On 5 July, reacting a news report that Qantas intended to maintain its ban on unvaccinated people for all international flights despite the government lifting their mandate, I wrote them the following letter.
(Qantas has since rescinded the decision as of July 19.)
QANTAS Customer Care
Tuesday 5 July
Dear Customer Relations Officer,
I was appalled to read in The Australian today that QANTAS intends to continue with the requirement for all passengers to be vaccinated before they can board international flights.
I write as someone who is fully vaccinated. That was my decision, based on my age and risk factors and understanding of the benefits of vaccines.
There is no medical justification for mandating vaccination on all passengers and it is ethically just so wrong.
By the start of this year, 91 per cent of Australian adults over 16 had received at least two doses of the Covid vaccine. Using Our World in Data figures, the total number of Covid cases jumped from 425,000 on 31 December to 8.23 million on 2 July. In the same period, Covid deaths increased from 2,253 to 10,014. Thus in just six months after 91 per cent of adults were double vaccinated, Australia had 18.34 times as many Covid-19 cases and 3.44 times as many deaths compared to the previous 22 months (1 March 2020 to 31 December 2021).
By now, 95.1 per cent of NSW residents over 16 are at least double dosed. The NSW Respiratory Surveillance Report for the week ending 25 June reports 104 Covid deaths. Of the 101 people who died with Covid-19 whose vaccination status is known, 87 per cent were at least double vaccinated and 71 per cent were triple vaccinated.
If all this is proof of vaccine success, pray what would vaccine failure look like?
These Australian data are in line with data from the UK, Israel and elsewhere.
Until such time as QANTAS abandons its authoritarian policy, where I have a choice, I shall choose to avoid QANTAS flights.
Lifetime Gold member
I discovered that the old email address for customer relations is no longer operative and I was directed to submit my comment online. I did so, but under the pop-up menu listing the categories, the closest I could find was ‘recent flight experience’.
The submission was acknowledged promptly and on July 22, I duly received the following answer.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We want your journey to be as simple and seamless as possible, so I would like to sincerely apologise for your experience on your recent flight. We put a high priority on the quality of service we provide, especially to our valued customers like you. At the same time, we are constantly reviewing this aspect of our service and I know the team will want to know how you feel about this. Rest assured that your feedback will be forwarded.
Nonetheless, we do realise that this is an area of frustration for our customers and we are continually reviewing the process. We hope that things go more smoothly for you next time you travel and look forward to welcoming you aboard Qantas again in the future.
Qantas Customer Care
In other words, they take even their elite customers so seriously that they cannot be bothered to actually read the communication. Instead they respond with a pro forma boilerplate template for the category of communication identified by the correspondent.
Once upon a time it was a great airline.
Sadly, Qantas is by no means alone in such offhand treatment of customers. We live in an age where long-term loyal customers are treated as mugs by many companies and ‘service’, far from being prompt courteous and friendly, has become a four-letter word.
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