Qantas Airways has agreed to pay a $100 million penalty after a legal challenge accused the airline of selling tickets for flights that had already been canceled. This decision was announced on Monday and is still waiting for approval from the Federal Court of Australia. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) initiated the lawsuit, arguing that Qantas Airways misled its customers by continuing to sell tickets even after canceled flights.

Qantas Airways Faces Financial Fallout from Flight Fiasco

(Photo : Josh Withers on Unsplash)

Qantas Airways Commits to $20 Million Refund Program

In response to the lawsuit, Qantas Airways will also start a $20 million program to give back money to passengers affected by these cancellations. 

Reuters revealed that each person will receive between $225 and $450. This move comes as the airline admits it did not meet its own standards for customer service, especially after flight operations resumed following the COVID-19 shutdown.

ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb stated that the size of the penalty is significant and marks a crucial step in enforcing consumer protection laws in Australia. 

The ACCC filed the lawsuit against Qantas Airways last August, claiming the airline continued to offer seats on canceled flights for several weeks.

Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson expressed regret over the situation, acknowledging that the airline failed to notify customers about cancellations promptly. She assured that Qantas has since improved its processes and invested in new technology to prevent such issues in the future.

The costs associated with the legal settlement and the passenger refund program will be recorded as expenses in Qantas Airways' financial results for the year ending June 30. 

However, the actual payment of the penalty and refunds is expected to occur in the next financial year.

Related Article: Qantas Passenger Faces Jail Time After Trying To Open Plane Door Mid-Flight At 39,000 Feet

Qantas Airways Apologizes for App Privacy Error

Qantas Airways has issued an apology following a privacy issue in its app where some users saw other passengers' personal details. This incident, which took place on Wednesday, involved customers accidentally accessing names, flight information, and loyalty program details of other flyers.

The airline confirmed that this was not a cyberattack but rather a glitch caused by recent updates to their systems.

As per CNBC, the mishap occurred in two separate instances on Wednesday morning, affecting users of the Qantas frequent flyer program. Important to note, the breach did not expose any financial data, and there was no misuse of loyalty points or unauthorized flight boardings reported.

Qantas responded by advising affected customers to re-login to their accounts to resolve the issue. The airline's shares fell by 1.2% during the day due to the incident.

This problem at Qantas Airways comes at a time when other airlines have faced security breaches through hacking, leading to severe financial penalties and customer notifications about potential data risks. 

They still continue to monitor its app closely to prevent future occurrences.

Qantas, originally Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited, is known as a top long-distance airline and a strong Australian brand. They are also popular in terms of safety, reliability, maintenance, and customer service.

Read Also: What to Do If Cancelled Flights Throw Your Plans Off Track