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Qantas Blues (With apologies to Peter Allen)

To tune of “I Still Call Australia Home”

I’ve waited for airplanes that refuse to take off

From morning till night-time and then the next day

But no matter the future

I’m sick of that gnome.

I still want that Irishman home.

I’m always in airports

Awaiting the call

That my flight is leavin’ but my hope is small

I booked with Qantas now I’m still in Rome.

I still want that Irishman home

All the sons and daughters stuck ’round the world

Away from their families and friends

Ah, but as the borders were opened and the flights were restarted

It was nice to think that the waiting might end.

And someday we’ll all be together again

Me and my luggage but they can’t tell me when

Then I realize something I’ve always known

We should send that Irishman home.

No matter how far

Or how wide I roam

I still want that Irishman home.


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  1. pierre wilkinson

    there is a plan suggested that Qantas is going to phase out passengers in an attempt to improve services…
    a sokesman said “this will cut down on waiting times at airports and eliminate lost luggage completely”

  2. Harry Lime

    Very good,couldn’t agree more Rossleigh…the sooner that overpaid, egregious little leprechaun fucks off back to Ireland, the better.Apart from sacking people and screwing Qantas up,he’s cost us nearly as much as the lamentable liar.

  3. Kathryn

    QANTAS (or as one Russian I met, so aptly described it as “C-NTARSE”) is becoming more and more like an episode of Faulty Towers every day! It would be PERFECT if it wasn’t for all those pesky, annoying passengers, eh? QANTAS used to have an outstanding reputation as being one of the finest airlines in the world with a long history of safety and good service …. what the hell happened?

  4. Jagman48

    Why do they call him FLIP ?

  5. Canguro

    pierre, I take it there’s no error in your post; that a sokesman is what you get after a Joycean knee’s up in the boardroom, strategising over a bottle or three of the finest Irish whiskey taxpayers can buy as the lads endeavour to find a way to dig themselves out of the ever-deepening pile of ordure that the leprechaun has created in his obsessive crusade to create greater wealth for the shareholders and passengers be damned!

    Sterling job he’s doing too. Most recent historical peak around $7.40 in late Dec 2019, currently trading around $4.55. Crikey, even the much-loathed Irish carrier Ryanair is doing better, trading around USD 71 on the NASDAQ. How much longer will this gnomic joker be tolerated, and what is his hold over the board’s psyche?

  6. A Commentator

    Qantas –
    * Employs tens of thousands of (mainly unionised) employees in Australia
    * Ranks as the 4th best airline in the world
    * Competes with dozens of other airlines
    * Has an unparalleled safety record
    * Is a genuine Australian success story
    …but the left hate Qantas because Alan Joyce had the balls to take on a couple of unions, 10 years ago, and win
    (there are about 15 unions in Qantas, and most didn’t support the ALAEA and TWU)

  7. Michael Taylor

    AC, I remember that. But I think that his decision to cancel all flights, including those returning passengers home from overseas left a very bad taste in the mouths of those abroad who wanted to get home or catch a connecting flight.

    The shareholders might have loved it, but the passengers certainly didn’t.

    Happy shareholders and happy customers are two different things.

    Qantas’ safety record is indeed enviable, I’ll grant them that. I’ve flown with many international carriers and I’ll lump Qantas with two other records: the worst meals and the rudest staff.

    PS: If you’re ever flying Qantas from LA to Sydney try and avoid the lady at the check-in counter in LA who’s the Mrs Slocombe look-alike (from Are You Being Served). You’ll thank me for it one day.

  8. Harry Lime

    Michael,I sincerely hope Captain Peacock isn’t the pilot.

  9. Michael Taylor

    A number of years ago we took the direct flight from Perth to London, emerging from the sardine can tired and grumpy at 5:30am.

    What joy it was waiting for the standard 2pm check-in at our hotel.

    I don’t think Qantas thought that one through.

    We now fly British Airways. Better food, friendlier staff, and a safety video that is a delight to watch. Plus it’s cheaper: we paid $920pp return from Sydney to London. The same route with Qantas was $3,000pp.

    And forget business class with Qantas. Kayaking to London would be a better option.

  10. Michael Taylor

    Harry, he was working in the duty free shop in LA where I bought a Guess watch, which I later learnt (from Guess) was a fake. At least it was cheap.

  11. A Commentator

    Yes MT, it was Melbourne Cup weekend too, and I think we might have even had a discussion about it at the time!
    Joyce used the legislation enacted by the ALP government to force a crisis
    It wasn’t the first time this has occurred in the airline industry.
    Qantas is a great success story, and I don’t understand why so many people seek to undermine it.
    Without Qantas there’s-
    * No aircraft industry apprenticeships
    * No Australian avionic technicians
    * Few opportunities for commercial pilots
    * Virtually no large Australian employer of engineering, technical and trades
    And note to Rossleigh- I’m not sure that ridicule of someone on the basis of their nationality or ethnicity is a great idea

  12. Michael Taylor

    AC, I find it amusing that the same man who once canceled flights had a go recently at the WA premier for not allowing flights into his state.

    Even a humourless sour-puss such as yourself must see the funny side of that.

  13. pierre wilkinson

    Canguro: mayhaps I meant soaks man?
    AC: outsourcing as much as possible and having maintenance done overseas meets your approval no doubt?

  14. Michael Taylor

    pierre, it will please him. It’ll mean that less union members will be employed.

    If there’s one thing that AC despises more than Dr Binoy, Julian Assange or me… it is unions.

  15. Michael Taylor

    On a Qantas flight to Sydney the passengers were served a capsicum muffin with salsa sauce (yes, you read that right – a capsicum muffin with salsa sauce). As the hostess waltzed down the aisle to collect the trays we were amused that on every tray there was a capsicum muffin with salsa sauce minus one bite.

    We thought we’d seen the last of them.


    Guess what they served the next time we flew to Sydney? Guess how many bites there were in each muffin as the hostess collected the trays?

  16. Michael Taylor

    It’s unusual for the head of an organisation to keep his job when the company he runs is riddled with incompetency and mishaps on an all-too-frequent basis.

    PS: With or without capsicum muffins with salsa sauce.

  17. wam

    My darling and I are not fit enough for most cheap flights and we pay the premium for quants’ reasonable departure but qantas(the mexican pronunciation is cuntas) does fly into darwin from adelaide.
    The irishman will create qantasstar with everything outsourced and we will go back to driving oops the price of fuel??
    It would be great if the medicare levy was on gross income then from him through retirees to the welfare will pay. Still so will pollies so it wont be considered.

  18. Harry Lime

    In other,very important news, that ossified purveyor of garbage,the nearly dead Murdoch is divorcing young Jerry..start up the conveyor belt of new candidates,Monsignor Perrottet is dashing around in circles trying to put out spot fires,and that little prick Joyce received nearly $2,000,000,000.00 in taxpayer funds that seem to be vaguely accounted for (crickey,Michael West),making him a pin up boy for corporate hucksters.Legal or not,it’s fucking immoral. Meanwhile,he’s trashed brand Qantas.His days are numbered.

  19. David Baird

    Even if his days are numbered, he’ll cry all the way to the bank, keeping his $100,000,000 in ‘earnings’ over the last decade. QANTAS, like every other entity we’ve privatised, has done s-o-o-o-o well for the average punter eh? Another classic case of snouts in troughs and the hoi polloi can go fuck ’emselves.

  20. Ross

    Qantas is a poorly run private enterprise and probably OK if you just want to fly to Bali for a holiday. Going on holiday is the only way you would put up with the crap Qantas hands out.
    Most frequent business fliers would only use Qantas when there is absolutely no other option because normally the other option is far superior and probably cheaper as well.
    Qantas once had a well deserved reputation for bumping passengers in favour of freight. Get to the check in to find no seat and no help. You only fall for that once and once gone you don’t go back.
    Any person, business or otherwise, who flies on a regular basis needs an airline that looks after passengers when it all goes pear shaped, Qantas is not that airline. It doesn’t matters how many hundreds of thousands of frequent flier miles you may have clocked up they don’t want to know and good luck getting a refund.
    There was once a web site called “I hate Qantas” or some such name, where people vented their frustrations and ex-Qantas passengers just nodded their heads in not very friendly remembrance.

  21. A Commentator

    The personal anecdotes are…the comments of a small number who object to an Australian company that didn’t do what unions told them.
    The facts are-
    * Only via Qantas will Australia have an aviation industry
    * Qantas has an unparalleled safety record
    * It ranks as the 4th best airline in the world
    * It employs tens of thousands of people in Australia
    * It’s difficult to identify a larger employer of mechanical and electrical apprentices, engineers, tradespeople
    …but there are those that will undermine it, and congratulations, Vietnam can replace Qantas as a centre of aviation excellence

  22. Kaye Lee

    Airline On Time Performance Statistics for May

    Qantas recorded the highest percentage of cancellations (at 7.6 per cent) during the month. The Australian airline industry average was 5.6%.

    Qantas – all QF designated services: Arrivals on time 60.7% Departures on time 61.5%. Australian industry average was 64.2 per cent for on time arrivals and also for on time departures.

    It’s telling that Qantas has much worse stats than Virgin or Rex.

    As for employment, they directly employ about half the people that the car manufacturing industry used to employ (and lots of those are flight attendants which is more your hospitality type of job) …and that’s without considering supply chain and indirect jobs connected with cars.

    Also, Qantas was ranked 8th in 2021, not 4th.

  23. Michael Taylor

    My favourite thing about Qantas is the $180 fee they charge to change a flight they booked for you.

    You know, when they book you onto a connecting flight that’s impossible to meet so you want it changed.

    Great stuff.

  24. A Commentator

    Qantas is 4th in 2022. You’re welcome. https://www.thetravel.com/best-airlines-in-the-world-2022/

    A comparison with our motor vehicle manufacturing industry?
    What a remarkable point. Without change in workplace practices, innovation, investment…industries go the way of the motor vehicle manufacturing industry.
    Qantas is making every effort to remain competitive in probably the toughest international environment.
    But left types would prefer to undermine the airline because it doesn’t do what unions tell it.

  25. Kaye Lee

    The article you linked to is about 2021 and focuses on safety. The article I quoted focuses on passenger satisfaction.

    World’s Top 10 Airlines of 2021

    The $2 billion the government gave Qantas no doubt helped their recovery. I’m still unsure how they got away with claiming enormous amounts from JobKeeper whilst sacking thousands of staff.

  26. A Commentator

    There are about 250 commercial airlines in the world, for Qantas to finish 4th or 8th is a remarkable achievement.
    You cited the vehicle manufacturing industry, is that where you would have Qantas head?
    Qantas required plenty of reform, and unions didn’t like some of it.
    So union oriented types undermine a company that is probably Australia’s largest employer of technical skills.

  27. Ben

    Witty Rossleigh. Maybe we need to get with the program, a la “UK Fires org – Absolute Zero”. You know, flying is soo yesterday. The great unwinding is accelerating, yet many people still believe we are going back to the old normal and that everything happening is some kind of vast accident. Our Western lifestyles are toast.
    Channeling Simon & Garfunkel –
    Carbon footprint, my old friend,
    Time to make you smaller once again,
    Because a vision softly creeping,
    Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
    Yet the end of cheap travel that was planted in my brain Still remains
    Within the sound of silence.

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