From July, jilted airline passengers will be able to take their complaints to a new National Airline Customer Advocate.
Created in response to the federal government’s National Aviation White Paper, the new position will be funded jointly by Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Regional Express and Tiger and will work with a committee of representatives from each airline to resolve complaints that customers have been unable to resolve directly with the airlines. The advocate will aim to resolve such complaints within 20 days.
The advocate will also monitor the number of complaints received and the main causes of complaints in order to identify “major areas where airlines may be letting their customers down,” Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said in a statement announcing the position.
“Flying today is five times more affordable than it was 20 years ago,” Albanese said. “But cheap fares shouldn’t mean cheap service. Passengers are entitled to be treated fairly and decently by airlines. And part of that service means having their complaints dealt with properly and on time.”
Applications for the position will open this week. The advocate will be based “in a major city at a location unconnected with the offices of the participating airlines.”