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When Qantas Airlines flights were grounded

Following the termination of all industrial action by Fair Work Australia, Qantas resumed scheduled services from mid-afternoon on Monday 31 October 2011: "We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience and stress our customers have faced over the past days and months. Industrial action is now over, you can again book Qantas flights with confidence".

Qantas waiver policy

For all tickets issued in South Africa on/before 29 October 2011 - Refunds (unused or partially used tickets)

- Refund may be offered without fee for Qantas (081) tickets where travel was 29 October 2011 to 02 November 2011,
- Qantas will not charge the ZAR 350 service fee 
- Travel Agents can submit a Refund Application via BSP Link with reference to authority number 625566, no later than 31 January 2012

Passengers who purchased a new ticket with an alternative carrier (valid for the lowest booking class available)

- Qantas will reimburse the difference between the cost of the new ticket (in same cabin of travel) and the value of the refunded Qantas ticket
- The affected coupon needs to be refunded via BSP Link with supporting documentation attached of what has been purchased 

Claiming a refund for accommodation, meals and transfers

We encourage Travel Agents to process all refunds directly with us in JNB. Should your passenger have a claim for accommodation, meals and transfers kindly email shrjnbfin@qantas.com.au 
- include passenger old/new flight details were applicable
- attach all supporting documentation (ie Hotel invoices, transfer invoices)
- include passenger credit card details to process a refund were applicable

Alternatively you can process all claims online on www.Qantas.com / FLY / Flight Status / Travel Alerts.

Should you have any queries in this regard please do not hesitate to contact our reservations on email qfjnbres@qantas.com.au

All claims will be processed as quickly as possible. 

Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

What happened

Qantas grounded their entire fleet and were locking out the unions, in response to industrial action: "We are locking out until the unions withdraw their extreme claim and reach agreement with us. They are trashing our strategy and our brand. They are deliberately destabilising the company and there is no end in sight. They must decide just how badly they want to hurt Qantas, their members ... and the travelling public." Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told a press conference on Saturday 29 Oct 2011.

This is the type of thing which can lead to airlines going bankrupt - remember what happened after Nationwide grounded its fleet at the end of 2007. Qantas are extremely lucky this didn't last too long.

Press release
Latest Flight Information Last updated AEDT 5.15pm 30 October 2011.

The Qantas fleet remains grounded and all domestic and international flights remain cancelled as a response to damaging industrial action.

We understand that this will have a significant impact on our customers and apologise for the inconvenience that the damaging union action has caused. We thank you for your understanding and continued support.

Customers are not advised to travel to the airport unless they are booked on a QantasLink, or Jetstar or on certain Australia-New Zealand routes (see 'Is my flight still operating? section below').

Qantas is providing a full refund for any flights cancelled due to industrial action. You can cancel your flight with Qantas or rebook for a later date. Customers who purchase a new ticket with an alternative carrier, Qantas will reimburse the difference between the cost of the new ticket (in same cabin of travel) and the value of the refunded Qantas ticket (see Changing or Refunding your Booking). Qantas is also providing accommodation, meals and transfers for customers who are away from home. You can lodge your claim online (see 'Accommodation & Incidental Expenses').

Yesterday, the Government made an application to Fair Work Australia (FWA) to terminate or suspend the disputes between Qantas and the ALAEA, TWU and AIPA. This hearing will resume at 2pm and we will continue to provide information as it becomes available.

Qantas regrets that this action has become necessary and apologises sincerely to all affected passengers.

Is my flight still operating?
QantasLink, Jetstar, Jetconnect services, and our freight services (Express Freighters Australia and Atlas) will continue to operate as normal.

QantasLink:If your flight number falls within the range QF1400 - 2699 you are travelling with QantasLink. Your flight is not affected by the grounding so you should travel to the airport as normal.

Jetconnect services between Australia and New Zealand: The following services, operated by Jetconnect, are not affected by the grounding and customers should travel to the airport as normal.

  • Sydney - Auckland - Sydney
  • Sydney - Christchurch - Sydney
  • Sydney - Wellington - Sydney
  • Melbourne - Auckland - Melbourne
  • Melbourne - Christchurch - Melbourne
  • Brisbane - Auckland - Brisbane
  • Brisbane - Christchurch - Brisbane

Codeshare Flights: Qantas codeshares with a number of airlines who are continuing their operations as scheduled. These flights have both Qantas and alternative carrier flight numbers eg. QF319 and BA16. If you are on a codeshare flight you should travel to the airport as normal.

For the latest flight information visit our Flight Status page.

Contacting Qantas
Due to the significant nature of this disruption and the uncertainty as to how long the grounding will last, we are only able to manage customer bookings on a day-by-day basis.

Only customers travelling within the next 24 hours should call our Contact Centres on 13 13 13 or your local Qantas Office to discuss their alternatives.

If you are travelling in the next few days/weeks, please monitor the situation on qantas.com. We recommend that you do not change your booking until closer to the date of departure.

We understand that this will have a significant impact on our customers and apologise for the inconvenience that the damaging union action has caused. We thank you for your understanding and continued support.

Here's their full press release, last updated AEDT 7.50pm 29 October 2011.

Qantas will stop all domestic and international flights from 5pm (AEDT) on Saturday 29 October until further notice. This is in response to the damaging industrial action by three unions - the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA), the Australian International Pilots Association (AIPA) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

QantasLink, Jetstar, Jetconnect services, and our freight services (Express Freighters Australia and Atlas) will continue to operate as normal.

Qantas is providing a full refund for any flights cancelled due to the industrial action. Customers can also rebook their flights for a later date.

Customers are advised not to travel to the airport unless they are travelling on a QantasLink , Jetstar or Jet Connect flight and are urged to reconsider any non-urgent travel and defer their travel plans wherever possible.

If your flight number falls within the range QF1400 - 2699 you are travelling with QantasLink and your flight is not affected by the grounding so you should travel to the airport as normal.

Please be patient while Flight Status is updated on qantas.com.

Due to the significant nature of this disruption and the uncertainty as to how long the grounding will last, we are only able to manage customer bookings on a day-by-day basis.

Only customers travelling within the next 24 hours should call our Contact Centres on 13 13 13 or your local Qantas Office to discuss their alternatives.

If you are travelling in the next few days/weeks, please monitor the situation on qantas.com. We recommend that you do not change your booking until closer to the date of departure.

We understand that this will have a significant impact on our customers and apologise for the inconvenience that the damaging union action has caused. We thank you for your understanding and continued support.

Customer Support for customers flying on Saturday 29 October 2011

Domestic customers

If you are away from home and between flights today, Qantas will arrange accommodation, meals and transfers for you.

If you are away from home and beginning your journey today, unfortunately you will need to source your own accommodation we will reimburse you for reasonable out of pocket expenses including accommodation, transfers, meals and incidentals up to a total value of AUD 350 per person per day. A limit of AUD 250 per night for accommodation and AUD 100 for incidentals (meals and phone calls) per person per day applies.

International customers

Qantas will arrange accommodation, meals and transfers for you.

Full details of how to claim your reimbursement, including an online claim form are available on www.qantas.com. Please ensure you keep all receipts in order to make your claim.

The adjustment to flying schedules resulting from the grounding of Qantas services from 1700 AEDT Saturday 29 October 2011 may impact the travel arrangements of some Qantas customers.

For the latest flight status information please refer to the Flight Status page on qantas.com.

The following commercial policy options are available to Qantas customers holding a valid Qantas (081) ticket issued on/before 29 October 2011 who are directly affected by schedule change activity (ie cancelled and retimed flights resulting from the grounding of Qantas services) for travel from 1700 AEDT 29 October 2011 up to and including 31 October 2011.

Passengers may, without fee:

  • Rebook to alternative Qantas flights (including QF Codeshare flights operated by BA).
  • Re-route travel 
    - Via the most direct routing using Qantas. 
    - Return to the origin port via the most direct routing using Qantas.
  • Change Destinations. The value of the existing ticket can be used towards the purchase of a new ticket. If the new fare is more expensive than the existing ticketed fare, the fare difference is payable by the passenger. Applicable surcharges, fees and taxes may apply.
  • Retain the value of the ticket in credit for future travel within 12 months from the original ticketed date of departure. If the new fare is more expensive than the existing ticketed fare, the fare difference is payable by the passenger. Applicable ticket surcharges, fees and taxes may apply.
  • Refunds
    - For customers who have commenced their journey a full refund of the affected sector (s) will be available
    - For customers who have not commenced their journey a full refund will be available

Conditions

  • Changes permitted to tickets issued on/before 29 October 2011 for travel from 1700 AEDT 29 October 2011 up to and including 31 October 2011.
  • All changes must be made prior to departure.
  • Changes permitted on the day of departure.
  • New travel dates must be within 12 months of original ticketed date of departure.
  • If the same booking class is not available, the lowest booking class within the same cabin may be booked (eg within Business or Economy cabin)
  • Any third party costs/penalties, such as hotel or other ground operator fees incurred will not be waived by Qantas.
  • All other rules and conditions of the ticket remain unchanged.
  • This policy also applies to customers who are booked on Codeshare flights operated by Qantas.

Un-ticketed bookings

For un-ticketed bookings, flights can be rebooked subject to availability and tickets issued in accordance with fare conditions.

Tickets validated to another carrier (non 081)

  • Rebook to alternative Qantas flights (including QF flights operated by BA)
  • Re-route travel
    - via the most direct routing using Qantas
    - Return to the origin port via the most direct routing using Qantas.

Refunds:

  • Refund are available, without fee, for Qantas (081) tickets issued on/before 29 October 2011 where original ticketed travel was between 1700 AEDT 29 October 2011 and 31 October 2011.
  • This excludes fees imposed by suppliers or third parties.
  • Refunds requests must be submitted no later than 31 January 2012.

Frequent Flyer Redemption Tickets

Passengers travelling on Qantas and Qantas code share operated by Jetstar Classic Award redemption tickets are entitled to the same options and conditions as listed above.

Note: Passengers on partner airline services are able to re-book or re-route subject to redemption seat availability only.

South African Airways travel advice

SAA is a codeshare partner of Qantas. On Sunday, the 30th October 2011 they released the following travel advisory:

Date:  Sunday, 30 October 2011

Advisory No: 2

Time: 09h30 (GMT +02)

Qantas Airways Industrial Action Latest Update

South African Airways (SAA) advise customers that as a result of the current “Qantas Airways Industrial Action” the following SAA codeshare flights operated by Qantas Airways have been cancelled.

Sydney

•    SA7700   30/ 31 October from Johannesburg to Sydney

•    SA7701  30 / 31 October from Sydney to Johannesburg.

Perth

South African Airways (SAA) advises customers that our flights to and from Perth will not be affected by the strike and will operate as scheduled.

•    SA 280 and SA282  from  Johannesburg  to  Perth

•    SA 281 and SA283  from  Perth to  Johannesburg     

Note: Customers booked to connect on flights to and from Perth to destinations within Australia  and beyond on the services of Qantas Airways are encouraged to consider new travel dates or alternate plans due to flight cancellations and backlogs that may be experienced with the operations returning to regular business.

SAA customers in possession of tickets issued on or before 29 October 2011 , that are  affected by the Qantas Airways (only) flight cancellations will be offered the following assistance either via our Call Centres, City Ticket Offices, Airport Ticket Offices or your Travel Agent;

•         rebooking on the next available flight (same cabin / same booking class) subject to space

•         full refund, waivering all cancellation and administration fees  

•         all date and flight change fees will be waivered

•         this allowance will apply to South African Airways tickets only , i.e. 083 ticket numbers and not on any other airline tickets or separate tickets held.

•         the offer must be taken up and tickets re-issued through an SAA office by  Tuesday, 01 November  2011

•         If you are moving to a later date, all such travel must commence on/before 04 November 2011

 
Contact details

South Africa

SAA Call Centre numbers:

•         Johannesburg (27) 11 978 1111 or 0861 606 606

Operating hours

•         Mon – Sun 06h00 – 22h00 (local time)

Australia

SAA  Call Centre  numbers   

•         Sydney  (1) 300 435 972

Operating hours

•         Mon – Fri: 09h00 – 17h00 (local time)

SAA  Call Centre  numbers   

•         Perth  (1)  300 435 972

Operating hours

•         Mon – Fri: 09h00 – 17h00 (local time)

South African Airways will continue to monitor the situation and any new developments regarding “Qantas Airways Industrial Action” and related activities will be communicated.  South African Airways regrets any inconvenience caused to our customers.



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