Flew from Adelaide to Dubai with Emirates. Connected in Dubai with Qantas on the return leg. The difference between the two airlines is considerable.
1. The Qantas aircraft was 'tired'. The external appearance of the aircraft was unsettling. Marks on the fuselage and in particular what looked like heat marks round the engines were of concern. Several of the seats (3 within 4 rows of where I was sitting - probably more on the aircraft) were broken. The stewards were moving passengers, attempting to effect repairs and physically removing the seat bases. There seemed to be less leg room. The aircraft was 'shabby'.
2. The food and drink offer was poor - compared with Emirates. You get a single dish of something, and a desert. The alcohol range is limited. Only one meal service on the 7 hour flight.
3. Entertainment - there seemed to be considerably fewer things to watch on Qantas - and in particular no live broadcasts as was the case with Emirates
4. Toilets - were not as well looked after and offered fewer products than Emirates.
5. No hot towels or frequent trips with drinks - as was the case with Emirates.
I have flown with Qantas for too many years to count - and the service and quality is at it's lowest point in my opinion. A simple comparison shows this..
My final point is more to do with the partnership agreement and Qantas Club - but also concerns Qantas management staff at Heathrow.
I purchased QClub membership just prior to departing. Made my booking on the Qantas website London to Adelaide. My first leg was with Emirates. I presented at the Qantas lounge only to be turned away. I wont go into the technical details of the partnership arrangement as I'm not sure I fully understand them - however to be told repeatedly to look on the web site and to not be able to see the manager because he was standing at another gate - was unacceptable. No-one could explain the logic if why I was not able to access what I had paid for. As far as I can see the web site indicates clearly that Emirates flights (booked with Qantas) include access to the lounges with QClub membership. This was the case on every other leg of the journey - except the first - London to Dubai.
Even worse when I did manage to speak with the manager (over an hour latter) - he made reference to my booking a 'cheap flight'. Still not sure why a purchase of a $1,800 QClub membership relates in any way to the cost of a flight - but maybe someone one day will have the manners to explain this to me.
Really Qantas - you do seriously need to lift your game.