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Wednesday 29 March 2023

Time to crack down on airline bullshit


There have been increasing calls for more Australian Government oversight of airlines.

With the ongoing plethora of absurdly high fares, poor service, cancelled flights and lost luggage, the airlines appear to have lost the right to self regulate.

In Europe, and many other destinations, passengers are compensated if their flights are delayed.

As Qantas has benefitted from millions of dollars of taxpayer money, why should it not cough up when it gets things wrong?

I flew from Hobart to Melbourne last week for a one-night visit. My ticket with Qantas for this simple flight cost a whopping $986 - which was an absurdity.

My flight was two hours late from Hobart to Melbourne - and the snack was a sliver of biscuit. I had chosen an aisle seat in advance but was switched to a window "because of a change of aircraft".

My return flight was just an hour late, while my business class meal (I upgraded for $65) was a dodgy chicken noodle dish that would not pass muster at Dad's Noodles.

There was no wifi on either flight but I travelled with hand baggage only, so was not subject to the usual baggage chaos at both airports.

A friend of mine is currently having an even worse experience. A Qantas platinum frequent flyer, he booked and paid for a flight to attend a wine event in Melbourne on Friday night.
Qantas this week cancelled his flights and said there were no other Qantas options. 

He was told he would have to book with their "unreliable subsidiary" - at an increased cost of $200.

This followed his experience the week before, when he flew from Hobart to Melbourne to see a specialist. Again, his flight home was cancelled but Qantas did get him on a replacement flight - that was only 50 minutes late.

Constant failures like this are simply not acceptable.

Customers are being treated like mugs.

Time to act Albo.

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