Qantas Airways apologizes to customers for operational issues


Aircraft appearance crew members clean an aircraft as Qantas begins preparing and outfitting aircraft for the return of international flights at Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia October 21, 2021. REUTERS/ Loren Elliott/File Photo

SYDNEY – Qantas Airways Ltd will offer A$50 ($34) vouchers, loyalty status extensions and lounge passes to frequent flyers to apologize for rising delays, cancellations, lost baggage and staffing issues since travel demand rebounded.

Airlines around the world, including national rival Virgin Australia, face similar issues, but Qantas has attracted significant negative local media coverage given its position as the dominant carrier.

In response, the airline said on Sunday it would send frequent flyer members an email and video message on Monday from its longtime chief executive, Alan Joyce, whose home was pelted with eggs and covered in toilet paper last month amid vicious customer reviews on social media. media.

“On behalf of the national carrier, I want to apologize and assure you that we are working hard to get back to our best,” Joyce said in the video message, which was also posted on YouTube.

Qantas said it was rolling out a series of initiatives to improve punctuality and poor baggage handling as it also faced high levels of staff sick leave and a labor shortage at the airport. industry scale.

The carrier, which has cut thousands of jobs during the pandemic and put most of its staff on long-term unpaid leave, said it has hired 1,500 new people since April, with more to come.

Qantas is due to release its annual financial results on Thursday.

($1 = 1.4552 Australian dollars)

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