I am a total airline nerd. I know for a fact that Qantas is the only airline that has never had a major air disaster. They might get a bad rap at the moment, with all their A380’s falling apart and stuff, but that is total classic Aussie, complaining about EVERYTHING, even though when looking at the big picture, it so isn’t that bad.
I had always wanted to fly them and it wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally had the chance! When I was booking my ticket to New Zealand Qantas turned out to the be the cheapest at the time, so there is was. I was so excited to be finally flying with them! They flew non-stop from LAX to Auckland, and continuing on to Melbourne. Oddly, you board Qantas flights at LAX in the International terminal, but I know for a fact, when you return, they dump you at Terminal 4 (Americans terminal) where I had previously drooled over the huge birds.
I had a pretty decent time on Qantas. The food was meh and the movies were fine, they would go out sometimes, but always come back to the same place to left off at. To save on bottles of water and cups, everyone got a small bottle of water to start and then we were expected to fill it up at the fountains that were all over the airplanes. I thought this was a great way to save on utensils on such a long flight. The worst part of my flight had nothing to do with the airplane itself, but the people sitting behind me. You are supposed to sleep on the flight there for most of it and of course, the people behind me decide to catch up on work for the entire 12 hours and have their light on the whole time, the only people on the ENTIRE cabin doing this and the light is right in my face. GAH! I was so mad. Also, I remember when I was standing in line to check in and saw the babies, I immediately groaned. But when I was boarding, I saw the families setting up shop in the first rows of the cabins, pulling down make-shift cribs out of the walls in front of them. I thought this was genius and wonder when all the American airlines are going to catch on! I didn’t hear a peep out of any of the kids the entire flight.
I flew Qantas again nearly 2 years later when I was returning to New Zealand after a long time in Australia. It were just the cheapest on the day I needed them. I actually bought my outward ticket on Air New Zealand, both e-tickets. When I checked in on my Qantas flight in Brisbane, the ticket agent asked if I had a return ticket out of New Zealand, that immigration was going to ask when I arrived. I had a ticket, but since it was an e-ticket on another airline and I didn’t have a print out as proof, the ticket agent asked me to go to the Air New Zealand counter to get a print out proof of my outward ticket. OY! So annoying. I ran over to the Air New Zealand counter, no one in line, of course, and got proof of my ticket. Funny enough, all I needed was my name, date of flight and route (CHC-SYD) as I couldn’t remember what time my flights were yet as I was only keeping track of stuff 3 to 5 days ahead and I wasn’t coming back for a month. So not on my radar at the moment! I got back to the Qantas counter and the guy said I didn’t have to wait in line ago, so I hopped right to the front, probably confusing the people in line, but for the first time ever, I didn’t care. Boarding pass secure, security and immigration is a joke as usual. This flight was just the most bumpy flight I had been on in a while. The plane was really old and it just reminded me of the olde skool flights across the country with only the few video screens in the aisle every few rows. The film sucked. They did serve food, but between my excitement to get back to New Zealand and the crappy flight, I was totally turned off by Qantas. I mean, I’ll totally take them, if they are cheap, but on that route, meh, I’d rather take someone else.
Moral: Qantas are okay. Not as good as I held them up to be in the past, which is sort of a let down, but all in all, fine. Hell, based on their safety record, you can’t be beat and that is a pretty good reason to always keep them in mind. But if like Qantas and Air New Zealand (and Emirates!) all cost the same, Qantas drops to the bottom of that list.