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QF business not what it used to be?

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transpactraveller

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I do the trip between SYD and LAX a few times a year for work, and travel in J. QFF Gold status for a couple of years now.

I've been really disappointed with the service and overall experience on recent flights.

  • The 'lie flat' beds aren't really flat, legs and feet half sagging down to the floor.
  • Meal & drink service now just feels robotic without the personal service of the past. I had more personable friendly service in PE years ago.
  • The cabin manager will usually welcome me at the start of the flight but then is never to be seen again. This greeting also feels rushed and scripted, especially when it's word for word (except name) for the person sitting next to you.
  • The cabin crew always seem to make excessive noise in the galley during the night. They don't close the curtains properly, letting light and noise through.
  • Delays seem to be getting more common.

I normally sit up the front section of business on the A380 (rows 11-13) as I'm told this is a quieter section for sleeping, but on recent trips there have been lots of families with young children up front who seem to spend the entire flight throwing tantrums, running around, screaming or just generally crying.

Maybe I've just been unlucky recently? Or maybe because business class has become routine travel for me it just doesn't excite me like it did the first few times?
 

cove

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We are going this week so I may be able to give you my view later in the week. If the upgrade fairy is kind it may be thoughts from the pointier part of the plane.
 

oz_mark

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I've been really disappointed with the service and overall experience on recent flights.

  • The 'lie flat' beds aren't really flat, legs and feet half sagging down to the floor.

I guess you are on the A380 with the world famous SkyDroop seats?
 

Bilton

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Maybe I've just been unlucky recently? Or maybe because business class has become routine travel for me it just doesn't excite me like it did the first few times?
You get to choose your travel class but so does everyone else. Kids in business class are an unavoidable fact of life from time to time, so there's not much point in complaining about that.

As far as J become more mundane with repeated exposure, that's also a common experience. A long-haul flight in Y is the usual cure for that malady.

I recently did SYD-SCL-SYD in QANTAS J on 747 Longreach metal, and found the service and product very satisfactory. :idea:
 

TomVexille

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Maybe consider booking the AA flight to give you a comparison.

Oh and welcome aboard!
 

RooFlyer

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Welcome to AFF. Your general experience mirrors mine over the past 5 years or so; I'm flying Qantas less as a result. There are certainly more families travelling in business these days (on all airlines) and I'm afraid there's little avoiding the consequences.

if its any comfort:

* Almost all airlines are declining in service and amenity, but Asian airlines are still pretty good. For your next LAX trip, have a look at Circle Pacific fare - eg SYD/MEL-HKG-LA on Cathay (or SYD-NRT-LA on JAL) then return on QF, or the other way round;

* Business is still better than Y and PE, as they have slid also;

* One thing that hasn't changed on Qantas is the quality of its pilots and that, I'm sure you'll agree, is one of, if not the main criterion :)
 

esseeeayeenn

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* Almost all airlines are declining in service and amenity ...

Agree generally but I think this has a slightly different nuance for QF J. In my view they have a couple of different problems.
First, their service methodology hasn't changed. We have discussed the limitations of trolley-and-tray service elsewhere.
I don't want to rehash that but I think it can lead to the sort of "robotic" service of which the OP complained.
Other airlines have moved to more personalised service and "anytime dining" which is inherently more personalised.
Second, Qantas is a great place to work. This is, in general, a very good thing. However they don't have the "customer first" approach and often seem to lack the desire to go the extra mile for each passenger.
This is relevant to your comparison to Asian airlines, as well as to (at least some of) the ME big 3.
 

transpactraveller

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Thanks everyone for the tips. I've thought about trying AA. It's hard to book anything other than Qantas with my company, but I could probably get an AA flight on QF codeshare ticket.


I guess you are on the A380 with the world famous SkyDroop seats?
Yeah, nearly all the recent flights have been on the a380. Is this something unique to the a380 seats? Would you recommend trying via Brisbane for the 747 instead?



You get to choose your travel class but so does everyone else. Kids in business class are an unavoidable fact of life from time to time, so there's not much point in complaining about that.
Welcome to AFF. Your general experience mirrors mine over the past 5 years or so; I'm flying Qantas less as a result. There are certainly more families travelling in business these days (on all airlines) and I'm afraid there's little avoiding the consequences.
Yeah QF can't really do much about that. If there were spare seats elsewhere I suppose they could offer to move you further away. The cabin crew tend to ignore and pretend like the kids aren't there. Not sure there's much they can do though, but they may know some tricks or hints to give to first time flying parents to calm the kids down.



As far as J become more mundane with repeated exposure, that's also a common experience. A long-haul flight in Y is the usual cure for that malady.
Oh the horror! You're right though, that would fix it! Very much first world problems.



* One thing that hasn't changed on Qantas is the quality of its pilots and that, I'm sure you'll agree, is one of, if not the main criterion :)
Yes absolutley agree with this point - often something that's overlooked but certainly one of the main reasons many people choose Qantas is the safety record
 
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samh004

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To pretty much all of your points, my counter is that I recently had amazing crew, tons of recognition and an excellent meal and drink service. But I was in Economy, way down the back of the section you're normally at the front of. I don't want to come across as rude with a 'be thankful for what you've got' sort of post, but perhaps a method of re-exciting yourself could be to experience an Economy flight on the next trip, so you can fall in love with what makes Business so much better again.

I know recently, I took eight 737 J flights in a row over a weekend, and by the end of it I was pretty sick of what was on offer. The following two flights in Y sure cured that sickness though.

As far as Emerald City goes (rows 11-13), I guess you've just been unlucky and had families with Emerald status?
 

paxman

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At least you will still get some legacy crew on the 747. The 380 is all new contract now I would say, hence the drop in standard to my mind.
 

Pushka

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To pretty much all of your points, my counter is that I recently had amazing crew, tons of recognition and an excellent meal and drink service. But I was in Economy, way down the back of the section you're normally at the front of. I don't want to come across as rude with a 'be thankful for what you've got' sort of post, but perhaps a method of re-exciting yourself could be to experience an Economy flight on the next trip, so you can fall in love with what makes Business so much better again.

I know recently, I took eight 737 J flights in a row over a weekend, and by the end of it I was pretty sick of what was on offer. The following two flights in Y sure cured that sickness though.

As far as Emerald City goes (rows 11-13), I guess you've just been unlucky and had families with Emerald status?

And in counter counter fashion people pay a lot of money for J and when the product starts to fail - esp those droopy seats.
 

eminere

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Yeah QF can't really do much about that. If there were spare seats elsewhere I suppose they could offer to move you further away. The cabin crew tend to ignore and pretend like the kids aren't there. Not sure there's much they can do though, but they may know some tricks or hints to give to first time flying parents to calm the kids down.

That's where I find Asian airlines tend to be better, as crew proactively offer toys and activity packs.
 

Melburnian1

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I do the trip between SYD and LAX a few times a year for work, and travel in J....

I've been really disappointed with the service and overall experience on recent flights....
  • Delays seem to be getting more common.
...

A squiz at the most recent pages of this thread shows how poor QF's timekeeping has been lately across the Pacific.

QF11 is not bad, but QF12 can be very poor, like QF16/QF15 and less frequently QF94/ QF93:

http://www.australianfrequentflyer....ations/qantas-delays-cancellations-52193.html

Competitors are not free of delays either but all appear to be better than QF, which is hindered by how QF15 ex BNE becomes QF11/QF12 LAX - JFK - LAX and then returns to BNE with not a huge amount of spare time anywhere, except an extra hour in BNE.

For the last two days the transcontinental USA flights have been punctual but previous days last week were a disaster.
 

v1nce007

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Thanks everyone for the tips. I've thought about trying AA. It's hard to book anything other than Qantas with my company, but I could probably get an AA flight on QF codeshare ticket.

Earlier in the year went to LAX in QF J and returned in AA J.

I reckon it's a line call as to which is better. There is no question the AA seat is much better (private, comfortable, spacious and lots of storage). However in terms of the soft product: the service on AA is good and the food is OK, but I'd give the edge to QF in these areas.

It would be worth giving it a go to compare.
 

Berlin

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I've been really disappointed with the service and overall experience on recent flights.

  • The 'lie flat' beds aren't really flat, legs and feet half sagging down to the floor.
  • Meal & drink service now just feels robotic without the personal service of the past. I had more personable friendly service in PE years ago.

I normally sit up the front section of business on the A380 (rows 11-13) as I'm told this is a quieter section for sleeping, but on recent trips there have been lots of families with young children up front who seem to spend the entire flight throwing tantrums, running around, screaming or just generally crying.

Ah- the parents who can't wait for a few years until their beloved offspring is old enough to properly fly and rather annoy the rest of the cabin with their screaming infants is one of my bug bears as well, especially in Business class. But that's probably to be counted under 'bad luck'- I started selecting seats towards the back of the J cabin lately, just to avoid the bassinet seats up the front.

And the lumpy lie flat seats are becoming more and more a product from the past. I wonder when QF will realize that these are due for a little cabin refurb?
 
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Ah- the parents who can't wait for a few years until their beloved offspring is old enough to properly fly and rather annoy the rest of the cabin with their screaming infants is one of my bug bears as well, especially in Business class. But that's probably to be counted under 'bad luck'- I started selecting seats towards the back of the J cabin lately, just to avoid the bassinet seats up the front.

And the lumpy lie flat seats are becoming more and more a product from the past. I wonder when QF will realize that these are due for a little cabin refurb?

I do agree about the saggy seats, and just generally they are now a generation behind. Others more knowledgeable than me on here have mentioned that the A380s come due for their first major maintenance overhaul in 2018/2019 so hopefully QF will take the opportunity to upgrade the product.
 
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Berlin

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I do agree about the saggy seats, and just generally they are now a generation behind. Others more knowledgeable than me on here have mentioned that the A380s come due for their first major maintenance overhaul in 2018/2019 so hopefully QF will take the opportunity to upgrade the product.
I'd think that this would be a great opportunity to align the business product with those staggered seats on the A330s and the upcoming 787s...

Let's hope they don't take First class out altogether but rather come up with an improved seat for F as well. Though I have actually decided that I like the swivel seat- more comfy than many proper 'suite' style seats in my eyes.
 

Mattg

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I've also heard that QF are planning to refurbish their A380s from sometime next year or early 2019. Upgraded business class seats would definitely be a part of that.

FWIW, I expect that there will be 1 or 2 more rows of premium economy on the reconfigured A380s - possibly at the expense of some (but hopefully not all) first class seats.
 
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