Despite Qantas’ rather dire financial state, last year they announced plans to add chauffeur service on their flights that are more than 12 hours long.
This was added because of their joint venture with Emirates. They were trying to adopt similar service standards on their routes between Australia and Dubai (with connecting service to London), so that it would be as seamless and consistent of an experience as possible for passengers of either carrier.
At the time Qantas also added chauffeur service on their US flights, including the flights to Los Angeles and Dallas out of Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. This was of course very exciting news, especially since it also applied on award tickets (there aren’t many airlines that offer chauffeur service on award tickets).
Well, it appears as if Qantas will be backpedaling here a bit, and eliminating the chauffeur service on their US routes.
Per Australian Business Traveller, Qantas will be eliminating the complimentary chauffeur service for US routes soon. This new policy kicks in for travel starting June 30, 2014, with final chauffeur service bookings allowed on June 9, 2014:
Effective 1 July 2014, Qantas’ complimentary Chauffeur Drive service will no longer be available for eligible First and Business customers traveling on Qantas operated international flights to/from Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth. Eligible customers traveling on Qantas operated international flights to/from Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth can continue to book Chauffeur Drive until 9 June 2014 for flights departing on/before 30 June 2014.
I guess this really shouldn’t come as a surprise. They’re keeping the chauffeur service for their London and Dubai routes, since there’s an actual “tie in” there with Emirates. Meanwhile their chauffeur service on US routes had nothing to do with Emirates, but was rather intended to offer a more consistent experience for passengers.
So it’s sad that they’re cutting it, but given their financial situation I can’t say I’m surprised.