Qantas has admitted that they have a massive problem with their on board Q entertainment system to the extent that cabin crew are having to put up with open abuse and sometimes violence from Qantas customers the International Flight Attendants Association has revealed.
The failure of the Rockwell Collins onboard entertainment system on the Qantas 747 400 fleet is so bad that Qantas has formed a special team to investigate the issues a leaked Qantas letter has revealed.
In an exclusive story earlier this week SHN revealed that thousands of Qantas customers are being denied access to movies, music and other onboard entertainment because of the failure of the system.
Steven Reed the President of the Qantas International Flight Attendants Association has said that Qantas staff on board aircraft where the system has failed has to put up with “Aggressive and hostile abuse from Qantas customers. Some customers have got violent” he said.
He added “It is frustrating for customers who have paid thousands of dollars for a seat on a Qantas aircraft to find that they have no entertainment. It is also frustrating for onboard staffs that have to cop the abuse when the customer realises that they have no entertainment on a long flight”.
“Qantas are well aware of the problem and so is the Association. We have had our Occupational Health and Safety people investigate the issue because of the high level of abuse that onboard members have to handle”.
Written by Alan Milne the General Manager of Maintenance and Engineering for Qantas the leaked letter spells out clearly the issues that Qantas are facing with the Rockwell Collins “On Demand” entertainment system.
In an exclusive interview with SHN Alan Milne said “We do have some serious issues and we are currently working through them. My engineers are working closely with Rockwell Collins to try and fix the problems and they are well aware of the issues we are facing and have responded well.”
He added “We are currently testing a new software fix on one 747 400 aircraft in an effort to try and resolve the issues and as yet we don’t know the results”.
The letter written by Milne was copied to Alison Webster the General Manager of Qantas Cabin Crew and Lesley Grant the Group General Manager of Qantas.
One senior Qantas executive who contacted SHN following our story earlier this week said “This is a very big issue for Qantas. The general feeling is that Rockwell Collins has sold Qantas a pup and that Qantas now has to wear the problem.”
They added “If this problem is not fixed Qantas may have to move to a new system which will cost them tens of millions of dollars. Management are well aware of the cost impact this could have on Qantas. The airline could well end up suing Rockwell Collins if the problem is not resolved”.
A senior International Flight Attendants Association member said” Some aircrew are frightened to go to work because of the high level of abuse that they may face because of the failure of the entertainment system. Qantas have implemented a special onboard log book to address the issues however frequent customers are no longer interested in a free gift as compensation. They want an entertainment system especially as Qantas fly long haul routes”.
SHN was also contacted by a lawyer from a leading Melbourne legal firm trying to get into contact with Qantas customers affected by the problem in an effort to start a class action law suite against the airline. “Qantas know there is a problem and they are not telling customers before they board the aircraft or pay for a ticket. We believe that there are grounds to sue the airline” they said.
Qantas customer Steve Martin said of the problem” I recently travelled from Singapore to Sydney with Qantas during which time the entertainment system didn’t work for the first hour of the flight. Onboard staff had to be reboot the system 3 times which took a total of another hour”.
He added “The passenger next to me had travelled from Europe on the same plane and the entertainment system failed to work for her entire flight into Singapore”.
I travel frequently overseas (up to 10 times a year) and I will always attempt to use another carrier as the overall service from Qantas is about the worst I have experienced”.
In an email to SHN Marcelo Goncalves said “On a recent flight in January 2007 from Sydney to Los Angeles, the On Board ‘On Q’ entertainment needed to be rebooted twice – a process which can take up to 1 hour to make the system fully operational throughout the plane”.
If you have a comment to make about the Qantas onboard entertainment system send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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