everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

The little things count at 35,000 feet

on November 12, 2012

Australia’s national airline is nicknamed ‘the flying kangaroo’, due to its logo that looks like a kangaroo in mid-leap. I guess ‘the leaping kangaroo’ didn’t have quite the same ring to it, especially when trying to give the impression of smooth travel over long distances. Anyways, people tend to give Qantas a hard time – complaining about the service, the food, the cabin space and pretty much every aspect of the flight. ‘Airline X is soooo much better than Qantas’, you’ll hear the cool travellin’ kids say. But I say boo to that negativity – and I’ll tell you why.

Sure, it took me a really long time to check in my bag in Sydney because there were only two Qantas desks attended. But then the nice lady turned a blind eye to my slightly overweight suitcase (I still don’t understand how that happened – on the way back, of course I get it, but on the way over?!) and told me there was another much faster check in desk I could use next time. Good to know.

Sure, our flight was delayed as the plane was late arriving from its previous voyage, but they were working as quickly as they could to make up the time. I don’t like hearing that, as my mind immediately wonders what corners they’re cutting in order to load us on sooner. I have visions of the cleaning crew darting around the cabin as their team leader looks on, stopwatch in hand. Changing the little pillows? No time! Swapping the head rest covers? Don’t even think about it! Floors? Just pick up the biggest bits of rubbish, peeps!

Could it be? Two empty seats next to me all the way to NYC? Alas, no, it could not.

All seemed in order when we boarded and I experienced that feeling of pure childlike hope as the two seats next to my window seat remained empty as most passengers settled into their spots. I kept looking down the aisle at the incoming prospects – fat guy, please no; giggly girls, uh oh; and finally a pretty blonde lady took the aisle seat. I liked her because when they said the doors were closing, she realised we had an empty seat between us and gave me an excited ‘yesssssss!’ with a little fist pump.

Some people enjoy sleeping under the stars. I tried to sleep under the moon-like glow of the No Smoking sign above my head.

You may have read of my disastrous menu troubles on a recent long haul flight where the beautiful menu promised many delicious treats, including Banoffee Pie. Then when my vegetarian meal turned up, the delicious treats were nowhere to be found. Even though that was a different airline, the pain of that experience lingered and so I’d boldly cancelled my vegetarian meal request for this flight online. Good move – the ‘normal’ vegetarian penne option was actually ok. And it came with cookies & cream mousse. And a little chocolate bar. This is how it’s meant to be, I tell you.

Oh, is that the sun? NO. It’s the annoying lady in front of me being the only person in the cabin to turn her light on when it’s meant to be sleeping time. Grrr.

But the real reason that I love Qantas? Cadbury hot chocolate. Oh yeah. They make a special trip down the aisles to peddle it from their little carts, along with peppermint tea, and pour the steaming chocolatey goodness from special giant purple jugs. And then they add a marshmallow, which melts to a gooey mess, so you know it wasn’t one of those cheap, crappy marshmallows that never change shape. I guess it probably makes me shallow, but that’s what I look for in an airline.

Hot chocolate with marshmallow. The highlight of the flight.

So let the cool kids whinge about how the flying kangaroo doesn’t measure up to other global airlines. I’ll take their real Qantas mousse over non-existent Etihad Banoffee pie any day. And I haven’t yet found another airline that offers rivers (ok, cups) of delicious creamy hot chocolate – it’s like flying with Willy Wonka, I tell you.

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8 responses to “The little things count at 35,000 feet

  1. Amelia Air- hart says:

    Hopefully this means that you have arrive safely in the Big Apple? I totally agree with you on the hot chocolate – the lovely Qantas flighty even gave me 3 (yes I said 3) marshmallows because I had slept through dinner. It restored both my blood sugar leavels and my faith in humanity. Have fun Cate.

  2. Lovely Sparks – have a supa dupa thanksgiving with your US family.

    I have flicked your Qantas review onto a mate of mine who works at the flying kangaroo… Always good to get some positive feedback, I reckon!

  3. MJH says:

    So that’s what it’s like to fly Economy ๐Ÿ™‚
    Getting spoilt these days with business class Cate. I can just imagine your Blog about that if you get the chance. Enjoy your NY trip

    • Cate says:

      Boo to you, high flyin’ corporate sell-out! I did actually get to travel to Greece in business class for an international HR gathering at my old professional services firm. Junket with a capital J (also for jet lag) that one was – ah, the good old days! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Have a fab time…. enjoy the trip and all the hot chocolate!

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