Grounded planes

ACCC tells Qantas to up the customer service ante

Qantas has been warned by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to better its response to consumers impacted by the grounding of the fleet last weekend.

The ACCC said it’s been in contact with Qantas since Sunday to ask how the company plans on treating affected passengers.

Qantas has offered refunds, the opportunity to rebook flights and compensation for expenses incurred by certain travellers. It has also indicated it will deal with all claims made outside the offer on a case-by-case basis.

According to the ACCC, Qantas’ current position addresses some of its concerns, but does not go far enough. Chairman Rod Sims said the circumstances have been “extraordinary”, with a huge number of passengers significantly affected.

“It is squarely in the airline’s camp to make good. If you have incurred additional expenses as a result of the grounding the ACCC is of the view that QANTAS should compensate you for all your reasonable losses.”

Sims said the ACCC has been in consultation with the state and territory fair trading agencies, which have consistent expectations.

“If you have losses over and above what has been offered by Qantas, you can contact your state or territory fair trading agency for further information on your rights.”

The ACCC has asked Qantas for a report on claims made and redress provided in the next month and said it continues to make further enquiries of the airline, focusing on the circumstances surrounding the offering of tickets and acceptance of payments following the decision to ground the fleet.

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