35 entries categorized "Qantas"

Qantas Customer Care just doesn't



Back in September I had to fly to Thailand for a magic event, so I booked my flights on Qantas for Sep 18 returning on September 23.

I have been a Frequent Flyer with Qantas for 20 years and I have always had seating preference request for a window seat. 

My first flight (to Singapore) was not a Qantas flight but Emirates... and I was seated at the very back of the plane in a middle seat in the middle aisle. As I was pretty much the first to check in, I asked if they could change my seat to a window but they assured me the flight was full and all seats were allocated.

During the flight, as I was at the very back, I was the last one to be served a meal and the options were exhausted. I was offered the fish (which I don't eat). They said they would check and see if there were any other meals - but they never came back... so I didn't eat. Luckily I had brought my own water on board because I didn't get a drink either.

I arrived at midnight and my flight to Bangkok was 9am, so I had booked the transit hotel in the airport. But I was told because my next flight was JetStar (I had booked on Qantas) I had to clear customs and check in again. 

I did this but, when I tried to check in JetStar told me to come back at 7am as check in was not open. This meant I could not get back into the airport and my hotel. I kicked up a fuss, enough it seems, as they got a manager and reluctantly checked me in anyway. I was given an aisle seat up the back...

During this flight I was offered a food voucher, as I had booked on Qantas. Sadly my choices (sandwiches etc) were all "unavailable". I settled for honey roasted nuts and a coke. On eating the nuts I got quite a shock... they were wasabi nuts. I called them over and they were genuinely surprised I was unhappy. They were all out of the advertised honey roasted nuts, so they gave me the only other thing they actually had in stock... pretzel mix.

Yummy breakfast... not.

On my return flight, I was on a Qantas flight... operated by Emirates... again I was in a middle seat in the aisle.. again they couldn't do anything about the seating... but this time I was not at the back of the plane.

Meal service came and they started serving from behind me this time. I admit I got excited and started to choose my meal but, after serving the row directly behind me they went straight to the front of the plane and started serving from their back. Yep, by the time they got to me it was the fish or nothing. I chose nothing. 

I was offered a drink this time. I asked for tomato juice and the attendant poured me an apple juice. When I explained that I had requested tomato she gave me the dirtiest look and slowly, silently took the drink back and poured me the most evil tomato juice I've ever had.

She didn't return for the duration of the flight... and I was quite pleased actually.

Arriving in Sydney I rechecked my luggage and had a very helpful Qantas staff member look after my transit.

Flying to Melbourne, in an aisle seat, was again marred by inattentive and disinterested in flight attendants.




I wasn't exactly thrilled with the lack of service I received, the seating, the meals, or the fact that I booked with Qantas and was shuffled around on other airlines causing various problems as a result, so I did the right thing and went to the Qantas website and filled out their feedback form on September 25 and almost immediately received this email:


Dear Tim,

Thank you for contacting Qantas Customer Care.

We are always happy to hear from our customers and to assist where possible.

Your reference number is 2014/187568.

We aim to respond to you within the next 15 business days.

If you have further feedback relating to 2014/187568 or wish to add attachments, please click here.

Kind regards

Qantas Customer Care


But by October 21 I still hadn't heard from them so I emailed them again.

Then I realised it would most likely get no result so I went back to the Feedback Form, filled it all out again, adding the fact that they had failed to contact me within their time frame and I immediately got a response:


Dear Tim,

Thank you for contacting Qantas Customer Care.

We are always happy to hear from our customers and to assist where possible.

Your reference number is 2014/187568.

We aim to respond to you within the next 15 business days.

If you have further feedback relating to 2014/187568 or wish to add attachments, please click here.

Kind regards

Qantas Customer Care



On Wednesday November 5 I finally received a reply from Qantas Customer Care

Dear Tim

Thank you very much for contacting us with your concerns.

I would like to apologise that you had such a negative service experience when travelling with us recently please accept my sincere apologies.

When travelling in the future you are able to pre select your seating on our website at Qantas.com.au.

Please be assured that your feedback is not falling on deaf ears. Feedback such as this is invaluable to us as it flags up areas in which we need to improve, and only when passengers like you inform us of this much needed improvement are we able to take steps and make the changes needed. We are truly committed to creating the world's best flying experience, in every regard from check-in to destination and beyond, and the only way to get there is to listen to our passengers.

Thank you again for contacting us with your feedback, and I hope we can welcome you aboard a Qantas flight again in the near future. 

Kind regards


Customer Care Executive


To me, it appeared that they hadn't really addressed my point that my Frequent Flyer seat preferences were supposed to determine where I sat (ie: window as opposed to the centre of the centre aisle) and were telling me it's now up to me to go online and book my own seat. Plus, they totally ignored my other issues with meals and dismissive staff.

So I replied to them - and this time my email bounced back with a reply saying "This mailbox is not monitored."

Maybe my feedback WAS falling on deaf ears after all!

So I sought out their Facebook page, which is FILLED with customer complaints, and I summarised the entire saga in a post and received a reply right away telling me that they were very concerned that this issue had not been addressed, they pride themselves on customer service and safety is always the number one priority at Qantas... they asked me to PM them my reference number and they would get back to me right away!

Wow! Maybe they have shifted their entire Customer Care team over to social media? That's why the phones never get answered and the feedback forms are replied to by computer... there's nobody at head office anymore.

Sadly, nobody contacted me.

I kept posting messages saying I hadn't heard from anyone yet until my post got so far down the page I couldn't find it anymore.

Then I had to start a fresh post all over again, letting them know I hadn't heard anything from them in their attempt to address the fact that I hadn't heard anything from... them.

This time they asked me to PM them my email address, as they claimed they had emailed a reply and were surprised I hadn't got it.

So was I, as I was receiving Qantas spam (sorry... "promotional material") on almost a daily basis.

Again I waited, again I had to start a fresh post as my second post had disappeared under a mountain of complaints from other, equally frustrated, soon to be ex-Qantas customers.

Finally, on November 25, after almost THREE WEEKS of fruitless posting on their Facebook page, I received this:

"Hi Tim, as previously discussed our Customer Care team has sent a reply via email on the 14th of November and again on the 19th of November. We understand you have not received either email and would request an alternate email to once again resend this response to as it appears you are not receiving any correspondence from Customer Care. Lily"

I explained that my email was working, their is no reason I should not be receiving emails from them

"Hi Tim, we have followed this up with Customer Care and have once again asked that they re-send a copy of the email dated 19th November 2014. Please confirm if and when you receive their email response. Lily"

... and then




Finally, the email they said they sent on November 14 (or 19th) addressing my issues of seating, meals, staffing and lack of response from Customer Care arrived:

"Ref. No: 2014/187568

Dear Tim,

Thank you for your further correspondence. 

I regret that you are unhappy with our response.

I feel that your concerns with your Emirates and Jetstar travel on your WEB JET
ticket were adequately addressed. I am afraid that there is nothing more I can

I appreciate you taking the time to pursue this issue and I apologise if we have
not been able to resolve this matter to your satisfaction. 

Kind regards
Customer Care Executive"







The spirit has left me

Just when i think i have air travel sorted, qantas change the rules again:

1- print my boarding pass at home before I leave to save time

2- weigh my case to make sure my 60 minute stage show, costumes and 10 days of clothes are under 23kgs. Yes: 22.1kg

3- arrive at Melbourne airport and discover Qantas has done away with check in counters altogether. Now there are dozens of terminals scattered throughout the concourse with groups of people milling around them hoping for one to become available
4- printing my boarding pass at home was pointless. I have to visit the machine, that prints out boarding passes, to print out my luggage tag
5- I now have to weigh my bag, and discover that somehow, since leaving home, it's put on weight and is now 25.1kg
6- I go to the bag drop machine and scan my boarding pass, put my bag on the scale and it says it's overweight by 2kg and I must pay $10 per extra kg - or repack
7- I repack and take a 2nd box of DVDs out. My bag now weighs 24.1kgs...
8- the bag drop machine prints an invoice for me to pay $10 at the sales desk
9- I go to the other end of the terminal and line up. Despite there being only 1 other person ahead of me, I'm in line 20 mins
10- I pay my bill and the lady says I should have just sent my bag down the bag drop anyway. (?!)
11- I go back to the bag drop machine and my bag now weighs 23.8kgs and mo excess payment is due!!!!!!
12- I fight the urge to punch the machine as I watch my bag zoom off down the chute
13- I now join the longest, windowed line ever (think of the 2 hour line to go on the Rock'n'Roller Coaster at Universal Studios... But without the pay off) just to get through security.

Qantas, the spirit of Australia, has managed to break my spirit. You're saving money with fewer staff and making money on every extra kg that they used to let slip through as a courtesy... But will the end result be that people just won't want to travel with you anymore?

As one man in front if me said while tagging and weighing his bags: "when do I get to fly the plane? I've done everything else myself now."

Arrived in Hong Kong

We've arrived safely in Hong Kong and are in a beautiful hotel room, but I have to say I'm not in a rush to fly Qantas internationally again.

It's been a while since we flew overseas with them and, though the flight was fine, their standards seem to have dropped dramatically. 


Qantas has always trumpeted it's award-winning in flight movie selection. Normally we get set for a non-stop marathon of latest release movies. Not this time. Though there certainly is an extensive selection of movies and TV shows, there was a distinct lack of "latest releases". We both chose to sleep instead.


The less said the better. Sue-Anne tried the "healthy" option of the vegetarian meal, but it consisted of a very limp salad she thought must have been a week old, some rice and beans, and some hard old melons.

I chose the chicken and rice, which also came with a salad. The salad was inedible (though Sue-Anne said it look much better than hers) and the chicken was mostly fat coated in sauce and the rice was cold. 

I didn't bother with breakfast. Sue-Anne did, but she regretted it.

Whatever happened to the Neil Perry gourmet meals Qantas used to be so proud of?

Or even freshness?

Only a year or so ago I remember the staff serving us ice creams and treat packs throughout the night.


Now the only pack we get is the toiletry pack. This used to be a branded kit with a comb or brush, socks, some sprays or lotions, a toothbrush, a sample size of Macleans toothpaste, maybe a razor, a blindfold and ear plugs all in a nice toiletries case you can keep and use later. (We have dozens at home we still use to keep small props in).

Look at what we got this time...

Qantas Gifts

A cheap plastic ziplock back with a blindfold that smells like weird plastic and the thinnest, cheapest looking toothbrush with a tiny tube in no-name paste. I've seen better (and bigger) toothbrushes made for children to use on dolls!

And yes, the plane was generally untidy with the inflight magazines in my pocket looking dog-eared and covered in scribbling from a previous child passenger.

We used to always travel Qantas. But since they've made it much harder to accrue or cash-in frequent flyer points, and they obviously aren't making any effort with their inflight services, we'll give all the other airlines a try from now on.

It will be very interesting to see what V Australia comes up with when we fly to the USA next month.

Qantas baggage mystery solved

Thanks to the Frequent Flyer Newsletter, my question from a few weeks ago about Qantas and their baggage changes has now been lifted. It's going to make it much harder for us magicians to fly around the country with our shows from now on.

I predict a whole new era of mentalism!


Less is more on Qantas domestic flights with Qantas passengers now facing fees if baggage is more than 23 kilograms.  The move to reduce domestic baggage allowance from 32 kilograms to 23 kilograms is in line with new international standards.

Travellers will now be charged up to $10 for each kilogram over 23 kilograms.  Under the old system there was no charge for up to 32 kilograms.  The premium class baggage allowance will be reduced by 2kg to 30kg.

On international services, the allowance for economy and premium economy passengers will be lifted from 20kg to 23kg.  On a Melbourne-London flight, the excess charge will be $50 a kilo while the excess fee on some Asian services will be $35 a kilo. 

The decreasing baggage allowance and increasing penalty for overweight baggage means it’s time to put some of our members TRIED AND TESTED TIPS for reducing weight into action.

A lighter Bag means lighter luggage
Cases can weigh as much as 5 kilograms so it is only logical to consider investing in some lightweight yet durable luggage.

Ditch the Shoe Addiction
Shoes are heavy, therefore try to avoid carrying more than one pair and wear the heaviest pair on the plane.

Books on Board
Carrying a hard paperback under the arm is a perfect means to reduce unnecessary weight.

Duplicate your Dress
If your place of origin is a location you travel to frequently, try to duplicate your belongings and keep a permanent set of some items (such a toiletries/ clothes) with a friend/ relative.

Finally, consider purchasing a Digital Luggage Scale.  By knowing the weight of your luggage before you leave for the airport, you can avoid excess luggage charges. See example of DIGITAL SCALES available for about $40.

Qantas - they want our money, but not our bags...


Can anyone help clarify this situation with Qantas.

You may have seen this story in the papers a few days ago:

Qantas will reduce domestic passengers’ baggage allowance by almost a third from Friday and will strictly enforce excess charges. The domestic baggage allowance is to be cut from 32kg to 23kg, with the excess rate at $10 per kg.
Premium class will be reduced by 2kg to 30kg.
Qantas customer product and services general manager Lesley Grant said the new allowances would align domestic and international services.
Except on services to the US, all checked baggage allowances will be based on weight
On international services, economy and premium economy passengers’ total allowance has been raised from 20kg to 23kg.
On a Perth to London flight, the excess charge will be $50 per kg, while Perth to Singapore or Hong Kong will be $35 per kg.
For US flights, a flat rate of $50 per piece is charged for any luggage more than 23kg.
The maximum baggage weight allowed will be 32kg.

Well it is Friday now, but on the Qantas website they still say:

Business: 3 pieces
Economy: 1 piece
Total dimensions of each piece must not exceed 140cm (54in)
Weight Allowance - 32kg (70lb) per piece
Silver or Gold Frequent Flyers - One extra piece
Platinum - Two extra pieces
So are they sticking to the piece system, which gives Sue-Anne and I up to 64kgs each, or are they switching to weight (23kg max plus 10kg extra for Frequent Flyers) which gives us each 33kgs?
If this is the case, then many magicians are going to have to either cut down their shows or charge clients excess baggage!
Or was the story an April Fool's joke?

Heading to Beijing for FISM? Good luck!

As you know, I've been organising a tour group to Beijing FISM for Aussies who plan to attend the World Championships of Magic.

As I've run National Festivals and International Magic Conventions before, I felt this wouldn't be too difficult.

1 - I contacted an expert tour organiser who explained that everyone really needed to leave from the same city and stay in the same hotel to make this work. Problem - people were not only departing from different cities, but at different times too. Plus, some couldn't afford to stay at the "official" FISM hotel.

2 - I studied air timetables and came up with a way that people willing to leave at the same time, could all end up on the same flight with Qantas. I contacted Qantas Group Services and (once we were within twelve months of our departure date) they gave me a quote of over $2,000 per person. At the time, that was several hundred dollars more than booking the same flight through a travel agent.

3 - FISM promised all group organisers we would get advanced notice when the hotel bookings were about to open and we could get special group discounts buying rooms in bulk. Didn't happen. Suddenly the rooms were bookable online on the FISM website... at only marginally cheaper rates than if you booked direct with the hotels themselves.

4 - Alan Watson put me in touch with Graham Bennett of Singapore Airlines in New Zealand who came up with a great group price of $1750 per person. It was a fair price, but the airline is much nicer than Qantas. We came up with a great schedule where everyone could leave from their home city and meet up in Singapore, where we would all fly together in Beijing. Problem: You could book individually with Singapore and get a slightly cheaper airfare than if you travelled with the group. Plus, "due to the current economic situation", many in our group had decided they couldn't afford to go to Beijing, while a dozen others decided to fly in earlier to sightsee, or to continue on to 'Magic Live' in the USA... so our flight plan no longer worked for them. We now had too few people to qualify as a group.

5 - I searched Webjet to find alternative flights for our group and came up with flights on Qantas from Melbourne and Sydney which were $1384 and $1473 - which we posted on our Tour Group page. Last week we booked our flight. We decided to go via Sydney so we could escort a first time FISM traveller and booked QF105 - Friday July 24 departing Sydney at 10.10am and arriving in Beijing at 8.10pm. If we left from Melbourne we'd have to stop off in Hong Kong, so it was nice to get a direct flight. (Plus, coming back Beijing direct to Melbourne is a nightmare - remember this???) In true Qantas form, two days later QF105 ceased to exist. Instead we are on a flight via Hong Kong...

There are well over 30 Aussies in our group heading to Beijing, a new record for FISM, and we all hope to have a great time over there. However, with airlines facing hard times "due to the current economic climate", we can expect a few more flight changes and cancellations between now and July.

Our Tour Group still exists... and many are joining us on our escorted tour to the Great Wall of China on the day after FISM, and though we won't be flying together or staying in the same hotels...(?!) they are all getting email updates filled with travel tips, advice, and handy hints about travelling in China.

As for handy hints about travelling TO China... well, good luck!

I didn't make it!

Last night was the grand opening of the Hocus Pocus exhibition and, unfortunately, I didn't make it. I got a very last minute gig in Canberra.

What made it even more challenging was the fact that yesterday's gig was a hoax speaker/magic show.

I had to fly in at 11am yesterday, and pretty much write my speech on the plane! (More about the usual Qantas fun at the end of this post).

When arrived I headed straight to a hairdressers and got them to trim my traditionally windswept look to a sharp, executive haircut. I even had a brief meeting with the client in the hairdresser's chair!

From there I went to the National Convention Centre and watched as two Senior Executives from Accenture gave their staff monthly updates, and then they introduced Steve Taylor, Senior Executive in HR from Melbourne... me.

I'd decided to give them a little shake up by explaining that, with the imminent launch of the all-politics TV channel A-SPAN, we'd negotiated a deal where cameras would be brought into the workspaces at Accenture to show Australia the real "behind the scenes" working of the company as part of the ATO's daily show. Over the Christmas break their offices were going to be transformed with chill-out lounges, relaxation zones, and a skate ramp. And in order to dispel the stereotype that IT people were all "socially inept nerds", there would be some changes in staff as well. We'd be focusing on under 28s with those less "camera-friendly" people being given more exciting jobs elsewhere in the company.

Surprisingly, even when I borrowed a $50 bill, cut it up and threw it away to illustrate how ineffectual budget slashing was, and even after I produced a can of Pepsi from my shoe... many still thought I was from HR.

One person told me afterwards "We just thought you were a really cool Senior Executive".

After I revealed the entire Steve Taylor character to be an illusion, there were some very relieved faces though, and afterwards I mingled with everyone over drinks performing close up magic (still dressed in my "executive look", yuk!)

The client said that normally at these functions the staff stay for one quick drink then go, but this time they all stayed for well over an hour! So, as the main aim of the event was to get the staff to start to bondand get to know each other, it was a big success.

Qantas - well, as you expect, the flight from Melbourne to Canberra was about 30 minutes late... but the flight back was actually on time! (Though, the flight leaving one hour before me was delayed about an hour and a half so people on that Canberra to Melbourne flight got home 30 minutes after me!)

And I fluked it on a flight that served lunch, but I have to show you a picture of what Qantas considers a good lunch nowdays.


Note, you get water, a small piece of chocolate and a "vegetarian roll" which is made on one of those rolls they put on your side plate at dinner. Maybe it was a "hoax lunch"?

Another busy weekend

On Friday I had to fly up to Bundaberg to entertain at the Bundaberg Sugar's Christmas party. Just the usual delayed departure from Qantas on the way up, but on the way back the flight was delayed because the truck that was supposed to tow the plane of the departure gate broke down. That was a new one!

Up in Bundaberg I had a minor faux pas. During the Toast Routine I produced a can of soda and the volunteer and I then drank a toast together to Bundaberg Sugar. Because some people are diabetic we always use Pepsi Max. As soon as I produced it one of the guests yelled out "Hey, there's no sugar in that!"

Meanwhile, Sue-Anne was back in Melbourne running an 'Al Cappuccino Gangster Night' with Lee Cohen and Enzo Ficco at the Grand Hyatt. The night was, appropriately, a roaring success with a ton of people getting up on the dancefloor to learn the Charleston. Of course, Al threatening them with his machine gun did encourage the few who were initially reluctant.

The next day I was up at 5.30am to fly back to Melbourne where we did a private 40th birthday near the airport and I finally got home around 5pm in time to spend three hours at home before heading off to do an hour of close up on the roof of the Adelphi Hotel. The venue is called Deck 10 and one of the great things about our line of work is we get to visit so many unusual and interesting places, and the views and ambience of Deck 10 are great.

At the airport, one odd thing I noticed was at Hungry Jacks. They're having a massive competition where you can win a $7,000 Fijian holiday. To win you simply fill in an entry form with your name, address, mobile etc. Then there's a box you can check at the bottom which says:

  • By ticking this box you will receive further fantastic holiday offers and you consent for an indefinite period of time for the Promoter to contact you by telephone and you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions as stated on the back of this form.

So, unless you are keen to attract more telemarketing you probably wouldn't check that box.

But wait... if you turn the form over at the start of the 33 terms and conditions in ultra-fine print, it says:

  • Entrants must also agree for the Promoters, third parties and their respective agencies to contact the entrant, including but not limited to, telephone, SMS, email or mail. Entry is conditional on the entrants acceptance of these conditions.

So this is less a competition and more a way to get around the 'Do Not Call' anti-telemarketing legislation. Even if you are registered on the 'Do Not Call' list, anyone who buys this list created by the Hungry Jack's competition will have you permission to phone you.

So think twice before entering Hungry Jack's great giveaway. Odds are you probably won't win the trip, but you will get a lot more wonderful offers!

From the latest issue of Frequent Flyer News

Where there's smoke... there's Qantas

And no, this is nothing to do with the latest series of incidents currently plaguing the beleaguered airline!   You may have noticed an additional item on your on-board duty-free selection that has anti-smoking lobbyists fuming. This month Qantas has resumed the controversial sale of tobacco on board after almost ten years since it was stopped.

Legislation prohibits the packs from being advertised in the shopping catalogue but it is

legal to stack them on the duty-free trolley and wheel them through the cabin. A letter recently sent to Qantas staff by management allegedly states: "It's vital that duty free carts are taken out into the economy cabin, with the cigarettes displayed prominently on top''.

Some are seeing it as no coincidence that the move comes as Qantas appoints a recently retired tobacco executive to its board. Paul Rayner, who was finance director of British American Tobacco and previously chief operating officer of British American Tobacco Australasia, joined the Qantas board as a as a non-executive director earlier this month. Qantas are adamantly denying that there is any link.

Qantas claims that they are merely catering for consumer demand, whilst lobby groups see the move as an unacceptable return to the "bad old days". They claim the move acts to normalise and condone the act of smoking.

Greedy cash grab or good customer service? We'll leave that decision up