Qantas Sales or Lack Thereof

There was an article in the Australian Business Traveller reporting on Tony Webber, an ex-Qantas economist who was suggesting in the Sydney Morning Herald that Qantas should levy an extra charge on passengers who, shall we say, are more fulsome of figure … OK, fat folks!

“People who weigh more should pay more to fly on planes, in the same way that people who exceed their baggage allowance must fork out extra” says Webber, now an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney Business School.

His rationale? The more a plane weighs, the more fuel it must burn – which directly impacts costs. (As we detailed earlier this year, fuel costs represent almost \$300 of a \$2,200 international airfare)

“If the critical weight limit (per passenger) is 75 kilograms and a man weighed 100 kilograms, then the surcharge would be \$14.50 one-way or double this for return” Webber explains.

Right!

Well, it seems that Qantas (and indeed Virgin) rejected this idea today in an article, Airlines reject fat levy.

Want to know what one of the problems is with Qantas? Today I asked our traveller coordinator to book my next return flights, Singapore to Sydney. I asked her to check Singapore Airlines and Qantas for comparable fares on comparable flights. The flights?

Singapore Airlines carrier:-
11.02.2012 via SQ231, 00:45/11:50
27.02.2012 via SQ222, 16:15/21:20

Qantas carrier:-
10.02.2012 via QF320, 20:15/07:00
27.02.2012 via QF319, 16:25/21:35

Or

10.02.2012 via QF320, 20:15/07:00
27.02.2012 via QF031, 17:30/22:25

So – flights at roughly the same time of day. The result?

By Singapore Airlines:  S\$1226 + tax S\$453.80 = S\$1679.80

By Qantas/British Airways: S\$1558 + tax S\$546 = S\$2104.00

OK, so those prices are in Singapore dollars and represent travel on Airbus A380 or Boeing 777 aircraft. Qantas is S\$424.20 more expensive (AU \$318.00). Now, given Singapore Airlines Service levels, why would I pay \$318.00 more to fly Qantas when I am never sure whether they are going to cancel flights at the drop of a hat?

Seems a simple equation to me really.

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