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The Qantas frequent flyer website went down Monday morning as frequent flyers flocked to redeem the perks the airline had promised them as an apology for its recent lousy performance.
A Qantas spokeswoman said that the brief outage resulted from high traffic as members rushed to redeem a suite of new benefits, including discounted flights and extra lounge invites, announced over the weekend as an apology for delays, cancellations, and lost baggage problems that have disrupted travel recently.
A notice saying, “We are unable to process this request at this time” was shown to users, “Please try again later.”
Only the frequent flyer section of the Flying Kangaroo website experienced downtime, the company said Monday at 11:30 a.m.
On Sunday, CEO Alan Joyce issued a “formal apology” to loyal customers for the company’s difficulties in its post-pandemic struggles.
The high rates of sick leave, Mr. Joyce said, were due to influenza, COVID-19 episodes, and the need for self-isolation. He thanked travellers for their patience. He blamed a widespread labour shortage, saying that Qantas had to add 1,500 workers since April to make up for the shortfall and make other adjustments to its timetable.
Qantas has made up to 50% extra “classic reward” seats available to its frequent passengers that may be reserved with Qantas Points until 30 June 2023.
The benefits included a 12-month status extension for “silver” and above frequent flyer members, a $50 discount, additional lounge invites for “gold” category members, and more classic reward seats.
This open letter of apology follows a similar one sent by Qantas’ chief of domestic and international operations, Andrew David, a month ago.
A slew of issues has plagued Qantas in 2022, from lengthy phone wait times to Easter-day cancellations to the discovery that cabin crew on a Qantas A330 were forced to sleep across seats in economy. The Federal Court of Australia ruled against Qantas last year, saying the company was wrong to outsource 2,000 ground handling jobs, and then denied the airline’s first appeal.
According to official figures, Qantas cancelled 6.2% of its domestic flights in July, a decrease from the 7.5% it cancelled in June. A rise in delays meant that just 53% of aircraft landed on schedule, down from 59.4% in June.
The numbers, although still alarming, ended Qantas’ six-month record as the nation’s least reliable airline. The airline blamed the July problems on significant weather occurrences along the East Coast.
According to internal airline data, dependability increased in the first few weeks of this month, with two-thirds of flights leaving on schedule.