HomePOPULARQantas Fined $66 Million for Selling Seats on Cancelled "Ghost Flights"

Qantas Fined $66 Million for Selling Seats on Cancelled “Ghost Flights”

In a significant development, Australian airline Qantas has agreed to pay a hefty fine of $66 million after being embroiled in a “ghost flights” scandal. The airline faced accusations of misleading consumers by continuing to advertise seats on flights that had long been cancelled.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealed that Qantas admitted to misleading consumers by advertising seats on tens of thousands of flights despite the cancellations. This conduct affected numerous consumers who made travel plans based on bookings for flights that were no longer operational.

As part of the settlement, Qantas will also provide $13 million in compensation to approximately 86,000 affected travelers who were impacted by the cancellations and subsequent rescheduling issues.

Gina Cass-Gottlieb, Chairperson of the ACCC, condemned Qantas’ actions as “egregious and unacceptable,” highlighting the inconvenience caused to consumers who relied on the airline’s false advertisements.

Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson acknowledged the airline’s failure to meet customer expectations and apologized for the inconvenience caused. She assured customers that the airline was taking steps to rectify the situation and improve its standards.

The $66 million fine, subject to court approval, underscores the severity of the situation and serves as a warning to other airlines regarding the importance of transparency and consumer trust.

Qantas, known as the “Spirit of Australia,” has been striving to rebuild its reputation amidst various challenges, including criticism over ticket prices, service quality, and layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the financial setback from the fine, Qantas reported a substantial annual profit last year, signaling a significant recovery from the turbulence experienced during the pandemic. The airline’s former CEO, Alan Joyce, announced his early retirement amidst the ongoing scrutiny.

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