What Are Ghost Flights? Inside Qantas Airlines’ $66 Million Fine For Phantom Seats

Discover the chilling reality behind ghost flights.

by Mallika Khurana
What Are Ghost Flights? Inside Qantas Airlines’ $66 Million Fine For Phantom Seats

Imagine booking a flight, eagerly anticipating your adventure, only to find out that the flight you booked was nothing but a phantom in the sky. That’s the spine-chilling reality that unfolded in the “ghost flights” scandal involving Australian airline Qantas. But what exactly is a ghost flight, and how did it lead to a multimillion-dollar fine and a wave of apologies from the airline? Here’s all about it!

Unveiling The Mystery For Ghost Flights

Photo Credits: Canva

Amid a turbulent time, Australian airline Qantas found itself in hot water over what became known as the “ghost flights” scandal. Picture this: travellers booking seats, excitedly anticipating their journeys, only to find out that the flights they’d booked had long been cancelled. 

But what exactly is a ghost flight? Well, it’s not some spooky airborne adventure. Instead, it’s a term used to describe flights that were cancelled but still listed for sale to unsuspecting passengers. Essentially, people were buying tickets for flights that didn’t actually exist.

Qantas, the airline at the centre of the storm, faced accusations of misleading consumers by advertising and selling seats on tens of thousands of flights that had already been cancelled. According to the NDTV reports, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) stepped in. They slapped Qantas with a hefty $66 million fine. That’s a lot of money!

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All About Qantas’ $66 Million Fine

qantas fine
Photo Credits: Canva

But it didn’t end there. Qantas also had to cough up an additional $13 million to compensate 86,000 travellers who were left high and dry by the cancellations and messy rescheduling. According to NDTV, the ACCC didn’t mince words, calling Qantas’ conduct “egregious and unacceptable.” And rightly so! Many travellers had made plans, from holidays to business trips. However, they were left stranded because of flights that weren’t happening.

Qantas admitted fault, acknowledging that they fell short of their own standards and left customers in the lurch. They even apologised, which is something you don’t often hear from big companies.

Despite this scandal, Qantas managed to post a hefty annual profit. It shows that even with turbulence, they could still soar financially. But it wasn’t all smooth flying. Amidst the backlash, the CEO, Alan Joyce, announced his early retirement, signalling a changing of the guard for the airline.

So, while the “Spirit of Australia” may have hit some rough patches, it seems like Qantas is determined to make things right and regain the trust of its passengers. After all, no one wants to book a ticket only to end up on a ghost flight!

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons