Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Qantas keeps telling itself that it has online figured out

Couple of announcements from and about Qantas renewed my thinking and ranting about their online plans:
  • This week they announced that they will be launching web check-in. I love web check-in, it gives you thirty more minutes for domestic flights allowing you to get to the airport 20 minutes before departure. How Web 2.0 of Qantas. Another example of Qantas ahead of the game? Nope. This is 367 days after Virgin Blue launched theirs;
  • World Airline Entertainment Association awarded Qantas the award for "Best Entertainment for Inseat Systems". Another piece of valuable recognition for Qantas' technology lead? Nope. This has to be an at best random, at worst corrupt, award as there are a string of leading carriers with Video on Demand, Audio on Demand and Nintendo 16bit games in economy that work. All of which kick the arse of Qantas' fixed movie roll that starts 1hour after take off, forcing you to watch not only the legal disclaimer DVT video but also a channel nine news update that is a day out of date. Even if Qantas' VOD system worked it would be second rate compared to Singapore, Cathay, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates. SMH travel blog is filled with a disbelieving public aghast at Qantas receiving this award; and
  • Qantas Travel has closed six travel shops across Australia in response to the shift in business to online. Should mean they have their holiday business under control and shifted online? Nope - as per my earlier experience
I have been a top tier Qantas frequent flyer for five years in a row and will likely be for the next five - which should mean that I love them. Nope.


Anonymous said...

But will you continue to fly them because your a slave to the point mentality.

Would you prefer to fly cheeper for No points even though your company is paying for airfares ?

Tim Hughes said...

Points are only a minor factor - on most routings I have no choice. Half of my travel is the US. On that route I only have United and Qantas to choose between with Qantas clearly the better product between the two. On the European route the anti-competitve Joint Services Agreement between BA and Qantas on the Kangaroo route (allowing them to share timetables and flights ) has killed off all other European competition on that route. Austrian are the last of the Euro carriers left flying to Europe from Australia and they are closing down early next year. If Singapore or Emirates were allowed to fly AU to US direct then they would gain my business I would lose my QF platinum status by the end of the following year. I would shift in a second if the routings were available.

Anonymous said...

You guys need to think outside the box.

tell your boss to buy a stake in a TA.

Get yourself an little IATA card and Hello AD90's

Paul said...

ummm...buying a stake in a TA? I think that would be thinking inside the box. But then again travel.com.au is technically a travel agent (and 20% owned by Tim's Co. anyhow).

Tim Hughes said...

Would love regular access to insider industry deals. Miss the holiday drug magic that I enjoyed in previous roles. However in this case price is not the source of my rants against Qantas (and by extension to so-called pro business and trade Australian government). Of course I want cheaper flights but think that would come with true long haul competition (especially on the pacific route). I also think Qantas has an over-inflated view of its customer's loyalty and the quality of it's product because it's planes are full. They think the planes are full because the product is great and therefore are not matching competitors more innovative products or targeting serrvice as much. I think the planes are full because the economy is booming and travellers like me have very little if any choice but to "call Australia home"

Anonymous said...

Qantas Holidays, has been hammered by for failing to anticipate and meet their online needs.

Its profit before tax slumped 30%
“This result was driven by lower air travel customers, particularly in the domestic market, where the continued unbundling of product offerings accrued through the increased use of online booking,” the company said in a face saving statement.

Booking the parts seperatly is far cheeper than anything these guys can put together, and the customers didnt take long to work that one out did they!!!!!

Clearly, Qantas Holidays has missed the boat and now Jet* is going its own way by getting its own Hotel and car agreements, the revenue from QH will continue south of Tassie.

VirginBlue has a DP holiday offering, A grab and steal from the folks at Ezrez.

Lets see how they stack up over next few months.

Anonymous said...

Being a recent SQ convert i agree that QF has its head up its taste buds.

But it is still leaps ahead of its American Granny flights to the USA.

Then again I'm more partial to a nice lady porring my Champaign rather than Grant from the Gym on oxrofd Street.

Tim Hughes said...

especially when Grant is pissed off that QF have increased his hours, fired half his friends and got rid of trips to Rome and Paris

Anonymous said...

Yiah....Dat is what im talking about SISTER

Anonymous said...

RE Pauls commenting......

Everybody makes a mistake, even if its a 20% mistake