QANTAS' actions are borderline discriminatory. They are arrogant in the way they handle cusomer concerns.
Being a medical specialist in a large cardiovascular research group we travel lots to the USA to present our research. This year i was fortunate enough to have 3 abstracts to present at Heart Rhythm Meeting. My supervisor travels first class and me and the other fellows travel economy.
I presented to Adelaide, Australia airport to check in. The line to QANTAS economy in fact led to Cathay Pacific. I walked to one of the QANTAS check in desks as they were all empty. It was for first class. The lady at the desk said "this is first class. You're in the wrong line". I stated that the economy line led to Cathay Pacific and id be happy for her to show me the right path. she said, "since you're here, ill check you in". She refused to make eye contact and was very unfriendly in her manner. Thats ok - i cant force people to be present.
I reached LAX and it was time to clear USA customs. My bag failed to arrive! Nothing new - right. Happens all the time (wait, it gets better). I was told by LAX staff that my bag will arrive the following day to SFO (my final destination). Unfortunately, it had my suit, shoes, socks, underwear, tie, toiletries, etc. After reaching SFO, i had to go out anf purchase essential items as i was due to present in front of an audience the following morning.
American Airlines, the partner airline with QANTAS, which took me from LAX to SFO refused to issue me with a voucher to tide me over until the bag arrives. The conference came and went and it was return flight time.
The AA flight from SFO to LAX was delayed and so i missed my LAX-Sydney connection. I wa put in a nice hotel in LAX. The next QANTAS flight left the following night. I boarded the flight. Because i was tired i left the tray table open but nodded off to sleep. The food people came round and ditched serving me any food! I suggested that they return and provide food on this 16 hour flight. She said, "we've given out all our meals, you'd be lucky if we have an extra one". I retorted that in fact i ordered a special meal (Hallal, which i recieved on the way out). She argued that QANTAS does not serve Hallal food, but onle Kosher food. I affirmed that they do because i got one on the way out. She said "hang on darl., let me see if we have an extra one". She went and came back with a Hallal meal. We landed in Sydney. I went to customer care desk to discuss my claims for delayed baggage and incurred costs. They gave me the wrong numbers: a number that has been disconnected and another that rings to nowhere - and these were ment to be their customer complaints and baggage hotlines! I rang QANTAS to get the right contacts. By that time, i was frustrated as you could imagine. I had the phone hung up in my face! I rang again and i was finally given the right information that there are no hotlines and that QANTAS complaints only occure through email or letters via mail. I penned a letter and posted it. Louise replied (Customer Care Executive). I was issued with a generic letter that failed to address the primary issue of lack of cultural sensitivity (in the era of a multicultural society like Australia), losing of baggage and wrong information. She said that I should lodge my baggage complaints with American Airlines and that is international law. Fair-enough international law. However, as i t stands, my bag fails to board in the first place at my departure point (Australia) but they want me to claim with American Airlines (as they were the final leg of the trip [LAX to SFO]). Basically it is head banging against a brick wall.
If there is no alluding to cultural insensitivity, coorporate incompetence, rudness and lack if customer care then get this:
My supervisor who flies first class was put in a chair with a broken entertainment set. Without complaining or voicing a concern, they issued him with a $400 voucher. I am a Silver QANTAS frequent flyer, but ill get treated like a second class citizen with no rights because im not a first class flyer. Last year we went to American Heart Association in Chicago. I flew QANTAS (747-400 when the A380 were grounded due to the engine explosion) . My entertainment seat set was broken, but their response then was - "sorry".
Well, my advise to people out there about QANTAS is that they have a good safety record and thats the only reason id persist with flying with them. other than that - because of the monopoly they have on the airline industry in Australia, there is a prevailing attitude of arrogance "because we can attitude".
All i can say is thank god for Virgin Australia and Delta. The only issue now is my frequent flyer points with QANTAS. Should i just purchase an ipad and start a new loyalty program with another carrier???