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Qantas Delays/Cancellations

Melburnian1

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Continuing with Monday 27 May, QF33, the 0955 hours often only marginally late if not punctual SYD - KIX has been delayed to 1330 hours with arrival estimated as 2230, 210 minutes late. This will delay the returning redeye QF34 that usually departs at 2025 to a suggested 2345 hours for SYD Tuesday 28 arrival at around 1015 hours, 185 late.

QF98 from HKG to BNE (A333 VH-QPE) departed on Sunday night at 2256 hours, 161 minutes late, arriving on Monday in the Sunshine State capital at 0914 hours, 134 minutes tardy. This was the second consecutive night of substantial delays for this offering that usually has pretty good timekeeping.

Fortunately with the usual May frequency reductions, flights such as QF61 (the 0935 hours BNE - NRT) are not timetabled to run today. If they were, the A330 QFi fleet would be under even more pressure given the multiple problems of the last two or three days.
 
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NM

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Actually NM, while I would change my mind if I was in such a queue, to have it cancelled at about 1640 hours and be in an hotel before 2030 is not as bad as I'd expect given the hordes to be processed. Thank you by the way for the terrific information including rerouting: fascinating. Like Portland, Seattle is an interesting USA city (with sky high hotel rates!) so if he's not been there, commiserations for missing out on an overnight.

Hotels would have contracts with airlines with latter not paying what 'normal' guests do, but nonetheless major city hotels must "love" airline disruptions, especially given it's a Sunday night, usually in many cities worldwide (definitely in Oz) the night with the lowest occupancy rate.

$50 for two meals is sufficient for me but some would complain I bet.
The worst part for him is the fact the AA72 flight is full and he was given a middle seat. One of teh reasons we chose QF73 SYD-SFO for that leg was to avoid the 789 in Y for a 13+ hour flight, so specifically went for the 744 option knowing that while the aircraft is older it was less likely to be full and he was able to pre-select an aisle seat for the long sector. While it was originally a good plan, the cancellation ensured its undoing.

He, as student with virtually no financial capacity, thought $50 was pretty good for two meals ... until he saw the meal prices at the hotel restaurant! He is heading over to be groomsman for his mate's wedding, and doing teh trip on a shoestring budget.
 

Melburnian1

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In a delay I missed last night, QF20, the Sunday 26 May 2019 scheduled redeye at 2000 hours from MNL to SYD has been delayed overnight and should depart at 2200 tonight, after today's QF19 to QF20 turnaround.

So A332 VH-EBO that arrived 88 late at 1958 on Sunday on QF19 in MNL is sitting there all of Monday.

QF has an unacceptable number of problems with its A332/A333 fleet, which is already older than some competitors'. Transport equipment is not 'bad' just because it's 'ageing' or 'elderly', as timely and good maintenance is the key.

Some problems (adverse weather or a crew member falling sick) are unrelated to aircraft but why is it that some other operators appear to have significantly fewer problems with this class of aircraft than QF? This can't all be explained by "QF having a greater focus on safety", as is sometimes suggested, as some competitors have an excellent safety record in the last decade. Airline Ratings contends that this is the relevant assessment.
 

Melburnian1

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...He, as student with virtually no financial capacity, thought $50 was pretty good for two meals ... until he saw the meal prices at the hotel restaurant! He is heading over to be groomsman for his mate's wedding, and doing teh trip on a shoestring budget.
NM, thanks! If he was at the Sydney Airport Novotel, my humble solution would be to walk to Arncliffe railway station and obtain a cheap meal such as charcoal chicken (watching for early closing of such shops on a Sunday). Not everyone is minded to do this but many have been cash strapped students, and not all have 'the Bank of Mum and Dad' existing or available.
 

bigpetebrown

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My son was to fly QF73 today. It was cancelled about 4:40pm while he was at SYD (commenced journey from BNE). His end destination is Kelowna (YWL) in BC, Canada. Original routing was BNE-SYD-SFO-SEA-YLW with an overnight stop in SEA. His new routing is SYD-LAX-SEA-YLW with no need for overnight stop, flying AA SYD-LAX, and AS LAX-SEA-YWL.

Took several hours at SYD to get through the queue for rebooking and accommodation arrangements.
We're on QF73 on July 2. Is there any way to find out if this cancellation is a regular occurrence? Paid full price J and one points J. It'd kill me for us to end up flying Y with AA if that was the only way to get to SFO. We're jinxed - four hours late for our BNE-CNS flight a few weeks back, 13 for our BNE-CHC flight on Friday
 

Melburnian1

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We're on QF73 on July 2. Is there any way to find out if this cancellation is a regular occurrence?..
A paid subscription to the Flight Radar 24 site will give one information a long way back, but some other sites (such as Radar Box 24 or whatever it is) seem to have more than seven days' flights by designation available free.

13 hours' delay for BNE to CHC is almost four times what the gate-to-gate flight should take. Ouch.

From observation, it is very uncommon for these B744 flights (73/74) to be cancelled. That said, as they pages attest, QF experiences much trouble with its ageing B744s so you can be unlucky, though as noted above, this is also applicable to its A330s.

A delay to departure is more likely, as often, 'the 73' is formed by QF64 ex JNB that arrives if punctual mid afternoon, so it doesn't take much of a problem for the turnaround from 'the 64' to QF73 to result in tardiness.

QFi works its fleet quite hard, which while good for shareholders is not great for travellers. Other airlines whose base is outside Oz fare better with their Australian flights, by and large. Notable exceptions are some of the mainland Chinese airlines that partly due to military taking over airspace are frequently late.

I hope that's some reassurance. Happy travels!
 
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NM

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NM, thanks! If he was at the Sydney Airport Novotel, my humble solution would be to walk to Arncliffe railway station and obtain a cheap meal such as charcoal chicken (watching for early closing of such shops on a Sunday). Not everyone is minded to do this but many have been cash strapped students, and not all have 'the Bank of Mum and Dad' existing or available.
I understand the $50 for meals was for spending at the hotel - had to be charged to the room. If it had been paid in cash, he would have eaten cheap and pocketed the rest.
 

NM

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We're on QF73 on July 2. Is there any way to find out if this cancellation is a regular occurrence? Paid full price J and one points J. It'd kill me for us to end up flying Y with AA if that was the only way to get to SFO. We're jinxed - four hours late for our BNE-CNS flight a few weeks back, 13 for our BNE-CHC flight on Friday
I am not aware of this being a regular cancellation. He was booked in Y on an FF Aawrd redemption, so no cabin downgrade imposed for him. If this particular routing has been available for an award booking, making his connection to KWL without an overnight stop in SEA, we probably would have booked it this way. So his biggest "problem" is the loss of seat selection and ending up in a middle seat. All part of the "journey" for a uni student.
 

Quickstatus

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@bigpetebrown

Reasons for and against the cancellation of QF73 on July2

Unpredictable reasons
Weather, mechanical problems and the odd medical can cause a cancellation.
These days there is an excess of 747s (recently one was deployed to help out Jetstar when its 787 was out of action in KIX), and you are departing from a 747 hub - so at least that is in your favour.

Lack of Demand
There is a very tiny risk to July 2. The reason is because July 2 is a Tuesday
Usually Tuesday and Wednesdays are the quieter days of the week. Hence the relative ease in getting a J award on July 2.
So from a demand management point of view, if the airline thinks the passenger load is low, ht could cancel the flight and shunt you to another transpacific flight.

Seasonal demand
Also because of "July 2". From week starting 24Jun QF73 will operate a daily 7 days a week service due to peak travel for the School holidays. Currently it is operating 6 days a week (MTTFSS, not wednesdays)

Overall outlook
QF73 will be replaced by a 787 reducing the J seat count from 58 to 42 from December. Obviously QF sees this route as marginal for a 747.
Overall I do think you will be OK

Previous experience with cancelled QF flights
The airline has tried to accomodate me in the past and replaced like for like. So J for J. Though others have noted downgrades with the notable Emily downgrade. The way to avoid this is not to accept the downgrade and travel another day. And to turn up for checkin extremely early.

@Melburnian1 may also have a view on Tuesdays and Wednesday - "midweek" cancellations.
 

Quickstatus

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If an airline tells me to go home because a flight from my home airport is cancelled, I will say sorry I don’t have a home to go to because I have house sitters in...

I don’t believe Emily GPS got an appropriate cash refund that squares everything.
 

Melburnian1

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@bigpetebrown...@Melburnian1 may also have a view on Tuesdays and Wednesday - "midweek" cancellations.
Quickstatus, everything you wrote above is a terrific summary.

The one point I'd make is that for a flight such as QF73 to be cancelled due to 'low demand', it would usually have to also be a day that saw low bookings in the other direction - QF74 in this case.

While true that Tuesdays is as I understand it the lowest demand day for international flights (and probably Wednesday second lowest), there'd also have to be sufficient spare seats in both directions on other (preferably QF or AA) flights to make it practical to cancel. Naturally QF doesn't want to be handing money over to competitors to accommodate 'the 73/74' passengers if that can be avoided.

I sometimes forget to remember what the timetable stated at the time of year i.e. daily, six days a week etc. - but don't recall any recent other cancellations of 'the 73/74' so as discussed, it's rare. And there aren't a huge number of nonstops SYD - SFO or v.v.l - far fewer than LAX - SYD v.v. - so that's also a mitigating factor reducing teh chances of a 'low bookings' cancellation.
 

Melburnian1

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Earlier on Monday 27 May 2019, QF107 (lunchtime 1210 hours SYD - PEK) departed at 1238, so arrival is predicted at 2300, 45 late.

Sunday 26's QF12 (JFK across to LAX), B789 VH-ZND, departed on time at 1810 hours but arrived at 2217, 67 late. The reason was a delayed takeoff, not until 1921. I've not ever flown from this airport but former aviator jb747 has previously commented about a long taxi, thunderstorms in summer (and spring?) plus at times runway works that may contribute to such on the ground delays.

Despite this delay into LAX, QF12 to SYD (the A388) and QF94 to MEL are expected to arrive less than half an hour late. However QF16, also VH-ZND, took off at 0035 on Monday 27 (75 minutes after timetabled pushback) and is expected at its BNE gate on Tuesday 28 at roughly 0705 according to QF (while FR24 claims '0703'). Take your pick. This ought not delay QF15 ex BNE for LAX on Tuesday as it enjoys a generous turnaround period.
 
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Melburnian1

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Also on Sunday 26 May, QF8 departed DFW just three minutes late at 2228 but SYD Tuesday 28 arrival is predicted as 0655, half an hour behind. Normally this has no adverse effect on the A388 departure pushbacks ex SYD as all have more than adequate turnaround times built in.
 

bigpetebrown

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Thanks M1 and QS. I'd never even considered it until reading the thread above. What will be will be.

About our 13 hour delay on Friday QF135 BNE-CHC.

As we were lined up to board, the couple in front said "fingers crossed" as they'd heard the Virgin CHC flight had just been cancelled due to fog in CHC. We were soon told to sit down then maybe 20 minutes later told flight had been 'delayed' and would now depart Sat at 8am. If we lived in Brisbane to go home, otherwise hotel would be provided. We'd driven so went out to the car then realised the couple of bubbles in the lounge weren't worth the risk so cabbed it home. Called QF hotels to try to cancel Sudima at CHC,. Even though non-refundable they said they'd contact and ask. Email late at night saying no dice.

We departed at 8, even lighter load, crew fantastic, choice of bottle of anything for J pax, I chose a NZ pinot. When I was picking up the car I was told fog had only cleared at 11am!

I've lodged an insurance claim with Amex under flight delay for hotel and the two taxi fares. If they say no, I'll try a compo claim.
 

Melburnian1

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Tuesday 28 May 2019 finds QF2040, the 0815 hours SYD across to DBO not having become airborne until 0909 hours, so Q400 VH-QON should arrive at 0955 hours, 35 minutes tardy.

QF2205 (VH-QOD) is the 0830 hours SYD down to ABX that was airborne at 0918. Arrival should be at 1019, 34 late.
 
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Melburnian1

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Continuing with Tuesday 28 May, QF23 (0950 hours SYD - BKK daily) departed at 1017 but arrival is not predicted until 1734, 54 late. A333 VH-QPF did not take off until 1045 so that did not help. Quite often off blocks to airborne for an international flight can be 20 to 25 minutes, not 28.

The delayed QF34 (unavoidable, as QF33 was tardy yesterday) arrived SYD at 1019 hours, 189 minutes late.
 

Melburnian1

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Monday 27 May's QF1 departed SYD just two minutes late at 1557, arriving in SIN at its gate at 2250 hours, 35 late. Departure from SIN was at 0026 on Tuesday 28, 31 late, so not much time lost in passenger/freight handling and the crew change, but arrival in LHR is expected at 0711, 46 late. The takeoff was not until 0100 hours for A388 VH-OQG, so 34 minutes from pushback to up up and away.
 

Melburnian1

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On Tuesday 28 May, QF( departed MEL at 1521 hours, six minutes late, arriving PER at 1711, four early.

However its departure for LHR has been delayed a suggested 55 minutes to 1940 hours with LHR Wednesday 29 arrival suggested as 0550 hours, 45 late.

QF24, the 1810 hours BKK - MEL redeye pushed back 34 minutes late, so Wednesday 29 arrival should be at 0655, half an hour behind schedule.
 
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