Qantas Faces Deceptive Conduct

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Sydney, Aug 31: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken legal action against Qantas Airways (QAN) by filing a case in the Federal Court of Australia
The ACCC alleges that Qantas engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by advertising and selling tickets for more than 8,000 flights that had already been canceled. These flights were scheduled to depart between May and July 2022.
According to the ACCC, Qantas continued to sell these tickets on its website for an average of over two weeks, and in some instances, up to 47 days, after the flights had been canceled.
The ACCC further asserts that for more than 10,000 flights in the same period, Qantas failed to inform existing ticket holders about the cancellations for an average of around 18 days, and in certain cases, up to 48 days.
During this time, Qantas did not update its “Manage Booking” webpage to reflect the flight cancellations, leaving passengers unaware of the changes.
This behavior reportedly impacted a significant portion of the flights Qantas canceled during the mentioned months.
Gina Cass-Gottlieb, the Chair of ACCC, stated that the investigation revealed that Qantas had canceled nearly one in four flights between May and July 2022, affecting thousands of passengers’ travel plans. The ACCC’s allegations are not focused on the reasons for flight cancellations, which can include factors beyond an airline’s control like bad weather or technical issues. Instead, the case revolves around Qantas’ conduct after the flights were canceled.
ACCC’s investigation included interacting with affected customers and issuing information notices to Qantas.
The proceedings seek various orders, including penalties, injunctions, declarations, and costs. The ACCC claims that Qantas’ actions left passengers with less time to make alternative arrangements and potentially forced them to pay higher prices for flights they weren’t aware had been canceled.
The case highlights the significance of accurate and timely communication between airlines and passengers in cases of flight disruptions.

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