Thursday, April 20, 2023

In Anno Itinerantur - Q is for Qantas

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Q

In the past year since  travel opened up for Australians Robert and I have taken several journeys at home and overseas. While I posted many photos of these adventures on Facebook I want to leave a more permanent record of some of our adventures. This challenge provides me with opportunities to share my photos and stories while recording some personal history. 

I plan to share photos and stories from our travels between April 2022 and March 2023.  My theme this year is In Anno Itinerantur. 

In my first post of this series I related some experiences relating to our air travel. I was desperately looking around for something Qish for this post and Qantas, our national airline, came to mind. 

There are many Qantas bashers downunder but the popular Flying Kangaroo, is still my choice for flying (when the price is right). 

Stepping on board after an overseas trip and being greeted with a welcome in a strong Aussie accent makes me feel safe, the environment is Dinky-Di Australian. Hearing the beautiful "I still call Australia home" over the PA as we approach our home city after an overseas jaunt engenders pride and  reminds us how fortunate we are to live in the lucky country. Of course the experience in the interval between take-off and landing differs according to one's position on the plane.

The Flying Kangaroo that took us on our first family trip to Europe in 1983
Photo taken by my Dad as he waved us goodbye

Hoping we take off on time
Sure we have had a few late starts but sometimes these are the fault of passengers whose bags are loaded and decide, at the last minute, not to take the journey. We then have to sit on the tarmac while baggage handlers remove those bags. Sometimes there is an issue like a blocked sink or a hiccup with a navigational aid. I'd rather sit it out for issues to be addressed than take off in an aircraft with a problem. In a busy airport where we miss our allocated takeoff time we may have to wait until we are cleared for takeoff.

Thankfully our luggage managed to arrive with us on our flights last year. We must have drawn a long straw! We have never seen so many lonely bags in a baggage hall as we did at Heathrow last year.

In the past year we have had several Qantas flights: in Economy, Economy with Extra Legroom, in Economy with three seats purchased for two passengers and in Business Class. Our experience in these situations has varied. 

Irrespective of the class travelled the Qantas safety record should comfort any nervous flyer. "Qantas has reclaimed its title of the world's safest airline in this year's rankings, with two Australian carriers featuring in the global top 10.
The Flying Kangaroo beat more than 384 carriers across the globe to take back its number one spot, after briefly dropping to seventh place last year in the wake of a serious mishap." (

Safety Briefing on Qantas

Years ago we both purchased lifetime memberships to the Qantas Club which gave us access to the Qantas Business Lounges around the world. Even if we are flying in cattle class we can start our journeys in style. Due to the number of flights we took last year my status has been elevated so I can use the First Class Lounge.

I don't love everything about Qantas. When flying down the back of the plane I have found some food to be barely edible while in Business Class we enjoy a fine dining experience.

This meal in Economy Class on a Broome-Perth flight was the pits.

Business Class Meal - London to Perth

And then there's the space. We purchased three Economy seats for our Bali to Sydney trip this year. It was still a squeeze and I felt a little guilty when no-one else on the flight had an empty seat between them. When the flight attendants realised we had paid for the three seats they gave us super service.

No matter where we sit I love to follow the moving map of our journey. On a long flight I am relieved to see that we are getting close to our destination.

Excited to be nearing Rome after 16 hours in the plane

I fear that our days of flying Qantas may be shortly over as their prices have skyrocketed since pre-Covid days. A discounted Business Class airfare to Europe now costs more than double what we paid in 2019. We can't seem to use our thousands of hard earned Qantas Points for an overseas reward flights on Qantas. When we are lucky enough to score an overseas reward flight it is on a partner airline. Thankfully it's not too difficult to get reward flights on domestic routes.

Comfy on board with the Flying Kangaroo looking over us


  1. I remember getting on a Qantas flight after travelling for some months and the accent of the attendants took me right home - I was so surprised that I had missed it that much

  2. One thing about QF club is not you’re not dependent on the meal even in Y. I’m yet to get to fly in comfort class with QF and with rising prices it gets more unlikely…I think of how else I can use the $ on the trip. We flew back from DRW recently with VA extra leg room and it was good.

  3. We did the extra legroom on QF to DRW last year - was comfortable. I felt so sorry for the big boys in the premium Rugby League team on board who were in regular seats.

  4. Congrats on that safety record! For several years, I worked at the Flight Attendants Union (as a writer) -- so I know that's a record to be proud of. The food looks excellent as well :-)

    1. Qantas is an Aussie icon that engenders national pride.

  5. For me Q x and Z add an extra element of challenge to the AtoZ

  6. I wondered what you would choose for Q Jill. I thought Queensland, but Qantas is perfect. I agree with you that boarding Qantas after a long trip overseas is very comforting.

    1. My other Q options were Quirky and Quests. Always a difficult letter. Still thinking on Z.

  7. What a lovely ode to the airlines Jill -you are a true patriot :-)

    1. I love to support Australian Institutions.


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