Qantas was in the news over New Year, with hundreds of its passengers stranded in Dubai on New Year’s Eve after mechanical problems affecting the A380 operating flight QF2 delayed their onward flight to Sydney.
Customers took to social media to express their frustration. News that Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was among hundreds hit by the delay – but had made it back to Australia in time to see in the New Year – did not help.
Joyce was among passengers who managed to get the first available flight to Sydney, while some passengers were delayed for well over 24 hours.
Guardian Australia reported that passengers who flew into Dubai on the next flight from London headed for Sydney were bumped off their flight while “the stranded passengers, including Joyce, took that flight back to Sydney”.
A Qantas spokesperson told the publication that no special arrangements had been made for Joyce – the airline was just following routine procedure governing delays, which dictated that the first group of people who had been delayed were placed on the first available flight.
Almost 500 passengers were offered accommodation in Dubai.
“I’ve been delayed for eight hours in Dubai airport,” Mia Parkes-Talbot posted to the airline’s Facebook page from Dubai on Friday night.
“You sent people that you delayed yesterday off on my plane and now I’m stranded.”
Passengers criticised what they said was a lack of communication from Qantas, saying they had been put up in a “lovely hotel” in Dubai but had no idea what time they would be leaving the next day, or when to set their alarms.
Others said they had lost track of their luggage.
Delayed passengers were still arriving in Sydney on Sunday, having spent New Year’s Eve in the air.
Written by Peter Needham