The Downfall of Qantas

Howdy all and Happy Tuesday! (Yeah, probably not a thing ‘Happy Tuesday’). Look, okay so usually I am not one to put overly dramatic titles on my blog posts. At least I don’t think I am. What am I trying to do here? Make clickbait? I dunno. But seriously we have to talk about Australia’s national airline because frankly, it’s not in a good place right now.

Look, Qantas is an airline I like, it’s the oldest airline in Australia and it’s one thing I like to feel proud about when it comes to my country, because frankly I don’t always feel proud about a lot of stuff here. I have taken Qantas this year without much issues back in April, and apart from a long wait for baggage at Gold Coast Airport, it was all good. I flew Jetstar just two weeks ago – that’s Australia’s main budget airline and operated and owned by Qantas – and that was the best Jetstar flight I have ever been on. BUT – these experiences have not been so common for most Qantas passengers in 2022.

What are the issues? Well, what issues can befall an airline?? Delays – not uncommon but the number of delays is something new for Qantas. Bags not making flights, not making connections, passengers stranded (there have been a couple of cases in Los Angeles where people were left stranded or without baggage. Or both) Complaints and more complaints, the airline seems to be rudderless right now.

There were days when the news reported something like 41 cancelled flights from a single airport (Sydney I think) and almost all of those were either Qantas or Jetstar. When I flew Jetstar two weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly everything went. However, I kept forgetting that the reason I had a full plane was because the previous flight to mine to Sydney had been cancelled.

YES – the airline industry is struggling in Australia right now with staffing being the issue. A lag from the worst of Covid with many losing jobs and not being able to rehire as quickly as needed perhaps. But the big issue is that Qantas SACKED 1800 baggage handlers in 2020 – despite the fact that the government was paying out Job Keeper to them, in favour of outsourcing the job. Today, they face industrial action as a result.

In fact it has been so bad that Alan Joyce, the CEO for nearly 20 years of Qantas, had executives called to take on baggage handling responsibilities a few weeks back, and apparently Joyce himself was snapped doing the job in what can only be seen as a desperate PR push.

Before the announcement of the financial situation late last week, Joyce got on the offensive and apologised for the poor service and as part of that apology has offered all Qantas Frequent Flyers $50 toward their next Qantas booking. Check out the email below.

Also he has put more frequent flyer seats on the website. That’s only with Qantas of course as cant very well get partner airlines to chip in. Very UNironically, after the announcement the next day I went to check on some flights for my parents, not related to the announcements, and guess what. Yep, the site was down for half the day! It’s hard to believe because 50 bucks off a flight really isn’t that great a deal in my opinion. I much would have preferred 1000 or even 500 FF points. The 50 bucks needs to be used by the end of September or October and can only be used through the Qantas website or app.

On top of that the offerings on international frequent flyer seats right now is the poorest I have ever seen. Try finding a Dubai or Europe flight home to Australia. It’s virtually impossible. I looked for a Dubai to Melbourne flight and there was one available in a three month period at the start of 2023. Qantas has great code share/Frequent Flyer partnerships with Qatar Airways and Emirates (to name but a few), and if you are looking Dubai to Europe return or something like that, you are sorted (although the tax/extra charges are somewhat out of hand) but actually to and from Australia, forget about it!

I have recently started to use Velocity a LOT more, earning points at a frenetic pace this year, because although they don’t have as many airlines, they are presently a much better program. The taxes are WAY less than using Qantas and you can use MORE points to lessen your tax, down to zero if you have enough points.

Qantas and Alan Joyce really want their cake and eat it too. Unfortunately that’s not cutting right now. With inflation starting to bite, people will be looking for cheaper ways to travel, or at least more reliable ones. A few days delay can ruin a holiday. ONE DAY can if it’s the wrong day.

It’s sad to see this happening. Hopefully the functionality of an airline with such a long and proud history can be restored. As for restoring its reputation, well they say a good reputation take years if not decades to built, and seconds to destroy.

Thanks for popping by! May the Journey Never End!

One thought on “The Downfall of Qantas

  1. I agree that the airline companies have had a bad time, but they are the ones that have received a lot of aid too. I can see that the crisis has been a pretext to impose changes that were not accepted before. Since the deterioration of the service proves that these are bad management choices, it is normal that the managers pay the price. After this summer of madness, customers will go back to the best service combined with the best price, the best value. Not to the best price with bad service.

    I’ve had my share of bad experiences this summer and I have my blacklist.

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