Qantas or United?

On August 31, 2007, in news, by

Okay so folks know that I’m going upside down in November to Wayne’s conference….and it’s a choice of flying via Qantas (where I have no frequent flyer mileage, no extra room upgrades) or United (where I can go with more leg room and hang in the Red Carpet Lounge before the flight).  Both are 747s.  Both can be booked to leave from either LAX or SFO (I’m about equal distance between each airport so it really doesn’t matter).  Both leave at about 10:00 p.m one day and arrive 2 days later and both leave from Sydney on one day and arrive in the States about a 1/2 hour before they’ve left Sydney (which I always think is hilarious).

Now Dana makes the point that he’s going to be uncomfortable extra leg room or not… but I’m tempted to stick with United because then I’ll earn even more miles that can be used later.

So are they better?  Enough to lose the mileage, the extra leg room, the Red carpet lounge in LAX, or are they slipping a bit and it doesn’t matter as much?

And yes I’m already planning to stage blog posts (but prob not a scripted or as well done as the Old New Thing does) so both you and I don’t go into blog withdrawals. Okay I’ll admit it… it’s more me, there’s a “observation factor” that one gets stuck on and I’m a bit wacko about having a RSS feed that has at least one post every business day… yeah… I know..weird.


7 Responses to Qantas or United?

  1. Steve Williams says:


    If you can get a Premium Economy seat on United, why take a risk on Qantas where you could end up with a much worse seat. My wife and I have flown to Europe a couple of times in Premium Economy seats and it wasn’t too bad. The extra room DOES make a difference – especially on long flights!

    Steve Williams

  2. Chris Knight says:

    A recent survey of international airlines found Qantas last in the satisfaction scores. Of course, Qantas disagrees with the findings, citing other survey results – but these are international surveys, not national (Australian) surveys.
    Also – more disturbingly – aircraft engineers in Australia are attempting to ground two 747s due to inadequate maintenance performed by the overseas outsourced maintenance company.

    Choice magazine survey

    747 Safety Concern

  3. David says:

    I am an Aussie and wouldn’t fly Qantas if it was the last airline on Earth. Go with Premium Economy on United and pocket all those frequent flier miles!!

    Don’t forget your noise cancelling headphones. My ears used to really ring on the long trans pacific flights.

    And be thankful we no longer spray the bug killer when you arrive in Sydney.

  4. Peter Nader says:

    My daughter is a regular commuter on international flights and has no problems with ranking Qantas as the WORST provider .

    Thinking of flying – think Qantas
    Then think how lucky you were that you used someone else

  5. David Benet says:

    I’ve flown both trans-pacific and I would definitely recommend United. Qantas is one of the most profitable airlines in the world, and that doesn’t happen by being generous with legroom or ammenties.

    Qantas food is terrible, service is shocking and legroom is non-existent. Last time I flew United last seating row was 52 and Qantas is 68, guess who crams more cattle in the cabin?

  6. Aaron Booker says:

    Are you sure that it’s not the same plane with two different flight numbers? I’d recommend using before buying and check it out…

    I have over 700K miles on Alaska Airlines and fly on lots of different airlines but bring all those miles back to AK Air whenever possible – I work hard to to stack my miles on my primary mileage plan and keep my perks. I had to take one of my overseas flights on United this year, (where I only have 80K miles overall) and I probably won’t make MVP Gold on Alaska next year because of it. Bummer! I’d love to have a flight to Australia to help keep me in the top of the mileage plan of my choice.

    Great good luck!