What Would You Tell Qantas CEO Alan Joyce?If you had an opportunity to meet Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, what would you say to him?

This question was recently put to the Australian Frequent Flyer community. There have already been 100 responses (and counting), with frequent flyers expressing a wide range of different points of view about the way in which our national airline is being run.

By far the most common issue raised by frequent flyers was the lack of investment in Qantas’ call centres. Ever since the airline began closing its Australian call centres in 2014, dealing with Qantas over the phone has become a nightmare.

The problem is not that most calls are now answered in Auckland, Manila or Cape Town – but that there are not enough staff to keep up with demand, so Qantas call centre waiting times are unacceptably long. Even worse is that many of the overseas call centre staff appear not to be properly trained and seem unable to help with even basic requests.

Here are just a few of the comments posted about the Qantas contact centres:

Sort out the call centres – not just wait times, but also improving the general ability of staff. The fact “HUACA” [Hang Up And Call Again] is widely suggested as a strategy to get basic tasks done really says it all. (Personally I couldn’t care where the call centres are based so long as they are capable.)

The fact that call wait times for SG and below is often in the 90+ minute mark is an absolute disgrace for any business.

Fix the call centres. Yes it will cost money but you will make money by spending money. Waiting any more than a couple of minutes for someone without status is unacceptable in any world. Regular wait time reports for some of HOURS is outrageous. Sort it.

Train staff responding to support tickets and emails properly, so that they actually address the problem reported rather than send a standard reply which doesn’t relate directly to the issue.

Another issue that many frequent flyers would like to bring up with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is the decline in Business class catering standards. Neil Perry’s name has been on Qantas’ Business class menus for 22 years, and those who regularly fly Qantas Business class believe it’s time for the airline to get a new celebrity chef. One AFF member says:

Sit him down with a book entitled “The World’s 100 Best Chefs” and say, “pick one, any one.”

Some customers would like to take the Qantas CEO to task over the narrow Economy class seats fitted in the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. These seats are excruciatingly narrow for a flight as long as London to Perth, yet Qantas markets them as being spacious due to having an extra inch of legroom compared to Qantas’ other planes.

Just stop with the narrow Y seats and stop claiming they are more roomy. Make the Dreamliner what it was supposed to be. Especially on the ULH flights that are planned. Seems stupid having such narrow seats when you cannot fill the plane to capacity and still get it to safely make the journey.

From problems with the Qantas website, to priority baggage often not working, there are many other gripes that Qantas passengers would relish the opportunity to raise with the airline’s CEO.

However, as some AFF members have pointed out, your opinion of Alan Joyce is likely to depend on whether you’re a customer or a shareholder. The Qantas share price is doing quite well at the moment, so many shareholders are likely to be happy with the CEO’s performance over recent years.

Wearing my shareholder hat, AJ is doing a pretty good job.

Wearing my customer hat, the airline sucks and I only fly Qantas if there is no better option (there mostly is)

So, what would YOU say to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce? Let us know by joining the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: If you had a day to spend with AJ to fix QF what would you say ?

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]