Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Complaint to Qantas

Oh look: It's a complaint to Qantas again.

This one went off to Qantas this morning and relates to flights I took with them quite recently.

Truthfully, I don't know why I fly with them anymore.  Oh that's right: Company policy.  But their slashing of value with respect to in-flight catering shouldn't really go unchecked for too much longer.

Folks, if you don't complain about this continual erosion of what is stuff that you should expect, Qantas will continue to turn the Qantas brand into an international joke.  I say this as a former shareholder.
Dear Sir/Madam,

I have a complaint for you.  Firstly, however, I ask you to consider how you would normally answer if someone comes up to you right now and were to ask, ‘Hey, I’m going out for a coffee.  Do you want one?’

If you would normally answer, ‘a skinny latte for me, please,’ or for any kind of caffeinated beverage with low fat milk, I respectfully ask that this complaint be passed on to someone who still has their tastebuds intact.  If you normally ask that person going off to the cafe for a non-caffeinated beverage with low-fat milk, I strongly urge you to seek help.

Yesterday, as I was on the flight to Sydney out of Tullamarine at the ungodly time of 0630 hours, I was reminded of a particular section of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, section 116.  This is the section that prohibits the Commonwealth from favouring one religion over another, and is often quoted by naive Australians as evidence that Australia is secular.  Usually, when they say this, they turn a blind eye to our public holidays that are structured around religious celebrations, as well as those other aspects of public life where religion, more specifically, mainstream Christianity, is forced upon us lesser religious folk, not to mention kiddies who are unable to opt out of such ‘secular’ programs as religious education and chaplaincy programmes that feature in taxpayer funded schools of all persuasions.

But it is not religion that I write to you about, even though I draw this parallel.

Yesterday, upon the flight, I was prompted to think about religion and its all invasive hydra of heads when I was served breakfast on my flight, which consisted of muesli and a small bottle of a strange concoction from Pura, called ‘Skimmer’.

Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be one of those aforementioned low-fat milk products that taste as if someone spat in a bowl of water and stirred it around a bit.

I asked the flight attendant that surely, there had been some mistake, and could I have some full cream milk instead?

I have to hand it to the professionalism of your flight attendant.  His poker face did not waver one bit as he responded with a straight bat, that they didn’t serve full cream milk on Qantas flights anymore, as, ‘Everyone complained that they wanted low fat milk.’

I very much expected the late and very much missed Leslie Nielsen to put his head out of the cockpit and add that if it wasn’t too much to ask, could I stop calling the flight attendant, “Shirley”?

But I do have to call ‘bollocks!’ on this suggestion.  The very notion that ‘Everyone’ called Qantas demanding low fat milk would be outrageous, if it wasn’t for the hilarity that ensues when one considers the frankly unbelievable situation that one might be presented with, should this have ever occurred.  Ignoring the very real problem that the telecommunications of a small to medium-sized country would be quickly rendered out-of-order by the phoning going on, imagine every car on the road coming to a complete standstill as everyone pulls over and attempts to contact Qantas in their attempt to enforce low fat milk on everyone.

In fact, it is only in this unlikely (and totally newsworthy) situation in which I might be prepared to forgive you for serving me up the bottled snot that you think passes for milk in this day and age.  And whilst I confess to not watching the news all the time, I think I would have heard of seven billion people choking Qantas’ switchboard with calls.

I should point out that the last person I heard trying to convince me that absolutely everyone in the whole, wide world were trying to do something like this, I didn’t believe it then, and I’m pretty sure that the decline in Vanessa Amorosi’s career is no coincidence.

I think that I would have a credible hypothesis that it was not ‘everybody’, but a vocal bunch of idiots who are very much in the minority, not unlike the likes of Jim Wallace, Cardinal Pell or Archbishop Jensen.  And just like the powerbrokers in the major political parties, you listen to them like the gullible schmucks they are, possibly even believing the rubbish about ‘That’s the Kool-Aid that people drink these days.’

Listen, I remember the days where every flight between Melbourne and Sydney had a hot meal.  I didn’t complain when you did away with the hot breakfast which was, unlike most plane food, a good feed of scrambled eggs, sausage and either mushrooms or tomato.  I didn’t complain when you limited hot meals on this sector to flights departing between 6:00 and 6:05 PM on Mondays through Wednesdays and I certainly didn’t complain when meals became a Byron Bay cookie and a bottle of water.  I didn’t complain either, when your Bega Tasty cheese and Jatz combo went from three Jatz crackers to two, nor did I complain when your meat and salad panini halved in size, as it appeared to have done on my return flight back to Melbourne, last night.

See, I bet that every time you get a new manager in to look after this area, the first thing that they do is look at their KPIs and say, ‘How do I slash costs?’  Then, they slash what is provided to the punters in the interest of saving costs.  This, dear reader, is reducing what mums and dads call ‘value’ and every time you erode this, it does not go unnoticed.  There would have been close to hundreds of meetings over the past few years where the manager in charge of in-flight catering makes a presentation to the executive of the division and discusses the savings that have taken place.  I can almost visualise the exact moment when that manager would have puffed out his chest with pride, looked the executive square in the eye and said, ‘We slashed at our Jatz crackers and saved 10 million dollars.  It was an heroic battle, but Qantas passengers should only have two Jatz crackers, don’t you think?  Three Jatz crackers should have been seen as the aesthetic deformity that it was.’  And I can almost feel the thump of the executive’s hand coming down on the manager’s back amidst the mutual backslapping that would have then occurred.  Don’t even begin to discuss what kind of bonus was paid for this atrocity that was committed in the name of customer service.

It’s about time that someone did let you know that that you’ve crossed a line, because eventually, you’ll claim that ‘everyone’ wanted no pork products, when in reality it was a few overly pious religious scholars, or that I’m no longer able to order sugar with my coffee, because ‘everyone’ wanted to have Equal® instead.  The way things are going, we’re probably going to have gluten-free food forced on us by you by the end of the year thanks to fatuous wankers who think that gluten kills puppies.  Wake up to yourselves.

I would very much like this fixed.  Low fat milk should remain an option, like kosher, halal, Atkins and gluten-free, but full cream milk should be, just like it is in the real world, which you clearly don’t inhabit, the default.

Yours sincerely,


Again, I doubt that I'll get a response.

1 comment:

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