Cubbie Station is currently raising $100m through a Brisbane based stockbroker and is looking to list on the ASX later this year.

Qantas clearly hate their customers. I travel twice weekly domestically (economy) and usually about two to three international trips a year (business). Roughly I spend $50,000/annum with them. I think that makes me somebody to court, to treat well… but apparently not.

Some time ago they snuck in a $10 charge for changing a flight on the phone. Now it seems that I can’t change it online in under 11 hours before departure — even though the fare supposedly allows me to change it until the time of departure (not that there’s anything in the fine print — ACCC where are you?). A cynic would say they’re trying to have it both ways — force me to use the phone and then force me to pay $10.

The moment Virgin have the US flights going, I’ll be contacting them to see if they’re interested in taking on my domestic and international custom. I’ve been a Qantas bigot for 20 years (even when Ansett were alive) — goodness knows how much money they’ve got from me. They’ve just lost me. It wasn’t the five hour delay on departure of my O/S flight recently, or the fact that as a platinum flyer I didn’t warrant a call beforehand. It wasn’t the weekly canceled flights with nothing else available. It wasn’t the fact that on one flight they offered me a free $6 wine for my two hour delay at the airport and then refused to give me another for free. It’s this. F-ck them.

Oh and by the way, their simulators have been breaking down lately too. And there’s even a case of them using a spare part from a sim on a real plane.

Hey, check this out. The case study referred to on Page 2 is Dodo who repeatedly ignored warnings by ACMA about breaches of the DNCR. With fines of up to $8 million if they are found guilty in the Federal Court.

Bean counters at Rural Press have decreed that the total photographic budget for the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald will amount to no more the $6600. The current photo budget for the Sun-Herald alone is more than that. Expect to see a great deal more in the way of stock shots in coming weeks.

There’s a rumour around that the new Futuris boss has sacked a huge chunk of the management staff — a number around 400 is wafting around the traps. I haven’t seen a hint of it yet in terms of the ASX publications or the SMH business reports, so maybe it’s just a furphy.

Amusing item in The Age’s online “Life & Style” email yesterday – see below image. “Don’t know the name” — they say. Funny — they’re the ones who don’t know the name — it’s “Howie” — not “Howe”.

Peter Fray

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