Qantas get another bum-steer in the press

Old Nov 18, 08, 12:40 am
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Qantas get another bum-steer in the press

They're really scraping the barrel now: http://travel.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=666829

BD
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Old Nov 18, 08, 1:49 am
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Quote from link:
The Singapore to Sydney QF32 flight was expected to arrive at 8pm but was forced to circle for an hour, unable to land due to an electrical storm. It was then diverted to Canberra to refuel.

The plane then spent a further eight hours in Canberra after missing Sydney Airport's 11pm curfew and having its special dispensation to land refused by the Department of Transport.

Qantas kept passengers on board until 5:30am, hoping to take off at 6am in line with the airport opening, but by that time the cabin crew had exceeded their maximum shift time and a new crew had to be brought in.


If you were travelling on to Canberra would they have let you off, or is there no immigration control there?
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Old Nov 18, 08, 2:03 am
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Originally Posted by James S View Post
Quote from link:
The Singapore to Sydney QF32 flight was expected to arrive at 8pm but was forced to circle for an hour, unable to land due to an electrical storm. It was then diverted to Canberra to refuel.

The plane then spent a further eight hours in Canberra after missing Sydney Airport's 11pm curfew and having its special dispensation to land refused by the Department of Transport.

Qantas kept passengers on board until 5:30am, hoping to take off at 6am in line with the airport opening, but by that time the cabin crew had exceeded their maximum shift time and a new crew had to be brought in.


If you were travelling on to Canberra would they have let you off, or is there no immigration control there?
Interesting as they later used the single immigration officer to clear them so they could eventually go to a hotel.
I wonder if anyone actually stayed in CBR, wuld they get the full SC and Miles?
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Old Nov 18, 08, 2:06 am
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There is an immigration department, but they deal with VIP/Government charters etc, so there isn't a hall like in Sydney or Melbourne. Same goes for quarantine - it's only a small team.

Unless bags get offloaded, I'm not aware of you been able to get off at a diversion point even if that happens to be your final destination.
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Old Nov 18, 08, 7:51 am
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http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=889765

Bum-steer? QF said it was impossible to provide toilet paper and other supplies, yet they were able to get people off and back on to the aircraft. As I stated in the earlier post, it only makes sense if it's impossible to acquire toilet paper and food in Canberra.

QF waits for hours to discover that the crew times out 30min before opening? Hmmm... humans can do addition and subtraction to discover this before it actually happens. What kind of moron decides, at 2am, to wait for a 6am opening, knowing that one only has 3h30m of legal time remaining?
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Old Nov 18, 08, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by ralfp View Post
Bum-steer? QF said it was impossible to provide toilet paper and other supplies, yet they were able to get people off and back on to the aircraft. As I stated in the earlier post, it only makes sense if it's impossible to acquire toilet paper and food in Canberra.

QF waits for hours to discover that the crew times out 30min before opening? Hmmm... humans can do addition and subtraction to discover this before it actually happens. What kind of moron decides, at 2am, to wait for a 6am opening, knowing that one only has 3h30m of legal time remaining?
Look at it this way.

QF finds out that the aircraft will not be allowed to land at SYD during curfew, they realise immediately that the crew will be out of hours if the plane is to leave CBR to arrive after curfew. This realisation happens at midnight.

How are they supposed to source crew to fly to CBR to relieve the operating crew, who then have to do the normal duties on boarding the aircraft (which are normally done when the plane is EMPTY, not in this case) to ensure the aircraft is safe to fly and so on, at that time of the morning? Particularly since SYD is closed due to the curfew?

Are you suggesting that QF have an entire cabin and tech crew sitting around, every night of the week, in MEL, ready to fly to CBR, on the off chance that a SYD arrival is diverted to CBR and the crew go out of hours?

You are being TOTALLY unrealisitc here.

I am NOT a QF apologist, I have been critical of QF on this forum (and others) in the past, BUT I have also worked in this area, and I know what goes on behind the scenes.

This situation was a travesty, but it comes down to the Dept of Transport, NOT Qantas.

This is NOT a situation which Qantas could have avoided, short of paying a massive (oops, make that MASSIVE) landing fee.

Dave
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Old Nov 18, 08, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by thadocta View Post
QF finds out that the aircraft will not be allowed to land at SYD during curfew, they realise immediately that the crew will be out of hours if the plane is to leave CBR to arrive after curfew. This realisation happens at midnight.

How are they supposed to source crew to fly to CBR to relieve the operating crew, who then have to do the normal duties on boarding the aircraft (which are normally done when the plane is EMPTY, not in this case) to ensure the aircraft is safe to fly and so on, at that time of the morning? Particularly since SYD is closed due to the curfew?

Are you suggesting that QF have an entire cabin and tech crew sitting around, every night of the week, in MEL, ready to fly to CBR, on the off chance that a SYD arrival is diverted to CBR and the crew go out of hours?
No. I'm suggesting that QF was able to get the pax off and back on to the aircraft. This means they could have brought food and toilet paper to the aircraft. They did not. It was their choice not to do this.

If situations beyond an airline's control force the crew to hold the pax in the airplane for many extra hours, the least that should be done it to provide food, toilet paper, etc. If the aircraft had landed at a remote military airport w/o any QF employees, then perhaps something like this might be understandable.

BTW: Are you telling me QF doesn't have a crew available at SYD or MEL? How bad are the roads from SYD-CBR; how long does it take to travel the <250km distance?

Originally Posted by thadocta View Post
This situation was a travesty, but it comes down to the Dept of Transport, NOT Qantas.
Both parties messed up. Government screw-ups don't absolve the airline of its responsibility to treat its passengers with respect (which includes providing toilet paper, food, water, that sort of stuff).
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Old Nov 18, 08, 9:04 am
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What I am saying is that QF doesn't necessarily have crews available at SYD or MEL after all departing flights have left for the night. The stand-by crew members (both tech and cabin) would have left once it was realised that they were not needed that night.

As for food and other stuff, this was an international arriving flight, and therefore subject to customs control. Everything that went on to and off that flight was dictated by customs, NOT Qantas.

Again, having been there and done that as an employee (and I am defintely NOT a QF apologist) there is NO way that QF would have been able to handle this situation differently.

Since the gummint said "You cannot land at YSSY", I seriously doubt whether the same gummint would have said "We are going to get customs and immigration staff out of bed at 3 in the morning to clear this aircraft".

Try doing a little bit of research before you post, it isn't as easy as you like to make it out to be, and it is purely because it was an international flight. If it had been a domestic flight, everyone would have been on buses ex-CBR and home in SYD by 3am, with cabs from there to their home.

It is purely the customs and immigration issues which caused the delays.

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Old Nov 18, 08, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by thadocta View Post
As for food and other stuff, this was an international arriving flight, and therefore subject to customs control. Everything that went on to and off that flight was dictated by customs, NOT Qantas.

Again, having been there and done that as an employee (and I am defintely NOT a QF apologist) there is NO way that QF would have been able to handle this situation differently.

It is purely the customs and immigration issues which caused the delays.
So a QF employee that put some TP on a stick to push it into the aircraft door would have been punished? Give me a break. If that's the case QF needs to fire any PR people for not doing their job (making it clear that the fault was entirely the government's).

QF said it could not resupply the aircraft because 747s don't usually land at CBR. Utter BS. If they can get pax on and off the aircraft, they can get supplies onto the aircraft. If government regulations were to blame, why did QF blame its inability to provide toilet paper on their inability to "service" the aircraft?

http://www.stuff.co.nz/4763547a4560.html
A Qantas spokeswoman said: "The aircraft stopped at Singapore from Europe so there wouldn't have been [resources] left on board, anyway."

She said it was not possible to get extra supplies on board at Canberra. "Canberra's not set up to service a 747 - they don't normally land there; it's not an international airport."
Anyways, the articles about this event say that the crew held people in the aircraft so they could leave at 5:30am, something they knew they were not allowed to do. What's missing here?
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Old Nov 18, 08, 12:59 pm
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Originally Posted by ralfp View Post
So a QF employee that put some TP on a stick to push it into the aircraft door would have been punished? Give me a break. If that's the case QF needs to fire any PR people for not doing their job (making it clear that the fault was entirely the government's).

QF said it could not resupply the aircraft because 747s don't usually land at CBR. Utter BS. If they can get pax on and off the aircraft, they can get supplies onto the aircraft. If government regulations were to blame, why did QF blame its inability to provide toilet paper on their inability to "service" the aircraft?

http://www.stuff.co.nz/4763547a4560.html


Anyways, the articles about this event say that the crew held people in the aircraft so they could leave at 5:30am, something they knew they were not allowed to do. What's missing here?
I think you miss the true factual situation as supplied by some very experienced FTers posted previously.

Recently SQ kept us prisoner for 16 hours at Changi (well it was a prison = true)(including many Australians) but the media in AU do not even so interest in this.
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Old Nov 18, 08, 1:49 pm
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For those of you who have not flown out of CBR in the evening it is a ghost town from about 7pm onwards. The cleaners are done by 8pm and the last PAX to board the 8:40pm flight to MEL is asked to lock up and turn the lights off before they get on board.

It would have been no easy task to get the airport reopened until 5am when everyone comes back to work again.

What I would suggest is that this occurance needs to be placed into the SOP for Air Services, Qantas, CBR Airport and Customs/ Immigration if CBR is going to be offered as an acceptable alternative.

I know from ending up in BNE rather than SYD from SFO that Customs denied our request to open the aircraft in BNE to take on additional catering. While we parked at a gate, the door was never opened otherwise everyone had to be cleared in BNE.

Perhaps the CBR hotels could find a way to hold PAX in bond for the night but I can't think of a practicle way to make this work. Alternatively they could have unloaded everyone from 9pm into the QF terminal and kicked them back out into the aircraft at again at 4:30 am but this would have been equally unpleasant.

So this means that the curfew should be lifted in such circumstances or CBR should be removed as an alternative airport for widebodies or things will remain as they are today where a pilot is taking a chance that PAX will be overnighting on the aircraft.
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Old Nov 18, 08, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by nonce View Post
What I would suggest is that this occurance needs to be placed into the SOP for Air Services, Qantas, CBR Airport and Customs/ Immigration if CBR is going to be offered as an acceptable alternative.

I know from ending up in BNE rather than SYD from SFO that Customs denied our request to open the aircraft in BNE to take on additional catering. While we parked at a gate, the door was never opened otherwise everyone had to be cleared in BNE.

Perhaps the CBR hotels could find a way to hold PAX in bond for the night but I can't think of a practicle way to make this work. Alternatively they could have unloaded everyone from 9pm into the QF terminal and kicked them back out into the aircraft at again at 4:30 am but this would have been equally unpleasant.
None of this addresses the lack of toilet paper and food, which QF blamed on their inability to service the 747 in CBR, not the government. What I fail to understand is how they cannot get food to the aircraft if they can get people on and off.

Even if the rules did not allow feeding pax and providing supplies for lavatories, did anyone from QF make any effort to provide these things? For example, did QF try to call the customs officials and asking if they could deliver TP and food? If that suggestion is absurd, did they try anything extraordinary at all?

It's one thing to follow the rules, its another thing to rely on the rules as an excuse to not even make an effort. Will QF use this to ask Customs officials for an official policy on how to provide supplies to people in situations like this, or will they do nothing?

Please note that I have nothing against Qantas (except that if it's an acronym it should be QANTAS; if it's a word it should be Quantas ), I have not even flown them. My beef is more with the way so many airlines handle this kind of situation (e.g. blame the rules, but seemingly make no effort to change the rules).
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Old Nov 18, 08, 5:30 pm
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Another factor that the media has conveniently ignored is that the Canberra region was affected that night by a thunderstorm for 2-3 hours from around midnight, which was probably not that long after the flight landed. What few staff Canberra Airport had available would not have been able to go out to the aircraft during the storm.
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Old Nov 18, 08, 8:21 pm
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Originally Posted by ralfp View Post
Please note that I have nothing against Qantas (except that if it's an acronym it should be QANTAS; if it's a word it should be Quantas ), I have not even flown them. My beef is more with the way so many airlines handle this kind of situation (e.g. blame the rules, but seemingly make no effort to change the rules).
Well if you have no experience and never intend to fly QF have your say in another forum
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Old Nov 18, 08, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Lonely Flyer View Post
Well if you have no experience and never intend to fly QF have your say in another forum
Tsk Tsk, that's not very friendly now, is it........

I visit many fora for airlines which I have never flown, nor have I any intention of flying.

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