Unacceptable Service in DRW

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by justinbrett, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. justinbrett

    justinbrett Active Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    I know it's a busy time of year, but I just checked the QF site. There are no flights (as is none - not even connections) out of Darwin in the next 5 days to Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Cairns.

    Essentially, if you don't already have a booking - or a prepared to drive - you're stuck here!

    As far as I'm concerned, this is unacceptable. What if you had an emergency with family down south? What are you supposed to do?

    I managed to get a flight booked last week for friday morning - DRW - CNS - TSV - BNE (only flight available). The first two segments are now sold out. (Plenty of flights out of TSV) I've been on a waitlist all week for the direct flight, and I'm QFF Gold, but nothing.

    I know the flights aren't nearlly as full coming up - but surely when the flights get this full they should be adding more services - or use larger aircraft.

    Remote locations like Darwin would not survive without air travel. Surely there is a responsibility on the airlines to keep the service flowing?

  2. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    What about JQ & DJ services? The trouble with DRW is it consumes a lot of time for an aircraft to go there and back from the east coast, whilst in the same time the same aircraft could do SYD-MEL-SYD-MEL-SYD and probably charge a higher proportion of the plane higher fares than a run to DRW & back. It really is the governments responsibility to provide essential services not airlines though (and starting from November it looks like the Singapore government will be ;) )

    But I do sympathise with you. Last year when I wanted to get from KNX-BME there was no way I could get a seat on a direct service, so I decided to pull the pin on the BME leg. However, I could not get out of DRW (even on JQ) until a day or so after I arrived back from KNX (&IIRC it was going to be DRW-PER-MEL and significant $$$). In the end I reinstated BME to the trip and flew KNX-DRW-BME, eventually making my trip home from BME via PER on my original booking.
  3. justinbrett

    justinbrett Active Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    DJ & JQ sold out too.

    I know people refer to the longer durations as the reason for the lack of services. When you think about it, it's a 4 hour flight with a 1 hour turn around (so looking at about 5 hours max). A BNE - SYD flight is 90 minutes with a 45 minute turn around - so 135 minutes, or 4.5 hours return.

    Red-e-deal on BNE/SYD $116. Full Y $426.
    Red-e-deal on DRW/BNE $266. Full Y $861.

    If both aircraft are full I can't see much difference in profits for either flight. Yes, the DRW flight will use more fuel - but the SYD flight will have more taxes and airport charges - not to mention the extra manpower with turning the aircraft around.

    Anyway, in this situation they could put on an extra red-eye service - maybe a QF DRW/BNE service or DRW/MEL service.

    As for the government vs airline responsibility - isn't there some sort of agreement with QF and the QLD government to service the remote QLD towns with Qantaslink? There was a similiar agreement with DJ and the NT government (which is no longer in place).

    Maybe Tiger will come and save the day :)
  4. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    Yep Qld does regulate/subsidise some Qantaslink (and Macair) routes. More info here:
    Regulated air services
  5. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

    Jun 30, 2002
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    Fly Tiger up to SIngapore?
  6. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    Catch The Ghan to ADL and then a flight from there?

  7. SeaWolf

    SeaWolf Active Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    What about SkyWest to PER via BME?
  8. rmflinders

    rmflinders Junior Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    Langwarrin Victoria
    Your right, Darwin is an absolute pain to get in or out of, even from Melbourne.
    Recently had cause to fly there from Melbourne on the first day of the school holidays in Melbourne. Checkedin, got upgraded. Down at the gate, got downgraded, then bumped, then reinstated in econ.
    It was a total disaster with the oversolds being checked in as well. Flight left an hour late but as it was via Alice arrived about on time.
    Even had to pay full Y fare, not even the slight discount Y that our coporate normally gets....
    Main issue I have is the timing. You waste a day on travel on the return as the only options apart from redeyes, (Don't do them anymore due to age and weariness), is the afternoon departures. Also you can't be flexible as there are no options. If there is that much demand, why are there not more services?

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