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Qantas vs United on USA-Australia a Comparison

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inpd

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Messages
103
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
-------

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!
 

MIKEs

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
13
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:
 

Dave Noble

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
6,419
MIKEs said:
Always happy :) to fly United before Qantas save a few bucks & a lot better FF program :)
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
 

inpd

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Messages
103
Dave Noble said:
MIKEs said:
Always happy :) to fly United before Qantas save a few bucks & a lot better FF program :)
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
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 ...
 

straitman

Moderator
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
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Dave Noble said:
MIKEs said:
Always happy :) to fly United before Qantas save a few bucks & a lot better FF program :)
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
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
 

clifford

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
1,780
inpd said:
Dave Noble said:
MIKEs said:
Always happy :) to fly United before Qantas save a few bucks & a lot better FF program :)
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
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 ...
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.

:)
 

straitman

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clifford said:
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.
Absolutely:!:

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

clifford said:
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).
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

clifford said:
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.
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:
 

Dave Noble

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
6,419
straitman said:
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.
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
 

inpd

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Messages
103
straitman said:
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
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.
 

cssaus

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2004
Messages
928
inpd said:
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.
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.
 

clifford

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
1,780
cssaus said:
inpd said:
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.
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.
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.

:)
 

Dave Noble

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
6,419
clifford said:
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.

:)
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
 

serfty

Moderator
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
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cssaus said:
... 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.
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.
 

cssaus

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2004
Messages
928
serfty said:
cssaus said:
... 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.
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.
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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