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Qantas law unto themselves - don't waste your time with ACA complaint

Legoman

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
254
As brief as I can this is what happened.
Regular weekly silver QFF flyer for work - charter flights. Arrive at airport 45mins before departure (as per recommendation) same as always - done this many, many times. Step up to the bag drop (QFF bag tags) to check single bag and machine can't read the tag. Readjust the tag orientation. Still can't read. All other bag drops occupied with queues. Readjust tag to point bar code at camera, still won't read. This goes on and on. Same tag as always used and used subsequently with no problem. Manage to attract attention of disinterested ground staff, who proceed to try exactly the same things. Eventually after many attempts, the bag drop machine decides to start working again and the bag is accepted. It starts being carried away on the conveyor, then stops, reverses and a message comes up on screen saying "Bag cannot be accepted at this time - see ground staff". It is now a few seconds less than 30mins before the schedule flight departure time.

I proceed to the ground staff and ask them to manually check the bag as the bag drop clearly doesn't work. They don't do this, but instead tap some keys and pick up a phone and call someone before telling me I should present myself at the Qantas service desk. Stand in a queue at the service desk operated by a single staff member (it is before 6am) for another 20mins during which my flight has now departed without me 3 minutes early at 5:47am (confirmed via Qantas app data). Service desk staff member has no idea why I've been sent there and appears extremely frustrated that I've been palmed off onto her by the baggage ground staff when she can't help me and has no idea what to suggest beyond "come back again tomorrow".

Flight missed, pay docked (> $800) by employer for "no show" missed flight. Qantas advise employer my fault for not allowing enough time to check in prior to flight. Complaint lodged with Qantas, which is never acknowledged or responded to in any way. Complaint lodged with ACA. Qantas again respond in same way as to employer. Vast quantities of evidence are presented to back the case including photographs of the error messages on the bag drop machine display and proof from the Qantas app they departed the plane 3 minutes early (which would have made all the difference to me making it in time despite the broken bag drop reader). Qantas simply ignore all the evidence and stick to the line that the customer did not leave enough time to check-in.

ACA acknowledge powerless to compel the airline to do anything, so that's the end. Ergo, Qantas and Donald Trump are the same. They can say and claim any garbage they like completely devoid of any truth and get away with it because they're unanswerable to any authority and can do whatever they wish, whenever they wish.

Moral of the story: When you eventually get screwed over by Qantas due in no part to any fault of your own (and you will, it's only a matter of time), don't bother wasting your life by complaining to them or the Airline Customer Advocate. Just book on Virgin instead. There is no point. It's as effective as reasoning with Donald Trump. I wasted 4 months of my life trying to get justice and ultimately got nowhere.
 
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davidj

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2009
Messages
530
Ergo, Qantas and DOnald Trump are the same.
And both get support from either political votes or votes with one's wallet. Not much likely to change unless this changes.

No point waiting for the masses, do what you feel is right for you.
 

sxc

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
183
Undoubtedly qantas would say that their recommended check in time is when you should be checked in by, not when you should arrive at the airport for check in.
 

justinbrett

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Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
1,406
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If you're standing in a queue within T-30 you really need to make a fuss.

I always have trouble with the bag drop machines so I just go straight to the normal check in line. They at least (usually) call forward pax as flights are closing.

This seems like an isolated incident and nothing stopping it happening to you again on Virgin.
 

Legoman

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
254
Undoubtedly qantas would say that their recommended check in time is when you should be checked in by, not when you should arrive at the airport for check in.
Undoubtedly? Well you would be massively wrong there. I was already checked in. I had checked in 24 hours earlier in fact. This was just another minor piece of evidence that Qantas chose to completely overlook and ignore when they claimed the flight left 3 minutes early because all checked in passengers had boarded and been accounted for at the boarding gate, which was a clear and obvious lie, because I was not there and I was a checked-in passenger with all the evidence to prove it via Qantas's own records. But that clearly didn't align with the Qantas case, so it was ignored.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
20,559
ACA acknowledge powerless to compel the airline to do anything, so that's the end. Ergo, Qantas and Donald Trump are the same. They can say and claim any garbage they like completely devoid of any truth and get away with it because they're unanswerable to any authority and can do whatever they wish, whenever they wish.

Moral of the story: When you eventually get screwed over by Qantas due in no part to any fault of your own (and you will, it's only a matter of time), don't bother wasting your life by complaining to them or the Airline Customer Advocate. Just book on Virgin instead. There is no point. It's as effective as reasoning with Donald Trump. I wasted 4 months of my life trying to get justice and ultimately got nowhere.
The ACA is not the end... they have little or no legal power, and they don't replace your standard legal rights.

I'd contact consumer affairs in your state... they have a free helpline and you may have remedies they can assist you with.
 

opusman

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
5,818
I would see if you can start doing HLO. Would make the whole process much simpler if you're doing these flights regularly.
 

Legoman

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
254
If you're standing in a queue within T-30 you really need to make a fuss.
Not really an appropriate course of action to be honest in the circumstances. This flight (and all flights) departing at that time from that terminal are FIFO miner flights. It is not the normal airport checking in process you are familiar with from normal domestic routine flights. Everyone there including myself is very experienced in how it works and what to do and when, to make it as painless as possible. This comes from just pure familiarity of doing it every single week and sometimes twice a week. Kicking up a fuss would not help matters, especially when the ground staff are completely clueless to and untrained for manual backup processes when the robot machines fail.

I always have trouble with the bag drop machines so I just go straight to the normal check in line. They at least (usually) call forward pax as flights are closing.
They don't do the calling for passengers thing at FIFO flights. There are absolute minimal ground staff on duty. Seriously minimal. They expect just as much knowledge from the passengers so they can reduce the staff numbers to almost zero

This seems like an isolated incident and nothing stopping it happening to you again on Virgin.
It was isolated in so much as I was the only passenger affected on that flight, which is exactly why Qantas thought (and were right) that they could get away with strictly applying their rules per the book in not allowing any lee-way at all for just one passenger who was penalised by a failing of their own ground hardware.

It was however not isolated in terms of how frequently their bag drop machines fail, for i was affected again by the exact same issue almost 3 months later to the day in January. The only difference that time was every single bag drop machine went down at the same time and there were at least 3 people in the queue for each of them. If Qantas had applied their rules the way then as they did for me when it was me alone, then they would have been flying a 20K chartered plane with probably 3 or 4 rows completely empty and I dare say they would have had a much harder time explaining that away to the company paying for the charter, so of course they relaxed the rules and managed to let everyone check-in their bags late that time. As always, money talks.
 

Legoman

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
254
After reading half your story you had my sympathy, but then you went on a completely irrelevant rant about Trump.
So much for brevity..............and my care factor immediately went negative
Oh really? Poor you couldn't handle two brief DT mentions after the 3/4 mark and you had to give up then? How precious.
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I would see if you can start doing HLO. Would make the whole process much simpler if you're doing these flights regularly.
That would be awesome… if I had any clue at all what HLO stood for.
 

cove

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
12,199
Lots of us have missed a flight due to check in issues. It is how you get treated that matters. In your case it was a charter flight so that was a serious difference.
With Qantas one of my special tags failed and I had enough time to get a paper tag. Would have been tricky if the flight was close to going.
 

Pushka

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Jan 26, 2011
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The ACA is not the end... they have little or no legal power, and they don't replace your standard legal rights.

I'd contact consumer affairs in your state... they have a free helpline and you may have remedies they can assist you with.
They can only recommend but not enforce. I don’t know why they exist.
 

Scr77

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
968
HLO is Hand Luggage Only.

I clearly wasn’t there and don’t know the airport Setup. Having flown out of a small airports only about 5 times, I would still be there well before the cutoff time. Sometimes will checkin and drop bags and then Take car back out to explore.

EDIT: I’d be at Perth airport more than 45mins before flight with bags.
 
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