Qantas passengers forced to sleep on airport floors, hunt for lost luggage – it’s a ‘complex’ airline

Other horror stories plague Australia’s national carrier – which it says highlights a wider problem in the aviation industry.

Travelers with Qantas have told 7NEWS.com.au of instances where they believe poor communication and canceled flights have ruined their trips.

Meanwhile, the airline says the entire industry has been decimated by factors beyond its control, including staff shortages and weather conditions.

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In one case, a young family, who requested anonymity while seeking compensation, said this week they had to fly from Melbourne to Rome via Sydney and Dubai.

However, the flight from Melbourne was an hour late, meaning the family missed their connecting flight.

That was just the start of the headache.

Travelers have told 7NEWS.com.au of instances where they believe poor communication and canceled flights have ruined their trips. File picture. Credit: AAP

“After yesterday’s missed flight, we attempted to retrieve our bags as we were told they were going to come out during interior baggage claim,” the father said.

“After sitting at the airport for two hours while they tried to figure it out, we were told it was locked up in customs and we couldn’t get it back.

“So we went to our hotel (for which) we received a confirmation email from Qantas with a booking code. We arrive at the hotel after the taxi driver stole $40 from us, but the hotel staff told us they didn’t have a reservation.

“Two hours later, after multiple detours from Qantas, the hotel finally got our reservation… It was never booked.”

Then came the dramas on the flight to Dubai. Having a one year old with them meant that a crib was requested. They were told they had been assigned a replacement flight the following morning in seats 40A and 40B, along with a crib.

There was a hitch.

They say they were told the seats didn’t exist.

“We were f***** royally,” the father said.

With the help of Emirates, the family was eventually put on a flight to Rome and, with the help of another couple, secured a crib for their child to sleep in.

In the end, the father said the hike came down to seven words: “I can’t wait to write the letter of complaint.”

Watch the video below: Qantas passenger left by staff for nearly an hour without their wheelchair

Qantas passenger left by staff for nearly an hour without their wheelchair.

Qantas passenger left by staff for nearly an hour without their wheelchair.

In another case earlier this week, several planes full of passengers were forced to sleep on the ground at a rural airport after fog hampered their journey.

Some 200 passengers on flights to Perth from parts of Western Australia were diverted on Tuesday evening due to heavy fog. The pilots of five of these flights decided to divert to regional airports due to weather conditions.

Due to the massive number of passengers caught up in the delays, many have been forced to sleep on the ground at Geraldton Airport.

Passenger Matt Murphy told 7NEWS.com.au it wasn’t the inconvenience that bothered him so much, it was the lack of communication.

“We haven’t seen any Qantas staff for hours…they let us in and then disappeared to be heard over the loudspeaker when they told us to wait until morning,” said he declared.

“It’s now 5.40am and everyone here is completely exhausted and freezing and we still haven’t heard anything from Qantas.”

He said there was “no communication”.

Passengers sleep on the floor at Geraldton Airport. Credit: Provided

Once the passengers were boarded on a new flight in the morning, the incident went unacknowledged, Murphy said.

“There are a lot of unhappy people on this flight,” he said from the tarmac.

Qantas said the situation was not in the hands of the airline.

“By the time the fog lifted, unfortunately our crew was out of hours which meant they could not safely return to Perth that night,” said Petrea Bradford, chief of the operation of Qantas Link.

But with negative reviews for the Flying Kangaroo edit, what’s to blame?

The Transport Workers Union points to the outsourcing of airline jobs overseas at the end of 2020.

“Qantas has become Australia’s worst-performing airline in recent months, with understaffing at airports causing delays, cancellations and lost luggage,” TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said earlier. this week.

Passengers say they were left at the regional airport overnight without any communication. Credit: Provided

But the airline says the problem is a wider issue that not only affects it and the aviation industry, but the entire Australian workforce.

“Restarting an airline after two years of shutdown is complex and aviation labor markets, like many others, are extremely tight,” Andrew David, CEO of Qantas Domestic and International, said in a statement.

“This is compounded by the fact that COVID cases are again on the rise at the same time as the winter flu season.”

He was adamant that the airline’s decision to outsource ground handling resources was not responsible for any of the challenges, citing a smooth Easter 2021 travel period.

“The truth is that the difficulties we are currently facing are due to COVID and flu-related illnesses, as well as an extremely tight labor market.

“It’s a hard truth to live by for airlines, airports, air traffic control agencies and almost every business in Australia and around the world.

“We are working hard to proactively manage this challenge.”

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