Founded in 1920, under the name Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited (QANTAS), Qantas has grown to be Australia’s largest domestic and international airline. This is an impressive achievement considering the first flights this company operated were with fragile biplanes—carrying only one or two passengers in an open cockpit—at the very beginning of civil aviation in Australia. The Qantas Group’s main business is the transportation of travelers using the complementary airline brands, Qantas and Jetstar. The group also operates subsidiary businesses including other airlines and businesses in specialist markets, such as Q Catering. Qantas Group’s airline brands offer regional, domestic and international services. The company now employs more than 30,000 people, with approximately 93% of these employees based in Australia.
Qantas - Book a Flight Screen shotQantas - About Qantas Screen shotQantas - Flight Details Screen shot

The Good

The fleet Qantas operates includes a combination of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. One type of aircraft in particular, the Qantas A380, has received a Good Design Award in regards to their First Class suite. The Chicago Athenaeum awarded this title. First Class passengers can certainly appreciate traveling in a suite demonstrating style and functionality.

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If there is ever a destination Qantas can’t deliver passengers to, then they recommend flying with one of their 35 partner airlines. Several of these partner airlines include American Airlines, British Airways and Emirates. Since Qantas is a member of the oneworld network, they are able to collectively offer travelers approximately 1,000 destinations in over 150 countries.

Qantas Frequent Flyer is Australia’s best loyalty program that strives to reward members for doing things they already do. This means that Qantas Points can be earned for things like buying groceries, shopping online, or eating out. Many major banks also offer Qantas Points, earning credit cards and bank accounts. Plus earn Points by flying, hiring a car, and booking a hotel. Points can be redeemed in many ways, including purchasing flight and upgrade, buying items from the Qantas Store, and booking one of approximately 100,000 hotel accommodation options worldwide. Qantas Points can even be used to purchase QBE Travel Insurance. It should be noted, however, that Australia and New Zealand residents pay a one-time-only joining fee (A$89.50 and NZ$50 respectively). Individuals interested in this membership can apply online and get their Frequent Flyer membership number right away.

The Bad

Qantas arrived on time with 79% success from May 15, 2015 to July 15, 2015. Records show that 8% of flights were late, 3% were very late, and 6% were excessively late. Furthermore, 1% of flights were cancelled altogether. Schedule-oriented travelers of today can appreciate an airline that arrives on time. This is an area Qantas should improve.

QBE Insurance (Australia) offers three package options to help meet customers’ travel insurance needs. Options include an Annual Multi-trip policy, International Comprehensive policy as well as a Cancellation, Baggage and Rental Vehicle Excess policy. Quotes can be generated online, which will include exact pricing and coverage details. While at least Qantas offers travel insurance at all, the packages aren’t very impressive when compared to other airlines’ options. With only three packages to choose from, it is likely that airlines offering more travel insurance choices will be able to meet customers’ needs more easily.

Q Streaming is Qantas’ next generation in-flight entertainment system and is offered only on selected planes (2-class B717 and some A330-200 aircraft). This system uses wireless technology to grant passengers access to a menu of pre-selected content viewable on Qantas provided iPads. On select carriers, passengers may use their own Apple iOS devices to access the wide range of Qantas entertainment. As enjoyable as this feature sounds, not all planes are equipped with this new system. Although it will be a crowd-pleasing feature in the future, for now it simply means that a good portion of Qantas flyers are getting comparatively subpar service in regards to in-flight entertainment.

Although the Qantas Frequent Flyer program has quite a few positive features, the fact that Australia and New Zealand residents pay a sign-up fee (A$89.50 and NZ$50 respectively) is unfortunate. Most airlines’ loyalty programs offer at least an entry-level, basic membership completely free of charge.

The Bottom Line

Sure, Qantas has several areas that are bland and unexciting: their on-time performance could use some work, their unequal distribution of Q Streaming is unfortunate and their travel insurance options are completely ordinary. Still, the company doesn’t seem to have any major red flags. Together with their partner airlines, Qantas can offer travelers an impressive list of destinations. Plus, their rewards program is a great feature, even though some members have to pay a fee to join, because it has so many ways to earn and redeem points. Having been in business for nearly a century, there is no reason to expect a negative, uncomfortable flight experience with Qantas.

How much an airline charges for luggage that needs to be checked can make a big difference on how often their customers choose their services. Checked baggage prices can force flying customers to spend more than anticipated on additional fees. Qantas airlines is an airline company based in Australia. They offer their passengers many benefits and their checked baggage prices and policies are some of the best.

• Free checked baggage

• Passengers allowed two carry-on items

It is rare for an airline to allow customers to check baggage free of charge. Qantas airlines not only provides one piece of free checked luggage, but depending on a passengers intended destination, multiple bags can be checked for free. Domestic flights that are flying within Australia allow one piece of free checked baggage for Economy tickets and up to two free checked bags for customers flying First or Business class. For flights traveling internationally, mainly between North and South America, Economy class tickets are allowed up to two bags to be checked free of charge. These bags can weigh a maximum of 50 pounds apiece. Business and First class passengers are permitted to bring three bags to be checked for free that can weigh a maximum of 70 pounds each. However, an important thing to note about Qantas airlines checked baggage policy is that these bags are the only bags that are allowed per customer on any given flight. If a passenger needs to bring more than these specified number of bags, they will not be guaranteed to travel on the same flight and will be subject to excessive baggage fees. Excessive baggage fees vary depending on flight destination, weight restrictions and quantity of luggage. Customers can pre-purchase excessive baggage allowances online if it is known in advance that their luggage will surpass the Qantas checked baggage restrictions.

In addition to the checked baggage policy, Qantas airlines also permits passengers to bring two pieces of luggage with them as carry-on items. These items are restricted to one luggage bag, and one personal item such as a purse, briefcase, laptop or backpack. Carry-on items must be able to fit either under a seat or in the above luggage compartments on any given aircraft.

The more insurance an airline company offers to their customers the higher ranking the company can receive in customer satisfaction. Qantas airline has some good benefits to offer their customers in these different groups of insurance.

• Trip cancellations and refunds

• Loss or damaged baggage claims

• Customer service availability

Many airline companies have similar trip cancellation and refund policies. While Qantas airline also provides their customers with standard policy on this type of insurance they do vary in that the destination and departure location play a part in how trip cancellations and refunds are handled through Qantas. Most tickets that are purchased online through Qantas have a 24-hour grace period where customers can cancel reservations and receive a full refund without any penalty. After this time, cancellation and any ticket changes will have a service attached. The fees are what vary depending on flight departure and destinations. Flights traveling from the United States to any locations will be charged a 40-dollar fee along with any fee associated with the type of fare purchased. Most cancellation fees range from $200 to $500 dollars and flight changes range from $100-$200 dollars. All other countries to which Qantas airlines provides service have varying fees, which can be found online at the Qantas website or by contacting the customer service staff directly.

Qantas airlines has a strict policy in regards to reporting missing or damaged luggage upon arrival to a destination. If baggage arrives damaged or cannot be located on domestic flights, it must be reported within three days for a partial loss, and 21 days if an entire item can’t be found. On international flights, customers have seven days to report damage or loss for partial claims and 21 days for wholly missing luggage. If baggage problems are not reported in this time frame, Qantas airlines is not liable and will not be required to refund any baggage fees or reasonable costs that occur while luggage is being located.

As a benefit to customers, Qantas is available for customer support 24/7 either by phone, or online chat. The staff as well as the aircrafts are also equipped to help customers who are in need of special assistance either before, during, or after a flight. Qantas staff only asks that all special requests are made prior to boarding so that customers are able to receive the best service possible.

The rewards program through Qantas airline is called the Qantas Club. This program allows the member to join for free and to access many benefits using their acquired rewards points. Some of the benefits that the Qantas Club members can enjoy by redeeming their points are:

• Faster, smarter check-in services through online or special kiosks

• Extra baggage allowance

• Upgrades on domestic flights (flying within Australia)

• Priority waitlist and airport standby

• Discounts on Qantas meeting rooms rates

Through the Qantas Club, members can also become frequent flyers and subsequently use accrued points for flying benefits. Points can be earned by purchasing airfare, car rentals, hotel stays, and other approved purchases through participating credit cards and business partners. The number of points needed to redeem for airfare depends on the desired destinations, but most start out around 50,000 collected point to be able to use towards future airfare. The Qantas Club Frequent Flyers are subject to blackout dates and seat restrictions on flights purchased with reward miles. These blackout dates and seat restrictions are subject to change per each individual flight. Popular travel days, such as around holidays, are the most common blackout dates and reward members will not be able to purchase airfare using reward point during this time. As with most reward programs, the Qantas Club Frequent Flyers program has multiple tiers depending on the amount of points collected. Different tiers allow for different uses of the rewards, and the more points accumulated, the more options members have to using their benefits. Compared to other airline companies rewards programs, this Qantas Club Frequent Flyers group is complicated and somewhat confusing. The restrictions on blackout dates and seat limitations are not clearly outlined and members must go through a detailed process to be able to use their collected rewards points. The company changed many of its policies and procedures regarding the rewards program in early 2015, and are still trying to transition members to the new system. In the future, Qantas airlines hopes their rewards program will match those of other airline companies successful programs.

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