Qantas $50 apology vouchers for months of delays, cancellations and mishandled baggage will start arriving in inboxes on Monday.
But the Transport Workers Union has criticized the plan and urged chief executive Alan Joyce to resign.
Qantas is rolling out the coupons and a number of benefits for frequent flyers, including lounge invitations and the availability of reward seats, as additional incentives to win back customers.
The Qantas website and app reportedly crashed when emailed offers began to trickle in on Monday.
It came after Joyce posted a video message admitting the national airline had been beset by recent “operational challenges” as customers queued for hours at airports across the country.
In a message sent to the company’s millions of frequent flyers, he said the return to the skies had not been easy.
“In the last few months, many of you have had delayed flights, canceled flights and lost bags. There are good reasons for that, but when it comes to what you expect from Qantas, it’s not good enough,” he said.
“On behalf of the national airline, I want to apologize and assure you that we are working hard to get back to our best.”
The $50 bonus has been offered to frequent flyers in Australia and New Zealand as a promo code that can be used on a Qantas flight.
Platinum and Platinum One members will also receive Qantas points as a gift.
Other benefits include a 12-month extension of frequent flyer membership status for Silver members and above.
The previously announced commitment of 50 per cent more reward seat availability has been extended for one year from June 30 for popular international, trans-Tasman and domestic routes.
Frequent flyers will also be able to invite another person to join them in the Qantas Lounge, Qantas Domestic Business Lounge, Qantas Club or International Business Lounge, depending on their membership status.
Joyce said that Qantas had worked towards sustained customer improvement.
“We’re already seeing sustained improvement in baggage handling and on-time delivery, and while factors beyond our control, like weather, may have an impact on our schedule, we expect things to continue to improve each week,” he said.
In a bid to return to pre-pandemic service, Qantas has hired an additional 1,500 staff and adjusted flight times to help make the travel experience easier.
But TWU Deputy National Secretary Nick McIntosh criticized Qantas for outsourcing jobs and cutting workers’ hours and conditions:
“This is what led to part of the destruction of what was once a great airline,” he said.
“Qantas needs a reset and that has to start at the top.”
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said “you can’t buy forgiveness.”
“What you have is a company that has been crushing workers for years, most recently when it outsourced nearly 2,000 workers during the pandemic,” he said.
“We really could have done it with those 2,000 experienced workers when we were trying to get aviation back up and running.”