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Nov 7, 2011

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Qantas Club, Brisbane, 1115, 3 November 20011

Following the reader photos of the near empty Qantas Club business class lounge in Sydney last Wednesday at lunch time, we now have these photos taken the following day, 3 November, in the Brisbane lounge shown above and below.

Qantas Club, Brisbane, 1115, 3 November 2011

In testimony to the Senate Inquiry to the Qantas (Still Call Australia Home) Bill on Friday, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said premium travel bookings on the main east coast routes were down 40% in October.

He blamed this on the uncertainty about service reliability arising from court approved industrial campaigns against the carrier by its license engineers and ground handlers those pilots, who dared to wear red ties.

But how much of the blame for causing that action can be attributed to an airline that saw the Fair Work Australia tribunal permit those actions because they the unions has passed all of the tests for protected industrial action by convincing it they had tried to negotiate in good faith for a prolonged period with an unresponsive management?

Joyce is no doubt correct in identifying customer uncertainty as the major factor. But when we examine the reasons for those campaigns coming to pass we have to ask, just how much of this dispute is an ideologically driven act of self harm from a management that has failed to do enough in relation to product, schedule, network, fleet and staff engagement?

And, more pertinently, how capable is this management of doing any of the above?


Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands has reported and analysed the mechanical mobility of humanity since late 1960 - the end of the age of great scheduled ocean liners and coastal steamers and the start of the jet age. He’s worked in newspapers, radio and TV in a wide range of roles as a journalist at home and abroad for 56 years, the last 18 freelance.

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7 thoughts on “Qantas Club, Brisbane, 03 Nov, 11.15 am

  1. Chokyi Nyingpo

    And looks like the same bloke in both photos!

  2. Archer1

    I’d like to have the fitout contract for these lounges. That marble on the walls ain’t cheap for starters. Wonder who has the contract for this type of work for Qantas?

  3. ghostwhowalksnz

    Arent all airline booking down for the period before Xmas, this is a consequence of the spending increases in the retail area and working people not taking holidays as they prefer to take days over over Xmas.
    The financial turmoil must have had some effect as well, I know in the area that I work in new business dropped off and this isnt usually affected by Xmas sales but would pick up with the better weather

  4. JJJ

    I was in the Qantas Sydney terminal on Saturday afternoon and I have NEVER seen it so empty. You could have fired a cannon. If Joyce wants to win back his East Coast business travellers then he needs to get rid of those ancient old 767’s sooner rather than later. The issue of “certainty” is secondary to a very average product from a premium carrier.

  5. kate

    The lounges are always mostly empty at lunch time. Most business travellers are there at peak hour – 7am.

  6. discus

    Joyce could have easily avoided customer uncertainty by accepting the ALAEA’s offer to supply labour during stop work meetings / strikes on overtime rates. Ms Wirth somehow came up with a figure of paying the engineers some ridiculous 4 or 8 times normal rates for this and hence failed to accept the engineers offer. So Qantas clearly chose to create “uncertainty” rather than pay a bit more to keep the argument between the warring parties.

    Qantas needed a dispute to escalate so that grounding would be justified.

    As permanent shift workers, engineers get double time for over time. Their normal pay rates vary with shift loading but most are on a loading no matter what due to extended hours rostering.30 to 40 % for example. So paying them double time more for a few hours would be a pittance considering what it has cost Qantas so far. They do not care about the inconvenience it is ideological first and foremost.

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