Australia

A ‘stunt’: Union takes aim at Qantas over $50 apology voucher for poor performance

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has criticised Qantas after the airline announced it would offer customers a $50 flight discount to make amends for poor performance.
The move from Australia’s biggest airline comes after it faced a barrage of complaints over delayed flights, cancellations and mishandled baggage.
TWU national secretary Michael Kaine labelled the vouchers a “stunt” as he criticised the airline for illegally sacking at least 1600 baggage handlers which he said has contributed to the chaos some Qantas customers have faced in recent times.
Qantas sacked the staff during the COVID-19 lockdown and outsourced the service to contractors, a decision the Federal Court ruled was unlawful.

Qantas previously vowed to appeal the decision.

Transport Workers’ Union national secretary Michael Kaine said Qantas’ $50 apology vouchers for poor performance were a “stunt”. Source: AAP

“Australians see through this stunt. The thousands of passengers who’ve spent hours in call centre queues following cancelled 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,” Mr Kaine said in a statement on Sunday.

SBS News has contacted Qantas for contacted comment.
Earlier, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce conceded the national carrier had been beset by recent “operational challenges” as customers queued for hours at airports around the country.

The airline is rolling out vouchers and frequent flyer perks, including lounge invitations and reward seat availability, as additional sweeteners to win back customers.

In a bid to get back to pre-pandemic service, Qantas has hired an additional 1,500 staff and adjusted flight schedules to help smooth the travel experience.
In a video and email message sent to millions of the company’s Frequent Flyers, Mr Joyce said the return to skies hadn’t all gone smoothly.
“Over the past few months, too many of you have had flights delayed, flights cancelled and bags misplaced. 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.”
Mr Joyce said the airline had been working to see sustained customer improvement.
“While factors out of our control like weather can have an impact on our schedule, we expect things to keep improving each week.”

With additional reporting by Tom Canetti.

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