A photo has emerged of a single suitcase left on a runway operated by Qantas, in the latest scandal to hit the airline.
The photo was shared on Twitter by Australian singer Fanny Lumsden and captioned with a simple: “Lol Qantas.”
It is not known if this was on a domestic or international flight.
This comes as the Australian airline has come under fire for lost and missing luggage, and the flag carrier outsources its baggage handling staff.
In July, The Guardian reported that, on average, one in 10 pieces of luggage was lost or not loaded on domestic flights flying out of Sydney airport.
Head office executives were also asked to work as baggage handlers in an attempt to address staffing shortages. The call sought at least 100 volunteers to work for three or five days a week in shifts of four or six hours.
Speaking to ABC before Monday night Four corners investigation, a member of the ground staff said Qantas’ outsourcing of internal ground handling was a major problem.
“The suitcases are not making planes on time. Bags are loaded onto planes incorrectly,” they said.
“Flights are being canceled because the crew is running out of hours to operate these flights in the time it would take to fix the issues.”
Misplacement of baggage by inexperienced handlers could also affect aircraft safety due to improper weight distribution.
The unnamed Qantas employee described an incident where baggage was loaded incorrectly, however the error was only detected just before the cargo hold was about to close.
‘There are many things that can go wrong’
In addition to baggage handling issues, a Qantas pilot said the airline’s staffing issues had the potential to raise security issues.
“We work longer hours,” the pilot said.
“We are on the red line, operating at maximum capacity in a very dynamic and challenging environment. There are many things that can go wrong.”
News.com.au has contacted Qantas for comment, however the company did not respond by press time.
While Qantas was consistently named the world’s safest airline between 2014 and 2021, this year the airline fell to seventh place.
Instead, the top spot went to Air New Zealand. The drop in ratings was the result of the age of the airline’s fleet and a “slight increase in incidents,” according to the report.
Team and morale concerns ‘in the gutter’
Another ABC investigation also revealed that the company’s morale was “absolutely rock bottom”, with various departments of the airline affected. Australian Association of Licensed Aeronautical Engineers federal secretary Steve Purvinas told ABC that some departments had seen absenteeism rise to as high as 83 per cent of shift workers.
“I can use an apartment in Sydney [as an example]where they require 60 people in each shift,” he said.
“It’s not unusual for 50 out of 60 people to call in sick on any given day.”
An engineer, who had been with the airline for 30 years, also called Qantas’ Mascot aircraft base an “absolute disaster”.
Identified by the pseudonym Mark, he said neglect, outdated technology and infrastructure, and equipment cutbacks meant engineers were unprepared to do their jobs.
“It feels like working with one hand tied behind your back most of the time,” said Mark.
He said basic equipment like stands have now become hard to find, meaning engineers have to “seek and search trying to find a suitable work stand that’s right for the job.”
The lack of specific specialized tools has also caused unnecessary delays.
“They just don’t have the right tools to do all the jobs we need to do on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
“Often we try to find tools because they have been loaned to another port or have been calibrated.”
Qantas reports losses of $1.89 billion
After a difficult few years for the aviation industry, this year Qantas announced a “staggering” loss of more than a billion dollars for the third consecutive year.
Sharing the results, CEO Alan Joyce posted an underlying loss of $1.89 billion for fiscal 2022. He attributed the setback to a labor shortage affected by Covid-19 and the airline’s difficulties in recovering from travel. after the pandemic.
In an attempt to win back dissatisfied customers, Joyce proposed a $400 million customer service plan, which included new routes from Auckland to New York, renovations to the Adelaide and New Zealand lounges, and a $50 voucher. for frequent travelers.
However, some customers were not impressed with the launch.
Customers at a bronze level and above were eligible to receive a $50 promo code to use on a return flight booking to be booked by November 30, 2022 for travel by June 30, 2023.
Frequent flyers criticized the 10-month waiting period, calling the coupon an “epic corporate flop” and a “layering” to increase their bookings.
In a post on Reddit, a QFF member posted a screenshot of the coupon’s “how it works” page with the caption “Qantas Fake $50 Coupon – Not a Happy Camper.”
Several other users agreed in the comments.
“Not an apology, just marketing – you must book an eligible return flight to use it,” one user wrote.
“I just received a $50 coupon offer from Alan Joyce before September 30th. There are no plans to travel between now and then. Keep your coupon Alan…give it to a baggage handler,” wrote another.