Qantas Does Domestic Best. Iconic Australian carrier Qantas has scored another series of wins in the 2019 Airlineratings.com Airline Excellence Awards, picking up the coveted awards for best domestic service, best lounges, and best regional airline.
The world’s oldest continuously operating airline was in again a top-10 carrier, coming in at number three and narrowly losing a three-way battle for Airline of the Year with Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand.
BEST DOMESTIC SERVICE.
Qantas has remained true to the concept of a full-service airline on its domestic routes, offering all-in economy fares that cover checked luggage, blankets, food, entertainment and, on some flights, complimentary beer, and wine.
Food and beverages are sourced from local producers, and the airline focuses on fresh ingredients and modern food trends.
The flying kangaroo has all the entertainment bases covered. It has seat-back screens on many mainline flights, offers complimentary tablets on others and boasts an in-flight entertainment app as well as free high-speed wi-fi.
Its Q inflight entertainment system offers more than 1000 hours of programming including monthly new-release movies, the latest box sets, and documentaries.
The airline offers lie-flat beds on its A330 fleet and provides a top-notch business class product on many weekday transcontinental services that rivals some international offerings. This includes plated meals and fine wines.
All this, backed by an impressive domestic lounge network, combined to make Qantas the world’s best domestic airline.
Aussies are spoilt for choice when it comes to airport lounges, and Qantas has worked hard to build up a preferred network.
It’s international First Class lounges are a favorite with well-heeled travelers while its international business-class lounges are up there with the best. New features such as the Gin bar in its new London Heathrow lounge and an outdoor barbecue area at its Perth International transit lounge have helped its enhance its reputation.
One of its great strength, however, is an impressive domestic lounge network.
Qantas offers not just one flavor of domestic lounge but up to three, depending on the location: the invitation-only Chairman’s Lounge, business class lounges, and the famous Qantas Club.
The domestic lounges offer attractive perks such as complimentary seasonal food, Australian wine and beer, wi-fi, hydration bars, and the all-important barista coffee.
The business lounges also offer signature food offerings such as gourmet pizzas in Perth, a Mexican cantina in Brisbane and a spice bar in Melbourne serving freshly made Asian dishes.
Nor has Qantas been sitting on its laurels: it has been undertaking a multi-million dollar lounge renovation program that has seen it upgrade or refresh 85 percent of its lounge network worldwide in the past five years.
This includes a recently-opened major upgrade to its domestic lounges at Melbourne Airport as well as upgrades in Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, and Tamworth. It is also building a new First lounge and expanding its business lounge at Singapore Changi Airport.
BEST REGIONAL AIRLINE
Anybody who has watched a QantasLink crew scramble to distribute snacks, tea, coffee beer and wine on a 40-minute Canberra-Sydney flight knows they are seeing professionals in action.
A nice touch is a service that allows passengers to check cabin baggage at the door of the aircraft and pick it up at the same place at the end of the trip.
Complimentary beer and wine are offered on Qantaslink turboprop flights departing after 4 pm daily, and flights earn Qantas points and status credits.
The airline operates Bombardier turboprops as well as Fokker 100 and Boeing 717 jets and flies to regional centers from Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, and Perth.
It also sponsors events and organizations in many regional communities.
The AirlineRatings.com Airline Excellence Awards, judged by seven editors with over 200 years’ industry experience, combines important safety and government audits, with 12 key criteria that include: fleet age, passenger reviews profitability, investment rating, product offerings, and staff relations.
Only airlines with a seven-star safety rating qualify for the award.