December 9, 2023


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Vanessa Hudson faces an uphill battle to restore the public’s faith in Qantas as Alan Joyce departs#Vanessa #Hudson #faces #uphill #battle #restore #publics #faith #Qantas #Alan #Joyce #departs

Qantas has flown into a new era two months ahead of schedule, after Alan Joyce announced his abrupt exit from the airline on Tuesday in the wake of a tumultuous week plagued with scandals.

After 15 years with “many ups and downs” as CEO, Mr Joyce handed over to Vanessa Hudson so the company could “move ahead with its renewal as a priority”.

In a sign the airline is taking its new goal seriously, Qantas has repeatedly committed in the past week to improving its reputation and customer relationships — but it is no small task.

Liz Aitken is one former customer who has sworn off ever flying with the airline again, after spending years waiting for a refund for a flight booked by her late mother in March 2020.

Her mother cancelled her flight at Qantas’ request in April 2020, requested a refund as per the airline’s instructions and was told the wait time was about 12 weeks.

“She received about $56 onto her credit card around July 2020, and wanted to know where the rest of the money was,” Ms Aitken said.

The refund request for her mother’s airfare was still pending when she died in December 2020, and Ms Aitken reached out to the airline in May the following year over social media and thought she was finally making progress.

“I did everything they wanted me to do, gave them all the information, her booking reference, a booking itself, the confirmation that her flight had been cancelled and the refund request,” Ms Aitken said.

“Then I actually didn’t hear back from them at all.”

A woman with short pink hair and a coloured print and purple cardigan stands in a courtyard with a solemn expression.

Liz Aitken spent three years trying to get a refund from Qantas with no success.(ABC News: Simon Tucci)

She continued attempting to contact Qantas for months before someone from the airline reached out in July last year telling her the refund had been fully processed — but her mother was only eligible to receive the taxes of her flight back, not the full fare.

“At no time earlier than that had Mum been told, or myself, that only the taxes of the flight would be refunded, and not the flight itself,” she said.

“Mum was always a great supporter of Qantas. She never really flew Virgin. She only ever really flew Qantas.

“And the fact that they basically just ignored her for the whole process, and then proceeded to ignore me as well … it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”

After being contacted by ABC News, Qantas confirmed it would refund Ms Aitken the full $841 that was owed to her late mother.

A man walks across an empty check-in area with a trolley bags on a trolley

Qantas has admitted it has work to do to win back customers and their trust.(ABC News: Margaret Burin )

Focus shifts towards the Qantas board

Qantas’ decision to award Mr Joyce with about $10 million in shares last Friday, despite the former CEO having backflipped and apologised over flight credits the day before, was met with ire by investors and unions.

#Vanessa #Hudson #faces #uphill #battle #restore #publics #faith #Qantas #Alan #Joyce #departs

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