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Qantas and public perception

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Qantas and public perception

Old 14th Sep 2008, 14:13
  #1 (permalink)  
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Qantas and public perception

Just had an interesting talk 10 mins ago with a lady at the local servo. She said she wont fly Qantas anyomore with specific reference to overseas maintenance.

Ok, it was just one person, but the problem is, while we in the industry know all about the problems and the technical stuff etc, and know that QF aircraft are still safe, if not to the same standard as the past. But........when lay people start taking notice, and it does come up in social circles, you DO have a problem. remember perception is 90% of the law. Afterall, image is golden in business.

It would seem that Alan Joyce has his work cut out, firstly to fix the problems then to reassure the public.

Anecdotal evidence shows that the public believe Qantas was the safest airline in the world ..........until recently. Thats what QF leadership is up against.

Just thought I;d share it.
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Old 14th Sep 2008, 22:40
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Did you mention to her that every other international airline also get their maintenance done overseas i.e. outside Australia
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Old 14th Sep 2008, 22:52
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An old friend of mine from uni told me the other day he had changed his tickets for work travel to Air NZ because he thinks it's safer. I was surprised as he is a civil engineer and a pretty relaxed sort of guy, I thought he would have paid little attention to the newspapers but apparently not. That is what Qantas is up against, average jo off the street, intelligent and reasonable, is choosing to fly other carriers due to the perception that Qantas is not safe.
I just said "fair enough" because I couldn't be bothered explaining my opinion to him. The extent of the problem did surprise me though.
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Old 14th Sep 2008, 22:56
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B Bandit
And that is exactly the problem.
In the past Qantas was seen as a cut above the rest because they had Australian maintenance.Some of that kudos was probably as a result of the large maint. establishment of the day. In Sydney at least, most people knew a lot of the employees.Now everyone in Sydney knows someone who is ex Qantas Engineering

Now Qantas is seen as no different to the rest so the pax go for the cheapest. Just like the fact that no one pays a premium for Chinese articles, the potential pax sees no reason to pay a premium for what they perceive is a downmarket product. It is a hard argument to counter when the customers continue to experience poor service and failures. In my case as a former shareholder and a former long serving empoyee, I will no longer fly internationally with them unless I have no choice. Being dumped in LAX and lied to about the problem on my way to JFK and told to go see American and sort it out myself, was the last straw. And before someone mentions Staff Travel, I was on a full fare.


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Old 14th Sep 2008, 23:12
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Did you mention to her that every other international airline also get their maintenance done overseas i.e. outside Australia
That's the problem, in the end, it's perception. It doesn't really matter what the facts are. People are 99% informed through the media and will believe anything they are told. I'm sure everyone as tech crew here gets asked much more recently by friends and family members "what's going on with Qantas?" purely because of the increase in stories in the news about Qantas' safety/maintenance etc.

The reporter assigned to a story will report things to give their 2min slot the biggest oompf and then every other news team will jump on the bandwagon depending on how much hype the story generates. If you think about it, we're all victims of the media. How much of your day to day current events information (sport, weather, politics etc) do you hear from the tv, radio or internet and then talk to your friends about it?

People who know nothing about aviation are unlikely to question what they are told and whether it is any different to any other airline. Just the same as if we're told that a product or company is dodgy on ACA or Today Tonight. Do we really go out and do our own research after the story has aired to see if we're going to use that product again? If the public is told that Qantas is now unsafe, then unfortunately that perception then becomes the reality for most.
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Old 14th Sep 2008, 23:17
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I believe that Mr & Mrs 'Joe average whom once chose to fly QF 'cause of their safety record & being Ozzy owned had any idea how why when or where maint was doe on QF's A/C, any A/C for that matter but in recent times such issues (maint) have become more known to the general public thru bad publicity & obvioulsy some dubious maint practices all involving QF's A/C & hence they are starting to take notice.
You hop on board a public bus or train somewhere in the world nobody knows who looks after it maint wise nobody even gives it a second thought but am sure they would if they started to crash & it came out that 'maybe' such events where due maint issues.
Like all forms of transport humans travel in them time & time again 'till something happens like a crash. Then they might re-asses it all and after time we all forget enough to continue on our merry way!

For now though QF are in the fore front of the traveling publics mind re safety issues & will judge how they travel next time based on what they know from the only source they have, the at times useless media!.
It's all about choice, something that once upon a time in OZ we had little of!
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Old 14th Sep 2008, 23:46
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Booooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring Get over it NEXT

A deadbeat at the servo reckons blah blah blah Remember no one else in the world can maintain an a/c better than Ozzies.
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 00:01
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LAMEs had a pyrrhic victory in securing their pay rise. Their widely publicised opinions about Qantas overseas maintenance has driven the customers away.
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 00:18
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Tune Dog,

How on earth can you call the lady at the servo a deadbeat ???- She may well own it or be filling up the BMW on the way to picking her children up from the local private school. She may even own the local servo.

Fact is that it is these "deadbeats" who buy airline tickets in a very competitive market. If the PERCEPTION is that Q.F are no longer as safe as they were and these "deadbeats" stop using Q.F. then many Q.F staff may well find themselves behind the counter of the local servo themselves.

The safety factor has been a huge commercial winner for Q.F and now that factor is losing it's pulling power. This is a huge challenge for the incoming Q.F management.
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 00:44
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I think there is still a belief that QF have very high standards of crew training and experience shows that when the layers of protection peel away, its downto the crew alone.

QF have for example had two incidents lately where reasonable chunks of automation went down and a/c were hand flown for reasonable periods etc, we all have read the stories, and these are cases where excellent crew make a big difference over some very ordinary crew training.

Its along shot to take but the 737 in Russia on the weekend with an engine fire may well have bruned the wing off, or could it have been an assymetric handling problem while hand flown at low level, low power descent and at 3000 a handfull of thrust on the good engine, and lost it! (having done it in a sim...its not something i would like to do for real)

So while we all trust the majors to have good standards of crew training, when the equipment they have is showing higher rates of failure, even if just a public perception, the feeling of safety from the greater public is is reduced.

Whether reduced safety at Q= is fact or fiction, QF do have a public image problem at the moment and that is a fact.

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Old 15th Sep 2008, 00:45
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The organisation I work for use to mandate company travel on QF, the recent issues with reliability of services...especially to/from the US has actually reversed the company policy so that the internal travel desk will now only book QF if no other carrier is available.
We buy somewhere around 30,000 long haul business class sectors and around 100,000 domestic sectors a year and I'm pretty confident that we aren't the only large organisation that is considering changing it's travel policy.

There is a level of poor perception around the safety aspects of the engineering disruption, but the risks are still lower than coming a cropper in the taxi on the way to airport....the real killer for frequent travellers is punctuality and reliability of service.
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 01:29
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The Brand Has Been Trashed

Dixon will most likely leave with a Golden Handshake.He has done absolutley nothing to deserve any money at all.
Look at the mess in the states...large financial instituitons brought to their knees by incompetence and greed.The bastards walk away with millions.
Its obscene..Dixon is obscene.
It appears these swine are untouchable.
But Kharma gets them all in the end
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 01:46
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It won't help public perception when your OTP is 62% (Jul) and cancellations go off the chart and have to be written in numbers on the side (6.6% Jun and 6.7% Jul). Jetstar and VB were not much different only faring slightly better on cancellations/OTP.

Was interesting that Q-link was not affected and did well during the period and tiger was the best all round.

If given the choice however I always fly QF now, prefer the extra room and free drink/snack, professional staff/crew, even if i get there an hour late. Don't get the choice much though so unfortunately have experienced all the others recently too.
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 02:29
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Did you mention to her that every other international airline also get their maintenance done overseas i.e. outside Australia
Problem is that overseas MRO's don't operate like Sydney heavy did. And there are alot of so-called experts who make comment on this subject that have no experience.

LAMEs had a pyrrhic victory in securing their pay rise. Their widely publicised opinions about Qantas overseas maintenance has driven the customers away.
In Sydney heavy, there were many LAME's on the shop floor carrying out the maint on our aircraft. Our clunkers & 744's were in very good shape. We knew this because we saw customer aircraft come in and they were nothing on our aircraft. Alot of people never saw this.

What alot of people don't also see is the way other MRO's operate. At one particular overseas MRO that I visited, there was one LAME on our (Qantas's) aircraft from that MRO who was certifying/supervising. But he was also certifying/supervising 2 other aircraft in that hangar. This is a major difference. And the mechanics he was supervising, some had no qualifications behind them, not even a trade cert. This is where QF saves money. Sure QF have a couple of LAME's there too, but most of the time they are tied down with paperwork, contacting Qantas base & Boeing or logistics etc, etc. They are usually not there to certify.

Add to this the very tight schedules & budgets that these MRO's operate on which in turn leads them to cut corners, which have been proven. This is a big step backwards in major maint on Australian aircraft.

100% LAME, 100% safe.....

Last edited by Ngineer; 15th Sep 2008 at 02:34. Reason: typo
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 03:16
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Someone mentioned the engineers pyrrhic victory in the eba.
The LAME EBA is not what is turning passengers away.

QF management has underestimated the importance and value of our safety record. They even put LAME's on "change management" courses where they were told that the travelling Australian public no longer considered safety as a high priority when choosing an airline to travel with. These people got it very wrong. It is the decisions being made by our management that are turning our passengers away.
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 04:14
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What I find hillarious is you so called professionals are getting caught up in the media hype concerning Qantas. .

Haven't you clowns been cynical towards the media previously in the way they report incidents?

We all know Q is one of the best run in both terms of safety and profit. Alwasy has and always will.

The new Australian way. If you can't beat shoot em down.

Talking to old hags at a servo about te airline industry. Not cool. Did you have your uniform on? No students today?

Last edited by captaintunedog777; 15th Sep 2008 at 05:22.
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 05:15
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Does anyone else think Cpttunedog sounds like a real grippa?
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 05:24
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Its not if the planes are unsafe its getting to your destination ontime.
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 05:46
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So it's ok to call Jetstars pax bogans and deadbeats etc but not Q's? Are you people for real.

So let me get this right. Q has no pax that are deadbeats?

Double standards fellas. You guys love the band wagon.

Dare to be different
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Old 15th Sep 2008, 06:46
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When you are talking about a service industry such as an airline it is all about perception.

Crew here know or rather think from a different perspective because they understand and are familiar with the technical side of the business.

it is a different mater though with the majority of the customers.They read new Idea,watch ACA or something similar and can only judge what is reported in the media.

If you as a consumer and have been told that a bank is shaky you will withdraw your funds from that bank.If you are looking for a new car and see in the media that a certain brand is giving problems and have no other information to make a judgement on you will buy another brand of car...because you don't want to spend your hard earned cash on a lemon that might spend more time in a workshop than on the road as well as it's resale value being less than you have borrowed to buy it or save for it.

That is bad enough but when it is about putting your life in someone's hands in a piece of equipment that is rumoured to be less than in optimum shape then you will probably look elsewhere for a ticket and if it's cheaper then so much the better...

captaintunedog777....I'm not sure why you think someone in petrol station might be a deadbeat (I'm sure you have been in a petrol station once or twice) but the average person in the street is the same person who is going to buy a ticket on your aircraft or is thinking about.
Whether it is the local petrol station or the beach or backyard BBQ the average joe is the one who is watching the media and talking with their wallet so I would think twice if I were you about who you call a dead beat.

In this business perception is everything and it has been taken for granted by the people at the top for too long...
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