Qantas issued an apology to its passengers after a flight delay left them stranded at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport for 24 hours.
Approximately 300 passengers of the Australian flag carrier were affected and many of them were forced to sleep on hard flooring at the airport overnight.
An undesired sleepover
The disruption began when the Qantas QF8 service from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to Sydney Airport on Wednesday was delayed by an engineering issue, according to Qantas.
The situation evolved when the engineering issue took longer than initially expected to resolve. The delay pushed the flight’s projected arrival time in Sydney into the curfew window meaning Qantas had no choice but to delay the QFB service again.
Passengers, unsurprisingly, complained about the situation and how Qantas handled it. Staff did not book accommodation for the 300 stranded passengers and they were left to sort out accommodation themselves.
Reportedly, Qantas told passengers to keep the receipts of the hotel rooms they booked to be reimbursed. However, according to tweets from The Guardian Australia advice columnist, Eleanor Gordon-Smith, “no Qantas staff came” in the morning to sort that out.
Gordon-Smith offered further insight, stating that the flag carrier’s airline workers failed to communicate further delays initially (presumably so passengers could figure out a plan with enough time to do so) and complained that staff weren’t even on-site to explain to stranded passengers what exactly they should do. She continued:
“The DFW [Dallas Fort Worth International Airport] staff had to say ‘we’ve been trying to reach the Qantas team, they are not answering, we don’t know why’”.
Children and older travellers with walking aids were among those who ended up sleeping on the hard flooring of the airport, Gordon-Smith added.
On Thursday, shortly after 3:30 pm Sydney time, a Qantas spokesperson addressed the matter when talking to The Guardian:
“We know that this is a difficult situation for our customers whose plans have been disrupted, and we apologise for the inconvenience… Our team at Dallas Fort Worth airport provided customers with assistance after the initial delay and are helping customers ahead of the delayed departure.”
They said the flight had taken off about 23 hours after its scheduled departure.
Were you impacted by the delays with the QFB service? Let us know in the comments below.