Qantas Club, Brisbane, 1115, 3 November 20011

Following the reader photos of the near empty Qantas Club business class lounge in Sydney last Wednesday at lunch time, we now have these photos taken the following day, 3 November, in the Brisbane lounge shown above and below.

Qantas Club, Brisbane, 1115, 3 November 2011

In testimony to the Senate Inquiry to the Qantas (Still Call Australia Home) Bill on Friday, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said premium travel bookings on the main east coast routes were down 40% in October.

He blamed this on the uncertainty about service reliability arising from court approved industrial campaigns against the carrier by its license engineers and ground handlers those pilots, who dared to wear red ties.

But how much of the blame for causing that action can be attributed to an airline that saw the Fair Work Australia tribunal permit those actions because they the unions has passed all of the tests for protected industrial action by convincing it they had tried to negotiate in good faith for a prolonged period with an unresponsive management?

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Joyce is no doubt correct in identifying customer uncertainty as the major factor. But when we examine the reasons for those campaigns coming to pass we have to ask, just how much of this dispute is an ideologically driven act of self harm from a management that has failed to do enough in relation to product, schedule, network, fleet and staff engagement?

And, more pertinently, how capable is this management of doing any of the above?


As a Crikey subscriber and someone who began working as a journalist in 1957, I am passionate about the importance of independent media like Crikey. I met a lot of Australians from many walks of life during my career and did my best to share their stories honestly and fairly with their fellow citizens.

And I never forgot how important it is to hold politicians to account. Crikey does that – something that is more important now than ever before in Australia.

North Stradbroke Island, QLD

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