The Qantas experience according to Rapid Travel Chai

Readers have correctly pointed out that I show little interest in flying. I do enjoy little pleasures and laughs, so for those interested in airlines, here is my take on Qantas from five domestic flights in coach the past week.

Every single person has pronounced my surname correctly. Most in the US never try or mangle it terribly.

The self-service check-in process at Melbourne is cool.

Qantas Lounges have powerful and free wifi, enough to reach me camped outside.

The boarding process is very fast, even on full flights. Way to go, Aussies!

They apologize for even five minute delays.

The uniforms on the female flight attendants look like they are heading to a pot luck dinner. The first one I saw did not have her jacket and I thought she was a passenger roaming the aisle. The patten incorporates boomerangs and indigenous patterns, both best left off clothing. Does Swiss wear patterns with little chocolate bars?

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"Why do we have to wear this stuff?"

The flight attendants are seasoned but not cynical. On a slightly delayed flight, when the captain announced to prepare for landing, one said with a smile, “That’s a good sign.”

Several of the captains like to play tour guide without overdoing it. On the way up to Ayers Rock the captain pointed out a lake that only fills with water every decade or so and attracts many migratory birds, and the rock itself. On another flight the captain pointed out a sprite, rare upward lightning.

Each flight, even an 85-minute one has a meal or snack. Expect chicken and mushroom, I have had that in both pie and wrap form.

Appletiser is a great drink. I ‘pretty please’ asked for two cans and received them, then the flight attendant came back and, smiling, gave two more.

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Appletiser

One flight had personal in-flight entertainment and movies did not appear to be edited. I refuse to watch edited movies. Glad to see Marley, which I missed in cinemas.

Not really a Qantas thing but at Ayers Rock Airport (AYQ), security screening requires removal of umbrellas for separate scanning. Between me and the Japanese, that’s a lot of umbrellas, so they have a laminated card written in Japanese and wave it when each group approaches.

Qantas is pleasant, nothing great, yet they maintain elements of full-service that US competitors long ago abandoned. At those prices, they should.

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  • Interesting commentary, and sounds like you are having a great trip. Though my understanding is that the domestic airline is the only part that actually makes money, hence them ceding most of the international ops to Emirates

  • Funny I was just looking at QF flights to AYQ yesterday for a trip next year. Sad that they have reduced flights to and from CNS, and are completely suspending services to and from PER on 10/29. Which domestic routes did you fly, and did you use miles?

  • @glu800 – I was in MEL and had to go via SYD, used Avios, 14,500 one-way in economy. Maybe AA is cheaper but I did not investigate. That SYD-AYQ flight is an AA codeshare.