Nov 3, 2011

Qantas v Virgin: prepare to be bribed with bonuses

Qantas now has a real threat to deal with -- Virgin Australia, with its bigger, cheaper business-class seats, real meals in economy class, lounges with food and seats for everyone. With lower fares.

Ben Sandilands ā€” Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Qantas now has a real threat to deal with — Virgin Australia.

The union threats are gone, quashed by the aftermath of Qantas locking out 100,000-plus customers over the weekend.

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8 thoughts on “Qantas v Virgin: prepare to be bribed with bonuses

  1. nonscenic

    It should be pointed out that Commonwealth Public Service travellers, through their corporate travel providers have to fly on a Best Fare of the Day approach, rather than be wedded to a particular airline. Qantas have snared much of their travel base through providing flexible private fares (san FF points) at prices that match Virgin Go fares. Many corporate travellers want the cheapest flexible fares and that is another reason why Jetstar will never catch on.

    Jetflex fares are expensive and don’t have the flexibility of Qantas and Virgin flexible fares. Add to this a range of IT issues thatprevents corporate online booking systems from working with the Jetstar booking engine, and of course the trauma of flying Jetstar (reliability, connecting flight issues, seating etc).

    It will only require Virgin to offer similar private fare deals to the corporate sector and AJ will be losing more market share from the corporate sector.

  2. Jack Stepney

    At last, I get to be taken seriously.

  3. Ricardo

    Totally agree Ben. this is the real issue for Qantas.

    I am one of those small business owners, spending my own money. I now actively choose Virgin, Qantas where necessary and have never (literally!) seen the inside of a Jetstar aircraft.

    Take the PER-SYD route, the new Virgin biz product is superior to Qantas and costs $2,800 versus over $4,000! Recently there have been a few QF FF on these routes (you can tell by the Plat/gold tags) and you can see that they are generally shocked on boarding the 330, as it is far better than they were expecting. Why pay almost 50% more for a (depending on your personal preferences) an equal or inferior product?

    It’s the same deal flying QF internationally. Singapore is far cheaper than QF at the pointy end and the service is sublime rather than subprime. Whilst you do get good crews on QF First (sometimes), you always get the same top service on SQ.

    What all of this has done, is expose more of the ‘rusted-on’ QFFF’s to Virgin and Singapore et-al. I suspect that those who pay their own way, won’t be back, and even some of the purchasing decision makers will change too.

    The end result can only spell disaster for Qantas mainline, which is what I suspect Alan Joyce is really after anyway.

    It’s sad, as even though I don’t fly them much anymore, I do have a soft spot for the brand and would have loved to have seen it survive in it’s previous incarnation.

    Vale Qantas

  4. Jaeger

    Ben: “Qantas has to do more, do it quicker, and do it in writing”… Maybe they should try a blood oath?

    NS: “It should be pointed out that Commonwealth Public Service travellers, through their corporate travel providers have to fly on a Best Fare of the Day approach, rather than be wedded to a particular airline.” Good in theory, but in practice the fares are booked through a Qantas agent, and – surprise – Qantas is the “BFotD”. (Perhaps not when they’re grounded, but I’m not holding my breath.)

  5. jj

    Best fare of the day is pretty much a furphy – with public service – you merely have to give a reason for not taking it like – requires flexibility – or not convenient etc and u can fly with QANTAS or Virgin regardless of cost. The reality is that QANTAS provide the most flexible and regular and believe it or not usually the cheapest service for economy travellers between the major cities – except in a grounding of course.

    So my point is QANTAS will survive quite easily domestically and with a few “rewards” coming to FFs it wont be hard to build on. Internationally well isnt that why AJ is expanding into the low cost asian market – makes sense to me

  6. nonscenic

    @JJ and JAEGER Yes, BFOD is a myth, and is easily defeated because the BFOD is often a non-flexible Jetstar flight at an inconvenient time, and one simply chooses a flexible fare at a suitable time. Depending upon the agency and the travel provider they use, there is meant to be some form of neutrality, but experience suggests otherwise. Examples of quotes for trips to the USA I have seen often show three choices, a Qantas itinerary, a Virgin/Delta option and a United option. They never show an Air New Zealand option unless you specifically force them to book.

    In most cases the international fares are far higher than what one could book online for the same flights. Whether this is due to the airlines setting higher fares for travel agents in order to bring on their demise, or alternatively is an arrangement between airlines and individual travel agents to increase the airline’s market share with a particular market segment, the government is missing out on minimising its travel costs.

  7. mrsynik

    I really hope that Virgin Australia consider applying for Star Alliance or SkyTeam membership in the future. If that happens that would definately break the need for anything to do with Qantas and their stingy frequent flyer schemes. As far as I’m concerned Qantas can get stuffed.

  8. Debra Silver

    Alan Joyce you have a great job of Public relations for Virgin Airlines.

    Qantas used to be the only domestic airline I would fly with , with all the safety concerns and more recently cutting of staff while the boss get a hefty pay rise. Now with the latest fiasco and lies from Qantas they have landed on my Telstra and Origin Energy list …never to do business with them again. I will not support a business who has little or no regard for their customers and their staff. Other businesses beware people are tired of the lies, money grabbing and lack of ethics .Who will be next company to monumentally stuff up?

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