Monday, November 7, 2011

Qantas Airways Acts ‘Santa’, Give Out Free Flight Tickets

Christmas has come early for travellers who were left stranded by Qantas’ grounding late last month!

That’s right, after pain comes pleasure, and after travel disruptions come free air tickets! Well at least this is what Australia’s flag carrier believes in!

Forget free tickets, Qantas is normally miles away from even cheap flight tickets but the Australian airline knows that the last few months haven’t been exactly a good PR exercise for the company. Industrial action, delayed flights and then finally grounding of entire fleet is not what we call ‘brand building measures.’ Therefore the airline is all set to provide free flight tickets to the affected travellers. This is seen as the airline’s desperate bid to attract customers.

A free return economy flight within Australia or to New Zealand over a two-year period from Dec. 14 will be offered. While this announcement largely caters to regional travellers, a new announcement targeting overseas customers and frequent fliers is expected soon. It remains to be seen what ‘Santa Qantas’ brings for them. While free flights remain improbable, cheap flight tickets and other travel related incentives are expected.

Alan Joyce, Qantas Chief Executive Officer, said this is the airline’s way of saying “sorry”. It sure is an expensive ‘sorry’ as reports are doing the rounds that the move might cost Qantas as much as A$20 million.

Meanwhile, Qantas Airways met union members on Monday to start off the negotiation process. This was the first meeting of the two warring parties after the Australian carrier grounded its entire fleet.

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