Much thought had gone into ensuring we would get to this flight on time. Months prior, when booking our internal flights for this trip, we made the decision to book our connection from New Orleans to Dallas on American Airlines, as opposed to Southwest, even though Southwest was a fair bit cheaper.
There were two main reasons for this.
The first was that Southwest only had two or three flights per day running the New Orleans to Dallas route, whereas American seemed to have a squillion. My reckoning was that if there were any issues getting out of New Orleans, then we’d be better off on an airline with more flights to get bumped onto.
The second was that my wife has Gold Frequent Flyer status with Qantas, who are part of the OneWorld Alliance with American, so our checked bags would be free (which they would have been on Southwest anyway, but not Virgin America who were also a contender for our dollar).
A third, and one we didn’t realise until checking in at New Orleans, was that American were happy to check our bags all the way through to Australia, even though the flights were booked separately and on different airlines. QF8 is code-shared with American, and I’m pretty sure that’s why we could check all the way through.
With our debacle of being diverted to Houston on QF7 fresh in our minds, we were disheartened to then read stories of QF8 having incidents with having to leave luggage behind, and diverting to Noumea due to the vast distance being undertaken by a 747.
As it happened all of the above was over planning for no real issues. Our flight did depart two hours late out of DFW, but we made up most of the time and landed pretty close to scheduled arrival time in Brisbane.
Due to the late departure, my wife did boldly go where I fear I wouldn’t have the confidence, and asked for better seats. The crew obliged, and we thought we would just be a little closer to the front, but as it turns out, we had been seated in Premium Economy.
This was a win. Obviously.
The Qantas Premium Economy is excellent, and after experiencing it, would definitely look at paying for it. International Business Class is hideously more expensive than Economy, but Premium isn’t so much of a step up financially.
The best way I could describe it would be to equate it to Qantas’ domestic Business Class. The food is great, but not excellent. The seats have plenty of room and are extremely comfortable, but don’t lie flat.
If you’re tossing it up and Premium Economy is within your budget, I’d definitely do it as it is a very big jump from normal Economy. More so in comfort than the price.