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An unpleasant start to the holidays for travelers, as the lack of staff Qantas leads to a backlog of luggage | Qantas

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Qantas passengers start their holiday without bags as the airline strains.

Delays have forced travelers to spend hundreds of dollars on new clothes, and some have waited nearly a week for bags to arrive.

Jeff White and his partner flew from Brisbane to Queenstown, New Zealand on Thursday, June 9th. Their bag arrived six days later on the last night of the holiday.

“Our plane took off on time and the pilot announced that some bags were out of time and they would be the next flight to Sydney in 30 minutes. We had a two-hour connection, so we thought everything would be fine.

“When we landed in Queenstown, none of our bags arrived.”

The couple filled out the form of a lost bag, and two days later came one case full of their toiletries. But the main thing with all their snow gear for the hike they were going to go on arrived only on the last day of their vacation.

“We came on a six-day vacation, hiking, and had no clothes with us other than the ones we arrived in,” White said.

The couple was forced to start their holiday with a trip to the shops to buy new clothes, including expensive snow gear.

“Luckily we were in shoes.”

Maddie Warren came from Adelaide to see her parents in New Zealand on June 15, but her luggage was not there when she arrived.

Maddie and her mother called Qantas and luggage contractor Menzies Aviation more than 20 times, tweeted them directly and sent two emails, but could not get any answers about when her bag would arrive. It turned out two days later.

Hey @Qantas have you left somewhere around 50% of flight QF157 from Melbourne to Auckland’s luggage and I would like to know where my bag is or her return status? I called Menzies Aviation, as you said, but it seems the message bank is full …

– Maddie (@whatdoesmjewdo) June 12, 2022

“It was very unpleasant. It took only 38 hours, but no one said anything, ”Warren said.

Louis, who did not want to be named, works for Rex as a loader. He said there is a shortage of staff in all airlines.

“Virgin low, Swissport, who make Qantas, they advertise a $ 3,000 bonus for everyone who joins. They are trying to attract people, but I think the nature of work and low wages make it unattractive to new people. “

The hourly wage is $ 23, and the work is hard, physical, and strenuous.

“It’s very busy, we’re exhausted, and we don’t have enough staff,” Louis said.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kane said the baggage problem was caused by thousands of handlers losing their jobs during the pandemic – a statement denied by Qantas.

“Until decent jobs in safe aviation are protected by federal regulation, expect the long queues, baggage delays, chaos and confusion we saw at airports this long weekend to become permanent features of the industry,” Kane said.

“Aviation was teetering on the border long before the pandemic as a result of years of attacks on safe workplaces by corporate hooligans such as Qantas. Vacation Covid, insufficient financial support and illegal outsourcing of Qantas nearly 2,000 workers knocked the industry off the cliff ”.

During the April school holidays staff in Sydney and Melbourne were asked to intervene and help on the ground.

“We need your help,” the note said.

A Qantas spokesman said the airline was struggling with labor shortages.

“We apologize to these customers for the delay in receiving their luggage,” they said.

“There is a well-documented labor shortage in the economy, as well as the continuing impact of the lack of staff associated with Covid, and some problems with baggage systems serviced at airports.”

In the last two weeks, the airline has carried more than 236,000 bags, and only a relatively small number have not reached the luggage carousel after the flight.

The problem did not arise because of the company’s decision 18 months ago to outsource ground handling vacancies, they said.

“This is happening across the aviation industry, including with other airlines, during security checks at the airport and in many other countries.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/jun/15/bumpy-start-to-holidays-for-travellers-as-qantas-staff-shortage-leads-to-luggage-lag

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