The Qantas Collective

I have been doing a lot of flying recently and on the two most recent flights back from Sydney, there have been members of the Qantas crew – one a pilot, the other a flight attendant, both in uniform – sitting in business class.

What is the message to paying customers?  That the staff are more important than the customers.  Presumably, the right of staff to fly business class is set down in some sort of agreement.  But, frankly, until the airline gets rid of this arrangement, it is not being serious about ‘getting its house in order’.

(Ansett was also run for the benefit of the staff – they were a very happy lot until it collapsed.)

But just in case, you think that this sort of thinking does not infect Jetstar, think again.  In our inimitable fashion, Tony and I had managed to book ourselves on different flights back from Queensland (only an hour or so apart) recently.  When I asked the check-in clerk at the airport whether I could change to the earlier flight, his reply was:

“WE can’t even do that”.

In other words, staff members are more important than customers.

And just to finish off my story, the travelling perks afforded to current and ex-Qantas staff (and family members) are just ludicrous.  They include deeply discounted fares (and I mean, deeply discounted ie. 10 per cent of the fare) and these rights persist for years after staff have left the airline.

Sure, there are issues of getting on flights but this is the part I love – if a staff member or ex-staff member does not get on to their preferred flight, their stay at a hotel is subsidised by the airline.

Arguably, the provision of seats to staff  is pretty low cost if there are empty ones (although I would imagine there is a whole slew of people working in Qantas organising staff and ex-staff travel), but to actually pay out cash to subsidise hotel bills, that is another thing altogether.

It’s the Qantas collective … but, funnily enough, the paying customer will always win out eventually.

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132 Responses to The Qantas Collective

  1. Bruce

    Is it any wonder then that QANTAS staff,particularly cabin crew,treat the paying customers as some kind of inferior species? And is it any wonder that paying customers are voting with their bums and putting them on the far more friendly seats provided by Virgin and Tiger?

  2. OldOzzie

    Judith,

    “but this is the part I love – if a staff member or ex-staff member does not get on to their preferred flight, their stay at a hotel is subsidised by the airline.”

    Speaking from experience – not true, on staff standby you are on you own – and it is not an excuse for being late back to work.

  3. Judith Sloan

    Perhaps this perk is only available to certain classes of staff.

  4. C.L.

    I have zero sympathy for Qantas and Holden “workers.”

    They’re lazy, entitled, extorting bums who deserve the axe awaiting them.

    They have only themselves to blame.

  5. feelthebern

    When flying back from Brisbane to Sydney in December (business class) about half of the cabin was full of Qantas staff.
    I thought the same thing.
    Free upgrades to long serving Qantas customers would have been a better use of the seats.
    Generate a bit of good will & all that pro-business stuff.

    While we are on Qantas, do all politicians have to declare their membership (& their partners) to the Chairman’s lounge?
    If membership is automatic, is it a Fringe Benefit?
    Should that then attract FBT?

    If Tony wanted to further demonstrate he is the real deal (flying economy class, living in the family home), he should announce he’s handing bank his Chairman’s lounge passes & challenge all pollies to do the same.
    Why should I have to pay $500 a year for my Qantas club membership when that subsidizes the political class?

  6. Jock

    To be fair, I worked as an executive of a top 50 company. They had enormous problems controlling travel costs. If you wanted a staff meeting you only had to go to the Qantas Lounge. The problem was partly the way that reporting structures were set up, but it was also due to the fact that staff felt entitled. They got the FF points too. At the time I told the CFO that one way to discourage travel was for the company to grab the FF points. However this was only part of the problem.

    So far as Qantas is concerned, I am surprised that staff , other than pilots were allowed Business class. Surely paying customers should have been bumped up first? Customer service? Remember the concept.

    Glad the Government dumped on the Debt Guarantee. What an utterly ludicrous idea. On this alone the Board and CEO of Qantas should be sacked.

  7. Infidel tiger

    No wonder you can’t get a bloody drink on board. All the staff are up the front having a mooch.

  8. braddles

    OldOzzie, I concur, that is not true. Of course, if staff is travelling on Qantas business, the company pays, but not if staff are travelling for leisure.

    AFAIK, staff travelling in business class do so only when seats are available. Extras like meals are offered only on a ‘leftover’ basis.

    And yes, travel perks are generous. But I know of international airlines that have similar arrangements that are a good deal more generous than Qantas. It is part of attracting good staff.

  9. Louis Hissink

    With the word that Qantas isn’t in strife, the staff using business class (how often have I seen the staff nosh on the unused business class meals), can only mean one thing – Qantas is going to be another Ansett.

    This interpretation is based on the axiom that what the powers that be announce is the opposite of what is going on.

  10. Bruce

    ” It is part of attracting good staff” ???? Pity it hasn’t worked for QANTAS.

  11. Judith Sloan

    Give it up, braddles. Attracting good flight attendants? Attracting good baggage handlers? There is a queue a mile long for people to become pilots.

    These sorts of arrangements are just part of typical union feather bedding, from a time when the customer had no choice and competition was regulated.

  12. OldOzzie

    Judith,

    “Perhaps this perk is only available to certain classes of staff.”

    Could be true, it’s been a long time since I last travelled on staff travel, but speaking with QF mate at lunch this week, he does what I now do, pays the full fare so he can guarantee he travels

  13. C.L.

    It is part of attracting good staff.

    They’re waiters, for the love of God.

  14. Motelier

    It is part of attracting good staff.

    They’re waiters, for the love of God.

    My table staff resent that slur and will have you recant it.

    Airline staff use a trolley (trolley dolly?), my staff can carry four plates to a table. Let me see a trolley dolley do that?

  15. james

    Flying Jetstar Asia where the majority of the cabin crew come from Asian countries is an amazing experience after suffering Australian based crew.

    They still consider customers an inferior species, but they are much better at hiding their disdain.

  16. OldOzzie

    Judith,

    re your

    “In our inimitable fashion, Tony and I had managed to book ourselves on different flights back from Queensland (only an hour or so apart) recently. When I asked the check-in clerk at the airport whether I could change to the earlier flight, his reply was:

    “WE can’t even do that”.”

    Being a pessimist, I always arrive early, even domestically, to enjoy the business lounge, read the papers. eat the liquorice allsorts, milk bottles, with my coffee, and if after the bewitching hour, enjoy some wine and bundy in the business lounge – never once, have QF staff suggested “would you like to fly on an earlier flight

  17. Ant

    A uni colleague of mine some years ago had his father working as an engineer for Qantas. The guy and his siblings were entitled to these heavily discounted fares until they was 25yo.

    I mean, what kind of f—ing numbskull heading up Qantas would agree to such a demand from unions? For that matter, what kind f—ing arseclowns heading the unions would demand it to begin with and think that it was fair and sustainable in any way?

    It is so outrageous it defies belief.

    Whenever the news media report on the salaries and entitlements of Qantas staff, in the context of their reckless unions demanding ANYTHING, and they fail to mention these unfathomably stupid perks, that news media is a liar by omission.

  18. Joe Goodacre

    Judith,

    I’m not sure where you are getting your information regarding the subsidised travel staff receive.

    Having a relative at Qantas, I’m aware of the details of some of the things you’re talking about.

    Subsidised travel exists, however customers receive priority. Staff travel (for the majority of staff – this may be different for executive staff) is only available if the seat would otherwise have gone empty. The costs of staff travel is a profitable part of Qantas’ business for the very reason that the seat would otherwise have gone empty and the amount charged to staff is still higher than the variable cost of filling the seat.

    I have seen many quotations of the cost of staff travel to fly to various areas and have never seen 10% of standard cost.

    My family has also been on standby awaiting staff travel and have not had their accomodation paid for should they miss a designated flight. My experience observing staff travel from the perspective of a family member who could have used it, but chose not to, was that it added a lot of stress to travel because seats could be filled by customers without notice, or other staff with higher priority – meaning that it was a quite uncertain way to travel and more could be spent on hotels and time lost than would be saved via discounts.

    Staff travel has the benefits of:

    a) being profitable for Qantas – as the seats would otherwise have been vacant;
    b) allowing Qantas to offer more attractive salary arrangements to staff; and
    c) appearing generous, whilst at the same time profiting from the arrangement.

    There are valid criticsms that can be made of Qantas’ approach to customers and their staffing arrangements, however my experience is that your comments relating to staff travel are not based on what happens for the majority and appear to be pure speculation or hearsay. This would be of course unless you can share where you’re getting your information from so that my own experience can be shown as not applying to the majority of Qantas staff.

  19. Roberto

    It certainly always galls me when I try to get an upgrade, am told that there are no spare seats, and board the plane only to see the business class section dotted with Qantas staff.

  20. calli

    I worked for an airline many years ago. Staff tickets (which were sold at a reduced price) were strictly ‘standby’ and staff could be bumped for full paying passengers.

    Last trip back from Europe had a Qantas staff member ‘hitching’ a ride – used the cabin crew seat opposite me for take-off and landing and hung out the rest of the time in the business class bar. Nice work if you can get it.

    Like CL, I have no sympathy whatsoever for Qantas staff. They have been a cossetted species for way to long.

  21. feelthebern

    a) being profitable for Qantas – as the seats would otherwise have been vacant;

    Ok. Give the customer the free upgrade.
    Put the Qantas staff member in economy.
    Get a greater return on the seat from the good will it generates.
    Unless it is a pilot (I’d prefer to have them well rested for safety reasons), all Qantas staff – including Joyce himself – should travel economy unless they are paying for it themselves or via their points.

  22. H E

    Revoking the sale of equity restrictions is the best way forward for Qantas. In order for Qantas to be an “attractive” target for new investors it needs to commit to adopting global airline “best work/service practices”, implement these (and improve if possible) at “relevant and comparable” award rates and executive salaries. Develop a loyalty programme for all employees where all or partial performance linked incentives (based on relevant and quantifiable KPIs) for all Qantas staff to be paid out only after a 3 year period based on a formula linked to Qantas’ overall profitability during that period. It is important that everyone has skin in the game.

  23. Wozzup

    I have pretty much given up on Qantas. International flights are too uncomfortable and domestic ones too expensive. The last couple of times I flew with them I ended up with my knees either pressed hard against the seat in front or under my chin. Trying to sleep did not work as the seat hardly reclined. I have known sardines that are more comfortable. When I inquired about an exit row seat (my old option for slightly more leg room) I was informed they would be happy to give me one – if I paid an extra $90 (approx) for each leg (presumably they meant leg of the journey not my own legs). So my last international flight was via Singapore Airlines not Qantas and I think there is not much chance of me reverting. It was a busy flight – but at least seating not quite designed for midgets. If Qantas is that hard up for cash that it must reduce seat “pitch” (the distance between two seat rows) to such an intolerable level then they need to understand they are just aliening their remaining customers. Incidentally I am a very average 5 foot 9 inches in the old money. So I am hardly a giant among men. But as with many people who are no longer using the flying kangaroo, I am capable of voting with my feet (or should that be voting with my arse?)

  24. Joe Goodacre

    feelthebern,

    Perhaps the business class upgrade is kept only to Qantas staff to maintain the exclusivity that is required for business class to overall be profitable.

    They may have thought about this question in depth – who knows.

    What’s for sure though is that there is plenty of wild speculation on here about a topic that people know little about. I’m sure this is all helping Qantas’ of course and has nothing to do with kicking someone while they’re down.

  25. Stephen of Glasshouse

    We caught the Friday 0600 out of Brissie the other week..QANTAS. Could have played a game of cricket in cattle section except for the fact there were only 12 of us..Pilot should’ve come down and played slips..

  26. Joe Goodacre,
    I don’t know why you say its profitable for Qantas as the staff revenue does no more than cover the variable costs.
    The travel Judith is complaining about is not staff travel but staff deadheading ie travelling from home to their place of work.Qantas receives no revenue for that and the seats are not on a standby basis.

  27. James

    You have to pay $50 to change a name with Qantas.

    I then had the experience with Garuda Indonesia who changed my flight for free. I was astonished.

  28. feelthebern

    Perhaps the business class upgrade is kept only to Qantas staff to maintain the exclusivity that is required for business class to overall be profitable.

    This makes no sense.
    When the long suffering Qantas punter walks through that cabin on their way to economy & sees it dotted with Qantas folk, it pisses them off.
    & it definitely doesn’t maintain any level of exclusivity.

    I hate subsidizing others at the best of times, but one has to suck it up when one has no choice.
    With Qantas I have a choice.
    I am already moving my travel domestically into Virgin.
    Customers of Qantas are subsidizing staff (business class upgrades) & fat cat rent seekers (the chairman’s lounge).
    No government help at all until these 2 things are addressed.

  29. Joe Goodacre

    Sabena,

    On that issue, you are correct that Qantas would receive no income for work travel.

    Businesses however routinely foot the bill when staff when they travel for work – there doesn’t appear anything unusual about that. Should Qantas provide travel vouchers for their staff to fly Virgin just so the staff won’t be seen by paying customers? Of course not.

    Again, business class has premium pricing attached to it. The whole premise of premium pricing is exclusivity. If anyone could obtain business class just by asking at the death knell then fewer people would pay the premium upfront. A level of exclusivity that most people understand is paying business class customers and staff. There appear to be comments on here that can only be described by envy – ‘I’m a paying economy customer, why should Qantas staff get more comfortable work travel than myself’. The obvious answer to this is that business class would not be profitable if it’s exclusivity premium was smashed because everyone was able to get it.

    There’s also nothing stopping people joining Qantas for the perk of having their work travel be more comfortable – except that most people don’t want to be flight attendants so obviously their salary package (including such comfortable work travel) can’t be considered too appealing.

  30. Joe Goodacre

    feelthebern,

    Of course it makes sense.

    You happen to disagree with it, and think that because you pay to fly economyand business class seats are free, you should be able to fly business. I happen to think that doesn’t make a lot of sense if you want to continue to maintain premium pricing. Premium pricing only lasts when there is perceived exclusivity and since Qantas staff travelling for work are a limited pool of people that exclusivity can remain.

    Peter Hitchens describes phony outrage well – it’s selective outrage. Virgin lost a packet as well this financial year. Has anyone on here speculated on Virgin or Emirates staff travel arrangements or is it only Qantas we’re kicking?

  31. sabrina

    Agree with you Judith. Alan Joyce should lead by example, and sit at the back too.

    And it is time for the Chairman’s lounge to go, but I would not bet on that. Why not publish the names of beneficiaries – these are not only politicians, but also many of the press. I doubt that will ever happen.
    On a related note, my flights have been changed several times to an earlier flight by the check-in staff, depends on what class in the Economy you buy and number of vacant seats. I have also found the cabin crew of Qantas to be generally more polite than in other airlines, in particular the American airlines.

  32. Grigory M

    We caught the Friday 0600 out of Brissie the other week..QANTAS. Could have played a game of cricket in cattle section except for the fact there were only 12 of us..Pilot should’ve come down and played slips..

    Yeah, been on a couple or two flights like that. VIRGIN – Sydney to Melbourne, Sydney to Launceston, Melbourne to Adelaide. Half the seats roped off and flight staff directing passengers into the other seats fore and aft to balance the plane load. No-one played cricket, though.

  33. Alfonso

    “if a staff member or ex-staff member does not get on to their preferred flight, their stay at a hotel is subsidised by the airline.”

    Rubbish, that might apply to Joyce and a few top managers but to pilots, engineers, hosties, res staff, office staff…. you’re making it up.

  34. calli

    There appear to be comments on here that can only be described by envy

    That may be so, Joe. And it may be unfair.

    I find in business, however, that perception is everything. The punters may not know all the ins and outs of airline policy re staff, all they see is staff in the premium seats as they sidle through to the cattle deck. Not a good look, especially for a business that is seeking government (ie. taxpayers) assistance. As for my little story, I cared not a jot about the staffer going up to the lounge for drinkies, but the distainful way he let it be known that he was heading off that way and ‘see you when we land’ was a bit much.

    I usually travel premium or business, due to masses of FFPs and a husband of the six foot four variety. I have never had an issue with rudeness and cabin crew.

  35. feelthebern

    John, you’ve missed the point.
    I fly business.
    I pay for the benefit of not having a shit seat & my suit crushed before my business meetings & if I have the misfortune of checking in luggage of getting it first.

    No envy here.
    Just business pointers to a business that is failing

    Who gives a shit about Virgin?
    They aren’t asking for my money (via the government).
    The mere fact that Qantas is asking for money means every little thing they do is on the table.

    Qantas staff shouldn’t get business seats at the expense of customers.
    That is it.
    Cut & dried.
    The only people who could conceivably put up a fight regarding this is someone who benefits from the perk.

  36. Joe Goodacre,
    “A level of exclusivity that most people understand is paying business class customers and staff. ”
    Most people understand exclusivity for paying business class customers,but not for staff.In hard times,the first thing to be reduced for businesses is travel and if the travel is necessary reducing the cost by sending the staff in economy.
    You seem to be oblivious to the fact that having your staff travelling in business class sends the wrong message to paying customers whatever class of travel they are in.

  37. nic

    We caught the Friday 0600 out of Brissie the other week..QANTAS. Could have played a game of cricket in cattle section except for the fact there were only 12 of us..Pilot should’ve come down and played slips..

    I’ve actually done that on a Qantas 747 between LAX and SFO.

  38. Grigory M

    Who gives a shit about Virgin?

    Dunno, bernie. Is there a prize for the neatest correct entry? 25 words or less? Anyway, don’t get off your bike, fuckwit – someone will pick up your pump for you.

  39. feelthebern

    Dunno, bernie. Is there a prize for the neatest correct entry? 25 words or less? Anyway, don’t get off your bike, fuckwit – someone will pick up your pump for you.

    What are you on about?
    Goodacre said why aren’t we talking about Virgin.
    I responded.
    Not sure why that makes me a fuckwit.

  40. Grigory M

    Not sure why that makes me a fuckwit.

    bernie, it’s all about perceptions. Like being bothered by seeing airline staff in uniform in business class as you walk through to cattle class.

  41. feelthebern

    bernie, it’s all about perceptions. Like being bothered by seeing airline staff in uniform in business class as you walk through to cattle class.

    If they don’t get government money, they can do what they like, as can any private business.
    Need tax payer help, you & your staff (from Joyce down), get your perks reduced.

  42. BarryK

    On numerous occasions over many years I have noted Qantas commuters on the Tamworth/Sydney flight. Usually (known) pilots in uniform who must find it easier to commute (1 hour) to and from their Tamworth acreages than to face the Sydney roads in the mornings and evenings. Other Qantas commuters included ground and office staff. They usually occupy seats on highly in-demand early morning and late evening flights, with wait-listed passengers often left behind.

  43. Joe Goodacre

    Calli,

    Agreed that it becomes about perception. On that basis maybe management should reconsider. Realistically none of us can pretend to be informed enough to know what the best course of action is. A few examples of what people have seen here or there is not a good basis for broad pronouncements.

    feelthebern, the issue is not as simple as you make out.

    Australian taxpayers sold Qantas and received a monopoly premium for the stock. The airline was also subject to a lot of prohibative restrictions that made sense in a government monopoly, but were unsustainable in a competitive market.

    Virgin was let in without the same restrictions. People have had their cake and could eat it to – cheap competitive flights + the monopoly premium from the buyers of Qantas. That was wrong – the Qantas sale act should have been repealed, or the same restrictions applied to Virgin.

    Originally I thought Qantas shouldn’t get any assistance – now I have conceded that is an overly simplistic look at the situation that misses that an injustice has happened here. Qantas should change, but if Virgin was restricted by the Qantas Sale Act restrictions tomorrow, it would take years to adjust. Similarly, if Qantas had those same restrictions removed tomorrow, it would take years for the benefits to manifest themselves. So it’s alright to play free-market libertarian (as I by default am) but it’s a bit rich to smash Qantas management and shareholders, while taking their monopoly premium, then enjoying cheaper arfaires and refusing to rectify the obvious injustice here.

  44. feelthebern

    Virgin was let in without the same restrictions. People have had their cake and could eat it to – cheap competitive flights + the monopoly premium from the buyers of Qantas. That was wrong – the Qantas sale act should have been repealed, or the same restrictions applied to Virgin.

    Fair point.
    But the problem with giving assistance while they (& anyone else) all adjust to the same rules is a bit rich when you see Grace Collier etc releasing EBA’s that pretty generous.
    If Qantas had to make some hard decisions to get funding, what would you do?
    As in, they get taxpayer funds (by any means), they have to wear some pain.
    Otherwise, where is the incentive?

  45. Grigory M

    If they don’t get government money, they can do what they like, as can any private business.
    Need tax payer help, you & your staff (from Joyce down), get your perks reduced.

    Well, bernie, they are actually a private business (have been since 1998?) so, as you say, they can do what they like. If they are to be offered the prospect of government money (and that seems extremely unlikely at the moment) then it is open to the government to stipulate conditions. Those conditions might well include a review of the perquisites applied to the employment of staff as well as the remuneration of the CEO and other Board Members.

    As to “who gives a shit about Virgin?” – well, clearly you do because you have also said up-thread:

    I am already moving my travel domestically into Virgin.

    Is that because you feel somewhat less envious and upset when you see Virgin staff in Business Class seats as you walk through to cattle class?

  46. vr

    Hi Judith,

    Where can i find information on these perks?

    Thanks.

  47. calli

    Realistically none of us can pretend to be informed enough to know what the best course of action is. A few examples of what people have seen here or there is not a good basis for broad pronouncements.

    Can’t argue with that, Joe. But…if the examples cited here are not incidental but are widespread then there is a real problem. Qantas must address it – otherwise their loyal customers (who are probably a bit old fashioned when it comes to percieved rorts and preferential treatment) will take their business elsewhere.

  48. Joe Goodacre

    I’m not sure what the answer is.

    A $3 billion unsecured loan? No.

    There’s no doubt though that their profitability is smashed because Virgin is state owner, has deep pockets and isn’t bound by the restrictions of Qantas. Obviously this affects Qantas’ ability to obtain financing. Maybe the answer is a temporary (perhaps 2 years) debt guarantee arrangement which allows them to obtain funding as if they weren’t bound by the Qantas Sale Act – whilst the Sale Act is removed at the same time.

    Of course management don’t want those generous EBA’s – they have the biggest incentive to get rid of them of anyone. It’s foolish to think that they would be signing those for any other reason than they have no choice because Australia’s industrial relations scheme is unworkable, and the restrictions limit where else they would get catering, air flight attendant and engineering services from anyway.

    On a side note – Virgin is quite deceptive here. They argue that what you do for one, you must do for all with a debt guarantee, yet I don’t see them putting up their hand to be bound by the Qantas Sale Act They must think we’re idiots. Hypocritical indeed.

  49. JC

    Does anyone know if Ethiad , Emirates and China Air make any money?

  50. bapakmick

    Off topic a bit but pertinent to to what you are dealing with regards union members and entitlements. Working below in a ship’s hold a militant unionist asked me one day, ” Mick why do stevedoring have to make a profit?” Sadly we still have to convince unionists that only profitable companies are able to pay wages and entitlements. They believe that they own the work and that employers are there to serve their demands.

  51. feelthebern


    Those conditions might well include a review of the perquisites applied to the employment of staff as well as the remuneration of the CEO and other Board Members.

    So we are on the same page on that one.

    Is that because you feel somewhat less envious and upset when you see Virgin staff in Business Class seats as you walk through to cattle class?

    I don’t feel envious or upset Grigory on Qantas or Virgin.
    Flying is commodity. Should be treated as such.
    I merely point out poor business decisions.
    I cant say I am a regular on Virgin yet, but on the flights to date, I am yet to see a Virgin staff member sitting in business.
    But they did upgrade one of my colleagues who was flying economy, so he could sit next to me in business (which was considerably cheaper than Qantas business).
    Good will all round.
    So by not putting a staff member in business, it allowed them to upgrade a customer, who was appreciative.
    That’s good business.

  52. Grigory M

    Does anyone know if Ethiad , Emirates and China Air make any money?

    Haven’t looked at their finances, JC. But I did hear someone a few days ago commenting that Virgin and IIRC Etihad and Emirates all have lower credit ratings than Qantas.

  53. feelthebern

    Does anyone know if Ethiad , Emirates and China Air make any money?

    I read the other day that Ethiad made $US63mill profit. Not sure if that was for the quarter, the half or full year.

  54. Gab

    Mr HOCKEY: For the benefit of the House I advise that in 2003 Qantas’s domestic market share was 74 per cent, in 2008 it was 51 per cent and today it is 44 per cent. At an international level, in 2003 its market share was 33 per cent, in 2008 it was 26 per cent and today it is 17 per cent. Jetstar in 2008 had 16 per cent and now it has 21 per cent and Jetstar international had 5.7 per cent and it is 8.1 per cent today—clearly indicating that the traditional Qantas brand has massively lost market share, together with the market cap of the Qantas group.

    Does anyone know the historical and current market share each for Ethiad , Emirates and China Air?

  55. JC

    feelthebern

    Interesting… lets say they made 63 million for the quarter and roughly extend that for the year. So despite getting their jet fuel at subsided prices they can only make $250 million a year. In a way they’re even ore appalling than Qnatas if that’s the case.

  56. Old School Conservative

    The sense of union power and staff entitlement is strong in the staff travel rorts enjoyed by Qantas workers. It is ridiculous that a staff member who has paid 10% for an economy class ticket gets priority over a full fare paying passenger for an upgrade to business class.
    It is common knowledge amongst Qantas staff that if they want to go on holidays they only have to look up internal databases to find out the least loaded flights and then go standby on them. A proactive manager would copy the cruise lines and advertise those last minute seats at 50% discount. More money for Qantas!

  57. Habib

    Unfortunately this article is incorrect, this has sod-all to do with QF’s profitability. What you saw is what’s known as “dead head” crew. Aircrew need to be repositioned to pick up their next flight, usually the only guaranteed free seats are in business/first class (which says more about airline profitability generally). Frequent fliers and defence members often get upgraded to BC if there’s vacant seats. It’s an operational headache to have crews in place for flights due to hour limitations, this again has nothing to do with unions but is a safety issue with CASA, and cannot be compromised. Once again, all airlines do the same, including Wallaby Airlines. QF staff on private travel get heavily discounted fares (as do staff of all other carriers), however they pay their accomodation costs, are standby booked at all times, and are docked pay if bounced from a flight and miss their work start times.

    None of this is why QF is struggling, it’s losing market share due to huge labour costs and featherbedding, idiotic government policies, high price/low service levels, and flying unprofitable routes due to poor planning and oversight. All fixable, anywhere but here.

  58. feelthebern

    Does anyone know the historical and current market share each for Ethiad , Emirates and China Air?

    Emirates data will be distorted as they now have the partnership with Qantas in place.
    I think that started in early 2013, or late 2012. Somewhere around then.

  59. feelthebern

    In a way they’re even ore appalling than Qnatas if that’s the case.

    The other thing is that Ethiad & Emirates are held by what walk & talk like private partnerships.
    So S&P credit ratings aside, its not like they are posting their accounts with the SEC.
    That is, I would take them with a grain of salt.

  60. Crossie

    And yes, travel perks are generous. But I know of international airlines that have similar arrangements that are a good deal more generous than Qantas. It is part of attracting good staff.

    Those airlines are profitable and don’t need taxpayers’ money.

  61. Walter Plinge

    When I asked the check-in clerk at the airport whether I could change to the earlier flight, his reply was: “WE can’t even do that”.

    Last time I travelled from Sydney to Melbourne the self-check-in booth asked me if I would like an earlier flight. It left in 15 minutes. I took it.

  62. feelthebern

    Last time I travelled from Sydney to Melbourne the self-check-in booth asked me if I would like an earlier flight. It left in 15 minutes. I took it.

    This is stock standard with all domestic airlines from capital cities isn’t it?

  63. entropy

    And yes, travel perks are generous. But I know of international airlines that have similar arrangements that are a good deal more generous than Qantas. It is part of attracting good staff.

    An offsides of mine’s husband, who has sadly departed this world, used to work as an exec for British Airways, that is, not as flight crew. He has been dead for 25 years, but my staff member and her daughter are entitled to freebies on BA.

  64. sabrina

    Why should I have to pay $500 a year for my Qantas club membership when that subsidizes the political class?

    You will be pleased to know feelthebern that the politicians are using your money very wisely and thinking as well.

    ps: the article is behind paywall.

  65. Judith Sloan

    Sorry, Habib, there were masses of seats in economy but the pilot and flight attendant were still placed in business. I’m sure it’s their right under some sort of agreement.

  66. feelthebern

    Read it Sabrina.
    Before I got married, I used to fall asleep on the couch watching Skynews or Foxnews.

  67. Habib

    Judith, the seats are allocated well before gate time. On long haul especially business/first spares are allocated to crew so they can sleep. Airline personnel usually get bumped to first and business if there’s vacant seats, it’s a perk but it costs the carrier nothing, and they can’t get on the gas. Even airport employees can get bumped, especially if they’re friendly with the check- in staff. I’ve worked in aviation related positions for over thirty years, none of this is unique to QF, nor does it cost them a cracker. If business/first was fully booked with paying punters, no staff would be sitting there unless they’d coughed full fare.

    While I was a RAAFie I’d usually get a front pew, I can only assume it was in case the flight deck did a Captain Over and they wanted another speedbag on standby. Pity I wasn’t flight crew.

  68. Riverina Matt

    My favourite article on Qantas ever – written by a commenter on this site. Compulsory reading for anyone wondering why Qantas is going down the tubes …

    It is a long post – so here is the author’s summary:

    QANTAS sucks, don’t ever fly with them if you can possibly avoid it. If any anti-globalisation protestors are reading, please lay off McDonalds for a change and by all means go throw rocks at QANTAS. They deserve it.

    And the finale:

    The only people QANTAS will treat with respect are business class passengers and baby boomers: That is, people who are likely to kick up a fuss if you treat them like shit. Everyone else they treat with utter disdain and an attitude that screams “You plebs should be eternally grateful that we even LET you on the PLANE! How dare you ask for service. Who am I, your mother?”

    RTWT

  69. Judith Sloan

    Habib. The flight takes an hour. Give me a break. Qantas has no idea.

  70. Olrence

    I’ve been reading a great deal of comments and letters to editors over recent years highly critical of QF staff. These have reached a crescendo over recent weeks with QF in the news so much.

    To offer my two bob’s worth, I fly QF about twelve times a year minimum. Longhaul. And while there’s an occasional snafu on inconsequential things like the entertainment equipment, I have to say that QF staff (both in-flight and ground staff) have always been attentive and friendly without being so over- solicitous as to be intrusive. I reckon they do a great job.

    The union militants behind the scenes however, are a disgrace if their restrictive work practices and exorbitant wage and benefit demands are as reported. Such extortions cost us a national treasure in Ansett, and they show every sign of taking QF the same way.

    I’m old enough to remember the annual pre-Christmas and pre-Easter strike threats for yet higher and higher pay and conditions. And the blatent union thuggery that led to the much-maligned Alan Joyce
    grounding the fleet to break that stranglehold.

    Funny how the union-run superannuation funds never seem to take a stake in union-dominated businesses. Wonder why that is…..

  71. feelthebern

    My favourite article on Qantas ever – written by a commenter on this site. Compulsory reading for anyone wondering why Qantas is going down the tubes …

    Funniest. Post. Ever.

  72. Habib

    Judith, those QF troops on those flights are usually dead heads, re-positioning. Costs nix, and it’s an operational reality. All airlines, and air force heavy lift do the same. I’m no fan of QF, but this is a non issue.

    If you fly on any airline anywhere there’ll be positioning crew travelling up front in vacant seats. There’s a safety issue as well, if there’s an emergency on the flight deck there’s qualified help handy.

    There’s plenty QF needs to sort, this isn’t one of them.

  73. Grigory M

    My favourite article on Qantas ever

    Yobbo’s rant? Ho fucking hum. The bullshit meter went up to defcon 4 reading that crap. You like pulp fiction, huh?

  74. phil

    Utter nonsense. If you get bumped flying staff travel you’re on your own as far as accommodation is concerned. Staff travel is handled by a web site, not an army of staff. Paying customers always come first.

    There may be residual benefits for the old timers, but not for those who joined in the last 10 years or more.

    Yes, there are staff benefits but the reality is that most Qantas staff are not well paid. Yes, staff do get to fly cheaply, but only in seats that would otherwise be empty.

    There is enough low hanging fruit to pick on when it comes to Qantas without making stuff up. Makes me question the integrity of the other things you bang on about.

  75. will

    Yes, there are staff benefits but the reality is that most Qantas staff are not well paid. Yes, staff do get to fly cheaply, but only in seats that would otherwise be empty.

    Not if they are occupying business class seats that could be used to upgrade for full fare paying passengers. As a customer, that is something you don’t forget.

  76. Joe Goodacre

    I’ve read plenty of good pieces from you in the past Judith, however it looks like your thinking on this issue may be in a rut. Specious examples, stereotyping and being dismissive of those who have worked in the industry – the argument articulated here today isn’t one of your best. How hard is it to acknowledge that you don’t know enough to meaningfully comment and that this is piece is really just a hit job on Qantas management and staff.

  77. Bottom line (literally):

    I have had to decide how I’m flying to Melbourne for the IPA Symposium.

    1) Qantas has the most flights at the lowest price.

    2) Virgin has plenty of flights but at a slightly higher price.

    3) Jetstar don’t fly when I want to.

    So here’s the thing: do I go with the one who has the lowest price, but who may be collapsed in a flaming heap two months hence? The airline which has, as far as I can see, shamefully blotted its copybook for years?

    Or do I go with the one run by a man who gives me the shits, but who I can forgive simply because he was in that completely stupid XTC clip for their song ‘Generals and Majors’ as a much younger man, and where I’ve found the overall experience more positive?

    I chose the latter and will be flying Virgin, there and back.

  78. feelthebern

    From Bloomberg at 3:14pm
    Jetstar to begin Macau-Veitnam service.

    John Hempton from Bronte Capital wrote this piece on Qantas.

    http://brontecapital.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/letting-qantas-go-go-bankrupt-would-be.html

  79. egg_

    The only people QANTAS will treat with respect are business class passengers and baby boomers: That is, people who are likely to kick up a fuss if you treat them like shit. Everyone else they treat with utter disdain and an attitude that screams “You plebs should be eternally grateful that we even LET you on the PLANE! How dare you ask for service. Who am I, your mother?”

    Probably explains why I get stuck next to (Gen X) vermin on Jetstar & Virgin, just like public transport.

  80. brc

    Yes, there are staff benefits but the reality is that most Qantas staff are not well paid

    Isn’t the average wage bordering on $100k?

    Woolworths staff get something like a 5% discount when they buy their lunch in store. They aren’t even allowed to eat stock that is just past the sell-by date. Getting flights for 10% for your entire family and getting to fly business class is a significant benefit.

    The point here is that Qantas is free to treat its staff however it wants, but when it starts going broke, don’t start running to the taxpayer looking for a bailout when the easy fruit hasn’t yet been picked.

  81. Probably explains why I get stuck next to (Gen X) vermin on Jetstar & Virgin, just like public transport.

    I’m not vermin, thank you. I am a Nice Person who is a Pleasure to Sit Next To on a Plane, on account of my having very short legs and preferring the aisle seat.

  82. egg_

    (Gen X) vermin

    The BO variety we discussed way back in these Q-threads. ;)

  83. feelthebern

    The point here is that Qantas is free to treat its staff however it wants, but when it starts going broke, don’t start running to the taxpayer looking for a bailout when the easy fruit hasn’t yet been picked.

    Agree.
    First on the chopping block, Joyce. Gone.
    Second, the remuneration committee – which include Clifford. Gone.
    Next, the sack the consultancy (or consultancies) that recommended the existing procurement plan. Gone, never to be employed again & maybe sue them for professional negligence.
    Next, put a 5 year plan in place to replicate the Virgin model, including reduction of plane types & configurations.
    Once that’s done, then move onto the EBA’s.
    Labour/unions/EBA’s are an issue. Not THE issue.
    The board & management have to demonstrate the big issues have been resolved or on the way to being resolved to have any moral high ground when taking on the unions.

  84. Bruce

    Sack Joyce and re-hire Borghetti.

  85. Habib

    Eligible full fare dog box pax get bumped ahead of crew and staff, end of story. Just because you’ve paid full fare doesn’t entitle you to an upgrade, on any airline. If you’re a frequent flier, you’ll normally get a bump, plus a ticket to the lounge. I generally agree with Judith on many things, however this is a non-issue. When I worked at the airport I was bumped many times, it probably gave non airport troops the shits. Every workplace has some preferential treatment for people who are part of it. This has sod-all to do with the featherbedding and incompetence that’s causing QF dramas, particularly in a tight market. The ALP are responsible for many of its current woes, particularly refusal to repeal the carbon tax and sale act, and defending their maaates in the TWU & AWU. Odd as well they’re now friendly with the pilots and blackhanders, now it suits them.

  86. Grigory M

    John Hempton from Bronte Capital wrote this piece on Qantas.

    More pulp fiction. Bronte John should stick to cooking.

  87. Judith Sloan

    I think you are absolutely wrong, Habib – these arrangements are symptomatic of a company not focussed on its customers. How many companies do you know who provide staff discounts for ex-staff, years after they left?

    Actually, I think staff discounts are generally a bad idea. When my daughter worked at Myer as a university student, the staff would hide the stock they wanted to purchase, particularly if it was going on sale. And funny about that, the stuff they hid was generally very popular with the customers.

    I know quite a lot of firms which do not offer any staff discounts – pay them appropriately and then treat them like any other customer.

  88. daggers

    Grigory M are you Qantas staff ? You seem to be taking this rather personally.

  89. feelthebern

    Actually, I think staff discounts are generally a bad idea.

    I don’t mind staff discounts.
    But then again, I run my own firm.

  90. Alfonso

    “if a staff member or ex-staff member does not get on to their preferred flight, their stay at a hotel is subsidised by the airline.”
    Judith’s not going to defend this rubbish because it’s wrong…..but coincidentally fits her narrative.
    Who’d a thought.

  91. Habib

    Judith, while not a fan myself either, in the case of airlines they’re either cost neutral, or actually profitable. The weight loss of an extra pax is more than offset by the admittedly reduced revenue received, those seats would be empty otherwise. I recall a BA manager telling me years ago that at least on overseas flights if they filled the cabin it paid for the avtur; the profit was in the hold.

    The other point is that personnel travelling in uniform will almost invariably be positioning aircrew, they have to be moved around to meet scheduling requirements. It’s an operational reality rather than a perk. Makes no difference where they sit, however being in business may be bad PR. I’d sooner have trained crew next to the flight deck myself.

  92. Botswana O'Hooligan

    Ms Sloan, this old aviator thinks that you are the bees knees when you write so eloquently about things economical, but Habib is right, and mind you, I am not inferring that you are an idiot, just telling you that you do not understand things about tech and cabin crew. If the QF crew were in uniform then it is a pretty safe bet that they were on duty deadheading to crew another flight. An hour between capital cities you say, why not have them down the back with their knees up under their chins like the rest of us? Well, how about that they were half way thru a fourteen hour tour of duty and had to complete the fourteen hours before they “knocked off” and what about say, the pilot at the end of those fourteen hours having to make a difficult approach in a thunderstorm or fog perhaps with an engine out or some other problem, and the FA having to deal with either unruly or sick passengers or brief and prepare the cabin for an emergency. Airline companies try to “look” after their staff, particularly tech crew, for try having an accident caused by fatigue or poor training and then get passengers to travel without a gun pointing at them forcing them aboard. The companies don’t like having to give crew anything but it’s safer to do so. The old story of we ex dispute pilots is worth a few minutes of your time for we stayed in the Hiltons or Sheratons and usually travelled from the airports in a limousine. Shock horror Ms Sloan, the expense! Well, think of it this way for the Hiltons and Sheratons got several hundred rooms filled each night three hundred and sixty five nights year, guaranteed room nights, so guess what, the airline got them cheap. The Ansett limo’s, well we weren’t covered by insurance in Taxi’s, it took several Taxi’s to carry a crew, and surprise surprise, Sir Peter owned the Limo service. Money, well I am thrice married and have given two ex wives about a million bucks each because they loved the money and prestige but hated me being away twelve or fourteen nights each month, so I am no expert on that and still flying a jet aeroplane in my seventies in order that I might retire soon, but in 1989 the plumber next door to me was making more money than I because he worked on a “cash” basis, I paid a lot of tax, he didn’t. My son is also an airline captain and he also lives by the sword like all pilots because if he fails a medical that would be no big deal to an ordinary person, or fails one of the few simulator checks each year or a route check, he is out of a job. If you would like to understand a pilots life, I have been one for more than fifty years and married for most of that time, my wives haven’t understood, and most wives don’t, ask a pilot about their lives and you might understand why they travel in business class and appear to get lots of money.

  93. Grigory M

    How many companies do you know who provide staff discounts for ex-staff, years after they left?

    Judith, maybe that should be “How many airlines ..”. I have a Japanese friend who, after many years working with a Japanese airline (ANA or JAL), retired to Queensland about 15 years ago. He and his wife fly often and still get the discounted airfares and other benefits. I have a couple of other friends, one who is currently employed with Qantas and one who left Qantas a few years ago. I’m sure I’ve heard them say that the discounted airfare is 20%, not 10%, and that it is for seats in economy.

  94. Grigory M

    Grigory M are you Qantas staff ? You seem to be taking this rather personally.

    No, Daggers, I’m not – and have never been Qantas staff or employed by any other airline. Nothing personal either – surprised if you think so.

  95. Bruce

    What’s the difference between a pilot and a jet engine ? A jet engine stops whining when the plane shuts down!

  96. Leigh Lowe

    While we are on Qantas, do all politicians have to declare their membership (& their partners) to the Chairman’s lounge?
    If membership is automatic, is it a Fringe Benefit?
    Should that then attract FBT?

    FBT is only levied where the employer provides the benefit.

  97. Leigh Lowe

    When airline staff refer to passengers as “self loading cargo” you know they have lost it.
    This phrase is in common use at Q as it was at Ansett.
    Zero respect for the people who pay their fat salaries.

  98. Crossie

    The other point is that personnel travelling in uniform will almost invariably be positioning aircrew, they have to be moved around to meet scheduling requirements. It’s an operational reality rather than a perk. Makes no difference where they sit, however being in business may be bad PR. I’d sooner have trained crew next to the flight deck myself.

    Yes, being in business class does matter, and not all airlines do it. I have been next to a cabin crew member on a Singapore Airlines flight and sat behind a pilot on Alaska Airlines, both in economy. It gives you the impression that if it’s good enough for their customers it’s good enough for the crew.

  99. .

    When airline staff refer to passengers as “self loading cargo”

    What about obese air hostesses? Maybe cattle class was named after them?

    Heifer class was not inclusive of the camp stewards and hence it was called cattle class!

  100. Habib

    While I once again find myself in agreement with Keating (chokes back gorge) that pilots are glorified bus drivers, especially with aids such as IFR andd such, they earn their dough when shit happens, such as the wicks going out due to volcanic ash on Speedbird a while back- that’s why they’re there. I’d sooner they were well rested in business or first than having had no sleep in the dog box due to squarking microcephalus infants and their pissed-up progenitors. Non issue.

  101. Habib

    Bloody predictive, ILS.

  102. Grigory M

    What about obese air hostesses?

    Can’t say I’ve noticed any, Dot. Not on Qantas or Jetstar or Virgin or any other airline that I fly. They mostly seem to be either thin or else properly proportioned in true Nigella fashion. Not even in the USA, where I have noticed flight stewardesses who are very, very old.

  103. .

    Yes. Nigella.

    She has good months and bad ones.

  104. Alfonso

    You’re a liar Lee….15 years with Ansett Airlines of Australia flying seven different types and I’ve never encountered that phrase or the attitude among hosties on overnights or anywhere else.

    Lots of freelance hatred of airline pilots by 9 to 5 office mentalities, I understand why….
    Bobby Hawke is hater #1 due to circumstances that can only be revealed at his passing, you’re going to love that story.

  105. Crossie

    Bobby Hawke is hater #1 due to circumstances that can only be revealed at his passing, you’re going to love that story.

    Because he can’t sue you then?

  106. Leo G

    Which short-witted MP thought he could trick the PM into agreeing that the safety of Qantas travellers can only be assured by Australian-based maintenance crews under the Qantas Sale Act?

  107. Bons

    Judith, those QF troops on those flights are usually dead heads, re-positioning.
    Crap, a significant number of my colleagues chose to live in obscure places and expected to be delivered to work by the airline.
    Workers get taxed for a car park. Qantas staff get a free ride.

  108. Bons

    I recall a passionate’ highly professional First Officer, who could not come to terms with the entitlement philosophy of the cabin staff.
    On a trip to LA, the Cabin Page sounded and the FO answered. ” Captain it is very bumpy back here”. “Yeah, it is bumpy up here as well”.
    His frustration got the better of him when he called a meeting in the lobby of our hotel in LA. “Look, you guys we stay here for two night and just hang around”. “Let’s hire a bus and explore some of the sensational national parks around here”.
    It was a great plan, so dutifully, the next morning we assembled in the lobby and the Purser approached the FO to inquire about the conditions that would apply to this additional duty imposition.
    The FO is now a senior check and training pilot for a real airline!

  109. Alfonso

    Indeed Crossie, the evidence is damning and conclusive but from a long time ago. Uncle Bobby has numerous skeletons that are going to deal to his “legacy”.
    You can be the judge.

  110. Grigory M

    I recall ..

    That’s nothin’, Bons. I recall when I was on the USS Indianapolis, deliverin’ the Bomb. On the way back we got hit by a Jap U-boat. ‘Cause the mission was so secret, nobody knew we was there. Anyway, the Indianapolis went down. 1400 men in the water, Come daylight, the sharks came lookin’. With them big dead eyes …

    No, I can’t go on. It’s too much, Bons. You’ve awakened the demons.

    Defcon 5 for the BS meter there Bons. For your recollections and mine.

  111. Tel

    You’re a liar Lee….15 years with Ansett Airlines of Australia flying seven different types and I’ve never encountered that phrase or the attitude among hosties on overnights or anywhere else.

    If you do a search on “self loading freight” you find a very large number of people using the term, mostly from the UK and the USA.

    I happen to be one of those people who believe that forcing people to say “differently able” when they would have said “disabled” doesn’t make jack shit difference in attitude. Similarly, trying to force a Christian photographer to call a gay couple “married” when her personal concept of what married means doesn’t fit that, also won’t suddenly make Christians become best friends with the gay community. Other people I know disagree on that.

    http://www.beyondphilosophy.com/blog/customers-or-self-loading-freight

  112. Habib

    How long ago, Bons, and is this the main issue? QF flight crew have always been arrogant gits with a large sense of entitlement, and should be trimmed. It’s not the big issue facing the airline however.

    I wouldn’t give a shit if the Flying Kangaroo took a well placed 2.23 to it’s inflated head, but let’s concentrate on the real issues.

    BTW, no-one is talking still about how QFS has a virtual monopoly on ground and cargo handling, despite small competition from Menzies, and are still haemmoraging money with record traffic. That takes real talent, or fuckwittery.

  113. Tel

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/practical-travel-safety-issues/647490-food-thought-pax-self-loading-cargo.html

    Sitting at a bar in Amsterdam I began chatting with a pilot and inevitably our conversation turned to the flying experience. At which time he pointed out that he was a cargo pilot and the issues I was discussing were with SLC.

    I asked what he meant by SLC, and he explained that this is what cargo people refer to paying passengers SELF LOADING CARGO.

    The next time you find yourself frustrated by airlilne personnel or TSA agent, or another flyer, remember SLC. While it may not make you feel better it will give you a better insight into the perception of the other person in their dealings with you. Now doesn’t it all make perfect sense now. And you thought it was something personal.

  114. Tel

    When I asked the check-in clerk at the airport whether I could change to the earlier flight, his reply was:

    “WE can’t even do that”.

    In other words, staff members are more important than customers.

    I was in Korea, accidentally got to the airport early, and asked the same question and got shunted onto an earlier flight without anyone so much as blinking. I was out of there in about 20 minutes. I tried the same thing in similar circumstances with Virgin and got told (politely) to forget about it.

    If the plane is leaving with empty seats and you are already at the airport set to go then deliberately keeping people hanging around the airport is dumbarse in the extreme. I could understand if they say, “well there’s no empty seats, it’s packed today.”

    Point is once you are out of there, your seat just may be sold to a last minute customer, late in the day, who pays full price.

  115. Motelier

    Point is once you are out of there, your seat just may be sold to a last minute customer, late in the day, who pays full price.

    Tel,

    The don’t have to sell it at full price to be in front. Bums on seats are like heads on beds in motels and hotels.

    Once the plane is locked and crosschecked every empty seat is money lost.

  116. Habib

    Crikey I hate to be right over Judith Sloan. Shows we’re not a collective.

    I much prefer being right over imbeciles like Albanese Et al.

  117. never once, have QF staff suggested “would you like to fly on an earlier flight“

    They did to me, not too long ago. It turned out to be extremely helpful under the circumstances. On the other hand, some of my most difficult airline experiences have been at the hands of QANTAS staff.

    They seem to be a very bimodal lot – seems they will either treat you like shit or go well out of their way to help you out.

  118. Defcon 5 for the BS meter there Bons.

    No. Five is the peace level. One is the full-on, end-of-the-world, “On The Beach” exchange.

  119. John Williams

    Judith Sloan….I usually find you worth listening to, but not on this occasion.
    I flew International Heavy Jet for 35 years …not Qantas (I consider myself blessed on that account).
    I found nothing recognisable in your zero-researched article.
    I am wondering as I write this why I bother , but let me advise you that it was the airlines that invented positioning and dead-heading crews in uniform…..for their own benefit NOT the crew’s benefit.
    In uniform because they were going to/from work at the behest of their employer.
    (Did you think we/they were wearing uniform to impress you?)
    To work: this got the attention of Civil Aviation Authorities in every country who determined that if you were to go on duty after the positioning flight you had to be properly rested and they generally agreed Economy Class did not cut it.
    I have positioned for 5+ hours on a flight to Beijing for example to fly heavy crew back…long day, because that is only the flight time.
    I have worked countless 18 hour days operating heavy crew from Middle East to Seoul.
    Civil Aviation Authorities worldwide generally stipulated the terms with the airlines which in the better contracts included First or Business travel to ensure crews were in a fit state to operate.
    From work: Ahhh, DCA could not give a rat’s rear…this is unlimited timewise…and can be Economy seating.
    I have positioned 10 hours after a full day’s duty of 12 hours….this is perfectly legal as long as I get that total now in rest.
    Remember this next time your aircrew are taking you on a 14 hour (flight time only) non-stop to London and you ponder their seating arrangements during the past week/month travelling from work to home and back.
    Considering all this when I sit in First Class and you wander by on your way to Cattle Class, do I give a toss?
    Nah.

  120. Blogstrop

    Now the unions want to be given the books to peruse? Where does their arrogance and entitlement mentality end?
    I look forward to Judith or to Grace Collier detailing (from the books!) how much these union dopes and thugs are overpaid.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/qantas-keeps-books-from-union/story-fn59noo3-1226847414506

  121. Blogstrop

    John williams – it wouldn’t take a PR genius to work out that transitting crew out of uniform would be a sensible move.

  122. Andrew of Randwick

    John Williams #1214986, posted on March 7, 2014 at 1:26 am

    To work: this got the attention of Civil Aviation Authorities in every country who determined that if you were to go on duty after the positioning flight you had to be properly rested and they generally agreed Economy Class did not cut it.
    Civil Aviation Authorities worldwide generally stipulated the terms with the airlines which in the better contracts included First or Business travel to ensure crews were in a fit state to operate.

    So the product that all the airlines sell is not fit-for-purpose? Namely that you be a functioning human being at the end?
    Wished I had known that when turning up to work after a 600am arrival.
    .
    Oh and John, Ms Sloan was talking about short-haul SYD-MEL legs not the 10 hour “positioning flights” to which you refer.
    .
    feelthebern #1213993, posted on March 6, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Free upgrades to long serving Qantas customers would have been a better use of the seats.

    Jock #1213995, posted on March 6, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Surely paying customers should have been bumped up first? Customer service? Remember the concept.

    The above represent many readers comments – thus it must be in some EBA somewhere and the union smarties argued marginal cost of seat, perishable good, etc, etc, etc.
    I bet no one argued, if we give the BC seat to the Mum with three kids then the kids will watch the free videos and be quiet, the Mum will have a rest, and all passengers will be marginally better off. And the airline will get great WOM promotion. No that would be too sensible..
    And Habib I have been in EC and not been bumped to free BC seats. Status = Lifetime Gold.

  123. Andrew of Randwick

    Oops, mentioned kids in Business Class. Lookout incoming !!!!
    .
    Qantas needs to study gambling theory – rewards need to be event random, and variable in size, that is what hooks people.

  124. Grigory M

    Defcon 5 for the BS meter there Bons.

    No. Five is the peace level. One is the full-on, end-of-the-world, “On The Beach” exchange.

    Many thanks, Perturbed. I used 5 (4 in another comment) to try to seem more dramatic, in the spirit of facetiousness that has prevailed on this thread. The correct alert protocols will be observed in future. ;)

  125. Grigory M

    Qantas needs to study gambling theory – rewards need to be event random, and variable in size, that is what hooks people.

    Pilot Training for the (very short) future

  126. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    oops, mentioned kids in Business Class. Lookout incoming!!!!

    One of the reasons I fly business class on the long hauls is to be away from the revolting brats that infest cattle class.

  127. politichix

    Whenever I get to the airport in time for an flight earlier than the one I’m booked on, I always ask if I can be moved to the earlier one and unless it’s full I’m always moved no questions asked. Don’t know whether being platinum makes a difference although seem to remember it happening when on a lower level.

    Upgrades have never happened to me but I think it’s Qantas policy to make business class “special” i.e. you need to have paid or stumped up the points. S0 seeing cabin staff in business class gives me the shits – especially when they start gossiping loudly with the staff on duty.

    There was one occasion when I got moved to an earlier flight and was seated way down the back as that was the only seat left. After take off the business class hostess came all the way down the back, welcomed me by name and offered me a newspaper. Not sure whether it was gratifying or just plain embarrassing! Didn’t make too many friends on that flight.

  128. Oh come on

    A relative of mine had a corporate position at Ansett. I remember her telling me about how she flew first class to Mexico for less than $100. Obviously Ansett didn’t fly to Mexico. So back then (and possibly now) it’s not just deeply discounted fares on the airline you work for; it’s good for several major airlines. Nice little perk.

  129. Bruce

    Alfonso is quite correct, “self loading cargo” is not the term used to describe paying passengers.The correct term is “SLF” ,which is crew code for “self loading freight”, as I’m sure he’s well aware.

  130. Leon

    All bad unions. No management issues.
    A day late unfortunately. From today’s AFR Letters:

    Qantas not unions’ fault

    I want to respond to Roger Wolfe blaming unions for the problems at Qantas (“Qantas needs to focus on fundamentals”, AFR Letters, March 6).
    I was until September 2013, the president of the Australian and International Pilots’ Association, which represents 2500 Qantas and Jetstar pilots.

    In a meeting in February 2011, I offered Alan Joyce a two-year pay freeze and a commitment to rewrite our certified agreement.

    This was rejected out of hand. It is an ideological war and Mr Joyce needed the pilots to be able to lock the staff out in 2011 at a cost of over $200 million. There is nothing wrong with industrial relations in Australia but there is a lot wrong with management.

    ……………………..
    Barry Jackson
    Sydney, NSW

  131. John Williams

    Andrew of Randwick
    #1215157, posted on March 7, 2014 at 6:59 am
    Oh and John, Ms Sloan was talking about short-haul SYD-MEL legs not the 10 hour “positioning flights” to which you refer.

    No. Sloan was having a whinge about something she knows nothing about.
    That crew may well have been positioning to Melbourne to operate Melbourne -Perth 2 hours later.
    Or to operate Melbourne-Sydney-Cairns-Sydney.

    I never operated Australian Domestic but the limits on work duty are the same and crew go where management point them , limited only by the regulations.
    Blogstrop
    #1215131, posted on March 7, 2014 at 6:25 am
    John williams – it wouldn’t take a PR genius to work out that transitting crew out of uniform would be a sensible move.
    ….
    Agreed. Tell that to management. They require uniform travel to ensure rapid movement through the crew channel, because time is critical due to crew duty limits and the need to factor in possible delays or disruptions. Crew positioning generally arrive and depart airside which is time efficient.
    Management consider it more cost effective to move crew around the country rather than have them hub and spoke out of a fixed base.
    BTW , sub-load staff discounted travel sucks ….ask a crew member to explain why over a beer or three.
    Far better to buy a discounted fare and have the certainty of travel.

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