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first_imgairlinesqantas As reported in Travel Monitor yesterday, Qantas was recently awarded CAPA Airline of the Year for ‘Excellence in Aviation’ – small comfort for passengers booked on QF429 out of stormy Sydney yesterday morning, bound for Melbourne.While Sydney’s ‘worst storm in 30 years’ arrived early on Wednesday morning with some advance warning the night before, the ferocity of the deluge, flooding, power outages and transport chaos caught many by surprise. Many flights were cancelled and many more delayed, but not all delays and frustrations could be solely attributable to the inclement weather.As one reader* reported:“I was booked on QF429 which was was scheduled to depart Sydney Airport for Melbourne on Wednesday morning, 28 November 2018, however, the flight was cancelled the previous evening, with QF429 passengers moved to QF431 for a midday departure.Check-in closed on time at 11.30am, but as we were due to depart the gate at 12.00 we were told we were just waiting for ‘a few passengers’. By 12.55pm we were advised that those FEW passengers were onboard, and we were finally ready to depart, an hour later than scheduled.We then moved out to the runway and sat for a further 30 minutes before being advised that engine #4 of the Boeing 747 wouldn’t start and we would have to taxi back to the gate for maintenance to check. A crew announcement advised that as many passengers had contacted Qantas during the wait, those passengers who wished to disembark could do so, provided they had no luggage in the hold and retained their Boarding Pass. Those lucky eligible passengers made a hasty exit, the rest of us remained seated onboard.We had not been offered any food or drink in the previous two hours since Check-in. Now we were advised that no food or drinks would be served during this next prolonged wait because while maintenance checked the aircraft all cabin crew were otherwise occupied manning all of the exits and would therefore be unable to serve any refreshments.Another hour and 20 minutes passed. Thankfully for those of us left onboard, a group of around 20 Salvation Army HR staff, on their way to Melbourne for a conference, began distributing small packets of nuts and nibbles to passengers.At 2.50pm we finally moved back out to the runway. As all inflight entertainment was also unavailable we were not shown the safety video again. No cabin crew appeared to walk through the aircraft checking if seats were upright and seat belts fastened before take off. I’m not sure what protocol is in this situation but I would have imagined that once the aircraft door had been opened it would be mandatory to repeat safety procedures? 20 minutes into the flight and there was still no sign of food, or water, or cabin crew – perhaps they were still trying to get the inflight entertainment to work? I ordered a soft drink once refreshment service resumed. It never arrived.All I can say is Thank God for The Salvos!” While airlines are not necessarily liable to compensate passengers for delays and cancellations due to bad weather, they are obliged to offer compensation if the travel disruption is caused by something under their control, like an engine malfunctioning. A snack and a drink is not too much to ask when you are stuck on a grounded aircraft for three hours pre-flight!*Name withheldlast_img

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