We’re giving Qantas and Alan Joyce one more change to fly well

Do you remember Easter, when the images of the huge queues leaving the domestic terminal at Sydney Airport were going viral? Well get ready, because the winter break is here and we highly doubt things will be any different, given that the CEO of Australia’s national airline spends all his time making excuses for Qantas’ poor performance rather than addressing the issues.

As Bernard Keane wrote earlier this week, Qantas’ return to the skies, after spending the pandemic begging to start operating again and lashing out at various prime ministers and health measures, has been an unmitigated disaster, with endless delays to flights, canceled flights, customer service nightmares, and luggage that constantly gets lost or goes missing altogether.

So what is going on? Well, according to Joyce, passengers don’t adjust well anymore and keep forgetting to remove their laptops. What fools we are! She then went on to blame airports for not having enough staff.

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Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that Joyce laid off 6,000 employees during the pandemic and hasn’t managed to replace them (you might remember them: the staff who check you in, take care of your bags, put you on the plan, and answer your calls and complaints). But where would he find the time? He has been busy with a court case: the nearly 1,700 ground workers he fired are, unsurprisingly, suing him for compensation after he illegally subcontracted their jobs to them.

So, Alan, we’ll give you one last chance. The winter holidays are upon us. Could you do it better?

Here’s the deal: we passengers will get fit and be traveling angels. All you have to do to keep your end of the bargain is what it says on the package: get us (and our luggage) from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time. Simple.

Crikey Readers, this is how we will hold Joyce accountable together: follow the simple instructions below when traveling with Qantas. If the above expectations are not met, please send us your story. How long was your delay? Was your flight cancelled? Where the hell did your luggage end up? No need to wait until the holidays – if you followed the rules and still had a bad experience with Qantas, let us know now by sending your story and any photos to [email protected]

Get fit for your winter travels with Qantas

  1. Book your ticket (make sure you don’t need any changes to it, because a lot of customer service staff have been laid off, so wait times on the phone will be long).
  2. Get to the airport an hour before your flight (or if you see footage of giant queues at the airport on the news the night before, wait two hours).
  3. Check in the night before or 24 hours before when they send you an email reminder, knowing full well that if you leave it until the day of your flight there will be huge lines.
  4. Anyway, wait in the huge lines mentioned above on the day if you have luggage to check.
  5. Go through security, remember to take out your sprays and laptops (just remember: a cute quirk of the system is that not all airports require you to take out your laptop anymore and the signage is rarely up to date, so you may be told to put it back into her bag, thus wasting more of Joyce’s time).
  6. Don’t go to the first cafe past the security checkpoint; it’s always too busy, go a little further.
  7. Arrive at your gate half an hour before your flight and wait for the text message informing you that your flight has been delayed or canceled and your luggage has ended up in Denver.

Have you followed all these steps and still had a bad Qantas travel experience? Let us know what happened at [email protected]

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Australia has spoken. We want more from the people in power and we deserve means to keep them on their toes. And thank you, because it has become very clear that in Crikey we are on the right track.

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Peter Fray

Peter Fray
Chief editor

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