Fiji Horror on Pacific Blue

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SeatBackForward

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Flying with Virgin airlines is summed up by the following:

"In the event of loss of oxygen, masks will drop from the ceiling, please insert a $2 coin to..."
 

Yada Yada

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SeatBackForward said:
Flying with Virgin airlines is summed up by the following:

"In the event of loss of oxygen, masks will drop from the ceiling, please insert a $2 coin to..."
:p I'm a Virgin Blue "guest" and know that's not right!

You're thinking of Deathstar (a.k.a. Geoffstar). :D
 

one9

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Mal said:
Agree with this. Also, I think the OP needs to specify the remedy that they want from Virgin Blue/Pacific Blue - Reimbursement of X dollars for Y expense, Z expense and A expense etc. Just saying that you want compensation makes it hard for someone to quantify exactly what you want.

I also agree. The complaint letter is way too long. I deal with complaint letters and I would never have the time to read the whole thing. I would read the first bit, skim most of it, and read the last bit. The first bit and last bit are most important and I agree that you should quantify what compensation you want and justify why that compensation is appropriate.
 

SeatBackForward

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Yada Yada said:
:p I'm a Virgin Blue "guest" and know that's not right!

You're thinking of Deathstar (a.k.a. Geoffstar). :D

I was flygin Syd-Mel on Qantas, and Mel-Syd on Virgin for a few weeks earlier this year. The best thing about the Virgin online booking , is you can specify a seat at the back of the plane where they put the steps. The steps area always ready to offload before the aerobridge at the pointy end of the plane..

Of course the whole theory fails if its raining when you land...
 

Yada Yada

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SeatBackForward said:
I was flygin Syd-Mel on Qantas, and Mel-Syd on Virgin for a few weeks earlier this year. The best thing about the Virgin online booking , is you can specify a seat at the back of the plane where they put the steps. The steps area always ready to offload before the aerobridge at the pointy end of the plane..

Of course the whole theory fails if its raining when you land...
Yes, I've been caught a few times with rain.

Yesterday I had a Blue Plus fare so was seated in row 2. The other guys were right - there is definitely more leg space at the front of the b*s. ;)
 

blundeni

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one9 said:
I also agree. The complaint letter is way too long. I deal with complaint letters and I would never have the time to read the whole thing. I would read the first bit, skim most of it, and read the last bit. The first bit and last bit are most important and I agree that you should quantify what compensation you want and justify why that compensation is appropriate.

Oh well - it's done now - live and learn I guess - I don't complain often so I'm pretty new at this.

As for specifying what compensation I want - I felt pretty mercenary even putting in that I wanted compensation in the first place with out letting them know that only First Class round the world tickets for the family would do :D
 

jakeseven7

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I'm sorry to hear about your disastourous trip back to Oz, I just hope the holiday was good! I'm sure you will get some compensation for that nightmare.

Pacific Blue is a bit of a mess of an airline, even for Virgin - its common knowledge it has failed to even turn a profit yet for them. One of the (many) reasons my workplace ditched best fare of the day policy to re-sign with QF/OW was because of cancellation problems and other hassles when staff were unfortunate enough to be stuck on int DJ flights, Fiji included.

Although Virgin keeps calling itself a 'new world carrier' or whatever it still reeks of budget service - or perhaps more diplomatically, perhaps they are stuck in the mindset that they are a leisure/budget airline and their pax can therefore be treated like idiots because they don't know any better and didn't pay enough to be treated any.
 

Yada Yada

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jakeseven7 said:
One of the (many) reasons my workplace ditched best fare of the day policy to re-sign with QF/OW was because of cancellation problems and other hassles when staff were unfortunate enough to be stuck on int DJ flights, Fiji included.

Although Virgin keeps calling itself a 'new world carrier' or whatever it still reeks of budget service - or perhaps more diplomatically, perhaps they are stuck in the mindset that they are a leisure/budget airline and their pax can therefore be treated like idiots because they don't know any better and didn't pay enough to be treated any.
I'm probably starting to sound like a Virgin Blue apologist, but I just have never been treated like an idiot , don't find the service any different to Qantas (in fact it's better IMO), and find their reliability better too.

Seriously, I don't understand the negativism, unless you only ever travel in J and therefore won't travel economy.
 

blundeni

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I've flown Virgin a few times, and I'll admit to prefer flying QF however this is mainly for the free beer and the FF points.

My company has a policy of taking the cheapest flight - so this is often Virgin - although I always manage to get QF back as their flexible flights seem to be cheaper than Virgins

I think Virgin do a great job of keeping QF honest - without them we would return to a monoploy in the skies and that would not be good.
 

one9

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blundeni said:
...
I think Virgin do a great job of keeping QF honest - without them we would return to a monoploy in the skies and that would not be good.

Yes, I believe this to be very true. Competiton is always good for the consumer.
 

jakeseven7

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one9 said:
Yes, I believe this to be very true. Competiton is always good for the consumer.


Absolutely agree. As long as other people have to fly the competition and not me heh heh. Seriously though, hopefully DJ do introduce J class soon because it will invariably lead to improvements and affordability on QF just like the effect of Ozjet.
 
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Commuter

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one9 said:
I thought it was against the law for a commercial plane to land if there is less than X metres of visibility.

It depends on the equipment at the airport and the aircraft. The limit changes depending on the quipment.
 

Commuter

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bravoecho1 said:
I know of a number of QF crew who are currently receiving endorsements on the 737's that are being updated with the new HUD software.

This will enable them to operate into airports like CBR, SYD, MEL and ZQN in these conditions.

It still won't let them do an autoland 'in anger' (to do them, you need ground-based equipment) though, although the runway projection can be done in HUD and certainly help their situational awareness and improve the safety margin. I think (correct me if I'm wrong) they'll still be subject to minimas, albeit possibly relaxed compared to what they can now.
 
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Yada Yada

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blundeni said:
My company has a policy of taking the cheapest flight - so this is often Virgin - although I always manage to get QF back as their flexible flights seem to be cheaper than Virgins
I guess your company must get special rates. I've found the opposite is true using the online booking engine, although I can only vouch for SYD-MEL-SYD fares as this is what I purchase most. If I book 4 weeks or more ahead, QF's deep discount fare is sometimes as cheap as Virgin Blue, but if I book at a shorter lead-time Virgin Blue is always cheapest, especially a week or less before flying. Virgin Blue's full fare (Blue Plus) which includes free access to The Lounge and choice forward cabin seating, it is always cheaper than Qantas.

blundeni said:
I think Virgin do a great job of keeping QF honest - without them we would return to a monoploy in the skies and that would not be good.
Yes, this is so true. Virgin Blue should be supported.
 

Commuter

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Yada Yada said:
If I book 4 weeks or more ahead, QF's deep discount fare is sometimes as cheap as Virgin Blue, but if I book at a shorter lead-time Virgin Blue is always cheapest, especially a week or less before flying.

I find the same, although in my case I find that QF's deep discount fare is quite frequently cheaper than Virgin Blue if I book well in advance or during the 'sale'.
 

markis10

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bravoecho1 said:
It comes down to what the aircraft, airfield and aircrew are rated for.

As I said in a previous post, Qantas are making changes to their fleet of 737's whereby the aircrew can fly into these conditions using a Heads Up Display (like they have been using on military aircraft) and their limitations are less than aircraft/aircrew that don't have these endorsements.

Each airline, in accordance with the relevant regulatory bodies, determines what conditions their aircraft can fly in. Usually they are quite similar across the board however there are differences.

In Australia there are exemptions to the minima for take off but AFAIK there are none for landing, it is set in law what minima must be met regardless of the equipment that may be in place at the airport or in the coughpit of the plane making an approach, there actually needs to be law exemptions put in place for operations outside Australia where the minima is lower than that in Australia, a good explanation can be found here: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Legislation/LegislativeInstrument1.nsf/0/908B614B17DBC3B6CA25704F007E7C2D/$file/CASAEX28%20Explan.pdf

I think the reason why there are no exemptions for landing is mainly due to the limitations on the ground equipment rather than that in the coughpit, hopefully that wil change in the future. A landing requires more instrument support in IFR (instrument flight rules) than takeoff for obvious reasons, as you are trying to navigate to a very specific geographic location ie the runway threshold.

Think I will take my ex-Air Traffic Controller hat off now LOL
 

bravoecho1

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Markis10 & Commuter,

I am catching up with one of the QF guys doing the course this weekend so I will comeback with a more detailed answer
 

OzFlipper

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Harking back to the original thread, it's certainly not just a discount airline thing, or a Pacific island thing.

A couple of years ago, booked full J class SYD/LAX/LAS & return, I had a fun trip. I was Plat/PG & LS at the time.

LAX was closed due to visibility, and we diverted .. to LAS, my destination. I sat in that plane for 5 hours at LAS, looking out my window at the building I was going to be visiting, which was 100m away.

We were not allowed off, on the excuse that there was no international terminal at LAS (rubbish .. and there was a JAL and Mexicana sitting at the international terminal in full view). Actually, they were negotiating fuel prices, I later found out.

Finally got back to LAX at about 10:30pm, for what was supposed to be a 10am arrival (or thereabouts). No hotel, not even an offer to help find one that I would pay for. Nothing, even after going to the AA lounge and asking. And absolutely no assistance in getting an onward flight. Even tried calling Qantas in Sydney, who told me they couldn't do anything at all.

Ended up sleeping on a bench seat at the airport, and paying my own way on a cab to Burbank airport and taking an America West paid for flight to get on to Vegas, finally arriving there late afternoon the following day.

No compensation whatever was offered by Qantas, end result being that I took all my and my company's business, about $3.5m worth for the next two years, elsewhere on edict. Of course, travel insurance paid the excess costs and a little compensation for the late business arrival, but that's not much help after missing half an important conference.

You do have to wonder how an organisation can be that badly run and organised, when they can at the same time meet highly stringent air safety operations and maintenance requirements. I sometimes can't help but think that airlines are so heavily regulated that they're not sure how to run unregulated parts of their business properly, since nobody is setting a law about how to do it. When things are all smooth, it's easy, but present them with an unusual situation and they fall apart, or just stick their heads in the sand.

Back using Qantas again, as there just isn't much choice out there in reality and trying to boycott them is more pain than putting up with them. Bring on SIA for SYD-LAX - I can't wait.

Back to QF Plat & almost LTG. Might be handy after I retire. And a million and a bit points to use up some day.
 

NM

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OzFlipper said:
Back to QF Plat & almost LTG. Might be handy after I retire. And a million and a bit points to use up some day.
With Lifetime Gold under your belt, it might be time to consider moving to AA as an earning program and book the AA flight numbers on the QF flights. My experience with AA when I was delayed recently and missed my connection was very good.
 

OzFlipper

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NM said:
With Lifetime Gold under your belt, it might be time to consider moving to AA as an earning program and book the AA flight numbers on the QF flights. My experience with AA when I was delayed recently and missed my connection was very good.

When I get LTG (another 1,000 SCs or so) I'll probably start evaluating *A programs. I really wish SIA would get Pacific rights, and we would see Qantas have some competition. They might not really deserve it, but..
 
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