Tag: qantas

An Email to Qantas

Sent: 27 April 2010

Dear Qantas,

After being on hold to your call centre for 27 minutes, I hope this will get me the information I'm looking for.

I have flights from New York to Dallas to Austin to LA that I took with American Airlines last month and I would like to claim the frequent flyer points for those trips.

I have not been able to find the details/instructions on your website to make this claim and contacting the frequent flyer call centre during the listed opening hours but still being on hold for 27 minutes has done nothing but add disdain to my opinion of your brand.

Now I'm frustrated and still don't have the information I require.

Is there a form I have to fill out? Is there an address to send the boarding passes to? Do they have to be the originals or can I send photocopies?

It would be simple to have all of this information linked to on your website in the appropriate place but it's not. Instead, links lead to pop-ups that are the wrong size and still don't have the information I need. Other links send me around in circles throughout your site. Surely mine is a fairly common case. Why doesn't your website cater for it?

All I want to do is claim frequent flyer points I have earned. Can you please tell me what I need to do?

In frustration,


Update 28/4/10

Last night Qantas sent an unhelpful automatic reply:

Thanks for your inquiry.

We'll respond to any concerns as soon as we can. If your inquiry relates to a missing points claim that is eligible we won't send a reply - instead we'll simply credit the points to your account. You can then view your
account on-line at qantas.com/frequentflyer

This is an automatic message, so you don't have to reply. However, if you need to send us any further correspondence in relation to your enquiry, please include all previous e-mails and your membership number. This will help us process your request more efficiently.

Firstly, is it an "enquiry" or an "inquiry"? I don't care which side of the semantic fence you fall on (see the usage notes on Wiktionary) but you should be consistent within the document.

Secondly, it's not that hard to send out another standard email saying "we have credited your missing points to your account."

The main problem here, however, is that same as on the hold message. How long am I expected to wait for an answer if I'm ever going to get one? As soon as you can? That's bullshit. What's the expected time frame?

At this stage, and with that letter, I expect I will never get a response from Qantas.

Ten hours is long enough on a flight

Travelling to New York from Melbourne is one of the longest trips on a plane. Too long. The flight from MEL to LAX is about 13 or 14 hours. Then there's the whole disembarking, customs, luggage, connecting flight malarky to put up with and then another 5 hours to JFK.

I hate airports and I hate the non-temperature they have on planes. Neither warm nor cold. I'm sure it's calculated to be the most pleasant for most people but it never feels like anything at all and that, in itself is unnatural.

Then there's the whole notion of travelling economy. There's no room to stretch out so it's almost impossible to get any sleep, even if your doctor prescribed some helping tablets.

There came a point in the first leg when I thought, "That's really long enough for a flight." I checked the handy flight path channel on the on-demand, in-seat entertainment unit and we had only just passed over Hawaii. That was about 10 hours into the flight. I wished we could stop in Honolulu for a night, get some rest and then continue on, but the pilot had other plans.

By the time we arrived at LAX I was largely zombified. Only managing three and a half hours' sleep the night before (because of the Australia vs Cuba game), Thursday had, thus far, lasted about 25 hours. There would be another 13 before it was actually time to go to bed.

Another problem with the length of travel is the anticipation of just wanting to be at the destination already. In this case it just happens to be my favourite place on earth.

New York City is where I most feel at home. I love Melbourne dearly and it really comes a very close second but there's something about NYC that makes me feel like I really belong here.

So the time it takes to get here is crucial. It takes about 20 hours total and that's just too long. That's essentially a whole day I spending not being in either Melbourne or New York. I am nowhere. Transit is limbo and it's the most uncomfortable and unnatural feeling there is.

Feeling the cold on my face when I walked out of the terminal at JFK was instantly comforting. I had returned and it felt right.
Films seen: Burn After Reading, Rachel Getting Married, Vicky Christina Barcelona