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QANTAS: Green shoots of improved service already showing? Premium frequent flyers recognised.

QANTAS: Green shoots of improved service already showing? Premium frequent flyers recognised.

Some regular Qantas flyers report the re-introduction of some spoken recognition of premium frequent flyers on domestic flights, even when travelling in Economy.

a screenshot of a social media post
Facebook Group Screenshot [Facebook/2PAXfly]


Way back pre-pandemic, and to some extent during the pandemic, I as a Platinum Frequent Flyer or in the parlance of social media avgeek speak a ‘WP’ for ‘wanker platinum’ I would consistently get acknowledged by name, wherever I was sitting on a domestic Qantas aircraft. Consisently the cabin manager would approach at some stage in the flight and thank me for my patronage, have a chat, and they would ask if they could do anything for me.

This human contact was a lovely touch, especially in a period of emotional distress (emergency travel to see a dying parent) or when I was an air warrior, travelling a few times a week for work and missing friends and family.

That all disappeared during COVID-19, when I believe Qantas (and other airlines) were staffing aircraft at the regulatory minimum. I fully understand when you reduce to skeleton staff during personnel shortages, that something has to give. So I was not surprised that some of these premium courtesies disappeared.

a plane with seats and a monitor
Business Class on a Qantas A330 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]


But airlines are now almost back to pre-COVID levels of flights and frequencies. Aircraft, on the whole, are fuller than they were pre-pandemic. So, I have been surprised that some of these niceties for premium frequent flyers haven’t been re-introduced.

You do get the ‘Welcome back’ salutation, usually with at least an attempt to pronounce your name on boarding, but not the acknowledgement during the flight.

Vanessa Hudson – new CEO cultural change?

Many of the commentators on the facebook post have speculated that this is an initiative of the new Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson after her mea culpa of last week, via pre-recorded and scripted video.

Maybe it is. A quick text or email, or communication via the staff app would do it. Or maybe it’s a few staff members’ direct reaction to the content of the video:

“I know that our people have tried their absolute best under very difficult circumstances.

I want you to know that we’re determined to fix it, to improve the experience for you, and to support our people better. We want to get back to being the national carrier that Australians can be proud of. That’s known for going above and beyond.

We understand we need to earn your trust back, not with what we say, but with what we do and how we behave.”

Boarding QF 477
Qantas domestic flight, economy cabin [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

I’m hoping that this is demonstrating some green shoots back to pre-COVID service, or even an improvement on that. I respect some of the facebook commenters cynicism about it, but I am hopeful.

Most Qantas staff members focus on providing customers the best possible service. Only a few of either sex are ‘mean girls‘.

I’m on a few Qantas flights soon so I’ll report back any similar experiences to the facebook poster above.

In the meantime, treat your airline staff well. Thank them for looking after you as you disembark.

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