Qantas has been sued for having dirty planes, lounges and poor quality food.
The complaints come as the reputation of the once-proud flag carrier and that of the budget airline Jetstar is at an all-time low.
Customers’ plans have been constantly interrupted by cancellations from Qantas and Jetstar, flight delays, lost and damaged luggage, nightmares about refunds and some have even been stranded at airports.
On Reddit, a passenger posted a photo of food crumbs and dirt under their seat during an 8:30 am flight from Sydney to Melbourne.
On reddit, a Qantas passenger posted a photo of food crumbs and dirt under their seat aboard the plane
“The cleanliness of Qantas has really fallen off the cliff. Or has it always been this way?” the poster said in a note accompanying the photo in the Sydney sub Reddit.
“Yeah, I don’t remember not seeing this,” a woman replied.
The Reddit post on plane cleanliness sparked a lively debate, with flyers generally agreeing that Qantas planes are messier than they once were — though others said people expect too much on such a busy route.
‘Cleanliness has decreased!’ a woman replied.
“I used to fly only with Qantas and quite regularly. But my last flight I found a half-eaten sandwich and muffin in the seat.
“And the seats were all sticky. Luckily I had antibacterial wipes, but for the next few hours my boyfriend and I felt filthy in those chairs.”
Several cleaners stepped in, saying cost savings and fast turnaround times on flights don’t give them enough time to thoroughly clean the cabin.
“I worked briefly at an Australian airport cleaning planes and we were given very little time to clean them before the next departure,” he said.
The tray tables weren’t disinfected (nor anything else in the booth), but this was just before Covid. We just vacuumed the floor and picked up the trash.
Hygiene and food quality standards in Qantas’ Business lounges, mostly used by frequent flyers, continue to be criticized
“It was disgusting, and I was even looked at oddly when I asked to use disposable gloves to clean up trash, including sniffing wipes, plastic water bottles, food, and so on.”
Many comments defended Qantas and the airline’s cleaners.
“It can only be grubby passengers making such a mess,” said one man.
Another wrote: ‘If people knew how to feed themselves without dropping half their food on the floor, it wouldn’t be now, would it?’
Following recent criticism of ‘dirty and overpriced’ Qantas lounges, Perth’s project manager, who pays up to $1,200 for a business class ticket, sent Daily Mail Australia photos of stained seats in Brisbane’s Qantas lounge.
‘I used to think of all domestic flights as the bus or the train. Set yourself low expectations and you won’t be disappointed, said one commenter.
“As long as everyone is courteous and polite, I’ll just sit down, shut up, and get out in an hour or so.”
Others were more direct.
One said, ‘I think you’ve got it. Domestic flights are just buses.’
‘That’s not even that bad. Do you expect a quarantine level clean in every nook and cranny by the airline’s underpaid staff after every flight?’
“I love how Qantas regulars think they’re getting an exclusive limousine service. Especially the Sydney-Melbourne route. It’s a damn bus. Conquer yourself.’
The condition of the planes wasn’t the only thing passengers complained about.
The new complaints come as the reputation of the once-proud flag carrier, and that of its budget airline Jetstar, is at an all-time low following the outcry from passengers and staff over the many problems
Photos of the Qantas lounge showed fabric-covered chairs with noticeable stains, a table that hadn’t been wiped, and an air vent covered in a thick layer of dust.
“Of the eight free seats in the lounge, I think six are dirty,” Ken Holden, a project manager and platinum frequent flyer, told the Daily Mail Australia.
“I wouldn’t let my dog sleep in those chairs.
‘It’s not up to scratch. In any case, you would expect a chair in a business lounge to be clean and presentable.
“Don’t they pay Alan Joyce a lot of money to keep things tidy?” he joked.
Mr Holden said it was not a one-off, and he regularly finds Qantas lounges unclean.
“If a Japanese businessman appeared in such lounges, he would be shocked.”
“My flights can cost $1200 from Perth to Townsville, which is exorbitant. The least they can do is give us a clean lounge to sit in.”
Qantas defended itself in a statement to Daily Mail Australia saying that many frequent flyers using the lounges were satisfied.
The airline also said all its planes are cleaned between flights and at the end of each day.
Previously, frequent flyers appeared on online review websites to cite the failing standards of food, hygiene and service in the exclusive lounges.
On productreview.com.au, Qantas lounges scraped to an average of 1.3 stars from 77 reviews, with many noting that the airline had deteriorated from previously good standards.
‘Why can’t I give 0 stars?’ one member complained.
A TikTok video showed the buffet selection in Qantas’ international business lounge
Passengers have criticized Qantas in reviews of the airline’s premium lounges, labeling them “dirty and overpriced”, “embarrassing” for Australia and “one of the biggest scammers of all time”
“Dirty as always,” wrote a Sydney man after being confronted with clutter on chairs and “sticky tables and dirty carpet” in the lounge.
“You’d think Qantas would at least keep a clean Qantas club since it’s their main attraction at any airport.”
A consistent complaint was how poorly the lounges reflected Australia’s leading airline.
“If this really is Australia’s premium carrier, then I’m ashamed,” wrote one man after choosing between “a salad with green leaves and boiled potatoes, a watered-down pumpkin soup or a homemade ham and cheese sandwich.” Brisbane.
“I have seen the gradual decline of the Q club for several years now.”
A customer said of the Qantas Lounge in Sydney that the buffet area was ‘cluttered and uncomfortable’. Nothing was refilled and it seems like no one is cleaning’ (Pictured, a photo from a review on airlinequality.com)
Perth businessman Ken Holden claimed the standard of cleanliness in Brisbane’s Qantas Business lounge is ‘a disgrace’
Qantas has previously responded to customer complaints, saying that many passengers are happy with the food and experiences in their business lounges.
On Thursday, farmers joined the Qantas stack, accusing the airline of being “unAustralian” for not selling Australian produce on flights.
Pete Arkle, CEO of NSW Farmers, said Qantas passengers were offered New Zealand cheese and crackers, something he said was “barely in the spirit of Australia.”
Daily Mail Australia approached Qantas for comment on Thursday.
Qantas Responds to Criticism of Cleanliness and Club Lounge
On Qantas lounges:
“This does not reflect the feedback we receive from our frequent flyers who regularly give positive feedback after visiting one of our lounges.
“Our lounges are often rated among the best in the world and we continue to invest in new and improved lounges.
“All our planes are cleaned with disinfectant between flights and at the end of the day.
‘They are also regularly thoroughly cleaned, including the seat covers and cushions.
“Airplanes are also sprayed every month with an antimicrobial treatment that is antibacterial and has anti-COVID and anti-flu properties.”