787 Schedule out

The Good News: The 787 has been passed as compliant with all US and European safety regulations!

The first plane will be delivered on September 26. This is later than I had hoped! For ANA have always said they would start flying the plane one month after delivery.

The first ANA 787 commercial flight is a "charter flight" on October 26, from Narita to Hong Kong (and return). 100 Economy passengers will be on board, chosen by lottery from people who book on the ANA website. Business class seats will be sold by auction with proceeds going to charity. You can win a seat too. See my post from last Friday.

This will be followed by some excursion flights on October 28 and 29 from Narita - to Narita.

The first commercial flight will take place on November 1 on a domestic route from  Tokyo's Haneda airport to Okayama and onto Hiroshima.

In December, the new plane will start a weekly international service from Haneda to Beijing followed by thrice weekly Haneda to Frankfurt Germany in January, 2012.  In February, the Frankfurt service will go daily.

My goal has been to get on the 787 for my 787th flight but the timing of the launch (which clearly was not planned around me) is almost out of reach!

Trip Report: 767th Flight

According to my Flightmemory, flight number 767th of my life has ticked over.  My 767th was with Qantas on a "Red Eye" Boeing 767 from Perth to Melbourne. At one point I thought it was going to be Air New Zealand but life is unpredictable isnt it?

I acknowledge it has become an obsession of mine to match the Boeing type to the number of flights I have done! So far, managed it with flights 737, 747 and 757. (How I know how many flights I have flown is described in my blog here).

Today my 767 was VH-ZXF which seems to be an un named plane. Qantas has had this 20 year old plane for five years getting it from British Airways. 767s have two  engines and a wide body cabin with two aisles and a  2-2-2 in Business class and 2-3-2 layout  in Economy. I like it because you are no more than one seat from  an aisle or a window.

I got seat 26A, window seat in the front of Economy in the Bulkhead row. The plane was quite full-mostly with "FIFO" (Fly In Fly Out) mining workers.  I had no one next to me.

Qantas had two staff at the boarding area measuring and weighing hand luggage. An American woman had her bag forcibly checked in and a group of Asian tourists also had their bags taken. I thought the way the bags were taken was a little officious. In fact most of the other passengers were travelling very light. Many of the FIFO workers had no bags at all and there was a lot of bin space on the plane. Still Qantas rules are rules and the lack of large bags on their flights does mean boarding is so much faster than on the USA equivalents.

The 767 Rolls Royce engine in the dark night
Take off was smooth out of Perth. We departed a few minutes later than our 1210am departure but were promised a good tail wind.  And indeed the Pilot was correct. Despite a late departure we bumped heavily onto the runway into a cold Melbourne dawn five minutes early. The entire flight that was entirely in the dark as a result of the schedule.

My 767 at Melbourne Tullamarine
You can have quite a few bumps out of Perth but on this day there were none.  I dozed off right away and missed the meal service. I had planned not to eat. It smelt nice though. I woke up for a while, then slept until we started descent. I missed whatever Qantas gave out just before landing. I think they provided fruit juices and water but was still asleep.

Entertainment on this plane consistes of raio channels and a program of movies, TV shows and documentaries on the main cabin screens.

After this fight,  I have now been flown 171,237km  (106,402 miles)- over 4 times around the world on on 108  Boeing 767 flights.  Of those flights 64 of them were with Qantas, hence my choice today. 20 were with the former Ansett.  These flights have taken me to Europe, the USA, Canada, NZ and El Salvador.

I have also been on 767s with:

  • United Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Continental
  • Air Canada (including a Sydney-Melbourne sector during Ansett's woes),
  • TACA (El Salvador)- My most amusing memory was of the amount of luggage people were trying to cram into the TACA plane!
  •  Air New Zealand,
  • Delta Air Lines 
  • British Airways
After landing, we got the unauthorised in-flight announcement from the FIrst Officer inviting us to support their union campaign  ensure a Qantas pilot is in charge of a Qantas flight. Not sure how successful it will be.  I did appreciate their skill and experience today. I especially appreciated them signing my Boarding Pass (below) and including an encouraging message on the back (right)

Todays flight was very enjoyable. I would give it 8.5 out of ten. The luggage confiscation at the start and the lack of individual entertainment lost them some points.

Virgin Australia Velocity Changes Analysed

Love the updated Velocity Rewards Frequent Flyer Program unveiled Thursday by Virgin Australia. Already Qantas has responded with media advertisements promising exciting changes to their program. The competition in Australia is starting a new round.

I am currently a Gold flyer with Qantas and Virgin so my focus is on the Gold benefits. At the end of this post, I will paste a table comparing the two programs. Please let me know what I leave out.

The eight immediate features I like about Velocity Rewards:
  1. seemingly generous access to award seats
  2. Subject to space availability, Velocity Platinum and Gold members are welcome in the Virgin Australia lounge at any time, and do not require a boarding pass. This is a benefit Qantas took away from its Platinum fliers earlier in the year - and boy were we mad! 
  3. A family can pool all of your family member’s Points into one account as well as transferring points between family members
  4. If you have a baby, you can pause your membership for up to six months-thats impressive
  5. For every 100 status credits, you get a free lounge pass
  6. Guaranteed Reward Seats for an annual family trip for up to four return Reward Seats for an annual family trip to any Australian destination, for Gold while Platinum members can also international destinations.
  7. Gold and Platinum members can take up to two children under the age of 12 into the lounge with them.  (I wonder how many kids will now be screaming through lounges?)
  8. Free access to Sentinel who help you find lost keys etc
Getting and Keeping Gold Status
The first comparison between Gold Qantas and Gold Virgin for me is how easy it is to get and keep Gold status. You gain status based on the number of status credits you earn. Every eligible flight gets you status credits. The longer your flight the more status credits you get. The higher your class you reserved your booking with, the more status credits you get. So a Sydney to London flight in business class will get you way more points than a discount economy seat from Sydney to Melbourne.

Qantas Virgin
Gaining Status-status Credits
700 500
Gaining Status-Sectors flown
4 4
Keeping Status-status Credits
600 400
Keeping Status-Sectors flown
4 4
Number of SYD-MEL Discount Y to keep
60 40
Number of MEL-AKL Discount Y to keep
30 20
Number of MEL-LAX Discount Economy to keep
13.33 10
Number of MEL-LAX Premium to keep
6.67 3.3

To get Gold with Qantas requires 700 status credits whereas Virgin gives it to you with 500 status credits. Of course how many you earn at each airline is different. Still its easier to get and keep Gold at Virgin than it is at Qantas.

For me to keep Gold with Qantas at the lowest earning rate possible (eg the Sydney -Melbourne) flight would mean 60 flights in a year. Virgin will give you gold after 40 Syd-Mel flights.

Likewise flying Melbourne to Los Angeles in Premium Economy would need 7 flights a year with Qantas to keep my Gold whereas I only need  4 with Virgin (or 3 plus a few SYD-Mel trips!)

Comparing Qantas Gold and Virgin Gold


Before Travel
Qantas Virgin

Priority Phone Service


Upgrade Using Points

Advanced Seat Selection

Seating Preferences

YES Coming soon
Secure Sentinel membership 
At Airport
Qantas Virgin

Priority Check-in -Domestic

Premium Service Desks Priority Counters

Priority Check-in -International

Business Counters Business Counters

Priority Boarding – Domestic


Priority Boarding – Intl


Kerbside Check in

NO Sydney only


Qantas Club Virgin Lounge-anytime access


One World Virgin. Etihad, Air NZ, Delta

Priority Screening Lane

Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney Domestic Airports Melbourne and Brisbane Domestic Airports

Fly Ahead

Priority Waitlist
Airport Upgrade

Baggage allowance-Domestic

1 piece (maximum 32kg) Economy; 2 pieces (maximum 32kg each) Business Allowance of 32kg
Baggage Allowance-USA
3 pieces: (maximum 23kg per piece) Economy/Premium Economy and 32kg per piece) Business/First 3 pieces: (maximum 23kg per piece) Economy and 3 pieces 32kg per piece) Premium Economy/Business
Baggage Allowance-Inernational
32kg (70lb) in Economy/Premium Economy; 64kg (140lb) in Business/First 33kg ) in Economy/ 42kg in Premium Economy/Business/

Priority Waitlist (coming soon)

Qantas Virgin

Priority Baggage

YES coming soon

Complimentary Elite membership with IHG?s Priority Club® Rewards or Hilton HHonors?


Complimentary Elite membership with Europcar Privileges Program or Hertz #1 Club

International airline partners
Qantas Virgin

One World Sapphire Virgin. Etihad, Air NZ
Qantas Virgin

Guaranteed Reward Seats for an annual family trip


Family Points and Status Credit Pooling

NO Coming soon

Membership pause for Parental Leave

NO Coming soon

Complimentary lounge pass for each 100 Status Credits earned

NO Coming soon
Qantas Virgin
Points bonus- on Carrier
75.00% 75.00%

Points bonus -Air Partners

? 50% Etihad
Points Bonus- Hotels/Car rental
NO 75.00%

Personalised Baggage Tags

Loyalty Bonus
8,000 points for every 500 Status Credits earned in a single membership year a free lounge pass for every 100 Status Credits

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Irene cancels 6000 flights--what to do?

Irene is coming to the world's busiest air region. Its already chaos. New York port authority will close all 5 airports to arriving domestic and intn'l passenger flights beginning at noon Saturday. Across the east coast, carriers are scrambling to cancel flights
  • American Airlines has canceled 235 flights for Saturday so far. It will shut down its Washington operations for 24 hours starting at noon EDT on Saturday 
  • Amtrak has cancelled flights. 
  • Delta Air Lines said it was canceling 1,300 of its 16,500 flights systemwide from Saturday through Monday. This includes all flights on Sunday to and from New York's JFK and LaGuardia airports, and New Jersey's Newark.
  • JetBlue Airways scrapped nearly 900 flights through Monday, while moving about 50 aircraft out of New York and Boston areas to cities outside the path of the hurricane. That did not stop them tweeting today: JetBlue means business. Introducing #BluePass; three months of unlimited travel for Boston or LA / Long Beach customers http://bit.ly/bluepass Damn autocued tweets! Bad timing
  • Qantas will be impacted with QF 107 and 108 to and from NYC
  • Southwest expects to cancel some 400 flights along the eastern seaboard through Monday. AirTran expects to cancel approximately 300 during the same time period. Customers should contact the airline on which they are booked for travel (Southwest Reservations (800) 435-9792, or AirTran Reservations (800) 247-8726), or look for updated travel advisories and reaccommodation tools on their respective carrier's web site: Southwest Airlines http://www.southwest.com; or AirTran Airways http://www.airtran.com. 
  • United has cancelled 2300 flights
  • U.S. Airways Group cited "significant" flight reductions in the Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Boston areas with 1,166 flights cancelled for Saturday and Sunday, 

What to do:
Stay Calm.  Getting stressed wont help.

If you aren't at the airport, don' t go!  If its closed to flights sitting at the airport is an awful place to be and dont count on getting into the lounges.

If you already hold a reservation. Relax! Dont jam the switchboards. You will  be stressed out hanging on for hours!  Generally, the airline policies will usually allow you to cancel or change your flights without penalty and most give you a week to do it. Experts recommend not cancelling a flight -instead wait for the airline do it. eg United's policy is  below. Though I do hope they dont penalise people by charging them higher fares if someone has to change flights.

Be warned getting a new flight could take ages. With 6000 flights canceled, thats hundreds of thousands of seats. By the time services  resume, those people will be all trying to get on. If you are a high status frequent flyer, you will be usually looked after better.

This is the time to make sure you have travel insurance and you know what it says. Because this is "an act of God" (I hate that term), airlines are not  responsible for your accommodation, food, clothes, phone calls or even toiletries. You may get a meal voucher but that is highly unlikely.

Keep your mobile phone and laptop fully charged. You never know when you will lose power. Switch off all apps on your smartphone to reduce power usage

Have toiletries, a change of underwear, socks and a new shirt at least in your hand luggage (I dont check luggage in so I have all my clothes with me)

Grab some snacks and water (NB you cant take water through security in USA or internationally but you can fill up with water at water foundations and taps). Muesli bars, sultana packets, the NZ One square meal are all excellent resources at this time.

Good Luck. I am driving through Western Australia today

Customers currently en route:
  • May make one change to their return trip. Rules and restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements have been waived. Origin and destination cities must remain the same. Booking class restrictions may apply.
  • Revised travel must be completed within 7 days of original travel date.
Customers who have not begun travel (wholly unused tickets):
  • May make one change to their travel plans without change fees or advance purchase requirement for the *same* itinerary. Changes must be made within 7 days of waiver travel dates. Booking class restrictions may apply.
  • For a *new* itinerary, one change may be made anytime within ticket validity without change fees.
  • All rescheduled travel (same or new itinerary) may be subject to higher fares if it does not meet original rule and booking code restrictions.
Do make sure the cancellation or change is made properly. Stressed agents can make mistakes at this time. Another reason to wait until the lines are less busy.

787 Contest to win a flight

It looks like Boeing will finally deliver the 787 to ANA in September, 2011. The inaugural flight is therefore going to be in October, 2011.

Until September 5th, 2011 go to ANA's Facebook page, like them and then upload a picture of you smiling with the numbers 787.

A winner receives two tickets to Japan for the inaugural 787 flight, between Tokyo's Narita airport and Hong Kong.

The flight will take off approximately one month after the delivery of the aircraft and seats will also be available via a special package tour organised by ANA.

Following the charter service to Hong Kong, ANA will operate two domestic excursion flights to allow frequent flier customers to fly on the 787.

I want to be there!

Amazing Amman

Amman, the capital of Jordan is somewhere I almost never hear about. I was curious to find out what the city was like. I loved it.

Home to almost 3 million people, the city straddles a series of hills. Originally it was built on seven hills - now 19.
Amman has had an existence for almost 12 000 years. 

The city is expecting to double in size in the next 15 years straining its natural resources such as water

Its transit system is very frustratingly under developed. There are buses running throughout the city but information is hard to access and it is hard as a visitor to get around using them. 
A group of volunteers are trying to develop an ordered bus map for the city.
A new Rapid Bus system is being planned as is a three line metro is planned.  I hope they get built.
Taxis are good and fairly cheatp. Driving is crazy!

Despite some tensions caused by pro and anti King actions, I felt very safe in Amman.People were very friendly and welcoming. I only got ripped off once.

Food and drink were delicious and fresh. The Falafel was the freshest and most delicious I have ever tasted. I have blogged earlier about buying one of my favourite Guava drinks (see picture below).

Palestinian style Pastry filled with cheese and dipped in a sweet sauce at an Amman Cafe delicious
Delicious guava drink

Fresh fruit juice stand in Old Amman

Other posts about Jordan include: Petra, Wadi Rum (Ramm) and flying with Royal Jordanian.

China Southern A380 Almost flying

Prior to fit out

China Southern Airlines has completed initial test flights for its first Airbus A380 aircraft. The airline is buying five.The plane entered the skies for its final test flight during the week at the Airbus facilities in Hamburg.

The plane has been painted and had its cabin fully fitted out.

More advanced tests will be held in Hamburg before the plane flies on to Toulouse in France for final preparation for delivery to the airline. October?

China Southern Airlines will become the seventh operator of the A380 later this year.

#1 Singapore  - I flew their A380 from Singapore to Melbourne in November, 2009
#2 Emirates - My flight was in September 2010 from Auckland to Sydney
#3 Qantas- My QF A380 experience was July 2010
#4 Air France - I fly them in October, 2011
#5 Lufthansa I aim to fly theirs in November 2011
#6 Korean I fly theirs in November 2011


I use Flight Memory to keep a record of all of my flights- every single one of them since I first flew in 1968.

For my 737th flight, I flew a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 from Portland to Spokane and had a brilliant flight.
747th was on a Qantas 747 from Melbourne to Los Angeles. The Qantas team put on a great flight- and Qantas even followed up with a souvenir 747 in the post
United Airlines turn came next with flight 757 on a B757 from DC to LAX and it was terrible.

767 is fast approaching on an Air NZ Boeing 767 Business Class from Perth to Auckland.

For my 777th flight, I have a choice between:

Air New Zealand Boeing 777 Auckland to Los Angeles

V Australia Boeing 777 Sydney (or Brisbane) to Los Angeles

Who would you choose and why?
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Thursday Trip Report: Sleeping from Sydney to Melbourne

My No Fly July  has meant I have not been inside a plane for over a month and have sampled a lot of Australian rail travel.

My latest trip was from Sydney to Melbourne in a sleeping carriage on the XPT (EXpress Passenger Train). It was such a delightful experience, I would do it again.

The train leaves from Platform Number One of the grand Central Station in Sydney, Central never quite looks right. It always seems a bit down at heel and always seems to be under construction. Currently the clock tower is being renovated. AAll sorts of alterations have been made which don't quite work. There are ugly barriers cutting off platforms 4 to 13,  the food court covers a magnificent floor mural illustrating all of Australia's railways.

There is now a youth hostel located in some old carriages permanently parked next to Platform One at Central Station.

I found the cabin to which I had been allocated. I had been reserved bed 9.There are two bunks and three seats in each cabin. The seats are only used in the day time. Each cabin shares a shower and a mini toilet. The toilets in the next carriage are much nicer.

My cabin mate arrived five minutes before the train departed. Bummer! I had thought I might have had the cabin to myself. Soon after our carriage attendant (for the first 400 km anyway to Albury arrived). After confirming we were not travelling together, she escorted him to his own cabin! There were only 15 passengers travelling in sleepers that night.

My order for the complimentary breakfast was taken (raisin toast, cereal and juice) and I was given a demonstration of bunk lowering, attendant call button, toilet and shower.

The train departed at 840pm. I folded the bed down soon after departure, changed into my (Qantas) pyjamas and hopped into bed for a read.

I soon fell asleep but was woken by a huge jolt which made me think we had left the tracks. I stayed awake for a while before falling back to sleep until just before breakfast in bed arrived.

A nice invigorating shower before dressing came next. The disquieting thing was that the shower ran cold water for ages and my heart sank. After a while it dawned on me that if I turned the tap on full, hot water might flow-which it did.

The cost of my sleeper was $216.00. Its interesting to compare the cost to flights the same night or next morning. Plenty of cheap flights were available for the price range of $99 to $149. Getting to Sydney airport would cost between $12 and $30 depending on whether I took bus, train or taxi where as I walked to Central Station. Getting from Melbourne  airport would cost me $15 to $50 depending on bus or taxi. So total airfare would cost between $126 and $229. If I had stayed in a hotel that night.......

For me, the price was so worth it! It was such a relaxing way to travel.

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Qantas Big Announcment

We have been waiting for some big changes Qantas will be making for some weeks. I thought it was going to be in a week's time...

Today Qantas had full page ads in most Australian newspapers. The ads promised that a new stronger Qantas was being built. One of the promises was that Qantas "will always be proud that the vast majority of our operations are based in Australia'. The text of that advertisement is here.

Today at 10am Australian EST Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce held a press conference to launch the “a new spirit” concept that is the base for sweeping changes in the way Qantas looks, feels and operates.  His text is here. He has proposed a four pronged strategy:
  1.  Gateways- Qantas will reduce the number of ports of call to strategic places at which they will feed passengers to its partners. The gateways  are: Dallas (American Airlines hub),  Jo'burg, Kuala Lumpar (new One World member Malaysian), London, Hong Kong and Bangkok (British Airways- though I prefer Cathay out of HK), Santiago (where it can transfer passengers to and from LAN's network)
  2. Focus on Asia (which it will do through two new airlines)
  3. Being Best for "Global travellers" in other words trying to win back premium passengers -many who have been annoyed with Qantas
  4. A Stronger Business (read cost cutting)
Most of the changes were expected:
  1. In line with the focus on Santiago, Qantas will pull out of the Sydney to Buenos Aries route. My friend Steve was stunned that I should have suggested this would happen as BA is one of his favourite cities. This is disappointing  as I have not got to B.A. yet. I will definitely go through Santiago as flying with Areolineas Argentinas is not on my radar.
  2. There will be a new Platinum 1 tier for frequent flyers with additional benefits for Silver and Gold members (not sure what they are yet). This cements the devaluation of Platinum. My sense is that they will eventually merge Platinum and Gold leaving Platinum One as the next level after Gold.
  3. Qantas will focus its A380s onto the Pacific Route (SYD/MEL-LAX) and the Kangaroo Route (SYD/MEL-LHR  via SIN). It will cease services to London via Bangkok and Hong Kong feeding passengers as mentioned into the BA network
  4. 1000 jobs will go- mostly in Australia one assumes. I was tipping 800-1200.
  5. Some 380s will be deferred after they get to 12 at end of year (what choice do they have in this climate?). The deferment could be up to six years.
  6. Four 747s will be retired (I wasn't sure how many would go- I thought it might have been more)
  7. Jetstar Japan in partnership with JAL as already foreshadowed will be launched
  8. A new airline based in Asia, 49per cent Qantas owned, This airline will be a full service airline. The surprise is that "Qantas Asia" will not be called Qantas. Base and venture partner were not announced. My bet is Singapore. It will have 11 planes of which three will be A320s. This move helps Qantas reduce its high Australian labour and maintenance costs.  Qantas will feed passengers to and from the new carrier at the key gateways. The focus on Asia makes sense as travel between Asia and Australia and across Asia continues to grow rapidly. Whether Qantas has the expertise to compete in that space will be interesting.
Changes I wasn't expecting
  • New First Class lounges  in SIN, HKG, BKK, LAX (shame I didn't stay Platinum!)
  • all remaining 747s will be refurbished with A380 seats (nice)  with the entire 744 fleet completed by June 2014. This will extend the life of the 747 product
  • 737s with premium product on NZ routes )Thank heavens)
  • a massive A320 order -110 of them of which 78 are the new 320NEOs of which 24 will go to to Jetstar Japan and 8 to the new premium airline
  • Frankfurt still remains or is that going? 
  • Will Qantas keep flying to Bangkok and Hong Kong in the future or will they eventually Jetstar those sectors?
  • Is First Class here to stay?
  • What will happen to Qantas Platinum? Is my theory above correct?
  • There was no mention of the 787s. What is going to happen to those?
  • Will these changes help "save" one of the most profitable airlines in the world or will it cause further hemorraging and further cutbacks?
After hearing the announcement, I can see Qantas has been positioned for survival but I cant help feeling Qantas international has been diminished. The video accompanying the announcement reassures me that  Qantas will "still call Australia home". This is true. Qantas is now a largely Australian domestic airline with effectively six international routes, a set of  Aust-NZ links which owns a domestic and international discount carrier and stakes in two Asian airlines. It is a retreat of the flying Kangaroo.

  • there is a perception that Qantas customer service has slipped over the last three years. This is borne out by the Skytrax survey. In 2008 Qantas was the world's third best airline.  In 2009, it fell to sixth place and they dropped to seventh in 2010. I firmly believe Qantas has slipped. I used to consider them my second favourite airline. They are now my 8th favourite. Joyce does not give any guidance as to how Qantas will reverse this perception
  • there was no mention of what Qantas will do in the Australian domestic market especially with an invigorated Virgin Australia breathing down their necks. The last big innovations have been the creation of CityFlyer branding of the domestic routes and addition of the Business lounges and the new (unpopular) check in system.
  • The dropping of Hong Kong to London is a mistake. Many Australians including myself use HK as a business and recreation stopover. If Qantas wants to offload me to British Airways, I will fly Cathay the whole way
  • I wonder how much of the domestic business gets revenue from the inbound international tourists? 

Qantas downgrades me

I got downgraded last week in the Qantas Frequent Flyer Scheme from their top tier: Platinum to their next tier: Gold.

This was because I have downgraded my travel with Qantas over the last year by 50 per cent. Basically in protest over what I see as the downgrading of Qantas service and the downgrading of the Platinum benefits.

When I have a valid choice when flying I have been choosing someone else. The beneficiary of this in Australia has been the Virgin group who now offer a competitive product and across the ditch it has been Air New Zealand who offer a better product than the NZ domestic Jetstar service. In the USA this has meant reducing my travel with American (horrible airline) and increasing it with Delta (okay carrier) and United (ugh). Next week I am going to talk about juggling Frequent Flier schemes!

What am I losing by not staying at Platinum? The benefits of each tier are listed below in the table below. For me, the losses that impact me are:
  •  32kg less checked baggage on non US international flights and in Australia (which I have needed seven times out of 763 flights)
  •  a few less frequent flyer points eg Melbourne to Perth 420 less points and Melbourne to Los Angeles 1980 points. Seeing you need 7000 minimum to get a flight, its not a massive loss.
  •  I can no longer use First Class lounges and First Class Check in (slum it to Business Class ones instead!)
  • no access to a lounge on arrival (I used this 3 times a year maximum anyway)
  • cabin service manager will no longer welcome me on board on international flights
None of these are incentives to fly Qantas twice as much as I do now. Instead I will focus on maintaining Gold status on three airlines: Qantas (One World), United (Star Alliance)and Virgin (benefits on Delta/Etihad/Singapore/Air NZ) which will allow me to get benefits across as many airlines as possible. I am missing Status in the Skyteam group of airlines but I am not too stressed as I dont fly any of them often (except Delta and I get Virgin privileges with them anyway).

Virgin Australia will be launching a Platinum later this year -will be interesting to see what they offer? I am also interested to see if Virgin end up in Star Alliance?

What are other Qantas Platinum and Gold fliers doing?

Table showing comparions between Qantas Platinum and Gold and a noting of the differences between the tiers

Platinum Gold Comparison
Priority telephone service Priority telephone service Little difference
Complimentary Advance Seat Selection with preferential seating Complimentary Advance Seat Selection with preferential seating Little difference
Automatic seating preferences in Premium Economy, Business or First Automatic seating preferences in Premium Economy, Business or First
Priority Economy seat purchase for up to two, including yourself --- Difference
Qantas provides preferential access, when available, to selected Qantas Classic Award seats  Qantas provides preferential access, when available, to selected Qantas Classic Award seats 
Priority check-in at First or Business counters Priority check-in at Business counters Little difference
Complimentary Q Bag Tags with smart chip technology Complimentary Q Bag Tags with smart chip technology
Priority baggage on Qantas, regardless of your class of travel (bags marked first) Priority baggage on Qantas, regardless of your class of travel (bags marked priority) Little difference
International Baggage: 64kg International: 32kg unless in business Difference
To/from USA: 3 x 32kg To/from USA: 3 x 32kg
Domestic Baggage: 2 x 32kg Domestic: 1 x 32kg unless in business Difference
Premium Security Lanes in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and International locations Premium Security Lanes in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and International locations
On Departure Upgrade requests up to three hours before departure on selected Australian domestic Qantas flights  On Departure Upgrade requests up to three hours before departure on selected Australian domestic Qantas flights 
Priority Waitlist/Airport Standby Priority Waitlist/Airport Standby
Priority boarding on international Priority boarding on international
Complimentary membership of The Qantas Club Complimentary membership of The Qantas Club
First Lounge in Sydney and Melbourne Business Lounge in Sydney and Melbourne Little difference
Domestic Business Lounges Domestic Qantas Club unless in Business Little difference
Domestic Lounge access on arrival --- Difference
100% points bonus 75% points bonus Little difference
Earn a Status bonus of 100% more points calculated on the base Economy rate with Qantas, eligible Jetstar, British Airways or American Airlines flights Earn a Status bonus of 75% more points calculated on the base Economy rate with Qantas, eligible Jetstar, British Airways or American Airlines flights
Platinum Frequent Flyers enjoy oneworld Emerald status Platinum Frequent Flyers enjoy oneworld Sapphire status Little difference