Qantas savaged after CEO Alan Joyce claims airline is ‘back to its best’
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has been mocked after claiming the airline is ‘back to its best’ despite the national carrier being plagued with issues.
Mr Joyce heaped praise on his airline on Friday, claiming the ‘Spirit of Australia’ had drastically improved its services right across the board.
‘We’ve been the most on-time of the major domestic airlines for five months in a row,’ he wrote in a gushing op-ed on Thursday.
‘Our service levels – bags, cancellations, catering and the call center – are back to what customers expect from us. And we’re working to make it better.
His glowing review sparked a flurry of criticism from disappointed customers who endured a disastrous series of months with the airline.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has been mocked after claiming the airline is ‘back to its best’ despite several issues still plaguing his company
Mr Joyce heaped praise on the airline claiming Qantas had drastically improved on its services right across the board (stock image)
In January alone, at least six flights were forced to return mid-journey, one plane left behind 60 bags, and a crew member and passenger suffered serious injuries when their QantasLink plane hit turbulence.
A Qantas tweet about Mr Joyce’s comments sparked a furious backlash from irate customers ranging from lost luggage, unresponsive call centers and ‘flight credit’ fails.
‘What a load of rubbish what about my poor friend who traveled on your airline who lost her suitcase and has yet to be reunited with it and all you’ve offered her is $120 absolute joke and you’ve offered her no assistance whatsoever,’ one critic wrote.
Another person added: ‘8 hours on hold to your call center says otherwise…’
‘How’s my refund coming? 7 months and 8 members of staff telling me it’s processed? Must be nice sitting on billions of $$ of free money,’ a third wrote.
Mr Joyce admitted in his op-ed the airline had come out the other end of a rough time.
‘Six months ago, a lot of people felt we’d let them down and the figures showed why,’ he wrote.
‘Almost half our flights were late, our rate of misplaced bags had more than doubled and we were canceling up to 7 percent of our schedule.’
‘Perception wise, it didn’t help that this came after some controversial restructuring decisions to make sure we survived Covid.’
Mr Joyce’s glowing review sparked a flurry of criticism from disappointed customers who endured a disastrous few weeks with the airline in January
The Qantas CEO highlighted one of the biggest complaints was the price of the airfares and flight delays.
‘In order to make our operations more reliable, we had to reduce our flying to give us more buffer,’ he wrote.
‘We have more aircraft and crew on standby to step-in to deal with the supply chain and sick leave issues that remain. Less supply and lots of demand meant fares went up.
‘Higher fares also reflect inflation in general and higher fuel prices in particular, which are up 65 per cent in the past six months compared with pre-Covid.
‘Naturally, that flows through to how much you pay for a flight.’
Mr Joyce downplayed the recent spate of flights returning to base after take off – claiming it was an indication of the airline’s ‘strong safety system.’
The Qantas CEO highlighted one of the biggest complaints was the price of the airfares and flight delays
The first plane to turn around was an Auckland to Sydney flight when it issued a mayday over the Tasman sea earlier on January 18.
The second was a Sydney to Fiji flight on January 19, the third was a Melbourne to Sydney plane on January 20 and the fourth a Canberra-bound flight later that day.
The fifth as a Qantas plane headed from Fiji to Sydney with crew turning around after noticing smoke in the cabin on January 22 and the last was a Sydney to Coffs Harbor flight on Sunday.
‘These have received a huge amount of attention because we had several in quick succession, but despite the hype, they are actually a symptom of strong safety systems,’ Mr Joyce wrote.
‘Our pilots always err on the side of caution because that’s what we train them to do.
‘If an onboard system isn’t working the way it should, they will often decide to land rather than pressing on to the destination.
‘I congratulate them for doing that and encourage them to keep doing it. And despite the obvious inconvenience, I think most of our customers do, too.
Another Qantas customer slammed the airline for leaving more than 60 bags off a flight from Sydney to New Zealand on Tuesday night.
The passenger on the flight from Sydney to Wellington said the airline failed to tell travelers the bags had been left behind, and that they only realized they were missing when standing around an empty baggage carousel.
A post to social media read: ‘QF163 from Sydney to Wellington on Tuesday night.
‘Qantas managed to get us to Wellington 1.5 hours late … and left over 60 bags behind in Sydney due to ‘weight’ reasons.’
Meanwhile, a Qantas passenger and flight attendant were rushed to hospital after a regional flight hit severe turbulence on its way to Hervey Bay from Brisbane on Wednesday.
The QantasLink plane was forced to turn back to Brisbane because of the turbulence with an ambulance meeting it on the ground.
A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said one person had neck pain while the other had a laceration to the head.
In total, five people were treated for injuries with two taken to hospital.