Why are domestic airlines so unreliable lately?

hmmm

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hey folks,

In the last three weeks, I've had 5 trips, 3 with Virgin and two with Qantas and all of them had had schedule changes or cancellations.

Qantas: Melbourne-Brisbane-Auckland, the first flight was a cancelled causing a misconnect and the only alternative "option" was the late evening direct flight that arrives after midnight. Needless to say, I cancelled.

Qantas: The departure from Auckland-Melbourne was schedule changed to arrive too late to make the Melbourne- Adelaide connection which resulted in me having to cancel the entire trip.

Virgin: Adelaide to Melbourne, flight cancelled and changed to a later, unsuitable flight, but had no choice but to take it.

Virgin: Darwin-Brisbane-Melbourne, second flight cancelled and brought forward an hour, cutting down the required connection time to attend a meeting and no option to remove the now unnecessary stop and change to the direct flight.

And this last flight takes the cake......

Was looking at flying Melbourne to Darwin on Sunday for a friends Birthday. Direct flight would have been ideal at $275, but by the time I got around to booking, it had increased to $479 so I looked at other alternatives and found a flight via Brisbane in business class that departed 2 hours earlier but arrived basically at the same time for about $650 so I booked it.

Virgin has now decided to cancel the Sunday morning flight to Brisbane and has put me on a flight at 16:10 on SATURDAY expecting me to pay for the overnight in Brisbane which would then cause the NT authorities to consider me a Brisbane arrival rather than a Melbourne one, meaning i'd also have to quarantine in Darwin for the entire time. Because it was booked through an agent, Virgin says they can't move me to the direct flight on Sunday, which as my luck would have it, is now back down to $275.

So my question is..... what the frig is going on with Australian domestic airlines scheduling? I know all about the conditions of carriage etc, but this is getting out of hand and as far as I can tell clearly breaches Australian Consumer Law.

Im sick of having my travel plans being upended because the airlines sell a flight that ultimately doesn't have enough passengers, so they break the law and inconvenience every one of those passenger to protect their bottom line, but god forbid that your plants change or you miss checkin by 1 minute, then all bets are off.

How is this imbalance allowed to continue??
 

hmmm

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Borders opening and shutting may be having just some effect.
if they're going to blame this on various state governments, then shouldn't all "impacted" flights be cancelled?

I can't see how borders opening and closing are only affecting certain flights (between the same city pairs) and not others.
 

milehighclub

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I can't see how borders opening and closing are only affecting certain flights (between the same city pairs) and not others.
I can assure you the opening and closure is causing absolute pandemonium for all the airlines.

Take Perth. A lot of Perth based crew are in isolation and can't do any intra WA flying. And no one from the east coast can come over to do it because they are also banned from intra WA flying because they are from the east. So they have dozens of crew sitting at home doing 14 day isolation. And if they do happen to do another east coast flight, it starts again. So then an east coast crew goes over, but bam, now they've been in PER which was a temporary hot spot. Isolation for them. Then they crossed crewed, so that crew are stuck somewhere. Then a positive passenger on the flight. More crew in isolation. It is very very messy.
 

antycbr

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Aircraft and crew are scattered all over the country with random lockdowns and restrictions.

To expect there to be no disruptions is naive unfortunately as Sydney is such a big hub for QF and a heck of a lot of VA services go through SYD.

In short, look out the window and see there’s an event that is as close to a war as hopefully we will ever get going on outside.
 
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33kft

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if they're going to blame this on various state governments, then shouldn't all "impacted" flights be cancelled?
They are just trying to make some money and stay afloat in the middle of 12+ months of complete instability and crippling international travel halts.

I am not sure what you expect from the airlines. You are literally here days after most of the country was shut down due to 5 or so different outbreaks and your question is why is domestic service so unpredictable.

I really feel for the customer service folk who are lucky enough to have a paying job when I read complaints like this.
 

Berlin

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Hang on- is this really breaking any laws? I would think that it says about a dozen times in all the small print that no one reads that this is perfectly fine or maybe I am wrong?

Also, in fairness: I have been in a LOT of trouble with canceled flights and airplane downgrades and so on since the bubble between NZ and AU has opened. But a.) I don't really expect any airline to fly around near empty airplanes if there's not enough passengers (both for their bottom line and not to unnecessarily blow CO2 into the atmosphere...) and b.) Qantas has always been extremely accomodating and trying to do what they can given the current circumstances. Praise where it's due- we all whinge enough, myself included :p
 
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nancypants

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Virgin has now decided to cancel the Sunday morning flight to Brisbane and has put me on a flight at 16:10 on SATURDAY expecting me to pay for the overnight in Brisbane which would then cause the NT authorities to consider me a Brisbane arrival rather than a Melbourne one, meaning i'd also have to quarantine in Darwin for the entire time. Because it was booked through an agent, Virgin says they can't move me to the direct flight on Sunday, which as my luck would have it, is now back down to $275
Post automatically merged:

This part is actually incorrect- providing you go directly to/from the airport by taxi, to a hotel within 5km of the airport, NTG does not consider you to have entered Brisbane
 

nancypants

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NT CHO directions 8(2021) COVID-19 Australian hotspots and travel restrictions


  1. A person is taken not to have been in a COVID-19 hotspot if the person has been in a COVID-19 hotspot only in one or more of the following circumstances:
d. the person either:
  1. arrived by aircraft at an airport located in the area and travelled directly from the airport to a hotel that is within 5 km of the airport; or”
 

eric2011

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and in the case of BNE the Novotel and the Pullman at the airports are quarantine hotels and the Ibis at the airport is the one accepting normal people. There is one other that I know of within the airport area which rents out closet size rooms. There are a few motels along Kingsford Smith drive but I think they would all be more than 5 km
 

nancypants

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and in the case of BNE the Novotel and the Pullman at the airports are quarantine hotels and the Ibis at the airport is the one accepting normal people. There is one other that I know of within the airport area which rents out closet size rooms. There are a few motels along Kingsford Smith drive but I think they would all be more than 5 km
Indeed not much choice at the moment but that’s not the same as rendering the OP a Brisbane arrival

Anyway, now gravy as Melbourne is an NT hotspot and Brisbane isn’t
 

Denali

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1626388793447.png

I cant be the only one that laughed when reading this OP - I mean, come'on.... we all know whats happening in Australia at the moment (and the last 18mths)
 

MEL_Traveller

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So my question is..... what the frig is going on with Australian domestic airlines scheduling? I know all about the conditions of carriage etc, but this is getting out of hand and as far as I can tell clearly breaches Australian Consumer Law.

It's a good point, but unfortunately we don't really have an airline compensation scheme like they do in Europe, or to a lesser extent the USA, Canadia and some other places.

The airlines are going to point the finger squarely at border closures and changing government regulation. Under that umbrella, your ACL rights still apply, but are probably limited to a full refund if you're not happy with the alternative arrangements. Some airlines don't even guarantee a full refund, but rather will offer a credit voucher. That's also within the ACL.
 

jb747

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The OP hasn't been seen since the original posting, so I suspect they are just trying to stir things.
 

Franky

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and in the case of BNE the Novotel and the Pullman at the airports are quarantine hotels and the Ibis at the airport is the one accepting normal people. There is one other that I know of within the airport area which rents out closet size rooms. There are a few motels along Kingsford Smith drive but I think they would all be more than 5 km
I take it you're saying that those with the virus are 'abnormal people'? But it was posted at 0420! :)
 

Jester38

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I think most of us understand the difficulties of scheduling at present but the problems seem to go beyond that. And to be clear, do feel for the support staff who are working in a coughpy situation.
When a recently booked MEL/CNS/MEL flight for December on Qantas was rescheduled, I rang and spoke to a customer service representative. They confirmed that a stopover in BNE was possible and confirmed the two replacement flights. Literally five mins later, I get a confirmation that the second leg BNE/CNS was confirmed but they had now changed the first flight to another one which left MEL at the same time the second flight was due to leave BNE. No way now Qld is going to open up for Dec anyway so have now cancelled. Of course, my money got debited straight away on booking and it will now take 8 weeks to refund.
I had another Qantas multistop flight booked for Feb 22 to USA and got advice of some flights being rescheduled. A new schedule was presented with the SYD/LAX leg landing three hours after the next leg from LAX/SLC took off. When I rang to find out why, I was told that this was all computer generated. Seems like the computer logic does not quite work! Bottom line is that I have no flights that now work for me and Qantas has $8k of my money.
It seems that they are throwing in any connections whatsoever - regardless of whether they make sense - and just hoping that things will fall into place pre the departure date.
Guess it is a case of buyer beware but if you know that they cannot reasonably guarantee a booking will happen, either do not take the booking or make it abundantly clear that any booking is simply a placeholder. Or maybe take a deposit until there is some certainty...... I showed my support for Qantas in making bookings but get nothing back in return.
 

hmmm

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The OP hasn't been seen since the original posting, so I suspect they are just trying to stir things.
What is the relevance of your post, other than to stir things?

I am the OP, and after being in our 6th lockdown I simply haven’t travelled anywhere that gives me anything further to add. Plenty of other people are adding their experiences which I thought was the entire point of these types of threads?
 

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