Well I had the opportunity this past weekend to fly a domestic flight within Australia on Qantas between Sydney and Cairns, it was a 1200 mile journey that took a little over three hours. Never having flown intra Australia, let alone on Qantas, I was not sure what to expect. Would it be like a US domestic flight where we’re now nickeled and dimed for almost everything, or would it be better, or worse. Well I must say overall it was better. They allow all passengers one checked bag at no cost (I’m not even sure there was a weight limit), they were pretty strict about carry-on bags 7kg limit, about 15 pounds, and even had scales at the gate, so I had no choice but to check my suitcase, not my favorite thing to do but hey it’s the rules.
For a three hour flight we got inflight entertainment which was a movie on Sarah Palin, dinner and desert. Dinner consisted of braised beef in wine sauce or braised chicken Asian style, I chose the chicken both came with greens and rice. Plus we got water, a warm roll and a cookie. Although not the best meal in the world, it is airline food so what can you really expect. It was tasty and not too bad, I guess comparing it to a crappy meal that you have the pleasure of paying for on a US flight it was not too bad, if it were offered again I’d take it. But the best part was yet to come desert, to think I almost passed it up. It was this great mango and vanilla ice cream bar made my Weis’, man I have to find these, I’m now hooked. Yes it was that good.
The staff on the flight were friendly, the seat was pretty comfortable, I was in the exit row so it did appear I had a bit more room thought. The flight was quick and the food and entertainment weren’t too bad. American carriers could take a page out of this experience, and provide us a few amenities that will actually make people choose a carrier instead of just finding the cheapest one that gets from point A to B. If they offered what they did even three years ago, like free bags, friendly, staff and a meal on a short flight. I know for a fact that on United from Honolulu to New York which is longer than some flights from the East coast to Europe they charge for bags, seat selections and food, makes no sense to me.