View Full Version : AA Customer Feedback

26th Jan 2003, 05:50
This from the crikey.com website :


Our jetsetting Townsville subscriber Peter Caughley gives the thumbs down to the Qantas no-frills operation Australian Airlines:

"Hi Guys,

Just got back from Asia on Australia's newest cut-price international carrier, Australian Airlines - or as I prefer it, Asian Airlines.

Since Singapore Air and Qantas pulled out of the backdoor-to-Singapore route via Cairns, I thought I'd give the new guys a go. Stupid Idea. First off they are not cut price, at least not to Australians. $A1500+ odd to Singapore is hardly an economy flight, albeit high season. But my mate flew same dates Bangkok ex Brisbane on another airline for $A1300.

OK, so cut price it is. You get that impression fairly quickly after being herded into 5 year old Qantas domestic hangers where the lights don't work, the seats are near collapse and the movie is in Chinese with Japanese sub-titles.

Fine, now ask for a drink. Vodka perhaps, or gin maybe? Not to be - the only spirits they carry are Whisky or Bourbon. Why you ask?

'Oh, that's because this is an Asian Airline and Asians don't drink white spirits.' ( Don't know their research on this one, as my Chinese mate in Singo goes through thirty G&Ts in a morning session).

Queried further on this the instant reply is '...well this is a cut-price operation. Operating at 30% less than Qantas. ( A somewhat obvious observation !)'

Now I don't think that $1500+ odd is so cut price that you can't get a real drink - even Domestic Cardboard Box Qantas will give you a Vodka Tonic, for a price.

They did say that I could have a beer. But as every Mexican knows, us Queenslanders can't drink beer that hasn't been quality assured XXXX and would choke on any of those strange Southern brews.

Well, try the wine? Don't. Even Pizza Hut wouldn't dare serve these as their house brands.

Food? Well not quite A la Qantas Cardboard Box, but as the guy across
the aisle said, 'They must get their meals supplied by Madame Wong's Geylang Hawker Market Airline Catering Division.' (But to keep Qantas Frequent Flyers feeling at home they serve your coffee in cardboard pop-corn cups.)

All up, how to rate the whole new enterprise? Well first, to be fair,
The nice purser who they sent to try and placate me on the way up said: 'We have only been in the air for a very short time and we have a few
teething problems. There will be vodka on the return flight.' ( Not true, I
brought my own. BYO Airlines ?)

All in all - they may get some Euro-trash Backpackers in at first but
Even they expect a modicum of service. My prediction? This airline will
not be flying in six months.

Must say though there was a nice touch announcement on landing in
Singapore, 'Thank you for flying ANSETT... I'm sorry, I mean Australian Airlines'. "

The only thing low cost about this outfit are the pilot & f/a wages.

26th Jan 2003, 06:40
"fartsock", heard AA going into Taipei in the wee hours the other day and the TPE controllers were far from impressed, but as the last line suggests YOU ONLY GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR :D

26th Jan 2003, 07:02
The Flight Attendant wages / conditions aren't actually that bad, IMO.... I have read the EBA and the allowances are quite generous. I have also been given quite good feedback about the pay and conditions by friends (ex AN people) that work there.

People should arm themselves with knowledge before saying such things...

I must agree with the movie/drink comments though. Even the placemat and cutlery laying. From what I have heard it is too much a change all at once, me thinks. Can I please note that the on board product is set by management and has nothing to do with how much or little an employee is paid!

Loose Connection ...
May I ask why one need to be paid s**t loads to be a "professional"? That's what your statement implies. The airline may choose to hire whomever it pleases. I resent the statement as I know personally some of their ex-AN cabin crew.... But they aren't professional are they? Please! I am getting really sick of such comments as "pay peanuts - get monkeys"! Objectively speaking, your comment may (used loosely) have held some truth in the past. Maybe?! I understand that a so called "true professional" is less likely to work for less money. Though with so many people out of aviation jobs at the moment I believe such statements no longer hold any truth. It is too simple a view and in my opinion only seen as true by equally simple people.

fartsock ...
Was that your statement about the only low cost thing being the pilot and fa wages??? What about the lack of amenities that this person also whinged about? I mean I thought that was the point of the article. Some people will find any reason to bag out someone's working environment. Some people have way too much time on their hands and should really grow up.

26th Jan 2003, 08:27
ditzyboy - I didn't suggest at anytime they were unprofessional as you suggest HOWEVER before venturing into the "real world" you would have thought these lads desparate for jobs would have done their homework after leaving the "closeted" existence that they have been living.
I heard them, their RT performance was abysmal and the TPE controllers were really "pissed" :o

26th Jan 2003, 10:34
Loose Connection,

the pilots are all from Qantas mainline.

Capt Fathom
26th Jan 2003, 10:49
The callsigns do appear to be a mouthfull...!!:o

26th Jan 2003, 11:25

No shot at the individuals who have taken the jobs - if you are out of work you do what you can.

My comment was directed at the AA management who are on the same bonus system that QF mainline is on. The MD, CP and Manager Commercial will be millionaires by the end of the three year contractual period. These bonuses are as a direct result of being able to reduce your ex AN friends conditions and nothin else

AA (QF by extension) is charging for a premium product but delivering ****.

A lot of quality flying has been taken from mainline to achieve this, and please don't give me that garbage about being cost competitive - the group will make $1 billion profit this FY.

Finally, the comments I posted where customer feedback - not my own opinion. Your dismissal of them is indicative of the typical QF F/A's attitude - you cannot be told and will not, under any circumstances, accept critisism.


26th Jan 2003, 23:33
I too thought the pilots were all from QF - so I can't understand the comments re dealing with the TPE controllers - Qf @ the sharp end is a very professional airline with recognised high standards, and heaps of Intl ops experience?

27th Jan 2003, 01:03
Looseconnection-You can't judge an airline or it's crew from one example.Seeing that;
1/Normal schedule is 1740 local TPE.You said they arrived in the early hours.
2/Two crew from CNS.
Chances are they were tired and operating below optimum!Give the guys a break and a chance!
P.S.I don't work for them.

27th Jan 2003, 03:44
Loose connection - how do you know the TPE controllers were less than impressed. Did you here the RT conversation(in the wee hours at 1730ish !),did you ask them ? You heard nothing.
Are you sure it wasn't the other way round ?
You seem like a disgruntled person who was upset that AA pilot positions were kept inhouse at QF and not offered to you.

27th Jan 2003, 04:20
fartsock -
Thanks for the reply... I was actually agreeing with the comments about the onboard product! I was simply stating that the FAs have no control over what type of bar is loaded or how they are told to run the service. For instance when Impulse started flying under the Link banner our service guidline said to offer lemon and ice with cold drinks. Our current guidlines clearly state "ice to be on request only. Lemon not availble...." We can only do what we are told to do with the equipment we are given. Anyways I am rambling now... I was agreeing with the points the customer made!!!

I also agree TOTALLY with your comment about charging same fares and delivering less... I know all about that!

Thanks :)

27th Jan 2003, 04:37
I'm afraid I agree with fartsock comments relating to customer service and management style at Qf or Ao (it's the same).
The f/a have to do with what they are provided with...
All is not well among cabin crew. Will a southern base ever eventuate ? I very much doubt it.

27th Jan 2003, 23:13
Fartsock - "The MD, CP and Manager Commercial will be millionaires by the end of the three year contractual period."

Well, the CEO is almost there if you read Qantas's latest annual report. According to that he collected salary of $460k, bonus of $345k and superannuation contributions of $27k to the yr ended June 2002. This totals $832k. Not bad biscuit for a low cost carrier and that was paid before Australian had a feather to fly with. It's hard to know about the others so Lord knows what this year will bring after having put the airline into the air. Goodness knows what the rest of the Second XI from QF are being paid. They must be doing pretty well. I think they are all from Qanas mainline and there have been some pomotions lately. It is logical to assume that they go with more bickies. Not bad for a low cost airline, eh? It is. For some. Screw the troops seems to be the object of the exercise:(

Home Brew
29th Jan 2003, 21:34
Wait, don't tell me, and no I don't believe in conspiracy theories. But it sounds like ALL airline management go to the same "how to screw staff and fill ya own pockets" school!!:rolleyes:

Alpha Charlie Bravo
30th Jan 2003, 22:31
Hmmmm, interesting!

Seems that there have been a lot of people just itching to put the boot into AO right from the start, or is the real beef more with QF?

Thing is DJ have been in the market offering a low cost operation for sometime now, yet every time I've had cause to book a flight somewhere I can find a comparable 'airfair', oops, I meant airfare with QF mainline.

So why give it to AO with both barrels whilst at the same time conveniently overlooking the exact same situation at DJ?

31st Jan 2003, 00:30
Alpha Charlie Bravo I think you have a short memory. QF never offered cheap airfares until the arrival of real competition in the shape of low cost carriers. They took over Impulse and emasculated it but unfortunately for them, and fortunately for the travelling public have been unable to get rid of VB. QF along with the old dinosaur AN, gouged and bled the travelling public to pay for their inflated infrastructure and wasteful practices. :*

31st Jan 2003, 08:55
"Low cost" is not a corollary of "low fares" or "cut price". Make no mistake about this. DJ is patently low cost, low fares. On the other hand, Australian makes no bones about being 'low cost' but 'full service'. Is it not impossible to offer full service and low fares?

Australian gets around this by being ostensibly 'low cost', but only for some of their people. Just ask the pilots (all ex QF mainline) if they have suffered any erosion of terms and conditions. The answer would be a resounding "NO", so who is being screwed relative to their counterparts in mainline? It can't be all smoke and mirrrors for this economic miracle. The world eventually catches up with anything not the genuine article. If the comments reported in Crikey.com.au at the start of this discussion are true, one has to ask if Australian will be with us for long?

Three Bars
31st Jan 2003, 21:27

Australian Airlines, whilst crewed by ex-mainline pilots, is operated under a completely different Award and some pilots (I'm sure) would argue that conditions HAVE been eroded relative to the mainline conditions. Also, wages have been comparitively reduced relative to the wages in QF mainline.

So what has happened with the initial intake of pilots, is that those who were junior in mainline, have accepted positions in Australian that gives them a RELATIVE payrise compared to what they would be making in mainline. They also do not have to endure the lot of a junior rotating pilot on the 767.

Australian Airlines was set up with a target of operating 30% cheaper than QF mainline. This has been achieved by comparitively reduced wages (pilots and new-hire cabin crew) and all-economy service.

In a way, I hope that the Australian experiment does not work, so that current QF management realise what good value their current workforce represents. For all the naysayers, I would say that the current value of the OZ dollar, and the productivity measures that have been given to QF over the last 10 years means that QF mainline aircrew (compared to their peers in equivalent airlines) are probably the most cost-effective workforce in the world.

Alpha Charlie Bravo
2nd Feb 2003, 00:49

Having grown up in Perth in the 70's & 80's has left me with a better idea than most of the anti competitive price gouging of the Australian public by the two established domestic incumbents at the time. It says a lot that it was cheaper by far at the time to go to Bali ex Perth than to visit friends and family on the east coast.

However, I digress, QF and AN have NEVER pretended to be anything other than what they are (were), full service airlines with a full service fare structure. DJ, on the other hand, have managed to get away with fooling the Australian public that they are still a low fare operation. Low cost does not mean low fare!

Further to this, the likes of Branson, Godfrey and Corrigan are making huge profits from the sweat of their less well paid staff, who they seem to have successfully distracted with some crap about going after the big boys and making the air fare.

AO - lower cost base, full service y/c
DJ - lowest cost base, no service circus

Eastwest Loco
3rd Feb 2003, 12:14
Alpha Charlie Bravo, and everyone else - there are many instances when QF is actually cheaper than DJ.

A lot of people sucked in to buy over the net fall for this little trap, and pay too much by booking DJ. The web aint always the right way - check with a travel professional as well, and many outlets can sell you the QF or DJ web based fare at the same price after checking all options.

The same applies to Hotel room - tours - everything.

Also I would like a dollar for every time someone comes into my office because their internet booking is "wrong" and they want to fix it. That and the people who are billed 3 times for the one trip because their server had a brain fart at the wrong time and delivered them 3 confirmed seats for each passenger with no recourse for refund.

I do question bottom line fares, excluding the throw-away midweek off-peak fares being so much cheaper.

Levels when EW was in existence were quite reasonable on TN and AN despite the small threat posed by EW via ports and small volume.

Best all


AViON calling!!
5th Feb 2003, 13:29

I understand the pax comments posted by you are not your personal views but please, where has the respect and support gone for new ventures. (I am a bit hippocritical cause I have no support for DJ), Never the less, I am honest and agree with a fair go.

Firstly, since when was American Airlines a new venture of Qantas?? I think the airline code you are looking for is AO, not AA.

Was very interested to read the comments of the passenger who made them and yes, they are probably valid, to that date.

I think what some people are so quick to do is bag anything new, especially here in Australia.

This gets to my point, Australian Airlines IS new. It is a new venture for Qantas, with new ideals, currently catering for a particular market, and currently flying to destinations Qantas chose not to fly to for economic reasons. So....

It is a brand new airline, what would you do? Obviously try to cut costs where other airlines have failed, right?

AO has been in operation for only over 3 months, I find it pretty damn hard to make a judgement on service and operational issues in that time frame. The service is designed on market reasearch (and we all know what a load of crock that is), but we have to go with that for the time being. Through time the service issues will be tailored to customer needs and demands, and that is what is happening now. All crew (yes techies included) are forwarding their input and if financially viable, will be condered.

Yes there have been complaints but isn't there with any airline? What has been failed to mentioned is the compliments. Tour leaders are praising our service.

OK a few points mentioned.......

CUT PRICE...... AO never promoted themselves as a cut priced airline, but low cost and full service. (It was the media who did that).

MOVIES.....If the passenger Fartsock is writing about stopped complaining and looked in their seat pocket they would find a guide to the entertainment system and would have found instructions on how to push that little channel button in their seat to change between English, Japanese and Mandarin audio. Doesn't take a novice flyer much to do that.

SPIRITS......Again, this is a new carrier trying to lower costs. Half of their routes are to Japan, with 99% Japanese tour groups. In my whole career of flying to Japan I have never served a G&T or Vodka on a Japan flight. Yes, the other destinations do warrant the supply of this and that has been taken into consideration, and yes, these will become available asap, with bar snacks.

XXXX BEER........ Well, yes I do drink it but if you were a company, wouldn't you go with the one who gave you the best deal? Fosters and VB are very identifiable and are the most asked for beers. In my whole career I know I have only been asked for a XXXX once!!!

FOOD......Well the quality wasn't that good but it has changed and is a lot better now due to feedback.

PURSER...... I noted your comments regarding the purser saying we are going through teething problems. Well we are, what do you expect?? A new airline has to take the good and the bad and work with it. You cannot win every customer in a start up operation. All we can do is the best to our ability at the time and solve problems as they come by.

Personally if my previous company operated with such strict financial guidlines a lot of us might still be there.

PILOT & FA WAGES.......Well, as an FA I find the money very acceptable and hours extremely favourable. We are treated "fairly" and have absolutely no reason to complain. Duty hours are much better than before, and although I am not earning as much as I did previously I am just so happy to be here. I am flying again.

Please wish us luck instead of the bagging we are getting. We are great people.

Lastly, the Tech Crew who are with us are just fantastic. They are having a great time and we are having a great time with them. Everyone is equal outside of work, we are all crew, very refreshing indeed. Ask the Pilots who were here for the 6 weeks, they loved it!! Great crew atmosphere and everyone is friends, none of that "them and us".

6th Feb 2003, 04:01

if you have grown up in Perth you would know that the entry of DJ into the Perth market has led to lower airfares than ever, indeed right around the country. The only reason QF offers prices that are as cheap as DJ's over the internet is that they have to, they have been forced to lower their fares and that was as a direct result of impulse and dj's entry to the market in 2000.

My sister recently purchased a dj ticket to syd from perth for $198 return, this was in a 24 hour sale over the internet admittedly, but if this isn't low fare then what is????

go back to post ansett but pre virgin, when only qf was serving perth for a few short months, remember all the whinging that perth was under a "qf monopoly" and badly needed some competition, it arrived in the form of virgin, and with it came lower fares offered by both airlines.

qf may match and even offer cheaper fares in some instances than virgin, but it had to start doing this to combat what will be a force in australian aviation for some time to come.

as for australian, they never intended to be a low fare airline, that is correct you wait, when virgin kick-off internationally you can bet your bottom dollar that AO''s fares will be reduced to match that of virgin's and new routes introduced to take over existing qf intl services...

6th Feb 2003, 04:11
From the customer feedback perspective I had positive feedback from a couple who travelled Cairns to Hongkong in mid-January and from my son who travelled the same route with BA connection to Heathrow. The frequent flying couple felt they were as well looked after as they might have expected in economy class with almost any other airline and they will use AA again. My son put AA well above BA in terms of service level, and as a reasonably frequent flyer will also use them again. None of them gave a stuff about crew wages as they figured they were really flying with QF crew anyway. No complaints about the food, can't comment on the booze.
An open mind and no s**t on the liver can make a big difference to anything.

6th Feb 2003, 04:15

Never a truer word spoken. If VB (or another low cost / airfare carrier) had not been successful, QF and AN would both probably still be gouging the public. AO is only flying to try and preempt VB or some other low cost carrier getting into the overseas market.

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
7th Feb 2003, 23:07
I hope their first LOAS is better than QF's last!!:rolleyes:

8th Feb 2003, 02:54
I think you meant LOSA Col and AO wasn't even up and going when the first audit was completed. Considering the history of the techies (some of whom WERE audited as part of the QF group), I'd be suprised if the University of Texas would go near them in the next three or so years anyway due to the 'recency' issue.

That said, they are 767 drivers and whilst LOSA raised some interesting issues, the 767 certainly faired better than the other fleets audited.

Alpha Charlie Bravo
8th Feb 2003, 21:34

yep, some valid points, you're right and you're wrong. As a former lecturer once said to me....RTFQ, lad, RTFQ (Read The F#*@ing Question). You miss my point.


cabin secure
9th Feb 2003, 05:32
Great post! Gets the thumbs up from me.
Couldn't be happier.
AO great to work for.
Great people. ;)

9th Feb 2003, 06:49
As a Pilot with AO I'd like to add my voice to the swelling ranks of Pilots, FA's, Engineers etc etc who are having a ball up here in CNS. Great bunch of people to work with..... friendships made every trip..... a CEO who you can call by his first name.......a Chief Pilot who leads from the front...... no complaints here :D

9th Feb 2003, 08:15
And ,Cloudbuster, I hear a Cab Crew Manager who is right on top of what's happening. Nothing but good reporrts about him and his management style!

9th Feb 2003, 10:05
Thats great cloudbuster, but meanwhile the rest of us still in mainline are eating $hit while you blokes scab our flying and futures away from us

9th Feb 2003, 19:01
That's not a very nice thing to say fartsock. I would imagine that your colleagues flying for AO would be interested in knowing if you have the courage to identify yourself so that they could discuss your views with you. If I was a betting man, I would put everything I have that you are the weasily type who is much more comfortable hiding behind your anonymity. Am I correct?

This type of communication problem can sometimes be traced back to childhood. There are books you can read to sort out this problem, or perhaps you should seek professional help.....

It's a great airline to work for, fartsock. Perhaps if you came up to Cairns, you wouldn't be so miserable.

9th Feb 2003, 19:48
My statements may not be nice, but they are true.

The vast majority of your flying has been transferred from mainline.

And don't give me that rubbish about route profitability - according to the former manager of Fukuoka (now at Nrt) we were always profitable to that port.

When mainline pulled out it was because the company judged it could use the capacity to greater effect domestically. If we had owned more a/c at the time, the destination would have continued to be serviced.

The chief pilots and CEO's bonuses may be leading from the front. And that is coming at the expense of the condtions you gave up to move to Cns.

I understand (very well) that if you are junior it is a relative payrise. But you are not junior forever - and the flying lost to mainline has hurt those who have just been trying to play the game by the rules.

The QF group is not on the bones of its ar$e. In fact it is making money hand over fist - and was doing so before AO was set up. A key point of the AO plan was to divide and conquer the pilot group.

With the aid of a compliant AIPA this has been achieved.

Finally, if you are going to take personal shots - a least make them worthwhile.



Capt Coconut
10th Feb 2003, 00:47
Fart, your so far from reality its scarey.
There were two choices when QF started AO, either Qantas pilots flew or not.The fact that AIPA negotiated a reasonable deal with QF and Aipa pilots flying the a/c is are far better out come than the alternative.The flying may have been removed from mainline but you still have promotional opportunities.The contract although not as good is similar and works well in the present situation.We can negotiate at future EBA if any problems arise as can pay be negotiated same as you.
You consider the alternatives if Aipa weren't able to come to some aggrement,it would have been an enormous deterioration in pay and conditions ongoing with lack of Aipa coverage.
Finally if your prepared to call me a scab for accepting a position endorsed by Aipa say it too my face and stop hiding in this forum.I suspect you wouldn't be game.


10th Feb 2003, 01:42
Thats great cloudbuster, but meanwhile the rest of us still in mainline are eating $hit while you blokes scab our flying and futures away from us


I am a fully paid up AIPA member on contract here working under conditions negotiated by my Union. End of story.

Keep your miserable bleating south of the border:p

ps "have a nice day:D "

10th Feb 2003, 04:11
Fart your comments are way outa line. As a fully paid up aipa member AND Mainline driver my view is that the Oz Air situation was the best result that could have been achieved. Any tougher union stand and we would have been ******ed(i dont work on the association)everyone knows that.I assure you that you dont speak for me and your "scab" comments brings home the reality that some, if only a very few, of my mainline work collegues still rise from the gutter in the mornings.

cabin secure
10th Feb 2003, 08:02
You need to get a life sweetie!
And ease up on the bitter and twisted(ness)
Have a nice day!
Yours truly
The happy AO crews!!:p

P.S. If you can't beat 'em
you can always join them!

11th Feb 2003, 00:04

My question related to whether you have the courage to identify yourself to your AO colleagues.

Are you willing to answer that question?

As I said, I believe that you don't have the courage, though I hope that you do. If you do, I will give you my mobile phone number. We can then discuss this like adults, instead of behind this childish veil of anonymity which allows people like yourself to say things which are hurtful without giving those whom you have offended any real hope of engaging in mature discussion.

11th Feb 2003, 08:41
FBS, you are a complete naive and absolute twit!! ;)

11th Feb 2003, 12:14
Let's get back to the thread topic shall we or it will be closed. :(