Troubled Australian carrier Qantas is taking measures to try and restore customer confidence and repay loyalty in the wake of disruption due to industrial action.
Qantas has been blighted by industrial action from three unions over the last few months (see online news October 29), facing separate disputes from the pilots’ union, licensed engineers’ union and transport workers' union. The dispute has now been referred to Fair Work Australia who allowed 21 days of negotiations between Qantas and the unions. These talks proved unsuccessful and will now be adjudicated by an independent umpire.
The final decision may take months to arrive but no legal industrial action may be taken during this time. The final decision will be binding so that no further legally protected industrial action may occur for up to four years, which the airline hopes will allow people to “continue to book with Qantas with absolute confidence.” The chances of a wildcat strike are also highly unlikely as the participants would be legally responsible for all costs incurred.
Speaking about the recent industrial action Paul Yankson, regional general manager for the UK and Ireland said: “It’s regrettable the industrial action we’ve had” but he hopes that the impending decision can “draw a line under” the whole affair.
Following the recent disruption Qantas has taken up what Yankson calls the four tenets of customer recovery. These include reimbursing hotel, food, telephone and internet costs pending receipts for up to AU$350 per day (see online news November 2 or the expenses claim form here). Qantas will also reimburse customers for any additional tickets that have been purchased.
Yankson also stated that Qantas has looked to “go further” in its attempts to placate frustrated customers with a voucher for AU$250 for usage on the Qantas network and the EU compensation of €600 for those who were delayed by more than four hours.
Selected Qantas Frequent Flyers will be offered additional points based on their tier status for all eligible Qantas flights from November 16, 2011 until December 23, 2011, including new and existing bookings.
All Platinum and Platinum One Members will receive double points, Gold Members will receive 50 per cent more points and all Silver and selected Bronze Members will receive 25 per cent more points for the eligible period.
Yankson concluded that: “You can’t afford to penny pinch on these things and now it’s a case of ensuring that people can book with us with confidence and ensure that people do not feel hard done by.”
For more information visit qantas.com.au.
Report by Scott Carey