The BOOT rating for
Getting on Board
|Madame BOOT had the additional bonus of a Gold membership to help with lounge access. Qantas' business class lounge is well stocked, large and comfortable. It gets a little crowded in nearly abandoned Heathrow Terminal 4 but Sydney and Singapore are a real oasis. As to boarding itself there is a dedicated queue for premium economy which filters straight upstairs for a simple and easy boarding process. A drink is offered immediately and cabin crew where available for help.|
"Good but not incredible" was Madame's initial response. The recline is nowhere even in the realm of business class but does allow for sleeping. Unfortunately the foot rest was in the wrong position and at the wrong angle for Madame meaning that her feet were left dangling. This made it hard for her to find a comfortable position for her height. The space between the rows was noticeably greater than economy with "no sardine feeling". But the exit row seat for her return from London to Sydney came with a cost. The exit row extends across the cabin and gives more room to the middle section of seats but this is then used by passengers and (most appalling) staff as a thoroughfare. Means that her relaxation was constantly and regularly interrupted by staff members looking for a short cut from one aisle to the other. Thankfully the VOD screens come out of the arm rest rather than seat in front so the regular herd like movements of wandering crew did not interrupt viewing. The interruption by staff reduced the score here form a 1.0 to a 0.5. The staff culture having a negative impact on the quality of the seat.
More and more this becomes Qantas' weak point. It is provided to their schedule not the passengers'. Here are some examples. My wife woke at one point and asked for food outside a meal service (as encouraged by the menu). She was offered a sandwich but then made to wait over 30 minutes so they could bring it along with the next cabin service and therefore not interrupt their routine. On the way to London (not the A380) for a meal Madame was offered "lamb or fish". She asked for "fish", was provided with "lamb" and after a quizzical glance was told by the crew to "eat the lamb and ask for the fish if still hungry later". On the return flight Madame was very unwell and needed to use the bathroom. She stood and tried to give her tray to a crew member to allow her to get to the bathroom quickly. The crew member refused to accept the tray as he was busy. Not good enough Qantas. The training centre is not paying off.
"Unremarkable" but closer to business class than economy.
|Thankfully all of the glitches in the Qantas VOD system have been fixed. There is plenty to choose from. Madame commented particularly on the great selection of non-movie entertainment such as Louis Theroux docu-comedies. She particularly liked the dedicated "kids" button that allowed direct access to the children's entertainment.|
The BOOT factor
She loved the A380. Comments like "it is much quieter", "better air quality", "roomier", "space around you feels bigger". The plane makes a difference. Such as shame that the service culture takes away from this.
4.0 - Good Seat