I have avoided Qantas for many years, but when I had to travel to Seattle last week my options were limited so I decided its been a few years it will be worthwhile to give them a chance.
Problem 1: I rocked up to the counter and was asked for my ticket, I explained it was an e-ticket here is my passport and this is the flight number. She explained she needed a print out of my itenary and I should have printed out the email booking. Being a mobility guy I reached my pocket and pulled out the email on the device and say here it is. She explained that it was not good enough she neeeded the physical paper and i will need to go to the customer service desk. No problem I reached into my back and produced a email printout that I was going to give to my wife the night before but forgot … I read all the gumpf and it doesnt say I need to bring it with me. She takes one look and hands it back … when asked what she looked for she explains … its policy to make sure you have it with you.
Problem 2: Where would you like to sit ? First Class but since I have only paid for economy a middle section aisle seat please. But definately dont want row 75 (ie last row seats dont lean back as far and people mingle at the back of the plane and lean agianst your seat). She says no problem and gives me seat 65 … I board the plan then the give me a new boarding pass and yep row 75. Sorry I dont want this seat, sorry sir we dont guarantee seat preferences … this of course leads to a huge problem with airlines. You pay a varying price for a service and that service for certain people is guaranteed to be worse. I picture running my business where I say sorry your the 10th customer for the month and we dont really look after that person the same as other people. To me that worse seat should be a cheaper seat. They have seats that have no leg room because of the entertainment system.
Problem 3: After 5 hours of flight, the entertainment system fails and they cant get it to work so no entertainment for the rest of the flight
Problem 4: Because I have been placed last on the plane means I am last to get through immigration at LAX … which means a run through the airport to get my boarding pass and connecting flight.
Problem 5: I arrive in Seattle and my bags dont.
Problem 6: Heading home now Get this guy who must have been 200kg sitting next to me spilling constantly into my seat (ok not qantas’ fault) but could have somebody given him a seat on the window or aisle for more room.
Problem 7: The entertainment system crashes again and only works for 50% of the content, the flight attendant explains over the intercom that people need to be patient … the system cant handle 100’s of people connecting at once. Now anybody in IT knows when you design a system you need to understand the load, now plane full of pessengers isnt rocket science to work out the maximum number of users connecting it needs to handle. There is only x number of passengers its not like its going be more unless people are sneaking onto the plane.
I will be avoiding Qantas with a renewed passion for a while yet.