Did Qantas Cancel a Flight on You? You Could Be Getting Compensated

Did Qantas Cancel a Flight on You? You Could Be Getting Compensated

Airline giant Qantas has confessed it has misled consumers by putting tickets up for tens of thousands of flights that it already intended to cancel. 

The ACCC and Qantas have agreed to ask the Federal Court to impose a penalty of $100 million on the airline for breaching the Australian Consumer Law.

Qantas will also drop another $20 million to pay 86,000 customers who were sold tickets on these cancelled flights or, in some cases, re-accommodated on these flights after their original flights were cancelled.

The will pay $225 to domestic ticketholders and $450 to international ticketholders. These payments are on top of any remedies these consumers already received from Qantas, such as alternative flights or refunds.

“We are pleased to have secured these admissions by Qantas that it misled its customers, and its agreement that a very significant penalty is required as a result of this conduct. The size of this proposed penalty is an important milestone in enforcing the Australian Consumer Law,” ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.

“Qantas’ conduct was egregious and unacceptable. Many consumers will have made holiday, business and travel plans after booking on a phantom flight that had been cancelled.”

The ACCC chair said she hopes this penalty will send a “strong deterrence message” to other companies. 

“We note that Qantas has also agreed not to repeat this type of conduct in the future, and to make payments as soon as possible to the thousands of consumers who purchased tickets on flights that Qantas had already decided to cancel, or were re-accommodated onto these flights after their original flight was cancelled,” she said. 

The ACCC launched Federal Court action against Qantas in August 2023 alleging that, between 21 May 2021 and 7 July 2022, Qantas advertised tickets for more than 8,000 cancelled flights. 

It was also alleged that, for more than 10,000 flights scheduled to depart in May to July 2022, Qantas did not promptly notify existing ticketholders that their flights had been cancelled.

Qantas has now admitted that its misconduct continued from 21 May 2021 until 26 August 2023, affecting tens of thousands of flights scheduled to depart between 1 May 2022 and 10 May 2024.

This has been a rough week for Qantas, not only will the airline have to cough up millions of dollars but recently it had a technical issue where some of its Frequent Flyer members were seeing other customer’s flight details in their apps

This issue was rectified and Qantas called it a technical issue within the app and not a data breach, thankfully. 

Qantas has also undertaken to notify customers of cancelled flights as soon as practicable, and no more than 48 hours from deciding to cancel the flight. It has also undertaken to stop selling cancelled flights as soon as practicable and in any event within 24 hours of its decision to cancel. The undertaking also applies to its low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar.

Qantas will also review its consumer compliance program and appoint independent auditors who will monitor Qantas’ compliance with the undertaking and provide reports to the Qantas board and the ACCC.

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