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

Seat0B

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If your travel is so disrupted that you need assistance from Qantas and are stuck on your phone for long periods, you probably also need to urgently make other calls at the same time. Basically, you're stuffed!
Yes - my friend was recently caught up in the short notice QLD/NSW border slam and she texted me from airport where she was on long hold with Qantas to get me to do a few booking cancellations (hotel etc) and notify her family.
 

Seat0B

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When it comes to call centres vs online, unfortunately it's inconsistent messaging.

I haven't yet followed up on the online advice that I had to ring the call centre re changing my screwed up booking that's a week away. I know when I ring tat I will get a message saying don't call unless you're travelling in the next 24 hours. Followed by a message saying I can change my booking online.

Yeah, right.
Gotta love a good circular argument though, don’t you 🙃
 

Seat0B

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Asking for a wheelchair online is easy.
Finding someone at checkin to actually DELIVER it may not be.
Nor is getting the "mobility device" aka walker baggage checked for hand off at the gate.
Some additional required wandering?
Fred
I’ve had this exact experience when travelling with my 87 year old mum earlier this year. I was quite surprised at how poor it was as I travelled a few years back on crutches and the system was great.
 

Seat0B

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Doing it at check-in is a very easy process and many 'commissionaires' are available to do just that at the gates? Unless I'm misreading something here?
It worked just fine departing out of Canberra but they took mum’s walker at check in because they said it was easier to just wheelchair her t9 the lounge and then the gate. They were pretty forceful about doing it that way, so not really encouraged to make the choice to keep walker until ready to board. Didn’t work so well arriving into Adelaide. No wheelchair - long wait at least 10 mins while crew organised someone to come for us. Check in for return flight - they let mum keep the walker but there was no one at the gate to take it to the hold. We were told to just leave it in the airbridge and assured it would be loaded. It was loaded, but mum was anxious the whole way back.
 

Melburnian1

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The 'Traveller' ('The Age'/'SMH') liftout this weekend online has a letter from a lady complaining about five and six hour waits when she had to call QFd.
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Staff are getting very angry on internal messaging boards.

Unfortunately or fortunately the pilots are the one who are speaking out, because if ground staff or cabin crew dare said anything on Yammer they would get the boot straight away. But the sentiment is the same company wide.

Yammer for QF is basically an echo chamber at the best of times.


How would management know who you were? Do you have to use real, not pen, names?
 
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glasszon

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The 'Traveller' ('The Age'/'SMH') liftout this weekend online has a letter from a lady complaining about five and six hour waits when she had to call QFd.
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How would management know who you were? Do you have to use real, not pen, names?

Yammer is used by some companies as an internal messaging board, think of it as reddit but only for internal staff. This means the real name is listed under each post.
 
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PineappleSkip

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all I could have done would be to have a rant - which is becoming scarily frequent for me these days.
We’re all in this club. All we can do is rant, and listen to each others’ rants.

Wasn’t too bad a day here. Wondering what happened to my outbound travel ban exemption request, more than a week and no response yet. Then I hear that vaccinated travellers will get prioritised: hey, that’s me 👋.

cheers skip

PS travel exemption approved next morning :D . No champers until (a) I get a booking and (b) I board a flight to come back to Oz.
 
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Chicken

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Just reading the article now, choked on my coffee when I read this…

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.

The same thing happened to me last month, same screen as yours.

I had a holiday to Dark mof_, so my return was HBA > MEL > SYD on classic J award. Qantas sent me an e-mail later on about flight change, because they cancelled the original HBA > MEL flight, so they put me on a later HBA > MEL flight, which made my trip MEL > SYD first, then HBA > MEL. Yep, my second sector would depart before I would even get onto the first plane.

That change button was also blacked out. Called Qantas at 8PM on a Friday night, got recorded message saying 2 hour wait. Called again at 10:30 PM, same thing. Called at midnight, and was answered just before 1AM.

These sorts of problems are really self inflicted by Qantas. They had to move all passengers to a flight later in the day because they cancelled the earlier flight. While you were moving passengers, why wouldn't you also filter for passengers with a following connecting flight after the one you cancelled, then you just do a bulk allocation onto following flights? You would have saved all the passengers having to flood the call centres. I would say that this shows a lack of experience of the people who had to do this task.

Then you have the technology issue. Why won't you just let people change flights themselves? It's been 18 months since COVID. This would be the best time and opportunity for tech improvements.

Actually, the irony was, I got a call 24 hours before departure from QF, saying they wanted to move me, from HBA > MEL > SYD to a direct flight. Sure I said. That was done, but I was never able to check in nor select my seat on the web site. So much for closing all the check in desks, but won't let me check in online. And I was flying J.

I am not sure if my feeling is objective, but I feel that Qantas IT had fallen apart since COVID?
 

TheInsider

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I am not sure if my feeling is objective, but I feel that Qantas IT had fallen apart since COVID?
There is a difference between IT and who actually wants the systems in place. IT would be happy to implement these things. Department managers are not happy to do any of this (they don't have money). Same excuse for the last 8 or so years.
 

Economy_Gold

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Both from personal experience in the last two weeks and several friends, I find it absolutely rediculious that Qantas is unable to check for valid connections when cancelling and rebooking a passenger - it is simply such a waste of everyone's time (and Qantas call centre resources) when you need to call because your first flight is now later than the second one or you get a "- 30 minutes" connection as I got last week.
 

Melburnian1

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All I meant from this is QF have a very strict social media policy and if you post anything negative in these closed loop channels, then you'd be getting a please explain from one of the many many managers. Also it's very rare for people to be complaining in this channel for QF staff. 99% of it is fake look at me rubbish.

Given the financial pressures airlines are under, wouldn't QF have dramatically reduced the number of managers, and wouldn't they be more concerned with saving $$ according to instructions from on-high rather than monitoring, Beijing-style, every comment employees made?

I appreciate it isn't wise for any staff member to 'slag off' at the hand that feeds them but surely a post or two about a way in which a division was not achieving best results for passengers and a constructive way to alter that would be tolerated?

Thank God I never worked for such companies.
 

Melburnian1

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Because some people continue to try and live their lives with some sort of normalcy.

So if the Victorian Government suddenly shuts the Victorian border with NSW at say 1800 or 2359 hours on Sunday 11 July 2021 as implied in the media, will every QFd, JQd and other airlines' passenger(s) who wish to return to Victoria be able to do so prior to the closure despite QFd/JQd combined operating fewer than six flights southbound from SYD to MEL today?

As some AFFers stated in another thread, it's unfortunately best to stay within one's State borders at present and not fly, drive, travel by train or road coach or even walk across a border if one isn't a 'Border resident'.
 

milehighclub

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As some AFFers stated in another thread, it's unfortunately best to stay within one's State borders at present and not fly, drive, travel by train or road coach or even walk across a border if one isn't a 'Border resident'.
There was a certain element of normalcy and people started living their life. I don't think there isn't a single person in this part of the world that isn't aware of the risks of travelling at the moment. For some people, it is not a big deal and are prepared to deal with the consequences which generally mean isolating somewhere but in the example of the editor, he got home without having to do so.

So if the Victorian Government suddenly shuts the Victorian border with NSW at say 1800 or 2359 hours on Sunday 11 July 2021 as implied in the media, will every QFd, JQd and other airlines' passenger(s) who wish to return to Victoria be able to do so prior to the closure despite QFd/JQd combined operating fewer than six flights southbound from SYD to MEL today?
NSW comprises more than just SYD, it will be an issue for most to get on a flight tonight including those up in Byron Bay mostly because there are none now, but imagine most would've seen the warnings yesterday and left. Given he just announced a closure now and the one of the last flight leaves in less than 50 minutes, I suspect most won't make a flight today because of that.
 

PineappleSkip

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There was a certain element of normalcy... for some people, it is not a big deal and are prepared to deal with the consequences which generally mean isolating somewhere but in the example of the editor, he got home without having to do so.
Mrs pineapple and/or I have have attempted 1/2 a dozen interstate trips in the last 12 months, of which 100% have involved reorganisations due to lockdowns or shutouts involving NSW, Qld or Vic. My last trip into NSW, Brisbane locked down while I was in NSW, meaning NSW required me to isolate too, for several days. Two more trips in a few days and end of this month, we will need to abort. There is nothing normal about interstate travel. n o t h i n g.
 

Chicken

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Mrs pineapple and/or I have have attempted 1/2 a dozen interstate trips in the last 12 months, of which 100% have involved reorganisations due to lockdowns or shutouts involving NSW, Qld or Vic. My last trip into NSW, Brisbane locked down while I was in NSW, meaning NSW required me to isolate too, for several days. Two more trips in a few days and end of this month, we will need to abort. There is nothing normal about interstate travel. n o t h i n g.
Sorry to hear, this would be really stressful.

I have had 4 trips since COVID, but I have all booked these basically 2 or 3 weeks before departure, where there has been 0 cases nationwide, so I would know that the case numbers could not rise as fast as I could commence my trip.

I book last minute, because I just cannot deal with the stress of having my trip cancelled then having to chase around for refund. I would lose my mind.
 

henrus

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of which 100% have involved reorganisations
I wonder if there is a record for the most number of changes to a single booking in the last 18 months. I've got a Air NZ booking reference that's been changed 8 times (combination of cancelations, closures and personal reasons), it's doing my head in but I'm sure there are many others a lot worse.

I book last minute, because I just cannot deal with the stress of having my trip cancelled then having to chase around for refund. I would lose my mind.
At the moment, even last minute can be a bit stressful. There have been so many stories of restrictions changing whilst a flight is in mid-air.
 

Chicken

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At the moment, even last minute can be a bit stressful. There have been so many stories of restrictions changing whilst a flight is in mid-air.
My work had the same experience when WA was going into lock down early this year. Staffs were flying mid air from Perth to the east coast, staffs on the ground were already booking seats to fly them back to WA upon landing. There was no point waiting for Qantas to arrange anything.
 

nancypants

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Given the financial pressures airlines are under, wouldn't QF have dramatically reduced the number of managers, and wouldn't they be more concerned with saving $$ according to instructions from on-high rather than monitoring, Beijing-style, every comment employees made?

I appreciate it isn't wise for any staff member to 'slag off' at the hand that feeds them but surely a post or two about a way in which a division was not achieving best results for passengers and a constructive way to alter that would be tolerated?

Thank God I never worked for such companies.
Honestly, the more pressing the other priorities, the more management seem to be fixated on managing social media issues. At least that’s how it is in my line of work
 

Brissy1

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Given people's experiences stated here, I don't think it's off topic for me to say (admit) that I now often drive between Brisbane and Sydney. Much as I'd prefer and like flying, I have the time and a car gives me better short notice flexibility. Sad though.
 

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