‘Sorry’ Qantas to give away free tickets

Melbourne: Australian carrier Qantas has said that it would give away free tickets to over 70,000 passengers who were stranded last week. The decision to give away free tickets comes as a means to win back public trust after an unprecedented two-day grounding of its fleet due to labour dispute.

“We know that we have disrupted a huge amount of customers and we are wanting to go above and beyond to say we are sorry,” Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said. “We’re sorry for what happened, and we hope people will understand why we did it,” Joyce said.

Qantas will give away 100,000 free air tickets to over 70,000 travellers who were stranded in 22 cities across the world when it grounded the entire fleet, AAP news agency reported. Qantas has already promised to refund all ‘reasonable losses’ for passengers affected by the grounding.

All Australian resident passengers who were affected by Qantas fleet grounding will be offered a free return economy flight to New Zealand or any destination within Australia. Passengers will receive refunds for the full cost of their Qantas ticket and any expenses they incurred while stranded away from home.

Also, passengers who bought tickets on other airlines to make up for the missed flights also will be reimbursed for the difference between the new flight and their original Qantas flight, the report said.

Qantas grounded its entire fleet on October 29 to force a resolution to an ongoing dispute with trade unions over pay, conditions and job security.

The move to give away free tickets is expected to cost the airline around 20 million Australian dollars.

“We will be doing everything possible, bending over backwards, to make sure they continue to travel with Australia’s national carrier, Qantas,” airline spokeswoman Olivia Wirth said.