By Vanni Gibertini
Qantas’ CEO Issues Formal Apology Following Operational Difficulties
This last year has definitely been a tough one for the airline industry. After the financial bloodbath caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, carriers around the world have had to deal with the rebound in demand caused by the relaxation of restrictions to travel and some of them found out they were not prepared for handling the current levels of traffic.
Airports and airlines alike have been struggling with staffing issues and operational delays, and this has caused widespread dissatisfaction among passengers.
In Australia, Qantas Airways has decided to face up to the criticism it is receiving from its customers and the entire traveling public by releasing a video to officially apologize for the below-standard service their passengers had to endure during the past few months. The video shows nothing less than Alan Joyce himself, Qantas’ Chief Executive, issuing a “formal apology” for what has been happening in the recent past.
“Over the past few months, too many of you have had flights delayed, flights canceled or bags misplaced. There are good reasons why, but when it comes to what you expect from Qantas, it’s not good enough – says the video – On behalf of the national carrier I want to apologize and assure you that we’re working hard to get back to our best.”
The airline is rolling out new technology to make the travel experience better and has hired 1,500 more people to face a 50% increase in sick leave.
Qantas has also decided to thank its most loyal customers by granting a 12-month extension to the frequent flyer status of anyone above the Silver level together with a 50 Australian dollars ($34) promo code to all members based in Australia or New Zealand.
In addition to that, the initiative includes also a 50% increase in the availability of award seats on Qantas Flights as well as invitations for Qantas Lounges and free points for Platinum members.
Qantas’ move did not impress the Transport Workers Union of Australia (TWU), which called it a “stunt.”
“The thousands of passengers who’ve spent hours in call center queues following canceled flights, delays and lost luggage won’t want to waste more of their time attempting to cash in a voucher to buy themselves more of the same chaos,” the union said, as reported by Australian Aviation.
“Enough of the gimmicks. If Qantas management or indeed Joyce really cared about customers, the right thing to do would be to appoint a new CEO with the business acumen to bring back highly trained, experienced workers and treat them with respect,” the union added.