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Wirraway
17th Mar 2003, 04:56
Mon "The Daily Telegraph"

The cancelled kangaroo
By BRUCE McDOUGALL and MATTHEW DENHOLM
17mar03

UP TO 43 Qantas flights a day are cancelled or seriously delayed around Australia as the airline struggles to fill the void left by the Ansett collapse.

The travel turmoil has led to a raft of complaints from angry domestic passengers who have missed weddings, business meetings and work commitments.

Aircraft mechanical faults, tougher security measures at Australian airports, bad weather and the financial squeeze on the aviation industry are among the prime causes, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

Qantas, which made a record $352 million half-yearly profit, works on a "pain threshhold" of 15 minutes or more for delays affecting business people and a little more for leisure travellers.

Inquiries over a week show a catalogue of delays and cancellations both arrivals and departures has become the norm almost every day.

On one Friday more than 40 flights in and out of Sydney were cancelled or delayed for 20 minutes or more.

The cancellation come as fares continue to rise.

 A SUNDAY night Brisbane-Canberra flight carrying MPs took more than seven hours because runway hazard lights were broken;

 PASSENGERS spent a day in the Melbourne terminal after their aircraft developed door problems;

 AN insurance executive was forced to return to work after his 7am flight from Melbourne to Sydney was delayed for hours; and

 A FLIGHT from Sydney to Coffs Harbour was forced to turn back after 20 minutes when hydraulic problems were discovered.

One source with intimate knowledge of Qantas operations said there had been a recent increase in deliberate flight cancellations to save money.

Under a practice known as "collapsing" flights, airlines fold two flights into one, often because of poor sales, the source said.

"If there are two flights to the same destination within a few hours of each other and both are only half full, they collapse the early one into the late one."

"They have been doing that more of late. Generally, at this time of year flights are not as busy."

The source, who could not be named for fear of recriminations, said the measure was seen inside the company as an acceptable way to "maximise yields per passenger".

Qantas executive manager for aircraft operations David Forsyth said the airline had improved and was trying to lift its performance further.

He conceded there were probably more delays now than there would have been prior to the collapse of Ansett but added that Qantas now was running more flights.

Mr Forsyth said security was having a major impact on schedules because there were longer queues in the terminals.
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Pic: Qantas 737-800 VH-VXE on finals to BNE
http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=39386
Photo by Wirraway

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Evacuate
17th Mar 2003, 06:01
How about putting a few more staff on,instead of more talk of another 1000 to go in the next 3 months.That is on top of the 1500 already spoken about.

I dont think so.......

What ever happened to customer service.

OzExpat
17th Mar 2003, 07:28
Why would QF have to worry about "customer service". They've never known the expression anyway... :mad:

clearone
17th Mar 2003, 07:30
Sounds like a normal day ,20mins delay, you have to be kidding!!!

Always needs improving,but I think the amount of traffic that is safely moved over a set period is a pretty good effort.

loungelizard
17th Mar 2003, 08:34
Are VB having such problems or only the white rat. ??????????

Keg
17th Mar 2003, 10:38
You can always imrove but I wonder what percentage of flight 43 is? Not a big one I would have thought? Looks like someone at which ever rag wrote the article is mates with someone in VB! :} :D

Eastwest Loco
17th Mar 2003, 11:47
Any fleet running at total capacity is going to suffer delays if a seagull so much as farts in front of one of the aeroplanes.

They will suffer rolling delays and failed conections all through the day - and there is NO answer apart from higher fares and lower aircraft utilisation. That aint gonna happen.

The only ones who have a right to whine are those that paid premium fares as in J class and full or close to full Y class.

Give QF link their due with their less than reliable fleet of Dashes. They have thrown more breathing room into the schedule thru DPO and BWT to try and address abysmal OTP figures.

That cannot hurt.

So many external factors are in play these days I am amazed an airline can hold schedule together at all.

Smething happened with QF 2721 tonite MEL DPO - havent figured out what but it operated MEL LST DPO - a 717 must have shat itself I guess as there seems to be little trouble with the cloud base here.

The Ugh-known!! the factor we cannot allow for.

Best all

EWL

MIss Behaviour
17th Mar 2003, 14:37
It must have been a very slow news day at the Daily is this is the best they can come up with:

A SUNDAY night Brisbane-Canberra flight carrying MPs took more than seven hours because runway hazard lights were broken

I suppose it was the Rat who broke the runway lights too. I don't believe the pollies would just sit on the sidelines for 7 hours like wood ducks and not take the option of flying BNE/CBR via SYD. Just look what one QLD pollie did on the weekend after a skinful in the Chairmans Lounge. He soon found himself frogmarched off an Airlink 146 having to foot the bill himself (or so we are lead to believe) for a charter flight to DRW.

AN insurance executive was forced to return to work after his 7am flight from Melbourne to Sydney was delayed for hours

For fcuks sake, there are flights every 30 minutes MEL/SYD are there not. They can't have all been full. Maybe his work wasn't that important after all.

A FLIGHT from Sydney to Coffs Harbour was forced to turn back after 20 minutes when hydraulic problems were discovered

Maybe the crew decided that the engineering facilities in SYD were better able to deal with the problem.

PASSENGERS spent a day in the Melbourne terminal after their aircraft developed door problems

What would the journalist have preferred? The flight to takeoff anyway despite these problems???

Bet DT circulation went through the roof that day! :* :*

Wonderworld
17th Mar 2003, 22:56
Evacuate, 1000 staff are not "going" anywhere. All that is happening is that the numbers are being reduced thru people taking backed up annual/long service leave. Good idea given the circumstances. Dont let the truth get in the way of an inflammatory comment :rolleyes:

Buster Hyman
18th Mar 2003, 00:17
So what? AN was doing this too. It's not a government run Public Transport system, it's private enterprise. If the flight is uneconomical to run, then chop it & put 'em on the next one.

They cancel concerts etc for poor ticket sales, I'm sure there are plenty of examples of similar circumstances, so why is this any different. The punters get what they pay for, if yields were through the roof, there'd be enough money to keep the aircraft flying by increasing the maintenance time.:rolleyes:

Spinnerhead
18th Mar 2003, 05:48
Why any intelligent person would pay attention to anything written in The Daily Telegraph is beyond me. Just by admitting that you actually read it, reduces your apparent I.Q. to that of a 10 year old. :eek:

OpsNormal
18th Mar 2003, 10:12
Buster... All in a perfect world, which unfortunately we don't live in. Your customers also have deadlines which should be one of the more important factors to ANY service company. If you've no intention of flying the RPT run at that time, then they shouldn't sell the tickets for it. I'm well aware of the $$ position in not running a less than full a/c, but RPT in it's correct sense is something of a scheduled beast.

EWL wrote: The only ones who have a right to whine are those that paid premium fares as in J class and full or close to full Y class.

Why? If anyone offers a "special", it's because they want to fill more seats on an a/c that might be less than full, not turn around and say to YOUR clients, "sorry, you'll just have to wait".

Not that I'd ever do this mind you, but I wonder what reaction I'd get out of QF travel if I told them that one their clients were not at the office half an hour before the a/c was scheduled to leave, so therefore I sent the a/c (with it's other pax) to it's destination, sans that one pax, and then sent them the bill for the charter regardless? :rolleyes: But that, as I said, will never happen.

Don't start me on QF check-in types, SY on the 17th of Jan this year muchly changed my the way I view customer service in this day and age. I saw a fantastic demonstration of how not to handle a pax who was less than 5 mins late for the required 30 mins prior to boarding.

Even the offer of delving into the baggage for the asic card and the offer to load my own bags met with a blank stare..... :rolleyes: I know I was late and I accept it, but the stubborn obstinance of them to even get them to try and get a message to the people waiting for me in ADL (bear in mind not everyone in the world over there has a mobile phone), was a real pain in the butt. I did travel, two hours later, and met a very pi$$ed-off couple of people there to pick me up.

Wouldn't a "looser" interpretation of "the Spirit of Australia" slogan... (ie: Aussie people in general), be "She'll be right mate!" or "no worries, I'll see what I can do". Me thinks, time to change the slogan.

Eastwest Loco
18th Mar 2003, 11:21
Ops and Buster

As has been said, there are far too many variables in this industry to be able to ensure on time all the time departures, particularly with a fleet running at max capacity with only limited fallback, which unfortunately is the right way to run an airline.

The dudes on checkin cop the front end and I have had many years there.

You all want to see the looks on their face when they are told the real reason for the delay. A good mate of mine Lance Baldock put one uppity self important alleged businesman in his place at DPO when Crowey had an engine fire inbound in EWT (I think).

Fire out safely, but one ahole questioned loudly what the announced "technical problem" for the delay actually was.

Without missing a beat Lance said "Well Sir - if you really want to know, there is good news and bad news. Bad news is the aeroplane has experienced a fire in one of its engines. Good news is you were not on board".

The systems the checkin staff are using are becoming so automated, nobody has any idea what the mechanics of despatching an aeroplane really are below the level of load controller.

I am rambling, but the bottom line is even QF are reticent to cancel flights at the last second due to anything but crew shortage due to illness or aeroplane unserviceabilty.

The one flight on he day of departure has numerous extra flights to operate and he ramifications of cancelling one service roll on far through the network.

Best all

EWL

clearone
20th Mar 2003, 20:07
..... I know I was late and I accept it, but the stubborn obstinance of them to even get them to try and get a message to the people waiting for me in ADL (bear in mind not everyone in the world over there has a mobile phone), was a real pain in the butt. I did travel, two hours later, and met a very pi$$ed-off couple of people there to pick me up.


I dont quite understand,who was late you or the Flight!!!:rolleyes: