Qantas Claims "No Special Treatment for CEO"

12th Jan 2017

The public was quick to criticize Qantas for how it handled the recent situation in Dubai when a technical glitch left its passengers stranded there for two days, including New Year's Eve.

Apparently, while everyone was waiting for, Qantas CEO "skipped the line" and boarded the first available plane back home.

Needless to say, this caused a public outrage on social media.

One Qantas passenger, Helen, who is a Qantas platinum member, wrote:

"The whole thing was a complete balls-up from a communications perspective, including Alan Joyce getting off his faulty plane, then getting on the perfectly functioning plane I was bumped off on so he could get to Sydney on time for his New Year's Eve engagement."

Crisis management expert, Margaret Lawson, of Cole Lawson Communications, said:

"We don't know what Alan Joyce had going on in his personal or work life that he had to get back to Australia, but it's all about the look that it presents to the rest of the punters who are trying to get on that flight."

However, the Australian carrier was quick to dismiss these criticisms in a statement, saying there was no special treatment of its boss over other passengers in Dubai.

Qantas also denied Joyce had taken "the first flight out" and contest the CEO stayed at the airport same as the rest of the passengers.

"This is just not true. The fact is that Alan Joyce didn't take the "first flight out" of Dubai. He declined the option to fly out on another airline ? which could have happened almost immediately ? to stay with a group of passengers that he was part of. He coped the same 24 hour delay as them. And the spent a lot of time talking to his fellow passengers about what was happening. That's how so many people knew he was on the flight in the first place."

In a statement, Qantas also apologized to its passengers for the inconvenience the delay had caused:

"We apologized unreservedly for the frustration and inconvenience this caused. It stemmed from a complex technical problem with one of our A380s that was magnified by how busy alternative flights were over the holiday period."

The statement was signed by Olivia Wirth, Qantas Group executive for brand, marketing and corporate affairs.