Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Qantas cuts staff and compromises their service

We just flew from Melbourne to Paris via Heathrow using Qantas.  Never again.

Our Airbus A380 was delayed 1.5 hours in Singapore when the auxillary jet engine that provides electricity to the aircraft and starts the main engine failed.  This is clearly a maintenance issue.

We then missed our connection at Heathrow to Paris.  We waited 5 hours for an Air France flight.

Our 2 ski bags and one luggage bag did not arrive with us at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

2 days later, waiting in Paris, we still don't have the bags or an ETA for their arrival.  This means we cannot proceed to Chamonix and do our ski trip on the Haute Route.

The Air France lost baggage call centre is unable to provide any more information than what we can find on the Internet.  Two bags are supposed to have been sent to Paris on 29 April but their arrival is "not confirmed".  The other bag is still missing.

This is extremely frustrating.  The systems for transferring baggage at Heathrow, and the systems for tracking lost baggage, are dysfunctional.

If you want to ski in the French Alps, fly direct to Geneva via Singapore Airlines or Emirates.  Avoid Heathrow if at all possible.

Our entire 10 day ski trip to Europe could well be completely ruined.  Qantas cost cutting will destroy their service and their business.

Update 6pm Tuesday 1 May

We went to Charles de Gaulle airport to ask about our missing bags.  We were informed that Mark's 2 bags had arrived and been sent on to Geneva (!).  We were not notified of this.  Apparently they will be delivered to the hotel in Chamonix, despitte our instructions to pick them up in Paris.  Mark's "missing missing" bag has now magically appeared and is enroute.

My bag is apparently still at Heathrow, despite the note that British Airways would fly it to Paris yesterday - they did not apparently.  We checked with British Airways - they said they had not received it here so it was most likely still at Heathrow.  They may not have been able to fit it on fully loaded planes - which I find hard to believe.

Tomorrow we go to Chamonix. Hopefully our bags arrive there too, and we can finally do some skiing.

Nobody seems accountable for following up and resolving issues with missing baggage, and nobody seems to really care.  Their is little or no status information provided, and some of it is incorrect.  The entire system needs an overhaul.

Update 10pm Tuesday 1 May
Simon rang to say Mark's two bags had been delivered to the hotel in Chamonix, which is great news.  Geneva also called and advised my ski bag was there and would be sent to Chamonix tomorrow morning.  However, the lost baggage system on the Internet still shows my bag at Heathrow!  The system is crap.

But its great news that our bags have finally been located and sent to Chamonix.  150km/h winds there over the last couple of days meant we would have not been skiing.