Sky high in Canberra

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by Skyring, Oct 23, 2006.

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  1. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

    Oct 18, 2005
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    Three flights over the weekend to make 45 SC. Took the wife, spent 24 000 award points and $160 on her flights, and $460 on mine. Same flights, both of us. Y, of course. B737s all the way.

    QF 713 Canberra-Adelaide Thursday morning 0610. Had enough time in the QP for a cup of coffee. I'd used the OLCI, found just about everything but my allocated seats marked unavailable even though I was Seq 1. The system put my wife in the middle seat beside my window, even though her pref is aisle. The barcodes worked fine and the FA mentioned that these were the first ones she'd seen go through without a hiccup. Flight left on time, nice smooth launch to the north and turn left, great view over Canberra as we gained altitude. Hazy, cloudy and/or boring most of the way over. Breakfast was served - typical economy stuff, not bad but nothing to arouse one's taste organs. Arrived on time, had a good look at sparkling new terminal (I was there in April when my Canberra-Perth flight stopped for refuelling, but we staid on the plane). Very nice. Getting into rush hour, got a reasonably uncommunicative cabbie, $22 fare into Rundle Mall. 605+303=1000 airmiles, 15 SC.

    Adelaide for a BookCrossing convention, did a tour of Hahndorf, art gallery, museum, Botanic Gardens, tram to Glenelg and back and a ton of socialising with folk from my online community. Staid at Quest Mansions where we had special monthly rate for two night stay. Very convenient lovely little apartments with separate bedroom and a little kitchen, great value at $114 nightly, a few metres from east end of Rundle Mall.

    Sunday evening was the earliest I could get flights home. $17 taxi fare from Rundle Mall with a charming part-time cabbie who had been driving since 1958 and was full of tales about old Adeaide. Tipped him up to $20. QF 766 left at 1755 after a glass of sparkling in the QP with wife and a Virgin passenger fellow-BookCrosser we snuck in as a guest. Not much time, but I could have cheerfully drunk the place dry after a long hot and parched day. I'd OLCI'd, but no printer so no home-built boarding pass. We'd been given 5E and 5F, which was nice. Quick taxi to the runway beginning and a great launch out over the sea. We left a few minutes late and ATC slowed us down a bit more as we approached Sydney. One advantage was that we flew just to the north of Canberra on the clear evening, and I amused myself by tracing the roads. Mushroom pasta as a meal, must have stocked up on safe vegetarian dinners. OK, but not exciting. Then again, I'd eaten well all weekend, so I wasn't hanging out for spectacular tucker. We landed on the cross runway and were about ten-fifteen minutes late. 725+363=1088 airmiles 15 SC

    QF 807 was only ten minutes gap before boarding, so no QP visit. As it happened there was a 15 minute delay before boarding, so we could have had a quickie. Turned out that the cabin crew from the Adelaide flight was mostly doing the Canberra leg, so that was probably the reason. OLCI seat allocation, I'd seized an empty row, given myself 7F and the wife 7D. Everything ahead blocked off, but as it happened there was nobody sitting in them. 7F had no window, and another passenger snaffled our empty middle seat, so it wasn't quite the champagne flight it could have been. Then again, a night flight Sydney Canberra isn't your great viewing experience. The usual assembly line snack on the run - nuts and dried fruit with a cuppa - before the crew were clearing up the bits and pieces. Not much time on this leg. Parked on the apron, walked across to the terminal. 148+74=1000 airmiles, 20 SC (I needed a full Y ticket for this leg).

    And those 50 SC gave me the 45 I needed to make platinum, which I see has shown up on my QFF profile. Combined with the brand new T endorsement on my licence and a sweet weekend break, I'm one happy frequent flyer.
     

  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Thanks for the report and congrats on making platinum.
     
  3. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Sounds like a good weekend in Adelaide.

    Congratulations on your new status.
     
  4. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    Congrats on WP status :D

    Just wondering what the T endorsement reference meant?
     
  5. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

    Oct 18, 2005
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    Thanks for the congrats. I'm right chuffed. Well, the wife put her foot down very firmly after my last RTW in July and said that if I was going overseas again, she'd be coming too. I don't mind staying in youth hostels and so on, but my wife likes to travel in considerable style and so travelling for two costs four times as much as for one.

    My homegrown business as an online bookseller doesn't pay enough for me to take her on long and frequent holidays, so I cast around for a new job where I could still be my own boss, but take off a month here and there as the fit took me.

    So, say hello to Canberra's newest cabbie!
     
  6. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
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    Hello!

    So can I make CBR taxi booking via this website now? :mrgreen:

    p.s. Congrats on making Platinum.
     
  7. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

    Oct 18, 2005
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    Heh. You can. If I'm on the appropriate shift, I can arrange to be available at the right time and place. Gotta say, from listening to my passengers, that Canberra has serious problems in getting people to and from the airport on time. Combination of factors there - shortage of cabbies, new booking system, high peak loads as Parliamentary staffers all arrive and depart at once.
     
  8. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Congratulations. Now all those books left behind in cabs can also be "endorsed" ;) .
     
  9. Bolman

    Bolman Junior Member

    Oct 24, 2006
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    Good luck with the new job - Canberra needs as many cabs as they can get. I spend a lot of time there, but gave up on the cabs some time ago. The booking system does not work properly and due to the shortage you mentioned, they often force you to share with complete strangers going to a similar destination... and get THIS - they charge BOTH passengers full fare!

    This is great for the cabbies - bad for the passengers.

    I have resigned now to hiring cars. If you book with Avis or Budget, you get bonus FF points and sometimes a bonus.

    Idea- Cabcharge awards FF points... you think it could work?
     
  10. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

    Oct 18, 2005
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    Got my vote!

    Actually, the situation you mention above is illegal.

    Multiple hirings occur in a limited set of circumstances, usually at the airport where several unrelated passengers are travelling to the same or co-located destinations. If there is a long queue, the commissionaire will ask the passenger at the head of the line where he's going and if he minds sharing, in return for a lower fare. If he agrees, the commissionaire will call out for other passengers for the same destination. Of course, this is popular with those languishing at the end of the line.

    The cabbie is supposed to explain the rules clearly to the passengers before driving off, but at Canberra there's a loop, and if anybody disagrees, they can be swiftly returned to the end of the queue at no cost, so generally the rules are explained in the first minute or so.

    The first passenger is to be dropped off first (unless he agrees to an alteration, like if somebody's destination is on the way to his). Each passenger will pay the amount showing on the meter when dropped off.

    This is a good deal for the first passenger (if he agrees to it), because he pays a lower flagfall and a lower tariff. It works out to about 75% of the full fare.

    It is a good deal for the other passengers, because not only do they get a lower fare, they get moved up in the long line of waiting passengers. Admittedly, they may pay a little bit over the 75% because the first passenger and any others before them will have taken the cab a little way out of a direct route, and taken some time for paying the fare. (A good cabbie will turn the meter off while earlier passengers are paying the fare, and start it up again when driving off to deliver the later passengers.)

    It is a good deal for the cabbie, because even if there are only two passengers sharing the cab, he gets 2 x 75% = 150% of a regular fare.

    However, it is entirely voluntary for all parties, and there should be no feeling that anybody is forced into it.

    The purpose of it is to get passengers to their destinations efficiently, because unhappy customers will take their business elsewhere, as you have demonstrated. And frankly, I don't blame you one bit. Spending time waiting, and possibly missing appointments and flights is no good for anybody, and does nothing to help stress levels of passenger or cabbie.

    I know I'd rather be relaxing in the lounge, or being early for a meeting and having time to prepare, than standing in a queue stretching a hundred metres or so, or waiting on a street corner for a taxi that may never come. Especially in a Canberra winter.

    Trust me, I understand, and I'm going to bust a gut to make my passengers happy! Because when I travel to another city, I am you, and the last thing I need is to be stuffed around.
     
  11. Shano

    Shano Established Member

    Aug 17, 2006
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    With that attitude Skyring I wish you every success in your new business venture. A very refreshing attitude indeed.
     
  12. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Say I am the first passenger and agree to share with another passenger. The other passenger gets dropped off first with say $25 on the meter and I get dropped off at my destination with say $50 on the meter. How much would each passenger be expected to contribute?

    When you mention each passenger pays did this include husband and wife sharing with another couple or an individual? Would husband and wife be charged 2 fares or only one?
     
  13. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    My understanding is first pax pays $25 and second pays $50. An extra charge for a couple makes no sense.
     
  14. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    That makes no sense. I get inconvenienced and still pay full fare? I am not into subsidising so the second passenger can wait for his own cab!
     
  15. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    No because the tarriff is lower. Ie normal fare might have been $30 for first pax, $65 for the second.
     
  16. NM

    NM
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    But $50 is not the full fare. The tariff rate used for multiple hires is different to that used for a single hire. So the meter goes up slower when using the multiple-hire tariff rate, at about 75% of the rate of a single hire tariff rate.

    So you pay what the meter says, which is about 75% of what it would say if you were the only passenger.
     
  17. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Quite possible - my answer is only my interpretation. However skyring did say there is a lower flagfall and tarriff when in this situation. I assumed that this lower rate gets displayed on the meter, and it is that rate which is paid by each pax as described by skyring.

    In your previous post you didn't specify if $25 and $50 are normal meter rates or the reduced rates.
     
  18. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    I think the system used in NZ is much easier.

    No difference to tariff, except there is only 1 flag fall. Unless otherwise agreed amongst the pax, the 1st pax pays meter at their stop. Other pax note the amount and pay the difference in meter rates at their stop.

    Cabbie wins by getting bigger fare (2nd pax is no longer most direct route!) without having to go back of the queue.

    First pax generally doesn't gain anything.
    Other pax win unless they need a large backtrack from drop off point of first pax.
     
  19. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Those amounts were supposed to be what is on the meter. I have never been to this destination before so don't know the normal fare. But if there is a lower flagfall and tariff then I guess your interpretation is right!

    So, I have misunderstood the whole situation. What was the question again? :oops:
     
  20. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

    Oct 18, 2005
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    The tariff is set by the cabbie before driving off, and follows the rates displayed inside the cab, usually inside the windscreen. In Canberra, rate 1 (week days) is $3.20 flagfall and $1.46 per kilometre. For a multiple hire at the same time, it is $2.40 flagfall and $1.10 per km.

    Each passenger pays what's on the meter, which is $25 for the other guy and $50 for you, making $75 paid to the cabbie. In reality, it would be unlikely for two passengers going to the same location to have two different fares.

    Fares are paid by groups of passengers. Husband and wife would pay one fare.

    Of course, it is quite possible for a group of unrelated passengers to arrange to share a cab (and the fare), if they do it outside the multiple hiring system. Say the bloke beside you on the plane is going to the same conference, and in the taxi queue you recognise another delegate. All three of you could take the same taxi to the same place and split the cost.

    The key point is that multiple hiring is a convenience for passengers with incentives to make it work. You aren't forced into it and if you can arrange to share a cab without it, then more power to you.
     
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