Over the past month I have been invited on 3 occasions to various behind the scenes Qantas experiences which have been really interesting and give another point of view to some of the “issues” travellers and travel agents face on a daily basis.
My first visit was to the new Qantas Centre at Mascot – as a Qantas Platinum Agent, BTG has the additional benefit of dealing with a small dedicated team of experts and we were able to meet them. We also were shown the Operational centre and how they manage delays and passenger disruptions, this was really interesting as they explained to us the additional considerations they need to think of when delaying or cancelling a flight – passengers onward connections, flight crew hours, passengers who may need medical assistance/medication due to delay, pets on board – not just a phone call to the travel agent!
The second visit was to the Qantas Centre of Service Excellence – where a lot of the in-house crew training happens – we were able to see all 4 seating types and test them out – one day I will travel in First !! We also were taken to one of the Hangers at the airport and taken on board the new American Airlines aircraft with will start service back to Australia after a long absence – Qantas and AA will continue building on their relationship and network to benefit the Aussie traveller.
My final visit was back to the Qantas Centre of Service Excellence where we got to meet the team in charge of the Meals/Wine selection, had a lovely Sommelier session and then met with the team from Qantas and Neil Perry who design the menus – did you know it takes 42 weeks to set the menu for the next season in place, and all First class meals are cooked (not microwaved) and plated on board the aircraft by the QF staff.
For me the next bit was the best – behind the scenes at the Domestic terminal – we were taken into the Baggage operations centre and could see the whole system at work, QF are very proud of their record – average 2 bags in 1000 misplaced. For all narrow bodied aircraft (737’s) it is still a manual process – 5 baggage handlers load each bag manually – now I know why the big HEAVY signs are needed!
by Ciara Fitzgerald