Qantas vs Virgin Australia: have your say!

By David Flynn, May 16 2012
Qantas vs Virgin Australia: have your say!

In this week's High Flyer blog for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, AusBT editor David Flynn asks readers to rate the efforts of Qantas and Virgin Australia in their fight for the hearts, wallets and bums of Australia's business travellers.

Qantas and Virgin Australia continue to cry 'game on!' in the continuing battle for Australia's business travellers.

The latest stoush sees a surge of extra seats hit the market as the airlines increase the number of daily flights and roll out larger aircraft for domestic routes.

And that's going to translate into cheaper fares at the pointy end of the plane.

The reason? Qantas is primed to protect its often-quoted 'line in the sand' of 65% market share as Virgin Australia edges ever closer to that same line, looking to woo lucrative corporate travellers over to their side.

Business travellers and frequent flyers are the winners in this turf war.

It's war which kicked up a notch almost one year ago when Virgin Blue was rebranded, or more accurately reborn, as Virgin Australia.

Since then we've seen better business class seats and service, better meals (both in the air and on the ground), upgraded lounges and, at least on Virgin's side of the trenches, a more rewarding frequent flyer scheme.

So this week we're asking readers to rate the airlines on their business travel offerings.

Head over to this week's High Flyer blog for more, and to write your own "business traveller's report card" for Qantas and Virgin Australia.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

24 Feb 2012

Total posts 51

I still prefer Qantas. While I like what Virgin are doing and like the re-branding and business product, I still find Qantas has an edge. I think Virgin will get there but it's the little things with Qantas that sway me such as I prefer their "manage my booking" system compared to Virgin. I like the fact I can select my seat from the moment I book my flight, Virgin only 14 days prior and only if you have a flexi or above ticket. I like that on Qantas you can upgrade with points even on a Red E-deal ticket (despite it not being guaranteed I'm yet to be declined at check in). The check in process with Qantas is fantastic and I love the Q tags which make checking in your bag easy and seamless. Virgin improving so look out Qantas but for now I'll stick with the Red Roo

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

01 Mar 2012

Total posts 170

I think there are areas where Qantas is superior as New Mint has mentioned, however for me the general staff demeanor abord Virgin has seen that i prefer to fly with them. There are little things that I wish they did better however given the enormous change that has happened there I'm sure that they will get there.

CL9
CL9

22 Mar 2012

Total posts 200

Virgin- Cheaper, better product, better service!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 752

Since January it's been Virgin unless absolutely necessary (JQ have a better evening schedule for NTL<>MEL). The service experience in DJ has improved out of sight - now I genuinely enjoy flying again in economy. More legroom in economy (QF BSI have a 30" pitch), the slightly wider seats in the E190s, and a free cup of tea hit the spot. Some of the refurbished aircraft still have Live2Air, however IFE is almost moot now as people have their own devices. Very happy with VIrgin and look forward the next flights. 

However this is not a general dig at QF, I'm sure the team over there work very hard to do their job. But when you're chasing those SCs you have to pick a side and stick with it. 

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 59

Virgin for me.You can bring your own food and drink on the planes and I find them that little bit friendlier.I haven't stepped foot on Qantas anywhere since 2010 so can't comment on them.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 228

It would be good if Qantas FF offered Hilton HHonors Gold Membership for Gold FF or Platinum of Platinum FF like Virgin does.
I really appreciate that feature of the Virgin program.

17 May 2012

Total posts 81

Sorry, but the new kid on the block is running rings around Qantas both domesticaly and on the ( limited) Int'l routes. One reason and one reason alone. Customer driven. I could give a number of examples where Virgin are pro active and Qantas are only ever reactive. (Syd-Perth-Syd for example) Frequent Flyer is another. I'm supporting them all the way while they continue to put the customer first.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Nov 2011

Total posts 122

Having flown both in the last month, I still believe Qantas have the edge. In terms of ticket price, Qantas and Virgin now do not differ a whole lot in price, with Qantas sometimes coming under the price of Virgin. If they are indeed looking to charge similar prices, I think that the QF inflight product is far superior to the Virgin one. Particularly when it comes to Business class.

Not adverse to Virgin stepping it up however, because it just means Qantas will need to improve too and in the end, we all win.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Nov 2011

Total posts 185

Virgin are showing fantastic progress, and their new lounges and hard product look great!  But wether you call it reactive, or simply that QF are listening to tehir customers QF are maintaining their edge.  Ecconomy on QF is constantly changing.  Often for an equivalent price to virgin even the cheapest ticket comes all inclusive.  I fly ADL-SYD a lot and for a 1hr40min flight the included food/drink are very welcome.  The new planes are great, and we can only hope that soonish some of the older 737s will get the new seats and IFE.  I travel with my iPad, but i dont always have time to load it up with videos.  Business is a whole other game.  The VA seats look impressive and the new service sounds swish, but I have caught 20 domestic Business flights on QF this year and have had a different meal every single time.  Fro the sounds of things VAs selection is still a small rotating offering.  Finally, as a Platinum FF the QF lounges cannot be matched.  The modern styling of the domestic business lounges combined with the great food and beverage make them a haven at the end of a trip.  As for the first lounge in Sydney....VA are improving and competition is healthy, but QF cannot be matched atm.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2012

Total posts 140

I've been a loyal Q FF Platinum for several years, with an annual spend between $40K and $90K.  But  the airline stand down by Joyce in October was the final straw for me, after seeing poorer and poorer service from Qantas out of Perth and a marked decline in quality of international service under Joyce .   I wanted to jump ship to Virgin and asked Virgin to status match my Qantas Platinum across to their program.  They messed about and tried to get me to purchase some kind of deal.  All in all it was apparent that Virgin were not really that interested in winning my busines.  So it seems both airlines are equally unfocussed when it comes to their customers.  In the end, just like the Banks, it's harder to switch that to stay with what you've got.  So I'm stuck in a miserable relationship with Qantas!  And I really hate the whole Jeststar thing (e.g., Perth to Bali, Perth to Cairnes and increasingly, Perth to Adelaide).  Completely cheap rubbish. 

CL9
CL9

22 Mar 2012

Total posts 200

I have always found it rather funny how people comment on Jetstar when this is Australian BUSINESS traveller. Don't complain until you travel with them solely for leisure!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 752

Business travellers often have to use Jetstar due to no other viable option being available. Therefore we're allowed to complain about them :)

CL9
CL9

22 Mar 2012

Total posts 200

Well, I guess you can complain but their main market is in leisure, thats why it is slightly unfair to complain about Jetstar when most of you usually travel in business class. :)

AlG
AlG

04 Nov 2010

Total posts 674

I'm not a fan of Jetstar, always fly Virgin as I just hop between the main cities, but I have friends in companies where the company policy for booking travel is 'lowest fare on the day' and many government and large companies have 'compliance systems' in place where you CANNOT book anything but that fare, and so Jetstar does get a share of business travel even in economy. Yes it sucks for them, they don't even earn QF points, but that is company policy so JQ is fair game.

09 Sep 2012

Total posts 140

Didn't realise that this space was reserved entirely for hallowed business travellers discussing matters entirely to do with business trips.

Some of us are actually old enough to have flown in first class domestically, with Qantas' predecessors and with Ansett, before first was re-designated Business.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2012

Total posts 268

I recently travelled to Melbourne on Virgin and back to Sydney on Qantas, Virgin seems to have the better product, especially in the food area. Qantas' food was not fresh and frozen but Virgin was just right especially the coffee. I prefer flying Virgin Australia on business class flights.


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