.
     
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  20. ermen

    ermen Established Member

    Oct 9, 2010
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    I left Qantas yonks ago when they killed the MASA.
    So it has been a soft landing from Platinum to LTS now...
     
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