Monday, November 7, 2011

Qantas - Free Tickets to Affected Fliers, Resumes Talks with Union

Qantas Airways hopes to tempt disgruntled travellers by offering free flight tickets to them. Offers for overseas customers and frequent fliers will be announced soon. Also, the airline met union members on Monday to start off negotiation process.

Qantas Airways is pulling out all the stops to win back customers. One of the world’s largest airlines is offering free air tickets to the travellers who were hit by the airline’s decision to ground the entire fleet in the midst of an industrial dispute.

Qantas, an airline not known for offering very cheap flights, said that passengers whose journeys were affected by the fleet grounding will be offered a free return economy flight within Australia or to New Zealand over a two-year period from Dec. 14. It sure means that the airline is doing all it can to attract travellers.

“This ticket offer is one of a range of initiatives we will be launching as a way of saying sorry as we move forward into this period of stability,” said Alan Joyce, Qantas Chief Executive Officer in a statement.

“Throughout the long period of industrial activity we have been acutely aware of the impact on our customers,” Alan Joyce added. As per the CEO, this is the Qantas’ way to gain back customer loyalty. And if reports are to be believed then ‘customer loyalty’ might cost Qantas as much as A$20 million.

The recent past really has been a troubled time for Australia’s flag carrier. Stung by a string of strikes, the airline decided to halt its operations all over the world on Oct. 29. Around 80,000 passengers were impacted by this drastic measure of the carrier.

Operations resumed as Fair Work Australia intervened. The airline and unions were given 21 days to reach a new contract or face binding arbitration.

Loyalty to be Rewarded

All the passengers will be offered compensation for all reasonable losses resulting from the fleet grounding, said Qantas.

“Now that no more industrial action can take place and the cloud of further strike action has lifted, we are 100 percent focused on what matters to customers, getting them to their destinations, safely, on time and in comfort, and in rewarding their loyalty to Qantas,” Alan Joyce was quoted.

Qantas will be making announcements for its overseas customers and frequent fliers soon. It remains to be seen what the airline doles out for these two very important segments of travellers. Will it be cheap flight tickets, more travel privileges or some other incentive?

Qantas-Union Talks Resume

Even as Qantas Airways is trying to tempt travellers with free flights, the airline met the union members for negotiations. This was the first meeting of the parties after the Australian airline grounded its entire fleet.

Secretary of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, Steve Purvinas stated that another negotiating session is slated for Thursday.

“By today (Monday), we’ll know whether Qantas are interested in negotiating an outcome or whether they’ll continue to stonewall — which has been the case up until now,” Purvinas was quoted as saying in news reports.

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