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Qantas: SYD to/from SFO - how good is it?

Qantas: SYD to/from SFO - how good is it?

Old Aug 28, 17, 9:05 pm
  #1  
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Qantas: SYD to/from SFO - how good is it?

I recently traveled on it.
- we had 10mins of no power, no ac! Later I found out their generator was bad and were using external power. Downtime was due to switching to Jet engine power.
- Shortly after the fuel fume was inside the cabin - I was scared if the aircraft was faulty with leaks (might have read about it on the news) - is it faulty?
- Service seems rigid. They would not serve coffee until after the meal - only water was served
- United offered another full meal - Qantas does not but had quite a good snack option on one of the flight.
- With passengers reclined, it was hard to walk out of your seat (might be the same on other airlines)

Others seems to think that Qantas offers more comfort, but I might have had better experience with United.

How has been your experience?

What is a good carrier for this route? What other options with rewards or with cash?

Update:
I traveled on Economy

Last edited by sciconf; Aug 28, 17 at 9:16 pm
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Old Aug 28, 17, 9:12 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by sciconf View Post
I recently traveled on it.
<snip>
Others seems to think that Qantas offers more comfort, but I might have had better experience with United.

How has been your experience?

What is a good carrier for this route? What other options with rewards or with cash?
What class did you travel?
What is your definition of good?
Only interested SFO-SYD?
I thought you had done some other USA Australia flights in the last few years

Airlines that fly USA/Canada to/from Australia (not from all airports to all airports)
- American Airlines AA (LAX - SYD) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner)
- Air Canada AC (YYR – SYD, BNE, MEL 1 Dec 2017 to 1 Feb 2018 ) [Star Alliance]
- Air New Zealand NZ (LAX SFO IAH YVR via AKL) [Star Alliance]
- Air Tahiti Nui TN (LAX via Tahiti. Last segments on codeshares) (AA & DL partner)
- Delta DL (LAX – SYD) (VA & AS partner) [Skyteam Alliance]
- Fiji Airways FJ (LAX SFO HNL – BNE SYD MEL ADL via Fiji) (QF, AA & AS partner)
- Hawaiian HA (HNL – SYD BNE) (AA & VA partner)
- Jetstar JQ JQ (HNL – SYD BNE)
- Qantas QF (LAX SFO JFK DFW HNL YVR*– SYD BNE MEL) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner) {* seasonal}
- United UA (LAX SFO – SYD MEL) [Star Alliance]
- Virgin Australia VA (LAX – SYD BNE) (DL partner) MEL LAX restarting 4 April 2017
And others via Asia & Middle East
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Old Aug 28, 17, 9:18 pm
  #3  
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I traveled on Economy

I recently traveled on United and remember the experience.
I had also traveled on Air Canada but don't remember - besides it is via Canada and not direct.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 9:52 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by sciconf View Post
I recently traveled on it.
- we had 10mins of no power, no ac! Later I found out their generator was bad and were using external power. Downtime was due to switching to Jet engine power.
- Shortly after the fuel fume was inside the cabin - I was scared if the aircraft was faulty with leaks (might have read about it on the news) - is it faulty?
- Service seems rigid. They would not serve coffee until after the meal - only water was served
- United offered another full meal - Qantas does not but had quite a good snack option on one of the flight.
- With passengers reclined, it was hard to walk out of your seat (might be the same on other airlines)
- most airlines use ground power. fuel is expensive. switching doesn't normally take 10min
- not normal but air is sucked in from outside when on the ground
- when you have 200+ pax in the Economy section, most airlines have various service rules
- yes. Qantas will often do snacks for some flights, depending on timing
- pretty standard in economy unless in exit row or bulkhead
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Old Aug 29, 17, 12:25 am
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I was a little surprised at a few of the points, then realised you flew economy. Standard tbh with most economy
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Old Aug 29, 17, 2:00 am
  #6  
og
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Originally Posted by sciconf View Post
I recently traveled on it.
- we had 10mins of no power, no ac! Later I found out their generator was bad and were using external power. Downtime was due to switching to Jet engine power.
- Shortly after the fuel fume was inside the cabin - I was scared if the aircraft was faulty with leaks (might have read about it on the news) - is it faulty?
- Service seems rigid. They would not serve coffee until after the meal - only water was served
- United offered another full meal - Qantas does not but had quite a good snack option on one of the flight.
- With passengers reclined, it was hard to walk out of your seat (might be the same on other airlines)

Others seems to think that Qantas offers more comfort, but I might have had better experience with United.

How has been your experience?

What is a good carrier for this route? What other options with rewards or with cash?

Update:
I traveled on Economy
APUs are sometimes faulty - on most airlines. Its permissable. It means no air con on boarding.

Fumes in the cabin can be detected on engine start-up. It indicates an old engine (putting it simplistically). Common to most airlines. Not nice, but can't do anything about it.

You are unlikely to get a drink that is not on the cart in the middle of a meal service. Aisles are blocked and it takes too long. I cannot recall coffee being offered during a meal service - only after it.

Trans Pac, I find UA does a better job than QF on catering.

Reclining seats are a PITA. Acceptable on long haul flights when sleeping, but otherwise its just rude.

Last edited by og; Aug 29, 17 at 2:05 am
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Old Aug 29, 17, 10:36 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by og View Post
Trans Pac, I find UA does a better job than QF on catering.
Totally agree. I think that US companies provide better customer service, and more practical (even with the security).

I had a grooming (tiny) pair of scissors - it made through TSA as a carry-on, on the international flight - but when I transferred to domestic in SYD, the security confiscated! Em, it was no threat on the international flight but all of a sudden became on a 55min flight! Mis-matched security policy - but then they allowed water bottles to pass through security.
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Old Aug 29, 17, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by sciconf View Post
Totally agree. I think that US companies provide better customer service, and more practical (even with the security).

I had a grooming (tiny) pair of scissors - it made through TSA as a carry-on, on the international flight - but when I transferred to domestic in SYD, the security confiscated! Em, it was no threat on the international flight but all of a sudden became on a 55min flight! Mis-matched security policy - but then they allowed water bottles to pass through security.
QF doesn't set security policy for the TSA or the Australian government
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Old Aug 29, 17, 4:46 pm
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I think you would have been on a 747 from SFO, right? That's what I was on last time I did it. The Qantas 747's are getting tired I have to admit.
I find Qantas's meal service and entertainment are pretty good. The comfort level for economy though is not great.
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Old Aug 29, 17, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by woodduck View Post
I think you would have been on a 747 from SFO, right? That's what I was on last time I did it. The Qantas 747's are getting tired I have to admit.
I find Qantas's meal service and entertainment are pretty good. The comfort level for economy though is not great.
- QF 73 & 74 - Boeing 747-400

United uses Boeing 787-9

Speaking of entertainment, on my way back, there was no sound from the movie - changed head phones but still none. Before the movie start, there is some music but there is no audible sound of the characters speaking or other related sound - they were silent movies - all movies.

- Once before it was Airbus, was too cold and you can not reach the roof to adjust the airflow & got sick when landed - I sent feedback to QF but they didn't seem to care.

Last edited by sciconf; Aug 29, 17 at 5:28 pm
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Old Sep 4, 17, 8:28 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by woodduck View Post
I think you would have been on a 747 from SFO, right? That's what I was on last time I did it. The Qantas 747's are getting tired I have to admit.
I find Qantas's meal service and entertainment are pretty good. The comfort level for economy though is not great.
But the UA 747s are in even worse condition and no personal TVs in economy.
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Old Sep 4, 17, 10:39 pm
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Originally Posted by fly747first View Post
But the UA 747s are in even worse condition and no personal TVs in economy.
The thread is about travel between Australia and USA. UA DO NOT use 747's on this route & haven't done for a considerable time. Also, ALL of the remaining UA 747's will be gone by the middle of November.

QF still has 11 747's. 2 are planned to be retired in 2018 with another 3 in 2019. No plans have been announced for the remaining 6. QF still use these between SYD & LAX, SFO & YVR.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 11:36 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by sciconf View Post
I recently traveled on it.
- we had 10mins of no power, no ac! Later I found out their generator was bad and were using external power. Downtime was due to switching to Jet engine power.
- Shortly after the fuel fume was inside the cabin - I was scared if the aircraft was faulty with leaks (might have read about it on the news) - is it faulty?
- Service seems rigid. They would not serve coffee until after the meal - only water was served
- United offered another full meal - Qantas does not but had quite a good snack option on one of the flight.
- With passengers reclined, it was hard to walk out of your seat (might be the same on other airlines)

Others seems to think that Qantas offers more comfort, but I might have had better experience with United.

How has been your experience?

What is a good carrier for this route? What other options with rewards or with cash?

Update:
I traveled on Economy
Iím an Aussie ex-pat living in SF and iíve Flown this route _alot_ over the years, except during the dark period where they stopped the service for a couple of years.

Iíve never had much of a problem with any of my flights between SFO - SYD, granted I was traveling most in PE with a bunch of J thrown in.

I do have to say the service is hit and miss though. Some flights the staff are very attentive and friendly, others not so much, even with the basics. But this is not specific to this route.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 6:19 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by pwacher View Post
...

I do have to say the service is hit and miss though. Some flights the staff are very attentive and friendly, others not so much, even with the basics. But this is not specific to this route.
Actually, while Qantas service can indeed hit and miss, QF ex SFO flights specifically had a reputation for minimalist if not quite non existent service.

SYD/SFO had a reputation as a "party" slip and FA's were often in recovery mode as they worked the flight back to SYD.

Not sure if it is still the case with the recently resurrected route.

Last edited by serfty; Dec 31, 17 at 6:26 pm
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Old Jan 1, 18, 12:55 pm
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Originally Posted by serfty View Post
SYD/SFO had a reputation as a "party" slip and FA's were often in recovery mode as they worked the flight back to SYD.

Not sure if it is still the case with the recently resurrected route.
From what I understand (and have seen), that route is generally coveted and staffed by FAs with many, many years of service under their belt as they get 1st pick of the routes.

A friend of mine who is a FA, has about 15 years and still can’t get close to getting on that route on any regular basis.
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Last edited by pwacher; Jan 1, 18 at 1:35 pm Reason: updated with some extra info
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