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Qantas vs United on USA-Australia a Comparison

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by inpd, Dec 30, 2005.

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  1. inpd

    inpd Member

    Oct 29, 2005
    103
    0
    Hi All,

    I just got back from flying united LAX-SYD-MEL-SYD-LAX.
    I've done this trip at least ten times with Qantas but this time
    the united fares were too cheap to pass up over the Christmas
    period ($1000 vs $1400).

    Everything I refer to is for Y-class.

    I'll break down the comparison by plane, service in the air
    and service on the ground. I found that many of the statements
    made about united were not completely true, but in the end
    Qantas was a better overall experience. If I could quantify it,
    I would say about $100 per ticket.

    Planes
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    On initial inspection of the United aircrafts I was pleasantly surprised.
    I had expected older style 747-400 with the shorter ceilings. Though
    these crafts were not as new as the Qantas LongReach aircraft,
    they were comparable to the Qantas planes flown in the late 90's
    with ample head room and recessed lighting above the overhead
    bins. However, the aircrafts are showing a bit of wear: a projector
    screen that wouldn't stay up, a window shutter that was busted and
    an entertainment system that wouldn't play several movies,
    but overall quite good. There are no inflight entertainment
    systems. There is no travel ammenity bag (i.e. toothbrush,
    socks etc.)

    Service in the Air
    --------------------

    The flight attendents I have to admit were quite good. There was
    one 70+ dragon lady, but all the others were professional,
    energetic and in their 30's/40's. I traveled with a 10 month year
    old and they were very helpful. I think the flight attendents were
    as good probably better than Qantas's.

    Service On the Ground
    --------------------------

    This is where Qantas gets a big advantage. Firstly, checking in
    was a near riot. United (like most airlines) is going through a phase
    of trying to get passengers to use self check-in. But the
    self check-in system was not working and people were jumping the
    paper-ticket/aided-check-in queue. Also, United in Australia is hopeless.
    Really hopeless and I was disappointed by my fellow Australians.
    I had lost a coat and had to phone up 6 times and in the end
    was told, I kid you not, our cleaning staff probably took it which
    is why we can't find it anywhere!
     
  2. MIKEs

    MIKEs Junior Member

    Dec 15, 2005
    13
    0
    As for Service on the ground:

    IMO that applies to just about to any service Industry here in Aus :wink:

    Always happy :) to fly United before Qantas save a few bucks & a lot better FF program :)

    Interesting to see that QF is adding an additional SYD-LAX service as of March 31 along with there return SYD-SFO services. I wonder if these additional services have anything to do with UA exiting chap 11 this year and QF cementing there hold further on the Pacific route :?:

    Also makes a mockery of QF saying we dont need another carrier SIA on this route :roll:
     


  3. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    But can always fly QF and credit to a more generous FF programme ; avoiding travel on US carriers is always a plus to me

    Dave
     
  4. inpd

    inpd Member

    Oct 29, 2005
    103
    0
    I had the same sentiments as Dave. I had previously always
    (ten plus times) flow Qantas from MEL-LAX. However ...
    United's equipment is older, but the service in the air is
    on par with Qantas. Economy plus is nice if you have longer
    legs and since not many people are UA premier (silver status
    equivalent) FF you have a good chance of being randomly chosen
    to be upgraded to Economy plus.
    UA FF programme is a lot better with regard to upgrading
    policies but I don't know what the success rate at getting
    upgrades is.

    A bit of competition for Qantas is not such a bad thing ...
     
  5. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
    16,080
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    For those who fly Oz domestic the majority of the time there really is no choice. ie I fly a big international trip occassionally which gives me the status however use that status (and associated benefits) for all my domestic flights. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
     


  6. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,688
    216
    Canberra / London
    Hi inpd,

    Glad you enjoyed your trip on UA. Pity about the f'up checking in at LAX, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Checking in at T7 is always much superior to checking in at Tom Bradley anyway.

    Not sure that UA's 747's are any older than QF's, just a matter of maintenance, I think. There are good ones and not so good ones (as is the case with Qantas).

    As for upgrades, UA is in a league of its own, compared to Qantas. Last month I received 3 op'ups in 3 flights. Wouldn't happen with good ol' Qantas unless hell had just frozen over.

    :)
     
  7. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
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    Absolutely:!:

    T(anywhere) is better than Tom Bradley. Remember that SFO becomes an alternate option with QF shortly. :D

    Not sure that maintenance is the issue just updating of appearances. I believe that maintenance refers to keeping the a/c flying and I certainly don't have an issue with this on either AU or QF. :D

    Which of course is all to do with Yield Management. QF doesn't give freebies however they don't continually operate in Chapter 11 as do MOST US major airlines:!: :evil:
     
  8. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    The AA scheme works pretty well for collecting and redeeming points for domestic flights; you don't need to collect to the QF scheme

    Dave
     
  9. inpd

    inpd Member

    Oct 29, 2005
    103
    0
    For the next time I return home to Australia, I was thinking of
    using my points to upgrade from Economy to Business.

    Now the upgrade rules sound a bit bogus. I have to buy
    a non-discounted economy seat and then place my name
    on the upgrade list but I never know if this is the case
    until I check in right? Hmmm, a good deal from the
    airlines viewpoint.

    Any idea on what Australia-USA routes and airlines
    people have had success using points to upgrade.

    Cheers.
     
  10. cssaus

    cssaus Active Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    891
    62
    Sydney
    Well I can only speak from experience with UA but the upgrade process ins fairly painless and unless the filght is really full you can pretty much get a points upgrade.

    For economy tickets you do need to have an M, H, B or Y class booking in order to upgrade with the last two classes requiring less points than the first two.
     
  11. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,688
    216
    Canberra / London
    Hey guys,

    Please join the real world. No one is going to give anyone an upgrade unless they are very good customers. Start and end of story.

    :)
     
  12. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    In the real world, airlines are quite prepared to give upgrades using points as detailed in their FF programmes ( which is what was being referred to with points upgrades)

    Dave
     
  13. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    Actually you can upgrade from any of the whY classes except for N, O & Q.

    This means that L, V etc are upgradeable as well.
     
  14. cssaus

    cssaus Active Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    891
    62
    Sydney
    Not exactly true.

    Yes you can upgrade for those classes but only for flights originating out of North America to certain destinations. Check the following web page for further details:

    http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,1151,00.html
     
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