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South African Airlines

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Heading to Africa next month and my wife is paranoid about flying Qantas after the recent debarcles. I don't feel like flying up to asia on the way so would prefer to go via Perth (ex Sydney) - South African airlines is the only other airline that seems to fly direct to SA from Perth - anyone flown with them and got any comments to offer good or bad? (say vs Qantas).
 
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Re: sth african airlines

Just been recently from perth so SA then on around africa. I didnt fly SA airlines from perth but did use them once in africa and they seemed good. There was spacious seating in economy and decent service. I also flew Air Botswana which i wouldnt recommend as it seemed they outsourced the flight to some local dodge airline with little security. The cockpit was open the whole flight and you could see straight down the plane out the front windows. Still Qantas is one of the safest airlines in the world even after some of the recent incidents.
 
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Re: sth african airlines

G'day Cuttlefish,

***BE WARNED - I WORK FOR QANTAS!!***

Ok - now I've got that out of the way - Sth African are a good airline. Run a similar age aircraft to Q and pretty good service. That's why Q code shares with them. Yes - even though you book with Sth African you may end up on a Q aircraft or vice versa. Unlikely because they do most of the flights but still a possibility.

On a further note - and up to now I've had stayed out of this debate - this is media beat up bullsh!t. Q is still the safest airline in the world - we had an incident - one that our pilots are trained for regularly (about every 3-4 months depending on the aircraft type). It was controlled and conducted with complete safety and NO-ONE I repeat NO-ONE was injured or killed. The crew followed normal procedures and the aircraft was returned to the ground safely. This is the point of flying with a well trained airline. Incidents will happen - whether we are talking about aircraft, cars (how may car related incidents were there in Melbourne alone that killed people on that day alone without looking around the rest of the country - I'll bet this hasn't stopped you driving your car!), trucks, trains, cranes, or any other form of transport you can think of. What you need to decide is if you want to be with an airline with an impeccable record and excellent training that has proven it can handle problems properly or one with a history (or even worse no history!) not as good as Q!

I repeat - I am employed by Qantas so I have a vested interest. I'd also like to add that this is my opinion only and not to be construed as any official statement or opinion from Qantas or its associates.

malachii
 
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Re: sth african airlines

I actually flew Air Mauritius on the way there and on the way back. Its much cheaper around $600 than a direct flight but the catch is that you stop off in Mauritius so the flight takes an extra couple of hours but was a decent enough flight except for the small seats and non existent leg room
 

Julia

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Re: sth african airlines

Cuttlefish, Malaachi is right. Qantas has a great safety record.
There has been a dearth of genuine news recently. The meedja have been desperate to beat up something.

The explosion of the oxygen container was a frightening and potentially very dangerous situation but the pilots handled it with skill.

Following this, any routine happening which would normally have received no attention at all has been pounced on with headlines entirely out of proportion to the actual incident which involved no risk to passengers or crew at all.



I notice in today's paper that more maintenance is scheduled to be carried out in Australia for Qantas and less outsourced offshore.

I'd choose Qantas over any other airline.
 
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Re: sth african airlines

Thanks for the replies - I should have guessed it might open a can of worms though that wasn't the intent!:eek:

Malachii I did notice that some of the SAA flights were operated by Qantas. I've also realised its going to be a fair bit cheaper and easier to do a direct flight from Sydney and I think my wife is realising that this is the best option as well even though we'll probably be on a Qantas flight.

For me it was never an issue - I'll fly in anything - the odds on falling out of the sky on a commercial flight are so slim I've got plenty of other stuff to worry about without adding it to the list!:)

So looks like it will be SAA (operated by Qantas) direct from Sydney (the only reason now to book SAA is I can bundle the internal flights together with the international flight and book it all in one hit with one airline).

stock nub thanks for the info - I'll have a look at Mauritius before I book with SAA - might be fun to spend a few days there if it looks like an option.
 
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Well my blase attitude is fast changing ... all of these news reports about planes being grounded and jack screws not being lubricated (whatever the feck that means) and tails potentially falling off (http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/more-turmoil-for-qantas/2008/08/13/1218307006711.html) isn't doing wonders for me on the home front ... my wife is as nervous as ever and I'm not feeling great about pursuading her that there was nothing to worry about.

The ironic thing is I never book Qantas anyway the past few times to Europe have been on Thai, JAL prior to that, and I tend to use Virgin locally, but they seem to be the only one that does direct flights to SA. (and technically I've booked on Sth African airlines but its operated by Qantas).

I'll just have to keep pointing out the statistical odds about how many flights a week there are and how many don't fall out of the sky (i.e. none so far).
 

Julia

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Yes, I thought of you when I heard the latest report about Qantas grounding another aircraft. Does begin to shake one's faith a bit.
Will you change your mind, do you think, Cuttlefish?
 
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Unfortunately there is always a risk in everything you do.

Statistically your safer in a plane then a car.

QANTAS is still one of the safest airlines out there.

Your wife will just have to go with that.

Or load her up with Valiums when your at the gate ;)
 
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Well the flights are booked already so it'll cost me $1500 AUD to cancel them (three tickets) plus for me personally I'd still prefer to wing it on a dodgy plane than trek another 3 or 4 hours via Bangkok or Singapore vs going direct. Thats my take on it ... my wife would probably fly via the Alaska if it meant not going on a Qantas plane lol.

Once aboard I will take every opportunity to point out each little noise on the plane and say "What was that?!?:eek:" :D:D (actually I'm not that cruel and it would make the next 20 hours pretty unpleasant for me I suspect).
 

gwm

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it takes an event like the one over the phillipines to sharpen an airlines awareness to possible underlying issues associated with aircraft inspections and regular maintenance. The extent of direct surveillance that is ongoing at the moment, by both QANTAS and CASA, should ensure that QANTAS aircraft are flying with less defects now than ever before
 
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it takes an event like the one over the phillipines to sharpen an airlines awareness to possible underlying issues associated with aircraft inspections and regular maintenance. The extent of direct surveillance that is ongoing at the moment, by both QANTAS and CASA, should ensure that QANTAS aircraft are flying with less defects now than ever before
I think this is a very good point and I agree with it, I will try to convince my wife of this fact. They are probably going to be just about the most scrutinized and thus safest airline in the world over the coming months.
 
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I've never flown SAA international so cannot comment.

I've flown them internally in South Africa and they are more Air Uganda than Qantas. There are long delays at check in which impart an air of disorganisation which is probably transmitted through to air crew. If I had a choice would I fly SAA. It depends on the choice ok. I'd fly SIA, QF and BA before them.

gg
 
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This Qantas stuff is getting beyond the joke - there's a new incident pretty much every second day - I'm now regretting thinking it would just blow over and pressuring my wife into going with this option rather than taking one of the other airlines via Asia. I wonder if the fact its a South African airlines flight would make any difference - it says its operated by Qantas so I'm assuming that means a Qantas plane, crew and maintenance.
 
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This Qantas stuff is getting beyond the joke - there's a new incident pretty much every second day - I'm now regretting thinking it would just blow over and pressuring my wife into going with this option rather than taking one of the other airlines via Asia. I wonder if the fact its a South African airlines flight would make any difference - it says its operated by Qantas so I'm assuming that means a Qantas plane, crew and maintenance.
Your missus is still more likely to die in a prang on the way to the airport. See your quack and get her some sedatives and she'll be right.

gg
 
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I'm not worried about the plane falling out of the sky but delays and cancelled flights is another thing - not a fan of them and have some dates to meet.

Its also pretty aggravating to build up a positive picture to have it trashed again on a daily basis. The line that they would be being extra careful and scrutinising everything because of the recent near accident kind of went out the window after they had to stop in Adelaide to empty some toilets ... I know nothing about planes but surely that is plane maintenance 101.
 
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I'm not worried about the plane falling out of the sky but delays and cancelled flights is another thing - not a fan of them and have some dates to meet.

Its also pretty aggravating to build up a positive picture to have it trashed again on a daily basis. The line that they would be being extra careful and scrutinising everything because of the recent near accident kind of went out the window after they had to stop in Adelaide to empty some toilets ... I know nothing about planes but surely that is plane maintenance 101.
The journey is often more exciting and enjoyable than the destination. My first flight was in a Comet as a lad, around the time they were falling out of the skies. Flying at 30000 feet in a heap of metal is not safe anytime, especially if the pilot is a narcissist. There are slow boats that go from here to South Africa, if you or your missus can cook you might be able to get a passage. Then theres pirates.

gg
 
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The journey is often more exciting and enjoyable than the destination.

Being crammed into a seat for 20 hours eating bad food doesn't quite meet my definition of enjoyable. Taking a direct flight so as to avoid a few extra hours and a stopover in Asia only to be delayed for a few hours at the airport or worse have the flight cancelled and be rescheduled on another one would certainly not fit my definition of excitement and neither would being on a flight with no functioning toilets or running water.

Lets call it like it is here ... Qantas is eroding their goodwill value with these debarcles ... I know a lot of people like to fly them but personally I've never been a great fan but as far as I can tell they are the only ones that operate the direct flights to SA from Sydney.
 

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Since we're on the topic of air safety, a Spanair MD82 caught fire on take off from Madrid airport enroute to the Canary Islands with 166 passengers on board a few minutes ago. So far reports say 45 people are dead, but they're still recovering people from the aircraft.
 
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