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I think Qantas offer a great product across all of their classes. They are certainly ‘up there’ as far as the ‘western’ carriers go.
What’s interesting is how in a sense their predicament was similar to other ‘legacy carriers’ such as BA’s. Especially on the long haul front – intense competition from the ME3 who now dominate the Australia – europe market. However instead of ‘cut cut cut’ Qantas have elevated their product to compete. And it’s translated into good profits for them. Admittedly they do not have a great deal of competition on the short haul front – they own the biggest LOCO. I remember flying them longhaul c15 years ago and they were really AWFUL. These days they would often be my airline of choice if they operate a route I am flying.
The domestic product is incredible. I flew from Sydney to Perth on the newly configured A330’s and it is just an incredible experience for a domestic flight. The seating and catering were better than i’ve experienced in J on -JFK.
Agree on the fare aspect though. I used Avios for SYD-PER and out of curiosity I checked how much the fare would be. It was around AU$4500 and there is none of this ‘pre flight upgrade for $200’ business like in europe (although you can ‘bid’ for upgrades from some base fares), nor sales. It’s a chicken before the egg situation and i’m not sure if they set such high fares because they offer such a great product and have limited competition (even on shorter domestic flights) OR if it’s a case of passengers prepared to pay a premium for a great product.
Also agree on the A380 Business Class seating – it’s not all direct aisle access and privacy is not a strong point. However a Qantas friend tells me that the management are doing a U-Turn on the previous decision not to retro fit the A380 with the new Vantage suite found on the 330.
Seats, lounges, service, catering, frequent flyer program, consistency….ticks all the boxes for me.