Qantas and Virgin Australia each have their strengths and weaknesses. But after two recent domestic flights with his 2-year-old daughter, AFF member Lawrage now believes Qantas provides a far better service to families flying with children.
This member flew Qantas from Perth to Brisbane, returning back to Perth with Virgin Australia. The difference in the service provided on both flights was chalk and cheese.
Lawrage‘s experience flying Qantas with a child was very positive. On the flight to Brisbane, the Qantas cabin crew went above and beyond to keep the child comfortable and entertained. Blankets, pillows and a kids activity pack were all offered. A special children’s meal was also available.
The flight there turned out to be really good, she sat in the chair, slept, ate and didn’t cry at all so I was pretty happy with the outcome. The flight attendant was amazing, he came over and offered her a pillow to sleep on, I asked it they have any blankets and he brought one over, offered her juice and warm milk when we were stretching our legs in the galley. At meal time she got a kids pack with various snacks and a hot meal.
Unfortunately, the experience flying with a child on Virgin Australia was totally different. None of the extras available on Qantas were provided, and the crew did not go out of their way to help out the young family.
Return flight we sit down, we asked for a pillow / blanket and are told they don’t offer that on domestic flights, we got no kids pack and no child meal. We put the little one down for a nap over 2 seats and the wife stood in the back galley and was told she had to go and sit down as she wasn’t allowed there.
After this trip, Lawrage‘s conclusion about flying with children in Australia is clear. On board the plane, Qantas outshined Virgin Australia in almost every way.
If I was traveling solo both flights would been about the same but with a child I don’t think il fly anything other than Qantas domestically from now on. I am not sure if what we experienced is normal but the overall experience of the two traveling with a child was very different.
This experience may come as a surprise to some flyers as Virgin Australia often spruiks its award-winning cabin crew and benefits provided to families. For example, Virgin is the only Australian airline to allow the use of child sleeping devices like Plane Pal. The airline’s frequent flyer program, Velocity, also has a range of family-friendly benefits including family pooling and guaranteed Economy reward seats for a family holiday.
What has your experience been flying with children on Qantas or Virgin Australia? Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Travelled PER-BNE with a child