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Bah! Humbug!

Well, its that time of year again. 2PAXfly will take a couple of days break, to recover from the various challenges of the season, including the mince pie endurance test, the Stoli Boli re-hydration challenge, and the ham-of-the-ham playoff. I’m off to Adelaide, to connect with family members, and then up the coast to Byron Bay for  New Year. Qantas will be my carrier of choice to Adelaide, and Virgin Australia up to Balina/Byron. Don’t expect trip reports unless something noteworthy and egregious occurs. I don’t know what 2018 holds for me, except a trip to Myanmar on Emirates,...

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So – what does all this Qantas Profit really mean?

Two or Three years ago, I and many others from Senator Nick Xenophon through to ex Qantas boss Geoff Dixon were bagging the performance of Alan Joyce. Damn it, they even had a plan to take over and oust him. Joyce had his workforce including flight attendants, maintenance engineers, baggage handlers and pilots all gunning for him when he played hardball on wages, conditions, and even shut the whole airline down for a few days. The Qantas service suffered. Disgruntled flight attendants have little motivation to provide good service. Customers fled to a revitalised competitor over at Virgin. They upgraded their product, while Qantas gave economy passengers cardboard snacks served in cardboard. Service and route contractionQantas reduced its international services dramatically – some routes disappearing while others were ‘handed’ to Emirates, or their low service offshoot Jetstar. In the meantime – Virgin successfully transfored from low service opperator, and poached some Qantas business customers as well. Both airlines lost a lot of money. Qantas by providing two new domestic services for each one of Virgin’s, and Virgin by expanding rapidly, investing in lounges, upgraded product, and I suspect staff training. In fact at one stage, Virgin’s international service to the USA in business class beat Qantas hands down. All this while – the benifits flowed through to the consumer. Fare prices plumetted due to competition, and choice improved. On...

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Qantas in Profit, dividend for shareholders, and 787 orders confirmed

Qantas announces $975million profit for the year, in contrast to a $646million loss the year before.It is also promising a dividend of 23¢ per share – the first time it has paid out since 2009, when it parted with 6¢ a share. It has also confirmed the purchase of 8 x 787-9 Dreamliners for delivery in 2017 – a decision that was rumoured months ago. For a more extensive summary go to SMH or...

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Sydney Airport buys Terminal 3 from itself?

Sydney Airport, Terminals 1, 2 and 3 – Image: Sydney Airports Terminal 3 in Sydney is where Qantas runs its domestic flights from. It leases it from Sydney Airport Authority, who have just bought out the lease: Sydney Airport will gain control of the retail operations at the airport’s Terminal 3 and move to co-locate domestic and international operations there over the longer term after agreeing the $535 million purchase of the terminal’s lease from Qantas Airways. The lease was due to expire anyway in 2019 – so this just lets them have hold of it earlier for a know price, while it gives Qantas some certainty through until 2025. The Sydney Airport Masterplan intends to co-locate domestic and international flights within the Terminal. Sydney Airport say they arn’t going to make many changes except maybe to the retail and food and beverage. I think that is code for goodbye to the openness of the ticketing hall, and expect it to be consumed by shops, making the space as unappealing as terminal 1 and 2 are. More in the SMH and...

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Falling back in love with Hyatt

I’ve always known I was emotionally cheap, but this surprised even me. A points upgrade, and a positive experience with a phone consultant always wins the day. Thanks Emma (consultant on the Hyatt GoldPassport booking line). Grand Hyatt or Sofitel Melbourne?I’m off to Melbourne from Sydney in September for 3 days. I have been tossing up whether to stay at the Sofitel, or the Grand Hyatt. I’ve stayed at both before, and probably prefer the Hyatt overall, although the Sofitel does have some spectacular suites that the upgrade gods have sometimes bestowed on me. I used to be totally loyal to Hyatt until they devalued their points (making therm worth a third their previous value for upgrades) and never seemed to have points upgrade room availability. Last time at the Sofitel, we were allocated a standard room on a low floor, and a bit of lack of service (no promised turn-down service, and a refused one hour late checkout). They asked for feedback, so they got it. I just wanted to point out how much it contrasted with the amazing treatment I had received before – including several free upgrades – one to a vast diplomatic suite. Suite I was upgraded to at the Sofitel Melbourne Its always worth communicating these things to management. They have promised to ‘make things right’ for me next time. Points and Upgrades and...

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