Qantas’ frequent flyer website crashed this morning as customers rushed to claim rewards offered to them as an apology for the airline’s recent poor performance.
Users were greeted with a message that read, “We are unable to process this request currently. Please try again later.”
The Flying Kangaroo said only the frequent flyer portion of the site crashed, and it was back up and running by 11:30am on Monday.
On Sunday, chief executive Alan Joyce recorded a ‘formal apology’ to long-standing customers for its post-pandemic struggles.
The video message, which you can watch below, came alongside a range of perks for frequent flyers, including a $50 voucher towards a return flight and a status extension for silver frequent flyers or above.
“Over the past few months, too many of you have had flights delayed, flights cancelled, and bags misplaced,” Joyce said via video and an email.
“On behalf of the national carrier, I want to apologise and assure you that we’re working hard to get back to our best.
“We’re already seeing a sustained improvement in baggage handling and on-time performance, and while factors out of our control like weather can have an impact on our schedule, we expect things to keep improving each week.
“As well as saying sorry, we also want to say thank you. We’re investing in a range of initiatives, including status extensions for Frequent Flyers Silver and above, thousands of Qantas Points and lounge passes. All our Frequent Flyers in Australia and New Zealand will be offered $50 towards a return Qantas flight, which equates to many millions in discounts.”
Frequent fliers were also offered up to 50 per cent more ‘classic reward’ seats that can be booked using Qantas Points through to 30 June 2023.
The TWU said in response that the Qantas management team had “trashed safety and service standards by eroding working conditions”.
“Australians see through this stunt,” the union said. “The thousands of passengers who’ve spent hours in call centre queues following cancelled flights, delays, and lost luggage won’t want to waste more of their time attempting to cash in a voucher to buy themselves more of the same chaos.
“Enough of the gimmicks. If Qantas management or indeed Joyce really cared about customers, the right thing to do would be to appoint a new CEO with the business acumen to bring back highly trained, experienced workers and treat them with respect.
“Only then will the Spirit of Australia be returned to this nation. Aviation has been obliterated by corporate greed.”
The apology comes a month after Qantas’ head of domestic and international operations, Andrew David, penned a similar open letter to travellers.
In 2022, Qantas has faced a string of problems, including huge delays at Easter, hours-long call wait times, and even a revelation that the cabin crew of a Qantas A330 were made to sleep across seats in economy. Last year, the Federal Court ruled the Flying Kangaroo was wrong to outsource 2,000 ground handling roles and subsequently rejected an initial appeal.