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Sunday 21 August 2022

Qantas apologises for recent failings

A few weeks ago Qantas boss Alan Joyce accused flyers of not being “match fit” and partially responsible for Australian airport chaos.

Now the leprechaun has changed his tune, reaching out to frequent flyers and issuing a fulsome apology for the airline’s failures.

Qantas will on Monday contact millions of its customers to formally apologise for recent operational challenges and thank them for their patience as the national carrier works to lift its game after Covid.

The airline is rolling out a range of initiatives to improve mishandled bags and on-time performance as it also deals with high levels of sick leave and a labour shortage after it sacked a swag of union members.

Qantas says it has hired 1,500 new people since April with more to come, adjusted flight schedules and invested $15 million in new technology at key airports to help smooth the travel experience.

Speaking via an email and video message being sent on Monday, Qantas Group CEO Joyce acknowledged while it was great to see people back on-board after so long on the ground, the return to flying hasn’t all gone well.

“Over the past few months, too many of you have had flights delayed, flights cancelled and bags misplaced,” he said. “There are good reasons why, but when it comes to what you expect from Qantas, it’s not good enough.

“On behalf of the national carrier, I want to apologise and assure you that we’re working hard to get back to our best.

“We’re already seeing a sustained improvement in baggage handling and on-time performance, and while factors out of our control like weather can have an impact on our schedule, we expect things to keep improving each week.

“As well as saying sorry, we also want to say thank you. We’re investing in a range of initiatives including status extensions for Frequent Flyers Silver and above, thousands of Qantas Points and lounge passes.

“All our Frequent Flyers in Australia and New Zealand will be offered $50 towards a return Qantas flight, which equates to many millions in discounts.”

Qantas will also boost Classic Reward seat availability for bookings made with points.

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