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Qantas must do more for aggrieved customers: ACCC

Qantas must do more for aggrieved customers: ACCC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has told Qantas that it expects the airline to go further in responding to consumers affected by the recent industrial action. Following…

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has told Qantas that it expects the airline to go further in responding to consumers affected by the recent industrial action.

Following the large-scale industrial dispute which came to a head last Sunday, the ACCC contacted Qantas asking a number of questions as to how it intends to treat passengers affected by the controversial decision to ground its domestic and international services.

Qantas has so far offered consumers refunds, the opportunity to rebook flights, and compensation for expenses incurred by certain travellers for flights until midnight Wednesday 2 November. The airline has also indicated it will deal with all claims made outside the offer on a case-by-case basis.

But according to the ACCC, these measures do not go far enough.

"These circumstances are extraordinary and there have been a huge number of passengers significantly affected" said ACCC chairman Rod Sims. "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."

The ACCC has asked Qantas for a report on claims made and redress provided in the next month and will continue to look into the circumstances surrounding the offering of tickets and acceptance of payments following the decision to ground the fleet.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, online bookings were stopped at 8:30pm [AEDT] on Saturday - more than three hours after the airline's fleet was grounded when Qantas realised its website had not been taken down.

At a Senate hearing today (4 November), Qantas CEO Alan Joyce admitted that taking bookings from customers after the fleet was grounded was a "mistake" and said Qantas would compensate customers "above and beyond" that recommended by the ACCC.

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