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Old Nov 18, 12, 5:41 pm   #1
 
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A little Disappointed since they are supposed to be #1?

I just did my first 2 OZ flights in C. QS service from LAX then intra-Asia on the new A330-300.

Don't get me wrong. It is not bad -- and definitely better than UA overall. However, I feel somewhat disappointed because it also did not knock my socks off. I expected more because of all the top rankings.

The service is very attentative, which is what you expect for many Asian carriers - whether it is NH, CX, CI, BR or SQ. I think a lot of the desire to please the customer is just in the culture.

Food is not bad -- what you would expect with International C. Quality is not bad but quantity can be a little larger. I don't drink so I can't tell how good the wine list is.

Seating is not bad. The QS seat is good - feeling more private and a little wider than UA. The 333 slanted flat is not bad either. Both somewhat hard.

AVOD is definitely not as good as UA. It is not as user friendly and the picture quality is also not as good. I can't judge the contents.

ICN C lounge was a disappointment. - especially compared to OZ's ranking and the airport itself. It seems it can be bigger - it was crowded from maybe 7:30-9:00 AM. The food offering has variety but the quality is not so great.

Don't get me wrong. I like it and will fly OZ again. I guess it all comes down to customer expectation and sometimes it is not good when the customer expects too much.
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Old Nov 18, 12, 9:36 pm   #2
 
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Korean carriers don't have nice lounges compared to their *A counterparts specifically SQ, LX, LH, etc. It's an area that can get a lot of improvement but I would rather have them concentrate on the on-board service since in most cases we will be inside the plane longer than in the lounge, no?
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Old Nov 18, 12, 10:08 pm   #3
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username, I think your review is spot on in most cases. What makes OZ so great in the opinion of many of us here is the very attentive service which just seems to be that tiny bit better and more "genuine" than on other Asian carriers. Food usually gets a bit better reviews than just "good", especially the Korean choices ex ICN and the steak (its still an in-flight steak).
But typically everything else is just "good" the QS seat of course is an exception.
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Old Nov 19, 12, 6:17 am   #4
 
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Interesting to read this. MrsSgtRyan and I flew C class from SFO- ICN and were blown away. I thought the seat was comfortable and the food....for us it was a wow....honestly. Not only were we stuffed, the quality was also good.

I flew BA First 3 weeks before that flight and the food was shocking. I'd take Asiana over BA any day!....but we have to fly C class BA tomorrow
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Old Nov 19, 12, 6:52 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Jimgotkp View Post
Korean carriers don't have nice lounges compared to their *A counterparts specifically SQ, LX, LH, etc.
What? LH has better C lounges than OZ? Since when? Unless something has drastically changed since the last time I visited FRA, there's no way I'd put the LH C lounge in even the same class as OZ's lounge. Not that OZ's C lounge is anything great, but the LH lounge in my opinion was at least a few degrees less in being impressive compared to OZ's. Granted there were a few points that were superior, but overall I hated the LH lounge. Perhaps just a difference in opinions there.

SQ's C lounge at SIN is nice, but nothing spectacular really, and most of their outstation C lounges are even less impressive. Actually the old SQ lounge at ICN was one of my all-time favorite C lounges. A shame it closed down when the concourse terminal opened.

Now if you're talking about F lounges, then it's a different story. But for C lounges I think all of the lounges you mention have their good and bad points and you'd be hard pressed to find a general consensus as to whether any of them were the clear winner over the others.
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Old Nov 19, 12, 7:30 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by username View Post
I just did my first 2 OZ flights in C. QS service from LAX then intra-Asia on the new A330-300.

Don't get me wrong. It is not bad -- and definitely better than UA overall. However, I feel somewhat disappointed because it also did not knock my socks off. I expected more because of all the top rankings.

The service is very attentative, which is what you expect for many Asian carriers - whether it is NH, CX, CI, BR or SQ. I think a lot of the desire to please the customer is just in the culture.
I think most of the Asian carriers come very close to being at or near the top. So even though OZ was chosen as the best carrier in the world recently by some ranking organizations, it doesn't mean that they're ranked heads and shoulders above the rest. I think maybe that's where your expectations let you down. In any year I could see SQ or CX being named the top airline just as well as OZ. I myself prefer OZ, but there are others who would prefer the other Asian carriers. They all have their good and bad points, and it really comes down to personal tastes in deciding which one is tops for you.

Most certainly I agree with you about the AVOD not being up to snuff.

As for the quantity of food, I think it suits the typical Asian passenger fine. Some Westerners might be used to larger meals and find them a bit small, but I think most of their passengers will find them to be more than enough. There are always snacks available if you're still hungry, though likely not as good or satisfying as the meals.
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Old Nov 19, 12, 11:08 am   #7
 
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Some Westerners might be used to larger meals and find them a bit small, but I think most of their passengers will find them to be more than enough.
Indeed.

This Westerner certainly noticed the smaller portions, but I found them to be a lot more satisfying than the unappetizing biz meals served on American carriers.

Service was beyond reproach on every flight.

AVOD was substandard, but I don't watch much IFE -- I'd much rather read or tap away on my laptop.

And I'm in the extreme minority; I don't care for lie-flat since I prefer not having the foot rest in a fixed position. I also sleep better in a cradle position. I was delighted to have the "old-fashioned" biz seat on my flight out of JFK.

As for the ICN lounge, I have no complaints. I was happy with my made-to-order eggs over medium, followed by a trip to the massage chair. Don't think I'll find that in North America. Was the lounge crowded? Sure, but not to the point that I had trouble finding a seat.

I enjoyed my OZ flights so much that I wouldn't even consider flying a USA-based carrier over the Pacific, assuming no substantial price difference.
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Old Nov 19, 12, 12:35 pm   #8
 
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I'd say the main lounge issue is the limited space for the number of passengers using it. I've read on here that BA are due to use the OZ ICN lounge too, which will surely make things worse.

I've never used a massage chair in ICN because there's only three or four of them and they've been fully occupied whenever I've tried (sometimes with people sleeping). Access to the shower is also limited (and sometimes prohibited due to the bookings) but I have used it occasionally.

The quality of facilities are good once you access them, just getting availability in the first place.
I do think food in the lounge is quite limited but good if you've skipped breakfast/lunch/dinner and just looking for a pre-flight snack.

In terms of on-board service;
I really have found this to depend on whether you plan to stick to the script or not.
I order either a vegetarian or Asian vegetarian meal and the staff just can't handle it.
The last flight I took (ICN-LHR) the dishes came out in the wrong order and therefore went cold before I got to them. The crew couldn't understand what I was saying about the problem and went away to re-heat the items, rather than serve them heated at the right time. When it came to the main course, they just outright forgot...it wasn't until they started clearing the rest of the cabin and then came to remove my cutlery that I realised they'd forgotten, rather than it simply being delayed. Then it was rushed out in a luke-warm state. I also find they are typical of many airlines in that when it comes to deserts for vegetarians, it's always the same, ...fruit platter, merely presented as cubes, rather than slices you sometimes get when also given it as a starter (and sometimes the cheese course is also replaced with fruits too)....when there are so many other deserts that could be prepared this is rather a cop-out in my book. (The following breakfast meals on the night-flights also tend to start off with a fruit-platter too).

If I ask for a Coca-cola they will bring diet and then disappear. If I try to ask for a regular coca-cola when I next see them, they assume it's something about ice/no ice...it drives me barmey!

I've not experienced QS, but the old seats have really poor IFE with poor film selection. The last flight I took was 2x3x2 which I think is shockingly bad for C considering the middle seat.

The garlic bread is nice positive...but only during the first meal...by the time you get to the second meal of the flight it's gone dry and hard.

Overall I'd say OZ is good on the short-haul flights* of about 3 hours, but long-haul its sub-par.

*I've had some great short-haul flights, and I find the meals on them are usually the same as those served on the long-haul flights (thus about the right size for the distance) but during my last short-haul on OZ the IFE didn't work for half the flight.
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Last edited by jbfield; Nov 19, 12 at 12:44 pm..
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Old Nov 19, 12, 1:16 pm   #9
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We enjoyed the smartium seats ex ORD.
The A330 inter Asia angled seats were OK IMO.

Service on all 3 segments was very good. Efficient,attentive and pleasant staff

Food was tasty and in quantities that satisfied my requirements. Wines were nice,something a little different from my normal AC routine.

We also had an SQ J segment intra Asia and found the Asiana service on par with SQ . F may well yield a different result.

Lounges are functional. Showers were clean and readily available.

Staff were rigid in their presentation and I would prefer they had more personality. (could be a language barrier as I like to converse with the staff when I get the chance)

Would use them again,absolutely.
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Old Nov 19, 12, 5:12 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Lee View Post
What? LH has better C lounges than OZ? Since when? Unless something has drastically changed since the last time I visited FRA, there's no way I'd put the LH C lounge in even the same class as OZ's lounge. Not that OZ's C lounge is anything great, but the LH lounge in my opinion was at least a few degrees less in being impressive compared to OZ's. Granted there were a few points that were superior, but overall I hated the LH lounge. Perhaps just a difference in opinions there.
I don't think you can really objectively say that either the OZ lounge in ICN or the LH lounge in FRA is better - it depends on what your priorities are. To me, the LH lounge in FRA is better than the OZ lounge in ICN, but that's because my primary priority is the catering. I find the food and beverage selection to be far superior in the LH lounge.

The ambience, however, is much colder and more sterile than in ICN, with less comfortable chairs and without nice features such as the massage chairs. If the actual act of 'lounging' is more important to you, therefore, I could easily see how you would make a case for the OZ lounge being better.

On the overall assessment of the OP, there are certainly points where you can criticize OZ, but just having flown SQ and a lot of UA, I have come to appreciate the OZ service even more. My SQ flight was quite nice, but the soft service actually wasn't quite as good as what I'm used to on OZ (though I've had much better SQ flights than my recent one before). The food was good, but no better than OZ. The hard service was much better, but I was in an A380.

Now UA has just been terrible in every possible regard, from the lounges via aircraft equipment particularly to soft service.
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Old Nov 19, 12, 6:36 pm   #11
 
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English skills for FA's

As alluded to in a couple of prior posts, I think an area for targeted improvement of the OZ FA's would be English skills.

I've flown them in C now transpac several times (most recently last week) and have learned that almost any sort of non-standard request will lead to language challenges. As an example on the most recent flight I requested a cognac after dinner, and a Coke was produced. Politely at this point I pointed to the item on the menu/wine list and after a few back and forths it was understood and acknowledged. I've learned this "point at the menu and clarify trick" with OZ FA's and it seems to be the fail-safe for most requests. This can be challenging though as they don't want you to hold on to the menus or wine-lists and aggressively collect them after you order - I've learned to squirrel mine away.

Whilst on a intra-asia flight I'm not shocked if English skills aren't up to snuff I am surprised that there isn't more focus on it for C/F cabins ex-USA flights. Clearly OZ has an exceptional training program for their FA's but this could be improved.

I love the service from OZ - but in this communication arena they do seem to lag SQ and CX in my experience.

Grunion
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Old Nov 20, 12, 6:31 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Grunion View Post
As alluded to in a couple of prior posts, I think an area for targeted improvement of the OZ FA's would be English skills.

I've flown them in C now transpac several times (most recently last week) and have learned that almost any sort of non-standard request will lead to language challenges. As an example on the most recent flight I requested a cognac after dinner, and a Coke was produced. Politely at this point I pointed to the item on the menu/wine list and after a few back and forths it was understood and acknowledged. I've learned this "point at the menu and clarify trick" with OZ FA's and it seems to be the fail-safe for most requests. This can be challenging though as they don't want you to hold on to the menus or wine-lists and aggressively collect them after you order - I've learned to squirrel mine away.

Whilst on a intra-asia flight I'm not shocked if English skills aren't up to snuff I am surprised that there isn't more focus on it for C/F cabins ex-USA flights. Clearly OZ has an exceptional training program for their FA's but this could be improved.

I love the service from OZ - but in this communication arena they do seem to lag SQ and CX in my experience.

Grunion
It is bit hard on the OZ FAs to compare them with SQ and CX, when Singapore and HK are both very English based. Has anyone any comparison vs. English on NH?
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Old Nov 20, 12, 4:24 pm   #13
 
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English skills for FA's - NH comparison

I have only flown NH once - in C between HND and LAX earlier this year (February). The FA's did seem a bit better than OZ with English skills - but this was a one-off experience for me, whereas I've been lucky enough to fly OZ multiple times.

My sense with the FA's on ANA is that they were very well-trained on all the service terms, and that was the point I was attempting to make with OZ. If you are ordering something in English that is on the menu - like cognac - training may really be the key to minimizing challenges. If you go "off menu" and request things or use terminology unfamiliar to the FA in their 2nd or 3rd language, then I certainly understand the snags.

I grew up bilingual, so I am sensitive to language issues. My bottom line is if OZ management were to inquire with me about what could improve with respect to OZ service......English language training for FA's who fly into the US would be the one thing I would cite. All other elements of the service really are generally exceptional.

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Old Nov 20, 12, 6:38 pm   #14
 
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I did not experience any problems with the English but I pretty much stayed on script :-) I also deal with non-native speakers enough (and am one myself) to know to speak clearly and simplify my sentences to improve understanding (but not to the point where it shows you think their English is terrible).

The cabin announcements were understandable. The chief pursers/inflight serivice managers seem to have better English than the FAs. On the subject of that, are there male FAs and female chief pursers at OZ?

No doubt, if these airlines want to be world class, then their crew should speak better English (or whatever languages on the routes they serve). Even in Asia where being an FA is considered a good job, I think it would still be hard to get people who have top language skills to do it.

The language thing is not easy even for an airline like United - the US (and their crew bases) have people from all over the world. You would think they have the resources to get it right. Not really in reality - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...qualified.html and I have found a serious translation mistake on the UA safety card where it tells passengers in Chinese to inflate the lifevest in the aisle.
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Old Nov 20, 12, 6:54 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by username View Post
I did not experience any problems with the English but I pretty much stayed on script :-) I also deal with non-native speakers enough (and am one myself) to know to speak clearly and simplify my sentences to improve understanding (but not to the point where it shows you think their English is terrible).

The cabin announcements were understandable. The chief pursers/inflight serivice managers seem to have better English than the FAs. On the subject of that, are there male FAs and female chief pursers at OZ?

No doubt, if these airlines want to be world class, then their crew should speak better English (or whatever languages on the routes they serve). Even in Asia where being an FA is considered a good job, I think it would still be hard to get people who have top language skills to do it.

The language thing is not easy even for an airline like United - the US (and their crew bases) have people from all over the world. You would think they have the resources to get it right. Not really in reality - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...qualified.html and I have found a serious translation mistake on the UA safety card where it tells passengers in Chinese to inflate the lifevest in the aisle.
On the US-bound UA flights from Japan I've flown it was pretty much only English in business class. Just after take-off a Japanese FA would come up from economy to greet us and tell us to just ask if we needed her again; then we would not see her again. Some Japanese FAs seem to be around while everyone was sleeping, but since business class is a better job, the senior English-only-speaking FAs grab it. They have a half dozen Japanese words, but it seems ridiculous to be mouthing "ocha?" but expect the Japanese in C to understand everything else in English.

To be fair to UA, it was the same on my limited experience on ANZ and SQ ex-Japan.
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