Qantas has issued an apology to passengers after a flight delay left hundreds of people stranded in dallas airport for 24 hours with plenty to sleep hard floor.
The QF8 service from Dallas Fort Worth to sydney Wednesday was initially delayed due to an engineering issue, according to Qantas.
The issue took longer than expected to resolve and as a result pushed the flight’s scheduled arrival time to Sydney into the curfew window, which means Qantas had to delay the flight a second time.
Furious passengers complained that after the flight was delayed, Qantas staff had not booked accommodation for the approximately 300 passengers and that they had to book accommodation themselves.
Eleanor Gordon-Smith, who is also Guardian Australia’s advice columnist, tweeted that when passengers were told the flight would not take off around 2am, Qantas staff told them to book their own hotels and keep receipts so that they can be reimbursed.
“So people with cash took a $100 uber to the only hotel. The others slept on the ground. 9am when we were told to check in…no Qantas staff came,” she tweeted.
Gordon-Smith also complained that airline employees did not communicate the additional delays and were not on hand to explain to stranded passengers what to do. She said children and older travelers with walkers were among those who eventually slept on the airport floor.
Gordon-Smith said when passengers gathered for the rescheduled flight a few hours later, no ground staff came to the airport.
“At this point, it’s Lord of the Flies. A plane loaded with people is checking in with nowhere to go and no direction, the Qantas office is not only unstaffed, it has become a Lufthsana (sic) office, and 300 people have checked bags nowhere” , she said.
“The *DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport)* staff must have said ‘we tried to reach the Qantas team, they’re not responding, we don’t know why’,” she said.
Brynn O’Brien, another passenger on the plane, also tweeted that there were no Qantas staff at the airport to help passengers after the initial delay.
“Of course the staff were doing their best under horrible circumstances last night, but there are simply no staff on the ground today to inform/help those stranded at the airport,” said O’Brien.
Shortly after 3.30pm Sydney time on Thursday, a Qantas spokesperson said the flight took off – around 23 hours after its scheduled departure.
“We know this is a difficult situation for our customers whose plans have been disrupted, and we apologize for any inconvenience caused,” he told the Guardian.
“Our team at Dallas Fort Worth Airport provided assistance to customers after the initial delay and is assisting customers prior to the delayed departure,” the spokesperson said.
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