Qantas ‘ruins Christmas’ with long delays
CHRISTMAS Day has started less than joyful for some 450-plus Qantas travellers who have experienced significant delays in Dubai and London, with angry customers taking to Twitter to express their frustration.
Qantas flight QF1 departed Sydney airport on December 23 and was due to stop in Dubai, before continuing on to London in time for Christmas.
However, the flight was diverted to Al Ain International Airport, about 150km south of Dubai airport, due to heavy fog.
The airline was reportedly left sitting on the runway in Dubai for more than 10 hours. The airline cited "fog" as the reason for the delay, however some passengers are blaming the airline for its 'errors'.
In a statement on their website, Qantas said: "Qantas, like all airlines, has been impacted by the heavy fog surrounding Dubai. Customers travelling on QF1, QF2, QF9 or QF10 may experience delays to their journey. We understand that delays are frustrating, particularly at this time of year and we are doing everything we can to ensure customers are able to continue on their way as soon as possible."
Twitter user Benjamin wrote: "It's sounding like the delay was driven more by your errors than just fog. Over 10 hours sitting on the plane in the middle of nowhere and now so many will miss Christmas! How does this happen #QF1? I'm in shock and really appalled."
A Qantas spokeswoman told NewsCorp engineers then found a mechanical fault with the A380 plane.
"Qantas, like other airlines has been impacted by the heavy fog surrounding Dubai.
While on the ground a mechanical issue was detected which resulted in further delays as an engineer and spare parts were brought in from Dubai," the spokeswoman said.
Meanwhile, Kathleen Goffey said that stranded passengers had not received food for six hours.
The flight, which was delayed after an earlier cancellation, finally departed Al Ain airport in Dubai, with the airline claiming it was working on "alternative flights for affected passengers".
Another tweet accused the airline of ruining Christmas and alleges that a pregnant woman was kept on the plane for 23 hours - 10 hours without food.
Qantas have denied the claims, saying: "Customers were given all the food and drink available on board and when the delay continued, they were given the option to disembark where more refreshments were made available," a Qantas spokeswoman said.
Stranded passengers waited another four hours before reboarding the aircraft and were then forced to wait another two hours on board before finally taking off, while others were offered a hotel room for the night.
Meanwhile, Qantas also suffered complaints for passengers on flight QF10 from London, who also experienced significant delays and flight cancellations. A spokeperson for the airline said that they were working on "alternative flights", but have been slammed for their poor communication.