Dear Geoff...

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by Yada Yada, Apr 20, 2006.

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  1. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    I flew on QF433 SYD-MEL today, followed by QF9 MEL-SIN, both in J.

    QF433 was a 767-338, with 25 seats in the J cabin. My daughter and I occupied seats 5J and 5K, the back row of the cabin.

    Surprisingly, at least 14 of the seats in J were occupied by QF staff wearing cabin crew and flight crew uniforms. I could see more in the front row of the Y cabin behind me.

    Being in the back row of the J cabin, we were of course served our lunch last. By this stage, there was no choice of meals because everyone else had been served and one of the dishes had run out. They also ran out of dressing for the salad.

    And not long after we were served our meal, the QF staffer in the seat in front of my daughter reclined her seat to the full extent.

    I would like to know why it is that I as a paying customer, and a Gold level FF, I was assigned to the back row of the cabin while QF staff occupied rows in front of me, and why it seems OK for QF staff to get whatever mean they desire but not have enough for paying customers.

    I am also surprised that crew were assigned the front row of the Y cabin. It's likely that there would have been a number of Platinum or Gold FF's on board who would have a forward cabin preference.

    Now I'll admit that the issue about the staffer fully reclining just after our meal was served might be considered a minor complaint, but I can tell you it was not a good look to see a QF staffer doing this given the circumstances.

    Footnote - as it happened, the QF staffers on Q433 were the crew of QF9 for our flight to Singapore!

  2. Damien

    Damien Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    Some good issues raised there Yada Yada. Another case of QF looking after their own...
  3. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
    Sunshine Coast
    Similiar events have happened to me.I do remember on BA from BNE-SIN a long time ago when the treatment was totally different.It was when BA still had first class out of brisbane and had an offer pay for business go first.Before takeoff the purser came up to me and said drron would you like to have the lobster for dinner tonight.I asked why make the decision now and he said well you and the gentleman behind are the only fare paying passengers and we only have 2 servings of lobster.So I and the gentleman behind had lobster.
    However on that trip mrsdrron was on a business reward and was not upgraded and not allowed to visit.
  4. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    I was a bit tired last night so forget to mention another small issue we had with the aircraft on QF9...

    After the IFE system had been going approx 30 minutes, they made an announcement that the games were not working so they were about to reboot the system. This meant those watching movies had to start again. :(

    Secondly, on our "side" of the aircraft (we were sitting on the left hand side), there was no interactive menu system on the IFE. Just a screen saying "Sorry, it's not working right now". So we had to scroll through all of the channels to find what we wanted. Those across the aisle had the menu system working for some reason. :?

    My flights on QF31/QF32 in January were the same in this regard - no IFE menu system on-screen (and that was in first).

    It seems like the IFE systems are in poor repair on the 744's. :(
  5. Platy

    Platy Guest

    Surprise, surprise, surprise.....QF staff getting preferential treatment in Business and First!!!

    It never ceases to amaze me how staff get the pick of the seats in First/Business!!!

    Are QF serious about their premium customers when they stick their staff in First among fare paying passengers on seats worth $14,000 return to London??? I have seen the same staff faces wafting back and forth between SYD and BKK on my London flights in First.

    It has astounded me to fail to be able to purchase a full business class fare domestically only to find staff being ferried in business class.

    It has further astounded me to be denied upgrades into business when staff are infesting business class.

    I have watched incredulously on flights with empty business class seats having been denied an upgrade when cabin crew have moved their staff mates into business class after boarding on the aircraft in front of seated passengers.

    I have seen this done with slightly more subtlety with cabin crew giving the nod to ecomony seated staff at the boarding card swipe stage and telling them to plonbk their butts in 1A cos they know business is empty (and yes business meals did appear).

    SUBLOAD staff aren't supposed to be given Business seats until just before the flight, but guess what, I have personally witnessed staff boarding at Cairns being given their business boarding passes over an hour before the departure.

    NO DOUBT there's a few favours going down over seating at the airport as well!!!

    I have even been refused service at the ticket counter at CNS because:

    1. It wasn't the day of travel (I was trying to pay for the $1500 return leg, and)
    2. He needed to give priority to a STAFF MEMBER who needed $20 reimbursed for a taxi fare. Oh yes, there was nobody else in the queue. Go figure.

    Yes, QF has a deal to ferry DUTY staff business class, but this shouldn't happen to the disadvantage of full fare paying business class passengers.

    GOOD BUSINESS sense dictates that QF should

    1. Sell as many seats as possible in Business/First - if you can't fill the cabin, simple economics dictates they have either their product and/or price wrong - so lower the price so you can get extra revenue!!!
    2. REWARD your loyal customers by promoting the availability of upgrade opportunities. This ALSO lowers the liability of large numbers of unredeemed frequent flyer points (and is a more appropriate way to do business than revampoing the system to lower point values).
    3. Put any duty staff in seats unsold or unsused for upgrades sure, but put them at the BACK of the cabin where they belong so there's no chance of giving staff the pick of the meals and leaving fare paying passengers wanting!!!

    Incidentally, most cabin crews/CSMs have no idea how much a business or first class ticket costs and are very shocked/surprised when I tell them it costs $855 to fly CNS-BNE or $1130 to fly CNS-SYD one way.

    My conclusion is that QF have a vcery arrogant attitude to their premium customers especially those flying business and first, buyt as many of us have noted, no competition at that level in domestic equals declining service levels - shame about OZJet.
  6. Reggie

    Reggie Established Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    I have seen two sides of this type of QF staff treatment.

    On a QF flight MEL-PER with a fair few QF staff, I watched the serving crew bypass the seated QF staff and offer the selection to other pax, then go back to the QF staff and offer them the remaining meals.

    However the worst was about 4 years ago on SYD-PER, when my wife I and another pax holding business class boarding passes were denied boarding at the gate by the swipe machine, and were told to recheck. At the counter we were handed new boarding passes for economy, no explaination, no appology. I was stunned, I couldn't believe it. The other guy was travelling with someone else and he was mad. So a QF manager arrived about 5 mins later and stated "due to operational demands we had to be downgraded" Anyway we found out that operational demands meant that thre aircraft mechanics were needed in Perth and would not fly if they didn't have a business class seat.

  7. Groundfeeder

    Groundfeeder Active Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    Dear Geoff

    Yada Yada

    Tell someone who GAF. You can guess from responses that this is a common occurance and won't change for some time.

    Have you actually written to Mixem Dixon in this regard, otherwise its gonna be another post-filler.
  8. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    Yes, exactly. The current system is just wrong.

    :( Don't mention OzJet. I loved them.
  9. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    Re: Dear Geoff

    Not yet. Given that I posted a "Dear Brett" letter here I thought that I should be fair and post my QF complaint here too. I will find the appropriate address and write to them in the next few days. However I suspect that I still won't find anyone who GAF! :eek:
  10. Platy

    Platy Guest

    Yes, indeed, Groundfeeder....

    It may indeed be that many a manager at QF don't indeed GAF, but Yada Yada's feedback is quite legitimate and it is of interest to find out whether others suffer the same problems to keep individual experiences in context or realise they represent endemic problems with the airline's delviery of service.

    The more frequent flyers who make their expectations known and direct their complaints (and positive feedback) the sooner change might occur.

    Personally, I have given all my feedback (good and bad) to QF at GM level after a real battle to talk with someone who would listen, but I didn't give up until I was satisfied that my feedback was being taken seriously.

    I'm always a little surprised at the number of FFers who seem to just accept bad service as part of the way that things are done these days - I can only assume many are travelling at employers' expense so the value they receive isn't so much of an issue - I also suspect that some on this board are QF employees they seem sooooo in love with the big red kangaroo.
  11. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    It's a fun game to fly domestic (where you can actually see Business Class), and play "Pick the Qantas Staffer".

    I'm suprised there is any room to put paying pax in J class sometimes...
  12. Platy

    Platy Guest

    Yes, Mal, you are right on!

    I am pretty confident in my ability to pick staff (not in uniform)...surely it would be better for the airline to fill those seats with paying fares!!!
  13. Reggie

    Reggie Established Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    On a flight from MEL-PER after the F1 GP, and it was so full of pax (QF staff as well), that they had QF staff sitting in the jumpseat(s). She was in civies but apparently had to wear her staff id badge the whole flight. She spent a fair bit of time in the galley talking with the hosties.
  14. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    BNE & SYD
    Subload staff are a lot different to deadheading staff that are working crew in transit to the point from which their flight wil depart!

    Personally I dont have any issue with deadheading crew in J, when you look at their entire work day from checkng at ops till desination hotel checkin it is a long one, in fact I admire their attitude as this day draws to a close when they are often still looking refreshed and smiling. I had a F/Flyer recently complain when a QF crew member took the middle seat that he had "blocked" on a 737 SYD-BNE (in Y) and made a fuss about it, the crew member explained they it was a sudden late minute change. I took the opty to ask the crew member about their life and spent an interesting 90 minutes learning about their work as a BNE based crew, beat the hell out of everyone loaths raymond.

    As for subload, that is a different story, and should not be treated with preference to paying passengers.

    Perhaps it comes done to what you would rather put up with, crew in J ahead of you for a 90 minute flight that then do your international leg and give great service, or crew in Y that give not so good service for the later 9 hour flight??
  15. Leumas

    Leumas Active Member

    Jul 5, 2004
    I just wonder though - whether it's QF practice to put staff on 'the best available seat' or a perk from the union contract.

    BTW, I'm just about sick of this 'last minute change' or 'late incoming aircraft' excuse. I'm sure it's true sometimes, but it's increasingly becoming a default.
  16. Reggie

    Reggie Established Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    Point taken, I took it off track but doesn't detract from Yada Yada's comment that he paid for his seats and the choice of meals that come with it. The fact that there was no meal choice when they got back to him, and the reclining QF staffer during meal time is a valid complaint whether subload or deadheading crew.
  17. Groundfeeder

    Groundfeeder Active Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    These staff willingly joined the airline as they envisaged some sort of "exotic" lifestyle for which they are paid a few dollars like the rest of us.

    My apologies to Yada Yada for my brevity but this preference for FA's and pilots deadheading (let alone staff rellies) in J is firmly entrenched as a staff bennie and has not appeared to have changed for years.

    It's a real shame that staff are entitled to jam (highly visibly in YY's instance) the majority of J in a dom 767 where, quite rightly, other premium QF FFs may not have found availability. We all know there's usually acres of seats empty aft in a 767. I don't mind at all staff accessing this bennie where available but not to the obvious detriment to the SLF that are wishing to either pay, upgrade or seek value from their FF with QF.

    (Small rant now completed)
  18. Platy

    Platy Guest

    Some years ago I tried to change a fully paid business class seat MEL-SYD to a (I presumed less full) lunchtime flight (2pm?) to get home early after a business morning - well the J cabin was supposedly full.

    Finding this rather strange I made QF transfer me onto Ansett and promptly joined Golden Wing Lounge as a protest (in those days tickets were inter-changeable between the airlines) and duly rode the AN flight back.

    A few days later I pre-booked a business class seat on the QF 2pm SYD_MEL and sure enough counted 13 uniformed straff in business class on that flight - thus the reason why a 2pm 767 flight would be full.

    I can understand DUTY (ie. being gransferred for ops reasons) staff (particularly pilots) getting the J class treatment, BUT I all too often get disadvantaged by SUBLOAD (staff tripping about for personal reasons like they choose to live in CNS and work out of SYD jet base or they're off for yet anoither weekend away in the far north).

    It isn't clear to me (particularly with things like SUBLOAD staff nicking the best seats) whether this is a QF policy deliberately disadvantaging its J customers or these staff are subverting the system (eg mates at the local airport or on board). I strongly suspect the latter based on some of the situations I have personally witnessed.

    AT the current level of fares (like I said $1600 BNE-PER, or $1500 HBA-CNS or $1130 CNS-SYD etc) it is totally unacceptable not to get a preferred seat or choice of meal etc because of these free-loaders. Furthermore we are effectively SUBSIDISING these folk because the J class must be priced to allow for the low/ zero revenue seats allocated for each flight.

    I also have a concern that if you are cabin crew serving business or first and you know that MOST of the people in that cabin are STAFF (they are listed on the manifest as duty or subload) it must affect your attitude towards the level of service you're giving - I've flown first SYD_LHR and had 4 staff out of 7 pax.
  19. cpl

    cpl Intern

    Nov 30, 2004
    Not just in J--in whY you can also see staff giving their traveling buddies a special treatment.
  20. QF WP


    Jun 20, 2002
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    Totally agree with your comments, markis10 - and this is from my experience both as a sub-load pax (when I was married to a QF BNE CSA) and my discussions with crew who have been deadheading and subloaders in my subsequent flying.

    My understanding (from a number of CSM's) is that QF staff (sub-load or deadheading) are fed last. Certainly this is exactly what I experienced and was told by a CSM on a flight recently (ADL/SYD) where I had swapped J seats with a sub-load (I was aisle, rather than the sub-load climb across, I moved to the window). The CSM served the J cabin first, with the sub-load served first and then me being the last pax served. When I corrected him with the name he called the sub-load in the aisle seat (my seat), he was visably shocked and apologised for not recognising the different seating arrangements (as the sub-load was a senior Jetstar exec, name and face well known). The CSM then told me the "rules" and gave me a couple of Paton's choc-coated macadamia nuts in "recompence" (very well received by Mrs LW).

    Now rules are exactly that, but not always followed by your experience may vary on flights.

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