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Qantas Denies 'Flying Dog' Tag

 
Sense and Sensibility 2
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User ID: 120892
Australia
05/29/2007 05:36 AM
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Qantas Denies 'Flying Dog' Tag
I'm not questioning the veracity of the survey mentioned in the article below, but I've flown with many an airline in my lifetime and Qantas rates with the best of them in my books.

However, the one that really stands out (for service, general efficiency, etc.) as far as I'm concerned is Cathay Pacific ......... excellent service, very tasty and beautifully presented meals, extremely cordial personnel etc. etc. In other words, a true "A1" airline. Other favourites of mine are SwissAir and Singapore Airlines.

What airline/s have you flown with and which is your favourite?
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Qantas Denies 'Flying Dog' Tag

SBS World News Australia
29 May 2007 (12:41:48 Australian EST)

Qantas has dismissed an Australian survey that rates it the worst international airline.

The survey of 4,000 subscribers to consumer magazine Choice also found Qantas' domestic service was outshone by all rivals except its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar.

However, Qantas has cited a larger, international poll as proof its customers are satisfied.

The national carrier would not comment directly today on its poor marks in the Choice survey, preferring to draw attention to better showings in specialist airline polls.

"Qantas has been named one of the world's top airlines in the Skytrax world airline awards for the last two years," a Qantas spokesman said.

"Skytrax surveys more than 13 million travellers each year and Qantas was ranked second in both 2005 and 2006.

"The Qantas Group flies more than 34 million passengers a year and our customer satisfaction ratings have never been higher."

Choice asked its subscribers to rate airlines for value for money, booking processes, convenience, the check-in procedure, in-flight service (including food and entertainment), seat comfort, legroom and cleanliness.

Subscribers voted Singapore Airlines top international airline and small airline Regional Express the favoured domestic operator.

Qantas only scored 63 per cent, compared to Singapore Airlines' 78 percent.

On the domestic front, Qantas fared little better, with a 67 percent rating. Consumers labelled its service "arrogant and aloof".

Jetstar scored just 62 percent, with one respondent describing Jetstar staff as "uniformly surly, unhelpful and most definitely unwelcoming".

Regional Express won the survey's top rating of 79 percent, followed by Virgin Blue with 71 percent.

"Virgin Blue staff attempt to make what is a reasonably unpleasant experience flying with a no-frills service light-hearted and enjoyable," one respondent said.

One possible reason Qantas may have fared so poorly in the survey is that people may be more critical of their national carrier, the magazine suggested.

Some travellers said they continued to fly with Qantas to earn frequent flyer points, even though they rated the airline significantly lower than average.


[link to www.worldnewsaustralia.com.au]
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moonscape

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05/29/2007 05:46 AM
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Re: Qantas Denies 'Flying Dog' Tag
I have heard that Quantas has the best safety record. Zero accidents in the carriers history. If this is true then that's quite an accomplishment. Good for Qantas.
Anonymous Coward
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05/29/2007 05:58 AM
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Qantas is a middle of the road international airline but how many of those surveyed would of flown more than 1 or 2 international carriers?
Anonymous Coward
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05/29/2007 05:58 AM
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Re: Qantas Denies 'Flying Dog' Tag
I have heard that Quantas has the best safety record. Zero accidents in the carriers history. If this is true then that's quite an accomplishment. Good for Qantas.
 Quoting: moonscape



Yes, their record is still intact, unbelievably.
Sense and Sensibility 2  (OP)

User ID: 120892
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05/29/2007 06:02 AM
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Re: Qantas Denies 'Flying Dog' Tag
I have heard that Quantas has the best safety record. Zero accidents in the carriers history. If this is true then that's quite an accomplishment. Good for Qantas.
 Quoting: moonscape

Thanks for your reply Moonscape.

It's true that in terms of safety, Qantas is (probably) the best, but I (or more precisely, my husband) can personally vouch for the fact that when it comes to reliability and quality of service, Qantas can and often does leave a lot to be desired.

Cheers Moonscape, and thanks again for your post.
One has a stronger hand when there's more people playing your same cards
George W. Bush, 11 October 2006

Amigos Para Siempre (Friends for Life)
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moonscape

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05/29/2007 06:16 AM
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Re: Qantas Denies 'Flying Dog' Tag
Why Airline Service Suffers
Unhappy People Giving Unhappy Service

Anyone who flies has noticed it. Jay Leno, David Letterman and just about every other comic has made fun of it.

And even I, a longtime working member of the incredibly safe airline business, have referred to it in uncomplimentary terms, writing that the phrase "airline service" is oxymoronic (def: a concept or thing composed of contradictory or incongruous elements).

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Now, the latest annual survey of airline quality conducted by Wichita State University in Kansas has underscored yet again what we all know through experience: That the degree to which U.S.-based airlines and their people are dedicated to giving their customers good and attentive service is at an all-time low, and sinking fast.

Specifically, the Wichita State survey found complaints about airline performance overall increased 17 percent in 2005 over the previous year, and the rate of "mishandled" bags jumped significantly as well. But the real story is far deeper than just lost bags, delayed flights, botched connections and dropped reservations. The real story of the decline of the airlines as a service-oriented industry is a tale of deregulation, financial pressure and stupid management tricks that have destroyed the morale of perhaps the most naturally motivated work force in the nation. And the story has been in progress for at least 28 years.


Altitude Attitude
First, it's really important to understand that bad airline service is more of an overall attitude than one specific incident. Most experienced travelers can handle a delayed bag or missed flight if there's a helpful, even sympathetic, and knowledgeable professional on the other side of the counter who sincerely tries to help and seems to care.

But airline service becomes oxymoronic when airline personnel adopt the old Ma Bell attitude (as satirized long ago by Lily Tomlin): "We're the phone company. We don't have to care." Unfortunately, the we-don't-have-to-care attitude is now more the standard than the exception, although it comes from disillusionment rather than monopolistic arrogance.

Before the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (a folly that has already cost us more than $30 billion of destroyed airline capital and countless careers), airlines were grossly overcontrolled by a benevolent government dictatorship called the Civil Aeronautics Board.

All fares were the same, all the ticket rules were the same, and no airline could begin or end a route without witheringly expensive and lengthy route "cases" before the CAB, a process that absolutely needed to end. But the architect of that change -- Cornell economics professor Alfred Kahn, who possessed no apparent understanding of how the airline business really worked -- helped sell Congress on the incredible illusion that the airline industry was not a vital public utility.

Worse, he sold both Republicans and Democrats on the concept that the United States would be better served by inducing vicious, predatory competition in the industry that helped foster a field of new airlines doing things on the cheap.

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Such instant airlines such as Air Florida (of crash-into-the-14th-Street-bridge-in-D.C. infamy) and People's Express, by their very low-cost existence and sponsorship by government, were in essence a rebuke to the established legacy carriers for being stupid enough to pay for such frills and extras as established, professional maintenance bases and established, professional flight-training academies.

An efficient airline, so the Kahn-sponsored theory went, was one that kept costs low in all areas, and there was no apparent reason to own your own facilities or aircraft when they could be leased, personnel included. The fact that aviation safety was a delicately balanced equation utterly dependent on the very stability deregulation was designed to destroy never dawned on Congress, and essentially hasn't to this day.


As a result, both service and safety became cost-accountable items, and since a new breed of airline accountants could see no difference between the cost of a sandwich and the cost of safety, everything was subjected to massive and often dangerous cuts.



Cost Cutting Gone Too Far
But Congress made a second mistake that would prove to be the undoing of the industry: In a hell-for-leather rush to deregulate, it refused to establish a floor of minimum prices that would have guaranteed survival. Throughout the '80s -- while airline safety sank like a rock as a direct result of deregulation's cost-control effects and rapidly increasing competition -- a new malady crept in that Kahn had not expected: the lemminglike propensity of airline leaders to price their product below cost to maintain their share of the market, even if they went bankrupt in the process.

Suddenly even the newest of airlines with the youngest and lowest-paid workers were facing the unexpected truth that when your prices are too low and costs have to be cut, the only place to turn is to the workers themselves, the very people who are still giving reasonably good service (or were at that time).

Now, it's true that salaries had risen to substantial heights under the old CAB, and that airlines learned they could avoid strikes by caving in to their unions and then passing on the costs by asking the CAB to raise fares for everyone. After nearly 40 years of that routine, fares were far too high, salaries had risen to sometimes unsupportable levels and air travel was still largely a luxury.

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But the old system had, in fact, a few hidden benefits, chief among them something at least two generations of Americans have only heard about: competition based solely on good service. In other words, if you couldn't compete with each other on price (as we currently do), then the only way to win fliers to your airplanes was with a better experience.

Cabins were well-appointed if not luxurious, meals were served on all but the shortest routes, the food was anywhere from passable to outstanding, and (most important) the better airlines knew how to give the type of attentive care only major overseas carriers such as Singapore, Thai and Cathay Pacific still provide. In short, the average attitude of the personnel could be summed up like this: I am (fill-in-the-blank) airlines, and I'm here to do everything possible to make you love us!

It would be grossly oversimplified and wrong to assume that all airline pilots, flight attendants and agents (etc.) loved their jobs and were good at giving attentive service. But high-quality, attentive service was the model if not the norm. Generally, it was fun working for an airline, and not just because of the free or reduced rate travel open to employees.

Working for an airline had panache and style, some glamour and a lot of action, and for people who loved working with and for other people, it was heaven. And today?

With overcrowded airplanes, little civility in dress or demeanor of passengers, few meals, fewer amenities, industrywide salary cuts of epic proportions, and (the worst sin of all) airlines canceling pension plans because they've robbed the fund of hundreds of millions, far too many of America's airline employees are shell shocked, depressed, disillusioned and resentful. In effect, we're now an industry full of employees going through post-traumatic stress and wondering why we ever thought it was fun.

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And that, in a nutshell, equates to bad and inattentive service with a "who cares" attitude. Morale, in other words, is the key, and it's in precious short supply today.

There are major exceptions, of course.

Southwest Airlines' brilliance as a company hasn't been in its choice of airplanes or the hedging of fuel expenses, it's been in maintaining a reasonably fun place to work in a harsh environment, and you can see the positive results in the friendliness and helpfulness of Southwest employees.

There are other airlines with reasonably satisfied work forces, too, as well as pockets of top-quality people who refuse to let the deregulation blues destroy their service attitude. But across this once great industry, the problem of poor customer service is primarily the human result of trying to do things on the cheap for too long, and the ultimate result of attempting to balance the books of below-cost airlines on the backs of their employees.

Stated another way, whether it's safety or service, we get what we pay for. And a coast-to-coast flight for $250 will never pay for the service we want.

[link to abcnews.go.com]

That was long, Sorry, lol. tomato





GLP