Perth travellers unexpected sleepover at Geraldton Airport

Perth travellers are forced to make last-minute sleeping arrangements at Geraldton Airport as Qantas’ silence forced people to sleep on the floor and any available furniture.

On Tuesday night Qantas flights from Broome to Perth had been delayed due to safety concerns from an unexpected fog that forced planes to land at various regional airports. 

At Perth’s major airport, it was difficult for planes to land. A flight from Canberra was diverted to Kalgoorlie, a flight from Adelaide was redirected to Busselton, and three flights—one each from Broome, Port Hedland, and Newman—were diverted to Geraldton. Since no one could reach Qantas directly, the flight crew was responsible for informing passengers of their unplanned overnight stay at Geraldton Airport.

Where was Qantas’ call to action?

Qantas’ ongoing chaos is no longer a shock to Australian travellers. This month passengers of this airline have faced long queues, unexpected cancelled flights and missing baggage.

We understand that post-pandemic has forced everyone to accept a new ‘normal’ of face masks and hand sanitisers becoming our daily essentials. Is the rise of long lines and delays the new flying conditions? Will this chaos end or is it just the start of our new normal in travelling?

But most importantly…

Can passengers confidently trust their airlines?

Perth travellers, Qantas Chaos, Geraldton Airport, Overnight stay
Perth travellers are forced to uncomfortable sleeping conditions at different regional airports © DRA Consulting

Kim Nicholls, a passenger from the Broome flight has said to Radio 6PR that Qantas did not make an effort to communicate with its stranded passengers.

“[It was] Six degrees with people in their Broome dresses trying to get somewhere to sleep,” she said.

“People have missed their connecting flights to overseas destinations. People couldn’t get their phones to work because of a bad connection.”

Nicholls states, that she only slept for an hour while others slept in boxes or chairs on the ground.

Passengers were left quite literally in the dark by Qantas, with people including the elderly and small children forced to cope without any food or water and no direction to what was going on.

Trips and holidays are no cheap expense, with parents, families and individuals working overtime to afford not only plane tickets but accommodation as well. With the cost of living in Australia skyrocketing with prices of petrol and vegetables, missing connecting flights places an unnecessary financial burden on Australian citizens. 

Qantas states:

“We attempted to find last-minute accommodation for all customers of these flights but unfortunately, due to a shortage of available hotel rooms, customers stayed in the airport terminal overnight.”

“We apologise to these customers. We thank them for their understanding. We know this would have been an uncomfortable night, but the conditions were not safe to land in Perth and our crew couldn’t safely continue.”

 

Will travelling in Australia return to the way things were before Covid-19 or is this the new reality of aviation? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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Danielle Osifo
Danielle Osifohttps://danielleosifo.journoportfolio.com/
Danielle Osifo is a first year media student at the University of New South Wales. She is a freelance journalist who enjoys creative writing and reading in her spare time.

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