Qantas to end ‘Frequent Flyer Toolbar’

A seldom known way to earn 150 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points per month is coming to an end as of August 31st 2016.

The Qantas ‘Frequent Flyer Toolbar’ which is capatable with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer acted as a bing search engine allowing frequent flyers to earn 1 point per search up to a maximum of 150 points per month. Though this process nets you a relatively little amount of points it is an inexpensive way to earn 1800 points per year for relatively no effort.

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Qantas Frequent Flyer Toolbar

If you fancy tying it out for a month, it is still available for download through the Qantas website (https://www.qantas.com/fflyer/dyn/partners/toolbar)

Or, if you prefer to uninstall the program, follow this link,  https://www.qantaspoints.com/earn-points/toolbar-uninstall

Photo.Story 3

Story 3: Auckland Harbour

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo.Story 3, Auckland Harbour.

Camera: Olympus Pen
Time: 11:33am
Place: Queen’s Wharf, Auckland
Story: –

Just a quick trip over the Tasman Sea to Auckland. Departing Queen’s Wharf on a cloudless (bar one!) day, bound for a yummy lunch in Devonport.

Photo.Story 2

Story 2: Beach Day, Manly Cove.

TBIBC, Manly Cove, Sydney

Photo.Story 2 – Beach Day, Manly Cove.

Camera: Olympus Pen
Time: 16:20
Place: Manly Cove
Story: –

A nice way to end the day, looking out on to the calm waters of Sydney Harbour on a sweltering summer’s afternoon, with a ferry stationary at Manly Wharf. The blue blue water and the few and far between clouds offer a reprieve from the harsh summer sun.

Photo.Story 1

Welcome to the first of what will hopefully be an ongoing series. The aim of these posts is to tell the story behind the photo, when, where, how and the meaning behind the imagery.

Story 1: Sydney Harbour Sunset:

TBIBC. Sydney Harbour Sunset, Sunset

Photo.Story 1 – Sydney Harbour Sunset

Camera: iPhone 6+
Time: ~18:30
Place: Manly Ferry, Sydney Harbour
Story: –

A great way to end the working week aboard the Manly Ferry from Circular Quay. The beautiful afternoon sun glistening through the clouds and Sydney city silouette; the reflection off the calm waters of Sydney Harbour add to the aweish ambiance of the slow chugging ferry. This is by far the best sunset I’ve seen from aboard the ferry, every moment passing, every second, as we inched further away and the city became a spec of its great self left an elegent sunset in it’s wake.

Alaskan Airlines buys Virgin America

Virgin America recently began promoting themselves for sale, with this there were two airlines, namely Alaskan Airlines and JetBlue which sought to purchase Virgin America. It has now been announced that Alaskan Airlines has been the successful candidate and will purchase the airline. So where do we go from here in terms of frequent flyer programs?

A decision has been made that the Virgin America Elevate frequent flyer program will eventually be discontinued in favour of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Program. The dates for this conversion have not yet been confirmed, nor the details on how this conversion will take place and affect Virgin America Elevate members.

An email was sent to Virgin America Elevate members which reads;

“Dear Elevate Member,

I wanted to write to let you know that we announced today that Virgin America has agreed to be acquired by Alaska Airlines. With complementary West Coast-based networks and similar cultures focused on guest service and operational efficiency, the joining of the two carriers will not only create a stronger and more competitive airline, it will create a leading guest experience for travelers like you – while also significantly expanding your flying options across a larger network of destinations in North America and across Alaska Airlines’ robust international partner network.

Nearly nine years ago, we set out to build an airline from the ground up with the guest in mind, an airline that reinvented the flying experience, and that actually made air travel fun again. Thanks to loyal flyers like you, I believe we delivered on that brand promise. You’ve helped us sweep the travel awards every year since our launch, grow to four million Elevate members, and in the past few years achieve strong financial results. Even so, our industry has become increasingly consolidated with each passing year. In fact, today just four airlines control more than 80 percent of the U.S. market. By joining forces with Alaska Airlines – an airline that is also known for its leading operational performance and guest-focus – we are creating the best airline in North America and one with the size and market share necessary to compete in this consolidated environment.

The transaction, which we expect to take several months to close, is subject to approval by regulators, Virgin America shareholders and other conditions. In the meantime, Virgin America and Alaska Airlines will continue to operate as two independent companies. Our current Elevate frequent flyer program will remain in effect until that time. We will be providing you with updates as we move closer to completing the transaction, but please know that both companies are committed to ensuring that this merger will have no impact on your flying experience. After transaction close, both airlines will work to integrate the Virgin America Elevate program into the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ program with no disruption to your earning or redemptions.

We will be sharing additional details in the months to come, but in the meantime you can find more information about your Virgin America benefits, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ program, and the combined carriers’ larger network on http://www.virginamerica.com and at Alaska Airlines’ transaction website: http://www.flyingbettertogether.com.

As the only airline headquartered in California, Virgin America has always been intent on shaking up the status quo in the airline industry. Our goal has been to do no less than reinvent the flying experience for the better – with innovative amenities and milestones like being the first airline to offer fleetwide WiFi and power outlets. We believe that by teaming up with Alaska Airlines – an airline also known for its stellar on-time performance, customer loyalty and guest-friendly brand – we will not only continue our mission to make flying enjoyable again, but we will do so on a much broader scale.

Thank you for flying with us – and we look forward to seeing you on even more flights in the future.

Sincerely,

David Cush
President and CEO of Virgin America ”

Worth noting is that when these airlines merge their frequent flyer programs it will be interesting indeed to see which airlines stay partners and which ones may go as a result of the merger. The partners of each airline are listed below. (Bold meaning both share the same partner airline)

Alaskan Airlines

  • Aeromexico
  • Air France
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Emirates
  • Fiji Airways
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Iceland Air
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • LAN
  • Qantas
  • PenAir & Ravn Alaska (Regional Partners)

Virgin America

  • Virgin Australia
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Aeromexico
  • Air China
  • Air New Zealand
  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Aisana Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines
  • El Al Israel
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Etheopian Airlines
  • Eva Air
  • Fiji Airways
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iceland Air
  • Japan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • LAN
  • Philippine Airlines
  • SATA International
  • Scandanavian Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • TAM
  • Turkish Airways
  • Ukraine International Airways

In all, it will be an interesting conversion process for Alaskan Airlines to take over Virgin America, not just with respect to frequent flyer programs but also with aircraft as Alaska fly the Boeing 737 and Virgin America fly the Airbus A320, as well as everyday operations; both airlines are very sucessful at what they do, for different reaseons each, heres hoping the best of both come together to make an even greater airline.

QF 490 Review MEL to SYD

Flight Number: QF 490

Departing: Melbourne Domestic Airport T1 MEL 20:00 (20:04)

Arriving: Sydney Domestic Airport T3 SYD 21:25 (21:10)

Operated By: Qantas

Class: Economy (Y)

Type: ‘Red E Deal’ Fare

Seat: 24A

Aircraft: Airbus A330-202 VH-EBS

Frequent Flyer Program: Qantas Frequent Flyer

After sampling the Qantas International Business Lounge at Sydney and JQ38 to Melbourne, I decided to try the true Qantas domestic product on the way home. Where possible, I like to fly on Qantas’ A330 aircraft over their 737 product, as the seats are slightly wider and are arranged in a 2-4-2 layout compared to 3-3. On this trip, I decided not to upgrade to Business Class, as the flight time was around an hour and I had already tried the new Business Class seats on the A330, which are amazing!!  If you do feel like upgrading though, it’d cost you 5,000 points from Flexible economy and 10,000 from standard economy; on this flight there were only 3 people seated in the J cabin.

I hate waiting in line to check-in at the airport, even in the priority line! This morning, I had no choice as it was an ‘international’ flight (JQ38 Review) though when travelling Qantas from the domestic terminal you can check-in on-line or through your phone if you have the Qantas app. I usually use the Qantas app on my iPhone as it allows me to check-in and download my boarding pass straight to my phone in the ‘Wallet’ app. Once you get to the boarding gate, you present the boarding pass to be scanned and you are issued with a paper stub at the gate.

I arrived to the airport at around 6pm and thought there would be a large line for security; to my surprise the wait didn’t take too long and I quickly reached the front of the line. Once I collected all my items from the scanner, I was selected for baggage test which took no longer than one minute, from there it was off to the lounge before my flight.

To access the Qantas lounges,  after security, turn right and follow the walkway where you will see the entrance to the Qantas Lounges on the left, from there go through the doors and up the escalator where you will need to present your boarding pass before entering. If you are a Business Class passenger, Platinum or Platinum One FF you walk through the Qantas Club lounge, another door and into the Business Lounge; today though it seemed to be quite busy, so I decided to sit against the window in the Qantas Club lounge area instead and go back and forth between the two lounges to get food as the Business Lounge has better options.

Though I prefer the Business Lounge at Melbourne, the Qantas Club is still nice and it looked suspiciously empty compared to the Business Lounge. The Qantas Club has one long line-up of food which is ample, as well as a bar area and a self-serve soft drink area; there is also a business centre with Apple Mac computers and a printer which is towards the front, right-hand side of the lounge.

View from the Qantas Club Lounge, Melbourne

©TBIBC

View from the Qantas Club Lounge, Melbourne

©TBIBC

Boarding was scheduled to begin at 19:4o, so we left the lounge about 10 minutes before and headed all the way over to our gate, which couldn’t have been any further away! In the picture above, you can see my plane’s tail in the right hand side.  Although it took me 5 minutes to walk there at a leisurely pace, it seemed that boarding was close to finishing, with only two people in the line, once my boarding pass was scanned and ticket stub printed, I found out that there were what looked to be no more than 30 other passengers on the flight, that’s a pretty small number for an A330, everyone could have their own row if we were on a 737!

As it only took 5 minutes to board everyone, the plane was ready to go and the flight crew were in good spirits as we waited for our push back to begin. Once it began, the crew performed the safety demonstration and quickly reached the runway where we were immediately cleared for take-off to Sydney. The engines roared as we ran along the runway and headed up into the sky, an amazing sunset greeted us once we were airborne…

View from seat 24A

©TBIBC

The view of the sunset was amazing, I even went to the back of the plane to get some photos as there wasn’t anyone seated back there and I thought it would be nice to get some photos from behind the wing, though I prefer to be seated in front of it. 🙂

Sunset from QF490

©TBIBC

The crew on this flight were really nice, they always had a smile and enjoyed sharing a conversation and some jokes with the passengers. Maybe it was because this flight was extremely empty, but the crew were one of the best I’ve ever had in economy class, in fact the best crews I’ve had for International and Domestic travels were always with Qantas. The meal service was served quickly after the seatbelt sign was turned off, with only one option available, it was a lamb pasta which was pretty good and better than what I expected. Drinks were served also and we were allowed to select two options if we wanted. For dessert, we were served a Lindt Chocolate ball. Below is the meal presentation.

QF490 Meal

©TBIBC

For this flight, I had selected seat 24A, in the second row of economy on Qantas’ refurbished A330-200 aircraft. The legroom was ample and the seat was wider than that of a 737 aircraft. If you’d like extra legroom, I’d recommend row 23 as it is the bulkhead and there is a wall seperating you and Business Class, though the curtain may get in your way as it is on an angle across the aisle, not in a straight line. Qantas use these A330-200 aircraft with the same cabins on International flights also, so it’s good to see how comfortable they are on a short haul flight to decide whether or not you’d choose it for a long-haul flight. I would think that the A330-200 seats are adequate for flights from Sydney to Hawaii which is about 9 hours; it is certainly the best option compared to a Jetstar 787 or Hawaiian A330. For flights longer than this, I would look at upgrading if possible but making sure that it is an A330 aircraft with the new Business Class which is simply amazing!

The entertainment service on the A330 was pretty good also, and more than adequate for a 1 hour flight. Upon entering the plane, the screen displays the seat number and flight statistics which is helpful (shown below). Compared to the 737 entertainment system, I found this one to be superior and offer more options including movies and tv shows, as well as content which was quite new, though I am starting to get sick of watching ‘Taken 3’ on my flights.

As we began our descent into Sydney, the captain made an announcement that we would be landing into Sydney from the north; this made me so excited, maybe a little too excited as the person across the row looked at me as if I were crazy! As I was seated on the left hand side of the aircraft, it meant that I would be able to see us fly over Sydney Harbour and the city, this is my favourite way to end a short trip or holiday and from the air, Sydney looks truly amazing!

This would have to have been one of my favourite domestic flights and I’m really thankful to the crew for being so nice throughout the flight and allowing me to take pictures of the cabin. The excellent service coupled with the views of the sunset and of Sydney easily made for a great experience and I would not hesitate to recommend this flight during the summer months at least for the stunning sunset and the almost empty cabins. I was tempted with an upgrade opportunity before the flight but decided not to and I would recommend not upgrading on short domestic flights as the points can go a lot further for a lot better on an international flight for a longer period of time.

Flying SYD to MEL a lot? Should you fly VA or QF

Flights between Sydney and Melbourne are one of the top 10 busiest airline routes in the world and is dominated between three airlines being Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar to a lesser extent (and TigerAir to an even lesser extent still!).

If you fly this route often, you may have thought how often you would need to fly between Sydney and Melbourne before you start to gain some airline perks in the form of high status. Now, I’m going to compare Virgin Australia and Qantas to see which airline is the easiest to gain elite status on based solely on flying between Sydney and Melbourne and the associated perks which come with it.

I’m going to compare Virgin Australia and Qantas based on the parameters that you are flying on the lowest, not sale, economy fare available (usually marketed as ‘discount economy’) and you have no status what so ever with the airline; the aim is to get to Gold Status on either airline as soon as possible as this level allows you the best perks; so lets begin…

Qantas – 

Qantas require you to earn 700 status credits in order to earn Gold status within one year; at a ‘discount economy’ branded ticket, you’ll earn 10 status credits per flight between SYD and MEL meaning that you’d have to fly Sydney to Melbourne 70 times or do 35 return trips in order to qualify for the status. Better yet, to keep the status you’d need to earn 600 points every year meaning that you’d need to fly 60 times or do 30 return trips.

Virgin Australia – 

Virgin Australia require you to earn 500 status credits in order to earn Gold status within one year; at a ‘discount economy’ branded ticket, you’ll earn 10 status credits per flight between SYD and MEL meaning that you’d have to fly Sydney to Melbourne ‘only’ 50 times or do 25 return trips in order to qualify for the status. As with Qantas, you’ll need to earn a at least a certain amount of points per year in order for you to retain the status. Virgin Australia also require that you earn a certain amount of status credits per year to retain your status.

Winner – Virgin Australia

So, now we know which airline it is easier to gain status with (well done Virgin Australia), but… Qantas has a little trick up it’s sleeve in the form of lifetime status, of which there are two levels and are based on the amount of status credits you have earned ever. Qantas offer Lifetime silver status and Lifetime gold status, silver requires 7,000 status credits and gold requires 14,000 status credits; meaning that if you did nothing else than flew between Sydney and Melbourne on a ‘discounted economy’ fare, you’d need to do 350 return flights for Lifetime silver or 700 return flights for Lifetime gold status. Though this seems extremely unachievable, it really isn’t, if you’re flying between SYD and MEL enough times to earn gold status every year anyway, it’d only take you 20 years to earn Lifetime gold!!

 

Qantas and Alitalia end Frequent Flyer partnership

Via Ausbt, Qantas and Alitalia will end their frequent flyer partnership by March 31st, meaning that Qantas Frequent Frequent Flyers and Alitalia Milemiglia members will no longer earn points on each other’s flights.

So what are you missing out on??

In essence, you aren’t missing out on much; for flights within Italy, Qantas Frequent Flyers generally earn very little points for AZ flights. For example, a person flying between Rome and Milan would earn 200 QFF points in the lowest fare bracket irrespective of their Frequent Flyer tier, for a business class flight it would be only marginally better at 500 QFF points; though some points are better than none I guess.

On international flights too, flying with AZ didn’t earn you many points either. Take Milan to New York for example, where QFF members could earn points with 4 airlines being…

  • Alitalia (AZ)
  • American Airlines (AA)
  • British Airways (BA)
  • Emirates (EK)

Of these four airlines, the amount of points and status credits one could earn on an economy fare with QFF bronze status were…

  • Alitalia | 2100 | 0
  • American Airlines | 2100 | 30
  • British Airways | 1050 | 30
  • Emirates | 2100 | 0

As you can see, all airlines apart from British Airways offer the same amount of points for a standard economy fare, BUT….. On American Airlines and British Airways, you can earn more points on the same fare type if you hold a higher status as these two airlines are members of the Oneworld Alliance to which Qantas is also.

Though one will now miss out on points when flying within Italy, overall this isn’t so big a loss for Qantas Frequent Flyers. It’d be interesting to know the motive behind this ending though; Ethiad has a large stake in Alitalia and didn’t want Qantas in the loop, or maybe Qantas didn’t see it necessary to have Alitalia as a partner as most of AZ’s international flights are also operated by other Oneworld carriers.

 

QF 865 Review OOL to SYD

Flight Number: QF 865

Departing: Gold Coast Airport OOL 15:10 (15:37)

Arriving: Sydney Domestic Airport T3 SYD 17:40 (18:26)

Operated By: Qantas

Class: Economy (Y)

Type: ‘Red E Deal’ Fare

Seat: 4A

Aircraft: Boeing 737-838 VH-XZE

Frequent Flyer Program: Qantas Frequent Flyer

To conclude a short holiday to the Gold Coast, I decided to try fly the Qantas 737 home to Sydney for what would have been about a one hour and ten minute flight if not for the severe weather in Sydney which forced a late departure from OOL and left us in holding pattern after holding pattern until we finally were able to land; even once we had landed, we had to wait on the aircraft a mere “10 metres short” (Captain) from the aero-bridge as there was lightning meaning that no ground staff were allowed on the ground and the aero-bridge couldn’t be remotely operated. None the less, the flight itself was quite nice, as is to be expected from Qantas whilst the Captain and First Officer were excellent with continuous updates about connecting flights and our flight path into Sydney.

For most domestic flights, apart from those departing from certain ports including Hamilton Island for some bizarre reason, Qantas allows you to check-in online or through the Qantas App 24 hours before your flight’s departure. I chose to check-in using the Qantas App on my iPhone which allows you to gain your boarding pass and download it straight to ‘Passbook’ or ‘Wallet’ to be scanned at the gate as a normal boarding pass. If you have checked luggage which I did not, you simply take it to one of the remote Qantas kiosks at the airport, print a label for it there and send it off at the bag drop area.

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Qantas App for IPhone Boarding Pass

Both express entry and normal entry lines leading to security at OOL were pretty much empty when I arrived and within a matter of no more than 2 minutes I had my carry on ready to be scanned, from there it took a minute for it to be scanned and for me to gather my valuables before I was off and into the terminal.

As I was running a little bit late, I didn’t have any time to go to the lounge, it is located on the left hand side directly after security and can be found by the massive ‘red roo’ on the wall next to the entrance. A note to Business Class passengers, Qantas operate only the Qantas Club lounge at Gold Coast Airport which offers a little bit less than a Business Lounge and is a bit busier also. I have flown both Qantas and Virgin Australia from OOL to SYD and I would recommend the Virgin Australia lounge by far over the QC lounge as it offers a better atmosphere, better view and is quieter as it only caters for Business Class, Gold or Platinum Frequent Flyers.

Boarding began early with a dedicated line for Business Class passengers or Frequent Flyers with Gold status or above, this line was very short compared to the line for economy which was quite long, indicating that the plane was pretty much full in Economy as well as Business Class. There are no aero-bridges at all at Gold Coast Airport which means once your boarding pass is scanned, you walk out on to the tarmac and up a set of stairs to the plane, for passengers seated in rows 1 to 16 you enter from the front stairs and for those in rows 16 to 29 (or 30 depending on the 737 layout) you need to enter from the rear. Another note is that if you use the Qantas App and have your boarding pass stored on your phone, you will be issued with a paper stub at the boarding gate as pictured below.

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All passengers had been loaded on to the plane in good time for the scheduled departure and I was eager to get going end enjoy the view from seat 4A, but……

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Qantas Boeing 737-838 VH-XZE at OOL

An announcement from the First Officer came overhead with an introduction and naming of the crew followed by some information concerning the flight path. It seemed that we would have to wait on the ground for 20 minutes after scheduled departure before we were able to take off and head for Sydney due to the weather and available slots at SYD, not a problem, there was plenty of legroom in 4A and the flight attendants were offering water to everyone and apologising for the delay and were trying to gather information about connecting flights for other passengers. A little delay was no problem, we were advised that the flight time would still be 1 hour and 5 minutes into Sydney.

Surely enough, after 20 minutes on the ground, the doors were closed and stairs were retracted, not a moment too soon as I was beginning to melt in the sun from the 32 degree heat and cloudless sky in the Gold Coast. The safety video played with the cabin crew displaying all the safety features. It is worth noting that the television screen is located in the armrest in row 4 meaning that you cannot view the safety video as the screen must be stowed until the seatbelt sign is turned off. After the safety demonstration it was a short taxi to the runway where we were immediately cleared for take-off towards the north.

From the left on the plane you could see the Gold Coast and glistening Surfers Paradise beach with little specks of people basking in the afternoon sunlight. We then made a series of right turns and began heading inland from the coast, an interesting flight path I thought to myself though probably an attempt to slow us down for our slot at Sydney Airport. The flight path looked like this…..

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Screenshot of QF865 flight path from Flightradar 24

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Screenshot of QF865 flight path over Sydney from Flightradar 24

What became apparent soon after we flew over Newcastle was that we would be in for a bumpy ride to Sydney, the First Officer again made an announcement about our flight indicating that we would be beginning our decent into Sydney and that there were thunderstorms in the area with the expectation that there would be some slight turbulence closer to Sydney though it proved to be a bit more dramatic than first thought!

 As can be seen on the close-up image of QF865 over Sydney was that we began our first approach to Sydney in an attempt to land towards the north and it is at the point where the colour of the path changes from dark blue to light blue and green indicating a decrease in altitude where we first encountered some severe turbulence, following this we continued on our path to land and continued our decent as indicated by the yellow part of the path. This attempt to land ultimately proved unfruitful and the decision was made to increase altitude, loop ‘for a little bit’ and then land towards the south with the First Officer again relaying this information to passengers. From this point onwards people became anxious and coupled with the turbulence some people felt uneasy. Beyond the point on the map marked with A38, we began another approach towards the south from the Northern Beaches where the turbulence again became uneasy, most people were comfortable with the slight swaying from side to side though the constant and sudden drops and lightning again made people uneasy though it was to end shortly as our approach and landing were fruitful with the plane gliding into Sydney with a slight thud upon landing though in the conditions it was barely noticeable. A round of applause resonated through the cabin and people were relieved to be out of the storm, though the ordeal wasn’t over yet.

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Delay index at Sydney Airport, Screenshot from Flightradar 24

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As the saying goes… A picture tells a thousand words!!

We had finally landed, though the ordeal wasn’t over yet! It was a slow taxi to the terminal where the Captain announced that we were “10 metres short” of the aero-bridge and that we would have to wait until the lightning had passed before we would be able to move to the bridge and ground-crew were allowed back out on to the tarmac. We were advised that we would be able to take off our seatbelts, move around the cabin or wait for the flight attendants to serve water. From here it was a ‘short’ 30ish minute wait before we were finally allowed to disembark.

Enough about the weather though. I had chosen seat 4A for this flight, a window seat on the left hand side in the first row of Economy right behind Business Class which was separated only by a thin curtain. At booking, row 4 is typically set aside for members of the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge with other rows towards the front set aside for other high tier members; in essence, the higher the tier, the closer to the front you can get, though this doesn’t mean that they are unattainable for people with a lower frequent flyer status. My advice is to check the availability for this row during T80 and hopefully you’ll get lucky, don’t be fooled though, lots of people are looking for them too. Here’s why…..

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Seat 4A aboard a Qantas 737

You are in the first row of economy meaning that you’ll disembark right after the Business Class passengers. There is also a copious amount of legroom between your seat and the Business Class seat in front, there is no wall dividing the classes, just a curtain which hangs above the seat; I had my legs stretched as though I was in Business Class too!! Unlike an exit row which probably has less legroom, you don’t have to pay any more for the privilege of stretching your legs out. There is a slight catch though, the tray-table and the television are in the armrest which means your seat is ever so slightly narrower than the others and you cannot watch the in-flight entertainment until the seatbelt sign has been turned off. Another issue which may arise is when the person in row 3 of Business Class reclines their seat, though the person on my flight didn’t, it would reduce your space though probably just as much if not less than a person in economy reclining in front of you due to the large amount of space; the tray-table may also be a bit flimsy to work efficiently with your laptop on also. None the less, I would without a doubt recommend this seat over any of the other economy seats, though to be fair, I’ve never tried any other row on a Qantas 737 but have on a Virgin 737.

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Seat 4A aboard a Qantas 737

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Plenty of legroom in row 4 aboard a Qantas 737

I usually regard Qantas’ cabin crew service as one of the best in the world no matter what class of travel, though on this flight there was something missing, it was enthusiasm. On many Qantas flights I have encountered crews which were happy to have a joke and were enjoying themselves and the company of their passengers though on this flight it seemed that everything the crew was doing was a chore and there were no smiles what so ever. An announcement from one of the crew even said it it was a good thing that we were delayed because it meant everything else was as well, not a good message to tell people who have to go through this whole ordeal again on connecting flights which the crew weren’t able to gather information about. Regardless, the Captain and First Officer made up for the somewhat lacklustre effort from the crew through their regular though not over the top announcements, their announcements were a real relief to some with relevant and precise information given about our flight path, turbulence and wait time given. It was somewhat ironic that the crew were giving smiles when we were disembarking the plane, almost as if they were glad to see us gone!

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Refreshments aboard QF865

For a flight which is usually no longer than 1 and a half hours, the snacks and drinks were adequate as well as the entertainment on-board, though I didn’t watch anything, there was a wide variety of movies and television shows. Row 4 on the 737 is definitely a highly sought after set of seats especially on business routes compared to the leisure route of QF865, though if you can, I would certainly recommend sitting in this row, even in the middle seat just for the legroom. Despite the low effort from the crew, I must however thank the Captain and First Officer greatly for their expertise shown throughout the flight, it was well beyond what I have experienced from any other airline service and they should truly be commended.