tip off
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Did Qantas fraudulently sell tickets on 29 October?

According to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, the airline’s board made its decision to ground the fleet on the morning of Saturday, 29 October and put it into effect at 5 pm eastern summer time that day.

But between that decision and its execution, together with the summary termination of the travel plans of tens of thousands of customers, Qantas continued to sell tickets, probably in their thousands.

The situation already admitted by Joyce is that the airline wilfully took money from customers from goods and services it knew it could not provide because it had already decided to cancel those flights.

This is a serious offence under Australian law carrying a penalty of up to $1.1 million per transaction.

For an airline already familiar with the consequences of conspiring with other airlines to rob its customers by participating in an air freight cartel, Qantas can’t plead ignorance of the law.

What appears to be premeditated and widespread abuse of its unsuspecting passengers is under investigation by the ACCC.

The credit for bringing this situation to public attention goes to Elizabeth Knight in this morning’s Fairfax press.

It should also be kept in mind that criminal conduct can raise the question of the fitness of the persons involved to be involved in the management of an airline in the assessment of CASA.

The use of unsuspecting customers as a blunt instrument to score an industrial relations advantage is already an act that will keep Qantas paying and paying for may months as it is forced to meet its  obligations to fully compensate its victims.

 

 

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  • 1
    LongTimeObserver
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Could “lack of a compliance disposition” place Alan Joyce in Lifetime-Ban League, with Francisco Lorenzo?

  • 2
    RossM
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Was wondering if this was going to be brought up, they would have sold thousands of seats for flights on Sunday, Monday Tuesday on a Saturday morning. Is their not also a CAR or CAO rule (looking through the regs to find) about selling tickets on flights that will not depart?

  • 3
    Brizben
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Do you think the allegations raised by Nick Xenophon should also be investigated?
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/xenophon-attacks-qantas-management/story-fn3dxity-1226120794255

  • 4
    Ben Sandilands
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Yes

  • 5
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Joyce answering questions on this in Estimates right now.

  • 6
    David Klein
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    RossM

    The only CASA legislation that is related to advertising airline ticket sales is CAR 210, which states:

    CIVIL AVIATION REGULATIONS 1988 – REG 210
    Restriction of advertising of commercial operations
    (1) A person must not give a public notice, by newspaper advertisement, broadcast statement or any other means of public announcement, to the effect that a person is willing to undertake by use of an Australian aircraft any commercial operations if the last-mentioned person has not obtained an Air Operator’s Certificate authorising the conduct of those operations.

    The mandatory requirement is to have a valid AOC for the commercial operation and Qantas, unlike Tiger when it’s AOC was supended by CASA, still would have met the regulation after grounding it’s fleet.

  • 7
    H. Allen
    Posted November 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    One wonders if knowingly loading people and their baggage onto an aircraft then driving them arround the airport in an aircraft that management knew was never going to leave the ground is also commiting an offence, deprevation of liberty, detention under faulse pretence. kidnapping etc.
    It would be a sure bet if this crap was done in the USA there would be a massive class action.
    H.

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