I went
to Perth on the
weekend with QF – not again if I can help it. I went
on points and while expecting some issues (free travellers often get a small disadvantage – changed flights
etc) it was a case of everyone on those flights not having the best experience. As
I was on points, the only available flights were via Melbourne – such is
life.

Thursday: 11.00 am flight out of Sydney, cancelled due to
mechanical issues but reallocated flight seemed OK leaving and arriving on
time. Sat in terminal for couple of hours
though.

Thursday: 15.10 flight out of Melbourne to Perth – 1.5 hours late due to stuck
container. Passengers waited in terminal for half an hour.
Passengers then boarded only to wait another hour while rollers in the cargo
hold were reportedly replaced to prevent a container being stuck again. Plane
picked up some time but arrived in Perth about an hour late. Economy given free drinks as compensation.

Saturday
Night: 23.10 flight out of Perth to Melbourne – 1 hour late. Arrived at Perth to have mechanical
check in. Seems no computers were working. Passengers were handed
pre-printed boarding cards and the check-in staff manually noted passenger, seat
and baggage. Plane initially delayed a short time while manual check-in
complete. Passengers then boarded. Sat in plane (without entertainment system –
allegedly to save power) while missing passengers were located. Manual flight
lists were consistently promised and then delayed. Finally took off past
midnight. Passenger seat controls worked for part of the journey but seemed to
be switched off again during the flight. Plane arrived in Melbourne about 1 hour
late. Too tired to see if free drinks were given as
compensation.

Sunday morning flight: Melb to Syd – surprise, surprise, went well
although inflight video system wasn’t working. Missed the news update.
Plane was only about 50% full though.

Overall, a bugger of a
business. Seems like QF is having maintenance issues.
Either that. or the old B767s
(used on all flights) are getting worked hard and are tired.

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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