Qantas said Sunday (21 August) that it is reaching out to millions of its customers to formally apologise for recent operational challenges and thank them for their patience as the national carrier works to get back to its best after COVID.
The airline is rolling out a range of initiatives to improve mishandled bags and on time performance as it also deals with high levels of sick leave (due to flu, COVID and isolation requirements) as well as an industry-wide labour shortage.
Qantas has hired 1,500 new people since April with more to come, adjusted flight schedules and invested $15 million in new technology at key airports to help smooth the travel experience.
Speaking directly to Frequent Flyers via an email and video message being sent on Monday, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce acknowledged while it was great to see people back on-board after so long on the ground, the return to flying hasn’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,” Joyce said. “On behalf of the national carrier, I want to apologise and assure you that we’re working hard to get back to our best. We’re already seeing a sustained improvement in baggage handling and on-time performance, and while factors out of our control like weather can have an impact on our schedule, we expect things to keep improving each week. As well as saying sorry, we also want to say thank you. We’re investing in a range of initiatives including status extensions for Frequent Flyers Silver and above, thousands of Qantas Points and lounge passes. All our Frequent Flyers in Australia and New Zealand will be offered $50 towards a return Qantas flight, which equates to many millions in discounts.”
Qantas will also extend its commitment of up to 50 percent more Classic Reward seat availability through to 30 June 2023 with the first tranche of additional seats released from 12pm Monday across international and domestic flights. Reward seats are booked using Qantas Points. Qantas first announced its commitment to increasing Classic Reward seats in October last year. Since then, Frequent Flyers have redeemed more than 80 billion Qantas Points, with one in every 11 passengers carried by Qantas flying a reward seat.