Qantas to shut airport service desks, force customers onto self-service

Le Clair

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Had an interesting experience at Hervey Bay airport a couple of weeks ago when the Sydney lockdown was announced. At 11am, there were 2 choices - direct Jet* departing 1255 arriving 1445 or a 1335 Qantas connecting service through Brisbane arriving Sydney at 1745. The Jet* website showed award ticket availability (terrible value) but no paid seats??!! Tried to secure the award seat just for the earlier arrival time and encountered an error. Considered going to the airport to purchase but considering the possible outcome which Matt described in Perth, managed to secure a Qantas ticket online instead.
Got to the airport and went to the Jet* checkin who advised that there were plenty of spare seats available and that I could have purchased one from them, then and there! Frustrating.
 

wombatpatties

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Never used the service desk to be honest myself of any airline at the airport so can't really comment on what they do....

Apparently the roving assistants at self check in can help with any weird issues as well, so seems to be more of a transfer of roles and heaping more responsibility on them. Hope they are trained up well.
Ooh! DYKWIA?
 

PineappleSkip

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To add insult to injury, even the venerable 'Indian Pacific' luxury train is not running its weekly timetable to and from Perth at present.
People have had worse experiences than not being able to board. IIRC there have been a number of incidents involving the IP or the Ghan when people have been declared persona non grata


The mind boggles about what any of these people would do if they had their car on motorail.

Cheers skip
 
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kiwitripper64

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I am sure all call centers everywhere have a special code message for their service stating
"we are encountering unexpectedly high call volumes at the moment".
Try phoning the council, hospital, banks, any govt dept, any garden or home improvement shop on the weekend, etc. And it is always unexpected or unusual.
 

TheInsider

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There is a very simple solution to all of the above (which I've said before)... Qantas creates a new phone number or option in the queue for bookings/changes within 3 hours of departure.

This option sends people right to the top of the queue (above everyone else) but needs to be strictly enforced with those calling about a booking that's not within 3 hours kicked out of the queue/told to go away..

They actually do. Airports are able to give out a priority phone number to assist passengers with ticketing issues. These phone numbers rotate every few days to stop them being abused.
To elaborate on that:
-New bookings outside 1hr need to be done through self service ie. Qantas.com (tickets can now be sold online up to 1hr prior).
-Ticketing issues, if can't be fixed at airport, then customer directed to contact centre with priority number. (90% of the cases are unpaid tickets, with mainly incorrect credit card details).
-Inside 1hr, then the CSA will call on your behalf to the same contact centre
-Travel agent bookings, all still need to go via their TA.

When Qantas got rid of their domestic sales desks, they greatly underestimated how much behind the scenes work their staff did for them,

They keep on saying they are investing in technology, they have, but only very minimally. They can invest more and the products are available for them to use, but they won't and don't want to pay for it!!!!!!

Post automatically merged:

From the article



What a load of rubbish. QF have been saying this for the last 18+ months. Using this as an excuse is infuriating.
They have been saying it for around 8 years, ever since MEL and BNE call centres went.
 
Last edited:

henrus

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They actually do. Airports are able to give out a priority phone number to assist passengers with ticketing issues. These phone numbers rotate every few days to stop them being abused.
It'd be great if the airports actually knew about this or gave the number to customers. I've had a few issues in the last 12 months and not a single staff member mentioned the ability to use a priority phone number and in a couple of cases, just the regular 13 number was given out. One example was a ticket issue late last year where the ticket hadn't actually been reissued after a change.
 
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They actually do. Airports are able to give out a priority phone number to assist passengers with ticketing issues. These phone numbers rotate every few days to stop them being abused.
To elaborate on that:
-New bookings outside 1hr need to be done through self service ie. Qantas.com (tickets can now be sold online up to 1hr prior).
-Ticketing issues, if can't be fixed at airport, then customer directed to contact centre with priority number. (90% of the cases are unpaid tickets, with mainly incorrect credit card details).
-Inside 1hr, then the CSA will call on your behalf to the same contact centre
-Travel agent bookings, all still need to go via their TA.

The CSA did actually give me the priority ticketing desk phone number. Even with that number, nobody answered the phone.

FWIW, I was (just) inside 1 hour and the CSA that I spoke to did not offer to call on my behalf. That said, 2 of the 3 CSAs were also on hold for ages, probably trying to call that same number.
 

PineappleSkip

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Just reading the article now, choked on my coffee when I read this…
Qantas says it has made a number of technology improvements since the start of the pandemic to make it easier for customers to manage their own travel.
About the same time the newsletter came out, QF cancelled my flight out of SYD, which I’ll need to change. This is what I was presented with, a misconnect, can’t fix it online like you used to be able to, and two entreaties to give the call centre a go. Not an improvement, an enhancement.
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8842BC90-88AA-4083-817A-659776DC6498.jpeg
 

TheInsider

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The CSA did actually give me the priority ticketing desk phone number. Even with that number, nobody answered the phone.

FWIW, I was (just) inside 1 hour and the CSA that I spoke to did not offer to call on my behalf.
The actual 'agreed' upon time to answer the phone is meant to be 2 minutes, but there have been circumstances where it has been 30 min plus (yes even airport staff have to wait this long).

The point of the CSA assisted call is just basically a 'warm transfer'.

Even things like excess baggage payments that can't be done on airport systems, they have to call that number, explain to them what the issue is, get them to add in the amount, take credit card details, then they have to call someone else to 'issue' the payment! It's madness, all because QF haven't paid for Amadeus upgrades in the past decade.

But all in the effort to save a couple of thousand of dollars a year.
 

henrus

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Even things like excess baggage payments that can't be done on airport systems, they have to call that number, explain to them what the issue is, get them to add in the amount, take credit card details, then they have to call someone else to 'issue' the payment! It's madness, all because QF haven't paid for Amadeus upgrades in the past decade.
There are so many times recently where I've felt like Jetstar has better service than QF. Chat support that actually works, quick and easy IT systems and when they did charge people for excess baggage at the gate they just had a commbank albert tablet and did it on the spot.
 

RAM

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Gladys Berejiklian of NSW is rightly coming under fire from some of her Ministers including her very sensible Treasurer Dominic Perrottet for extending what was to be a fortnight's lockdown to three weeks (although it pales in comparison with Victoria's job-destroying, travel-limiting 112 day lockdown that Daniel Andrews and his poorly performing ultimate pessimist of a CHO Brett Sutton imposed).
Please do not tempt fate!

Seems harsh to compare Victoria's lockdown early in the CV piece (CV + 5 months, and no vaccines developed yet, no treatment protocols widely recognised, shortages of PPE worldwide etc) with the current NSW one at CV + 17 months, multiple vaccines in existence for 9 months, very successful treatment protocols in preventing deaths & transmission?
 

Greg555

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As I have opined many times before, Qantas is second only to Telstra as the worst customer service organisation in Oz.

The thing that disturbs me, is what mentality CEO Joyce has allowing cost cutting decisions, such as this, that have such an obvious and deliberately negative impact on customers.

Like Penn at Telstra, they care little about service knowing that good or bad their revenue changes little. Their malignance is reprehensible and surely one day they will pay corporately and personally for this. I hope it is appropriately painful.
 

Daver6

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As I have opined many times before, Qantas is second only to Telstra as the worst customer service organisation in Oz.

The thing that disturbs me, is what mentality CEO Joyce has allowing cost cutting decisions, such as this, that have such an obvious and deliberately negative impact on customers.

Like Penn at Telstra, they care little about service knowing that good or bad their revenue changes little. Their malignance is reprehensible and surely one day they will pay corporately and personally for this. I hope it is appropriately painful.

I agree with you except that the current CEOs are very unlikely to pay for this during their tenure. The problem is, the CEO is there to increase shareholder weatlh. If they can cut costs without an impact of revenue they will do it. They answer to shareholders, not customers.
 

TheInsider

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Like Penn at Telstra, they care little about service knowing that good or bad their revenue changes little. Their malignance is reprehensible and surely one day they will pay corporately and personally for this. I hope it is appropriately painful.
Not really fair to the 10's of thousands of employees though... Majority work their hardest to get through this bullshit that AJ has imposed.
 

Guvner

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They actually do. Airports are able to give out a priority phone number to assist passengers with ticketing issues. These phone numbers rotate every few days to stop them being abused.
The IVR could simply ask for your PNR up front and then check what time your flight is. It wouldn't be that hard to priortise or re-route calls based on time brackets.
Flight scheduled:
within 60 minutes -> priority 1
60-120 -> priority 2
...
...
> 24 hrs -> normal queue
etc

Not sure why you'd need to rotate numbers to stop them being abused.
 

Melburnian1

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Please do not tempt fate!

Seems harsh to compare Victoria's lockdown early in the CV piece (CV + 5 months, and no vaccines developed yet, no treatment protocols widely recognised, shortages of PPE worldwide etc) with the current NSW one at CV + 17 months, multiple vaccines in existence for 9 months, very successful treatment protocols in preventing deaths & transmission?

OK, but Victoria has also had three ot6her lockdowns including a recent one, not long before this Greater Sydney and adjoining areas example.
 

Greg555

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Not really fair to the 10's of thousands of employees though... Majority work their hardest to get through this bullshit that AJ has imposed.

Not really fair to the 10's of thousands of employees though... Majority work their hardest to get through this bullshit that AJ has imposed.
I haven't referred to staff.
I'm interested in why these CEOs actively damage their brand. I'm not against cost cutting - Parkinsons Law tells us a trim is required on occasions, but to knowingly pursue policies that negatively impact customers in such an appreciable way is beyond me....
 

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