Flying Qantas, particularly business and first class, is truly a luxury experience. One of the little things that also happens when you are flying in premium cabins in the U.S. is that you will also often be referred to as Mr. or Ms. so-and-so. When you fly Qantas premium cabins, you are constantly referred to by name. They rarely ask you, “Would you like some champagne?” but rather, “Ms. Wong, would you like some champagne?” It’s a very personal experience. Service is taken extremely seriously. Oh, hey, U.S. airlines — you guys could take a hint from Qantas on improving your services and manners in flight. But, you probably won’t because you aren’t “incentivized” to do so.
When I first started flying regularly, that was to travel to and from college, and I mostly flew on my uncle’s Delta companion pass back in 2004. Then, I would oftentimes get upgraded to business class because of his seniority as an employee there. As such, I got in-flight meals, premium seats, and constantly got referred to as “Ms. Wong.” Back in the day, even into my mid-twenties, I did not really enjoy this. I found this formality far too formal, and it always made me feel a little uncomfortable to be referred to as Ms. anything. I realized, though, on this flight to Melbourne, that when repeated called “Ms. Wong,” I actually did not mind it; in fact, I actually found myself enjoying it to a degree. Maybe it’s a sign I am getting older or settling into my 30s. Or maybe it’s just a sign that formalities such as these are more of a normal thing for me now.