Woe to Qantas as reviewer inadvertently praises Virgin Australia

Poor Qantas Group. Someone, PR or reviewer, tries to make a joke but only ends up praising Virgin Australia. First there was Jetstar and seat colours and now it is espresso.

The Sun-Herald review of Qantas’ (over-hyped) 747 service to Perth concludes:


Sky Report’s only black mark was our flight attendant’s (albeit gentle) mocking when we put in our coffee order as “a long black”.

“A long black. Would you like a twist with that?” he quipped with a friendly smile.

It took us a while to puzzle it out. Then we realised: there was no espresso on board, as many international services do have in business class these days.

This might be a largely international configuration. But there are still some things you can’t get when you’re not leaving Australian airspace.

Clearly Virgin Australia has not flown the Sun-Herald’s reporter in its trans-con business class. In that cabin there would be no “albeit gentle mocking” from the cabin crew if asked for a long black.

The cabin crew would bring it out.

After all, Virgin Australia’s A330s flying between Sydney and Perth have an espresso machine on board:

Virgin Australia espresso machine A330.JPGIt is too easy to further pick apart that review.

The Sun-Herald reviewer champions the 747 being “substantially faster than the Airbus Qantas has most commonly used on the route”. The 747 is so faster, the writer says, that despite an hour delay at Sydney, the flight arrived only 15 minutes late. But ah the wonders of schedule padding in which airlines include extra time in the block time so a minor disruption will still allow an aircraft to arrive on time.

For normal operations, Qantas’s schedule shows the 747 Sydney-Perth flight is 15 minutes faster than on an A330-200 (the 747-400 typically cruises around 913 km/h while the A330-200 cruises at 880 km/h). But in the scheme of a 5 hour block flight, 15 minutes does not seem that substantial.

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