Over the weekend, Qantas issued a formal apology to its customers, along with offers of discounts, perks, points, and more for the airline’s disastrous recent performance, acknowledging the airline’s shortcomings over the past few months and thanking them for returning.
Rebounding international travel demand has been linked to the chaos, which has been blamed on personnel shortages due to the spread of the COVID virus, a smaller labour pool, and extended periods of wet weather.
In a video message to Qantas’s most loyal customers, Joyce said that the company’s recent performance had not been satisfactory, despite their being “valid causes” for the errors, such as flight cancellations, delays, and an increase in lost luggage.
He apologised on behalf of the national carrier and promised to improve service.
Member frequent fliers from Australia and New Zealand will be invited to a Qantas lounge and given a voucher for $50 to use on a round-trip ticket.
An invitation to the Qantas Club or a similar international business lounge, as well as an extension of your Silver status for another year, will be provided to all Silver members. An invitation to one of the domestic business lounges will be extended to Gold members.
Members who have attained the Platinum or Platinum One tier have been offered anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 bonus Qantas points.
In addition to adding seats on Sunday for international and domestic flights, the airline has also extended the availability of its “classic reward” seats, which may be reserved using Qantas points, through 30 June 2023. About 12% of all airline customers generally use some reward seating.
The formal apology is the airline’s latest attempt to repair its tarnished image, but it has so far failed to win over the Transport Workers Union. The union’s national secretary Michael Kaine released a statement on Sunday saying, “Australia sees through this charade.”
‘Enough of the gimmicks,’ Kaine declared. If Qantas management or Joyce were genuinely concerned about their customers, they would hire a new chief executive with the business savvy to rehire and treat the highly skilled, experienced professionals who left the company with respect.
“Profiteering businesses have undermined the aviation industry.”
Kaine has advocated for creating a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to ensure the continued high quality of services and the stability of the workforce.
This month, Qantas announced it would increase the waiting time between domestic and international connecting flights by 30 minutes to mitigate the number of people arriving at their destination without their luggage.
In 2020, Qantas decided to outsource its luggage ground handling, a move that has been blamed for the travel disruption as it led to the elimination of 1700 jobs. The Federal Court ruled that the action violated the Fair Work Act, and the airline is currently appealing the decision to the High Court.
Qantas and other airlines are trying to address workforce shortages by encouraging managers and executives to take on front-line responsibilities like baggage handling. Qantas said at the beginning of the month that at least one hundred executives would be trading in their corporate duties for those of baggage handlers and tug drivers.