1 EAGLETON NOTES: Travelling Travails



Sunday 30 October 2011

Travelling Travails

My son, Gaz, and his girlfriend are supposed to be going to Hong Kong tomorrow on their way to Auckland where they are due to arrive the day after I arrive.  I flew Quantas to Australia in 1999.  I  learned my lesson.  I've never set foot on a Quantas plane since.  When I went to New Zealand in 2005 I stayed in Hong Kong en route and flew Cathay Pacific.  The service was superb.  However since then I've flown Air New Zealand and have been well satisfied. 

So what didn't occur to me was that Gaz and Carol were flying Quantas.  Or at least that was their intention.  As readers will probably know Quantas have grounded their entire overseas and domestic fleet and locked out their staff.  Their website gives absolutely no information.

So will Gaz and Carol get to Hong Kong?  Will their holiday be ruined?  And that's just the people I care about. What about the thousands of others?  What about the Australian economy and the hit that will take?  What about Quantas?  Well time will tell but just now all I care about is my family.  No Quantas, you still won't be getting any of my business - however cheap you make your flights.


  1. I'd read a little about the strike - and as a trade unionist was a bit pissed at the action apparently being considered by the Federal Government (not to say the verbal intervention and sabre-rattling they had indulged in).
    I fully understand traveller distress - I would be similarly unhappy!
    But I also sympathise with the licensed engineers who are taking action.
    I know that strike action is the last in a long list for any trade union - regardless of public perception and perceived union militancy.
    I am angry with Quantas. They need to negotiate in good faith - not move to impose.
    That said - I hope Gaz and girlfriend have a successful and happy holiday.
    There are numerous sources of info for the strike which is being pursued on the basis of changes to pay conditions and job security. Go to the ALAEA website: http://www.alaea.asn.au/

  2. That kind of over the top response always suggests bad management to me. I hope Gaz and his girlfriend manage to salvage their holiday.

  3. Yes, Yvonne, I'm not siding with the Quantas management at all. In fact at this moment I have utter contempt for them. However at this moment if I'm honest I don't really care who is at fault in the dispute I only care about the fact that Gaz and Carol are stranded and that whilst Quantas will re-fund what they paid it will not even vaguely cover the cost of re-booking at such short notice especially as demand will be inordinately high given the shortfall of the BA/Quantas flights.

    The one possibility for travellers is that Quantas is ordered to unlock and go back to the negotiating table where they, as I understand it, have 21 days to negotiate a settlement or go to compulsory binding arbitration.

  4. Oops I was typing that as your comment came in Jenny. I agree with you.

  5. I suppose my fear (political) is that Fair Work Australia will impose a binding 'solution' which doesn't go any way to meet union members' concerns.
    Quantas sounds as though it is run along Ryanair lines... contempt for all but your shareholders and your bottomline is good for no one - not even, in the long run, your company...

  6. So sorry to hear that. I hope it somehow works out all right for Gaz and Carol. When I googled Qantas after reading your post the first thing that came up was a headline saying they may be back in the air 'tonight'. Since it's already tomorrow over there though I can't figure out if that helps.

  7. Well the Quantas website has nothing about a possible resumption and their latest tweet was 10 hours ago! The news media are probably going on the information from the arbitration sources and any other bits and pieces they can get hold of!

  8. One reason I don't fly Jetstar here anymore...
    Hear on the news they have been ordered to return to flying! Hope it is in time for Gaz.
    Qantas.... Taken from acronyms site...
    Queens And Nymphomaniacs Trained As Stewards 
    Quite A Nice Trip, Any Survivors 
    Queers And Nancies Trained As Stewards 
    Queers And Nymphomaniacs Take All Seats 
    Queers And Nymphomaniacs Travelling As Stewards 
    Queer And Nasty, Try Another Service 
    Quarrelsome And Nasty Typical Australian Service 

  9. As soon as I read your comment (just after you posted it) I texted Gaz (who was out at a Christening at the time) and he was delighted (of course). As their flight is in the evening tomorrow they may get away without a delay.

  10. Good news GB...hope they arrive safely and not too exhausted.



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