Zoran Ivanovic says he was forced to endure a ten-hour flight from Sydney to Hong Kong without access to the plane’s onboard entertainment system.
A disgruntled passenger is taking legal action against Qantas after claiming that he was unable to use the entertainment system on his flight from Sydney to Hong Kong in May of last year.
He has sought restitution from the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), the body that handles consumer claims in the Australian state of Victoria. But VCAT has rejected his case, saying that it is unable to make a ruling on the matter as it took place on an international flight.
However, VCAT heard that Ivanovic’s departure from Sydney was delayed due to technical issues with the craft’s entertainment system. Despite the carrier later announcing that it had fixed the problem, Ivanovic says that he was entirely unable to access his personal entertainment console.
Ivanovic estimates that he could have watched five films over the duration of the ten-hour flight, which he valued at AUD 20 ($14) each, giving him a requested compensation amount of 100 AUD ($73).
While Qantas has apologized to Ivanovic and offered him 3,000 frequent flier points for the inconvenience, the passenger has rejected the compensation.
As an international flight matter, VCAT has deemed that the incident should be dealt with as prescribed by the Montreal Convention. This legislation, set out by the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), governs rules relating to the international carriage of cargo, baggage and passengers.
Because of this, Ivanovic’s claim needs to be heard by an Australian federal court.
While the Montreal Convention doesn’t have any specific regulations concerning a craft’s entertainment system, a spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told the Telegraph that “Passenger in-flight entertainment systems are provided at the discretion of individual airlines.”
They added, “As with any element of a flight a passenger is unhappy with, passengers are free to make a formal complaint to the airline about the in-flight entertainment system. It is up to the airline to deal with that complaint.”