Australia-US Flying Getting More Competitive

Australia-US Flying Getting More Competitive

USAirlines.jpgIt’s taken a while, but it looks like competition is finally hotting up on the Australia-US route. To fly that sector, airlines have to be either US or Australian owned, which has meant in recent years Qantas has enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the route (US airlines largely lacking the resources to run profitably in their own market, let alone a smaller long-haul route.) The only US competition has been from United, about whose B-grade service the less said the better. But things are improving.
It’s suffered a delayed start, but Virgin’s new offshoot VAustralia is due to make its first flights to the US early in the new year, and now over the weekend Delta has also announced plans to fly Sydney-LA from July 2009. As the Australian’s Steve Creedy points out, that means more activity for Skyteam, the third major global frequent flyer program (alongside OneWorld and Star Alliance). All of that should potentially mean lower prices, a wider range of flying times for Stateside travellers, and possibly better connections — though I won’t be getting too excited until I see a timetable and a price schedule.


  • And about time too. I have tended to fly United because of their business upgrade package and their premium class with the extra inches seating but had the misfortune to be reminded of the foetal position flying Qantas to the USA just to use up points. I must admit that the arrogance of the Qantas staff lived up to its reputation, the food was worse than anyone could possibly imagine and I suspect that Neil Perry has made some contribution to the cattle class feedbags. His signature lentils appeared. Can you imagine that? Feeding passengers on a 13 hour flight, lentils??? I might go for a meal of boiled eggs, Jerusalem artichoke puree, tofu and lentils and pop into Perry’s restaurant on a particularly crowded night (if this ever happens). Then let’s see who’s stupid enough to put bowel fermenting food on an airline flight.

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