LOL: Qantas Now Selling $305 Cashmere Sweaters, $250 Beach Totes

Filed Under: Qantas

Qantas sure has been getting creative when it comes to generating revenue without flying, ranging from selling care packages, to selling bar carts, to selling flights to nowhere and somewhere. However, I’d argue that this is possibly the most outlandish concept yet…

Qantas now selling leisure wear

Qantas has partnered with Australian fashion designer Martin Grant to release a limited-edition athleisure-wear collection. The collection showcases a mix of the airline’s vintage logos to mark the flying kangaroo’s centenary year.

There’s a wide range of wardrobe staples that are part of this collection, ranging from sweaters, to hoodies, to t-shirts, to beach totes. Some even feature yellow, to represent Australia’s native floral emblem.

Grant also designed uniforms for Qantas pilots, flight attendants, and ground staff, as well as pajamas and amenity kits for the airline.

As Grant describes the collection:

“This collection is all about classic shapes, comfortable styles and materials that are kind on the environment. But the hero of the designs are the iconic logos that evoke so many fond memories for Australians.

The Qantas brand is embedded in the history of our country. I wanted this collection to be a nod to the past but also be a treasured piece for the future.”

So, how expensive are these items?

These items are now all available through the Qantas Rewards Store, and they’re legitimately expensive. Unlike other things that Qantas has sold in recent weeks, this hasn’t sold out within minutes. So, how expensive are these items?

You can buy a cashmere sweater for 425AUD (~305USD), or 73,910 Qantas points.

You can buy a beach tote for 350AUD (~251USD), or 60,860 Qantas points.

You can buy a hoodie for 275AUD (~197USD), or 47,820 Qantas points.

You can buy a t-shirt for 150AUD (~108USD), or 26,080 Qantas points.

What this tells us about Qantas & Australia

The fact that a beach tote with an airline logo is being sold for 250USD+ perfectly highlights the difference of perception of airlines in the US vs. Australia, and it’s something I find endlessly fascinating.

Could you imagine if Tom Ford and American Airlines collaborated on a collection like this, where you too could be the proud owner of a 300USD+ sweater featuring American Airlines’ logo? No, neither could I…

In Australia Qantas seems to consistently be a point of national pride. Just about every Australian I’ve talked to about airlines loves Qantas and thinks it’s one of the best airlines. That’s something you don’t really see in many other countries.

For example, some of Singapore Airlines’ toughest critics are Singaporeans, and many even feel ambivalent towards the airline.

And coming from the US this is almost inconceivable, where airlines are generally put in the same category as cell phone companies and utility companies when it comes to customer perception.

Bottom line

With Australia being one of the most “closed” countries in the world right now, Qantas no doubt deserves credit for its creativity in trying to generate revenue without flying.

This has to be the most unusual attempt to raise money yet, given the prices. More than anything it reflects that Qantas is actually a loved brand in Australia, which isn’t the case for most “national” airlines…

Having said all of the above, I actually love the design of some of these items, and am almost tempted…

So, anyone in Australia buying anything from this collection?

  1. One reason Singaporeans complain about SQ is because they are so spoiled that not even the best is good enough for them.

  2. It may not be the flashiest or ‘best’ airline out there, but it represents what it means to be Australian. Reliable, comforting, casual, and unique. Australians can dump on Qantas with the rest of them, but when we see that kangaroo on the tail, we know we are headed home or that its a piece of home no matter where we are. That it’ll always be there to take us home (something thats really important when you live in one of the furthest corners on earth)

  3. While domestic US airlines do have a public perception problem, many of us are old enough to remember when people dressed up to go to the airport, because if you were going spend that kind of money to travel, it was an important and memorable event.
    I believe, with the right marketing,
    designer, clothes sporting vintage domestic airline logos, could do quite well.

  4. I’m a QF loyal flyer, love seeing the red tail all over the world. But this is ridiculous… ain’t no way I’d drop money on these items. Any money tbh, cos I find them ugly – but DEFINITELY not that much!!

  5. Why is this a ‘LOL’?

    More of a ‘WOW’ or even an ‘OMG’ article but definitly not a ‘LOL’

  6. I’m Aussie.

    When I see the red roof at JFK, LAX, LHR or SYD I get a tear in my eye. I feel so proud. It is a source of national pride for us (even though yes we will also rip on it’s shortcomings) and when I step on board the plane created by an Aussie “(Hi, how are you. Headed home to OZ?”) I go all warm and fuzzy.

    As someone said it represents Australia. Warm, friendly, not arrogant, quality but not 5 Star, but 4.25 stars and genuine real down to earth and reliable. It’s what Australia is – not perfect – but close enough for us 🙂

  7. You lock the country and grounded the airline and then offer something for sale that will trigger sweet memories of past travel. Yes, that should trigger warm and cozy feelings that will open the wallets.

  8. Tom Ford would never, ever associate his brand with a US airline. Ben, if you ran Qantas and you were told you could not carry pax freely between Australian states and that intl borders were closed for 12-24 months, what would you to?

  9. Its funny because as a born and bred Australian (Perth) I find this to be so true. I remember my dad once flew PER – SYD – JNB and return on QF rather than PER – JNB direct on SAA when he went on a business trip. His reasoning: “Because its Qantas”.

    I think this a reason why Virgin have really struggled here because Qantas is so ingrained into Australian society and cultural values that it is almost un-Australian to not fly Qantas when given the chance.

    All that being said though. I do love Qantas. It’s a great airline. Has a fantastic safety record. Has some of the best employees in the industry. And as others have said QF reflects Australia – laid back, welcoming, casual and friendly.

    I just bought the hoodie!

  10. I feel the same nostalgia and connection to BA, and have bought several of their t-shirts before – at normal t-shirt prices though. I wouldn’t pay the prices QF are charging here!

  11. I actually quite like the sweaters, and I’m an American who’s never actually flown QANTAS. Their logo is pretty iconic and they haven’t monkeyed with it too much over the years. (Unlike United, which idiotically ditched the tulip logo for the stupid Continental globe logo.) But $305 for a sweater is too rich for my blood!

  12. This has got to be one of the most tone deaf marketing exercises ever done by Qantas management.

    Several customers haven’t been able to get refunds for many months. The mental health of several staff is terrible (included several actual and attempted suicides). And yet the airline is focusing on rubbish like this? It all looks hideous too.

  13. @tim @rudy so true. #feelslikehome After a long trip overseas there is nothing like getting on board a Qantas aircraft and coming into Sydney on the Red Roo … wow.

  14. Flew them a lot before COVID.

    Way back, I remember loving when they played “I Still Call Australia Home” in the cabin on final approach on those beautiful 747s. Though I’m American, it was impossible not to get a teary eye hearing the song on approach.

    But I’m not paying that much for a sweater or t-shirt

  15. I don’t know whether it is, but this struck me as something Qantas was going to do anyway to mark its centenary and not another pandemic-related measure. The previous offerings were to clear stock, or in the case of the B747 carts using the pandemic as a pretext to monetise something that they would normally have just left on the retired aircraft.

    Like other Aussies who have already posted, I have a soft spot for Qantas, and while I have an eye to my FF account (and status) and usually fly with them, I don’t limit myself to them (I do chose QF metal LAX to JFK rather than other transcontinental options). With all that, I won’t be buying any of this merch.

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