Airline spin doctors are attempting to cover up a massive failure of the Qantas in-flight entertainment system which has forced passengers to fly long distances with any form of entertainment for up to a year.
The issue first revealed by SmartHouse News a week ago is so bad that Qantas airline staff have now turned to their Association in an effort to protect themselves from angry passengers.
Hundreds of emails sent to SHN reveal that the problem is widespread across the entire Qantas 747/400 fleet and has been for more than 12 months. last week the Executive General Manager of Qantas Engineering, David Cox said ” We have had some issues with our new on demand IFE system. As with any complex system, there have been some technical issues. Although we have had some intermittent problems, the system is generally working well. The problems usually involves a small number of seats and the passenger can moved a different seat in these cases”
We are dedicating considerable resources to address these reliability issues, including through the supplier, Rockwell Collins”.
The lack of entertainment on Qantas aircraft is now occurring on most Qantas International 747/400 flights and has been for a long time as emails to SmartHouse reveal.
David Lyons of Sydney said “I travel frequently between Sydney and LAX, 6 times in 2006.Ever since the on-demand system has been available there has been at least one problem per flight. Everything from no entertainment for the whole flight to more typically reverting back to the old movie program where movies run to a schedule. I have also had the experience where the controller doesn’t work properly or at all, and where the picture on the screen has been so blurred as to be unwatchable. I am a Gold Frequent Flyer, but even with this status it is rare to get even a verbal apology. Unfortunatley on the Sydney LAX route there isn’t much competition – my experience of United on this route was even worse! I believe that if more carriers were able to fly this route – perhaps then the Qantas service would improve and prices fall.
Michael Malyniak of Melbourne wrote ” My recent flight from London to Melbourne via HK experienced consistent entertainment problems (across all classes) resulting in the entertainment system having to first be re-booted (taking 45 minutes) and then be completely shut-down and restarted (this time taking 1hr15min). On both occasions the entertainment system did not operate. The on-board service manager however then managed to successfully set up a couple of films (in non “on-demand” mode) by bypassing the Q-Entertainment system altogether. It took approximately 4hrs from takeoff to establish a mediocre entertainment environment.
During this rebooting/restart process the on-board service manager informed passengers not to touch the controls in their armrest as it would help the system because the system problems were being caused by everyone accessing the system at once, he said.
It certainly is incredibly frustrating as a passenger to be denied of a so-called world’s best entertainment system and more so for the on-board staff who desperately try to fix an issue which is beyond their control”.
Anita Kristina Rozankovic-Stevens said “3 of the long haul flights I have taken in the past year Melbourne-London had major problems with the in flight entertainment system. And every time the cabin crew ‘attempt’ to fix it, it has never actually resolved the problem, despite their assurances. I have seen it affect a few seats and the whole economy class cabin at once. The one thing I am yet to see is cabin staff offer another seat to a customer with a ‘working’ entertainment system.”
She added “I am looking to fly with another airline now because the lack of services and stuff ups are so common with Qantas that I have began to expect them. After paying thousands of dollars of my ticket numerous times a year, all I get is a few inches of leg room and an awful meal”.
Andy Horsefall of Sydney said ” I’m a regular traveler on Qantas (platinum frequent flyer) primarily to Hong Kong and LA/New York. This is not a new or recent problem. On various flights (107/108) throughout 2006 the system had to be re-booted. So it begs the question that if they are working on it then they have failed to resolve it for some time which suggests the fix is not an easy nor quick one. And how long have Qantas kept this quiet?
Stressed Qantas flight attendants are seeking protection from angry passengers, peeved by failures with the airline’s in-flight entertainment system. Some stewards are complaining of “stress related problems” caused by abusive passengers, upset about the problems which affect the Qantas 747/400 fleet.
Qantas is trying to fix problems in the audio and video on-demand system, which has left passengers on long-haul flights without movies, music and other entertainments for long periods.
Flight attendants’ union president Steven Reed says some cabin crew were becoming so upset that they became physically ill.
The Flight Attendants Association of Australia has written to Qantas highlighting the problem, saying the airline had a duty of care to better protect cabin crew from irate passengers.