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Qantas Staff Travel

Old 6th Aug 2009, 12:29
  #121 (permalink)  
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I’ve been biting my tongue on this one . . . but if you owned the airline do you think you would derive more future benefit from upgrading a fare paying passenger and delighting them to the point they automatically come back next time they are going to travel (and tell all their mates about it) OR upgrade staff and extended family who already travelling on a heavily subsidised ticket?

And further, another argument I saw a little while ago was ‘we are only using unused seats’. Not true! Are you aware that most customers actually value not having anyone next to them? The presence of someone (staff and extended family included) devalues the offering for the full fare paying punter, especially those who pay premium fares. Sure they could pay for two tickets . . . or maybe they too would be willing the pay ‘staff rates’ to keep the seat free?

But I am not going to get anywhere this . . . subsidised staff and extended family travel benefits are clearly a negotiated and accepted practice (and cost) of ‘full service’ airlines and nothing will change anytime soon. I know many members of the community would love to have a similar scheme and I genuinely wish everyone well in maintaining these fringe benefits because they are amazing – so long as there are enough customers willing to subsidise them!

Best to all


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Old 6th Aug 2009, 14:54
  #122 (permalink)  
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Does anyone know what dates are best (around may/june/july) to travel to london and back on QF in terms of loads?
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 19:11
  #123 (permalink)  
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Since it's August i think you missed the boat mate!

If you mean in general then the best way to get to LHR on staff travel over those months would be to buy a full fare ticket!

Unless you have a good priority then its a struggle but prob BKK (QF1/2) is your best of a very bad bunch.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 23:55
  #124 (permalink)  
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It's very obvious you have no idea about airline operations or the associated economics.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 23:59
  #125 (permalink)  
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They are all tough periods outbound due to the summer season. For years I have successfully travelled to Europe via Japan. Out of Narita there are 5 departures within 5 hours (Virgin, Japan Airlines, Air Nippon and BA) - all 744's and 345, all with plenty of capacity. This might be a longer journey then via SIN/BKK etc, but you always get to LON without issues, and on occasion, BA has upgraded staff ex NRT to LON in WTP.

SIN/BKK are the premium routes for QF/BA so they are always the toughest. I would rate HKG to LON as number 1 if you are choosing to go via this region. The only bonus ex SIN is you can go to FRA/CDG/HKG/LON on QF/BA/AF/CX to get to LHR, but you are also competing with a great deal more staff and commercials (and our favourite - freight).
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 01:57
  #126 (permalink)  
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Hi Jet-A-One

Thanks for your response.

And you are quite correct in pointing out that there are many more who know a lot more about ‘airline operations’ and the ‘associated economics’ than me.

But may I ask what is ‘operationally or economically’ sound about upgrading already heavily subsidised staff and extended family tickets instead of offering those seats to full fare paying customers? Are the customers not the ones who are paying for the subsidised seats in the first place?

Please correct me if I am wrong . . . on any grounds.


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Old 7th Aug 2009, 02:03
  #127 (permalink)  
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wind up alert
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 02:51
  #128 (permalink)  
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I thought it a fair question. Let's hear the response.

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Old 7th Aug 2009, 02:54
  #129 (permalink)  
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Yes. Me too actually. Surely the paying customers deserve some consideration.
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 03:04
  #130 (permalink)  
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The paying customers do get their upgrades ahead of staff IF they are eligible.
As a paying customer, I would not be too happy if I had paid for an upgrade wth points or cash and then had another paying customer sitting next to me that was upgraded for no reason other than to fill a spare seat.
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 03:17
  #131 (permalink)  
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Hi Pedota,

I can't deny that staff travel is a benefit. But I can assure you it is not all it's cracked up to be by those that don't understand it.

Staff travel is "space available". Meaning, if there isn't a seat available you wait for the next flight which may be anything between a half hour to a week later. This means that trips usually can't be planned until the day before travel in order to pick a flight with spare seats. Even then you may pick a flight with 20 spare seats only to find out 15 minutes before departure that, due to additional freight, you miss out.

Staff travelers also pay, on top of all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges, a percentage of the FULL FARE which is usually significantly higher than the DISCOUNTED FARE that most punters pay these days. DOUBLE this if you want an upgrade... subject to availability. This is allot more than nothing, which is what the airline gets if they upgrade pax.

As for the economics. Have a think about this. If you were driving from Sydney to Perth in 50 seat bus with 49 people on board how much more do you think it would cost you to carry that extra passenger? By the way you only have to feed him if there's something left after everyone else has been served.

If it makes economic sense to you to leave seats empty for the the comfort of commercial pax, as you suggest, then I want some of what your smoking...

Where you get the idea that commercial pax "subsidise" staff travelers is beyond me...

regards, JA1
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 03:20
  #132 (permalink)  
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Bank workers get cheaper mortgages,
KFC worker get cheap chicken,
Many airline employees earn less than they would outside but do it for the airfares. [esp those with family both here and OS.]
Remember the staff are always on standby for whatever seats are left!
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 04:05
  #133 (permalink)  
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Hi Pedota

Firstly,I guess your comments around full fare paying customers 'valuing spare seats next to them' is correct,however they have only paid for one seat,and any customer who is disapointed that the seat next to them is occupied (whether it be by a staff traveller or anyone else) is out of touch with their expectations of exactly what they have paid for.Unless the flight is full,any customer can pay for a spare seat next to them if that is what they would like to expect.And that's not being rude,it's just reality.

Secondly,full fare customers do not in any way subsidise staff travellers,the staff traveller is indeed paying to sit in an empty seat,and if that seat is not empty they simply do not get on.Staff also have to pay to have an upgradeable ticket,and cannot get upgraded unless they pay the additional fare.Also you have to do 7 years service with QF to be able to pay for the upgrade and only pilots and executive managment can pay for a first class upgrade (i think,i know I certainly cant!).

Thirdly,from a business point of view I would suggest that having loyal staff (through incentives such as decent staff travel schemes) in turn increases the satisfaction (and loyalty) of customers.If I owned a business which was in the service industry,I would want my staff as happy and engaged as practical (within reason),as I know this has a positive flow on effect to the service levels the customers receive.Just as having disengaged staff has a negative effect on the service levels customers receive.Although yes QF staff do get cheaper airfares for empty seats I think the original message here was that as some other airlines staff appear to get a 'better' staff travel system and the employee engagement could be increased at QF by matching what their industry peers receive,at minimal cost to the business.

Finally,also from a business point of view upgrading 'Aunt Doris on her way to see the homeland before she drops of the rock' ahead of staff would
a) not have any economic impact to the business and
b) create a possibly undeliverable expectation for next time Aunt Doris (or those she has spoken to) flies
c) would negate the above positive impact for staff engagement in point 3.
Upgrading commercially important customers such as top level frequent flyers can have a positive impact to the business which is why QF already does this on a regular basis.

It is a small industry,and having friends who work for other airlines I see that at QF the staff travel system does not seem as good as some of my friends get.

We are constantly told through memos that QF wants to be the worlds best airline.Why not have the worlds best staff travel service to go with it?
It would do wonders for staff engagement,which is badly needed at the moment.
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 05:48
  #134 (permalink)  
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KrispyKreme and T-Vasis - Thank you very much for the info. I have read the online information but I just didn't want to get caught out so again thanks.

Ken Borough and Ditch Handle - I don't make many posts on here but when I do I am asking genuine questions or making genuine comments. I don't sit on here slagging other people. I haven't just lucked into this job either. I payed for my own licence and I have been through crap so don't assume I am a pretentious impatient brat. I am thankful to have a job at this time of the industry and I am even more thankful for the benefits that we get. I was merely referring to the fact that Mainline second officers (I believe) get international upgrades and 18 year old sons and daughters of captains get upgrades even when they are not employees but I as a Qlink FO don't get it.


Old 7th Aug 2009, 06:52
  #135 (permalink)  
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But may I ask what is ‘operationally or economically’ sound about upgrading already heavily subsidised staff and extended family tickets instead of offering those seats to full fare paying customers?
Ummm, because it negates the requirement for the full fare paying customer to actually fully pay for the product. You heard about the "yield" probems with airlines at the moment? You don't think some customers have cottoned on to the fact that they can presently buy a $1000 fare to LAX, and they'll get upgraded anyway?

You've never heard of "overbooking". Where do you think economy class oversales go when there are seats left up front? That's right, we put staff into business class and leave the regular customers behind...

Wind up alert indeed.
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Old 8th Aug 2009, 00:10
  #136 (permalink)  

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....and only pilots.... can pay for a first class upgrade
Within the pilot ranks it's only captains that can get the first class upgrade. F/Os and S/Os are restricted to J class upgrades.
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Old 8th Aug 2009, 23:01
  #137 (permalink)  
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and that only applies to Mainline Captains....
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Old 9th Aug 2009, 01:22
  #138 (permalink)  
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"I suffered for my $250K p.a - now it's your turn!"

Maloo, your point is 100% relevant. gets easier when you take staff travel for what it is - a totally inequitable, illogical system that arrogantly abuses all but those at the top of the seniority pecking order.

It's not even a commercially sound concept in terms of caash flow in that you can book and pay for your ticket at the first opportunity only to be gazumped by someone who decided to go at the last minute.

As for the sometimes snotty upthemselves 19 year old son/daughter Y gen travelling unaccompanied & geting the first seat while people who actually do the work are shoved elsewhere down the back - oh that's if they can get on at all..........grrrrrrrrrrrr.........

I do feel for the cabin crew though I think a lot of them are ripped off more the F/O's & S/O's - especially the newer ones that work their backsides off for next to nothing and they can't even experience their own product - jeeez even the clean up staff in Gordon Ramsey's & Neil Perry's Kitchens get to experience their own offering.

I was told the other week that some of the CC had to pax to LAX in the rear middle seat of a chokkas economy cabin, then only have reduced rest and then work the return sector.

That's a hard gig in itself, but I was amazed to be told that while these CC suffered, up in first was the princess y gen daughter of one of our senior collegues who (according to the CC) was a total demanding bitch dropping daddy's name and very senior status at every opportunity... ....... that's the system - hardly the model of equity and care.

Personally, staff travel causes more grief and division than it's worth. It's pending overhaul cannot come soon enough.


cue: outrage responses from the precious few
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Old 9th Aug 2009, 01:52
  #139 (permalink)  
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If you think staff travel is tough as an "employee", try it as a "retiree".
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Old 9th Aug 2009, 06:57
  #140 (permalink)  
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Doesn't it give one the sh$ts Capt Cynical, when you have been flogging the things around the sky for nigh on 49 years, to be told be some indifferent 21 yr old " yer well, yer might get on, but then............ a trip in my tinny looks more attractive every day.
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