Qantas has been named one of the world’s top airlines despite battling delays, cancellations, staff shortages and repeated calls for the CEO to step down.
The airline was named the world’s fifth best airline at the World Airline Awards held Friday night at the Langham Hotel in London.
The award comes amid controversy over the airline’s handling of customer service issues and a decision to stop offering meat-free meal options on domestic flights.
Qantas has also been criticized for the quality of its airport lounge, with customers taking to social media to dismiss the premium section as dirty, overpriced and a ‘rip-off’.
The airline was also named best catering in premium economy class and won four awards for the Asia-Pacific region, including best airline, best business class, best economy class and best cabin hygiene.
Qantas has been named one of the best airlines in the world despite battling delays, cancellations, staff shortages and repeated calls for the CEO to step down
Australia’s flagship airline has been named the fifth best airline in the world at the World Airline Awards to be held Friday night at the Langham Hotel in London.
The best airlines in the world in 2022
1. Qatar Airways
2. Singapore Airlines
4. ANA All Nippon Airways
5. Qantas Airways
6. Japan Airlines
7. Turkish Airlines
8. Air France
9. Korean Air
10. Swiss Int’l Air Lines
11. British Airways
12. Etihad Airways
13. Southern China
14. Hainan Airlines
16. Cathay Pacific
18. EVA Air
19. Virgin Atlantic
The awards are based on customer satisfaction surveys conducted by SkyTrax, an airline and airport rating and ranking website.
Travelers from 100 countries participated in the survey, which included 350 airlines, with Qatar Airways named best airline for a record seventh time in 2022.
Virgin Australia dropped from 34th to 43rd this year, while Jetstar, a subsidiary of Qantas, dropped one place from 56th to 57th.
Qantas’ place in the top five airlines in the world comes after some significant blows to the flag carrier’s reputation, which is currently 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.
Travelers have used social media to voice their complaints, with a passenger posting a photo of their seat with food crumbs and dirt underneath.
“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.
Flyers generally agreed 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.
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)
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce apologized to Qantas customers for the slippage in standards earlier this year and vowed the airline would do better
‘I used to think of all domestic flights as the bus or the train. Set your expectations low and you won’t be disappointed,” said another commenter.
Complaints about dirty planes spread to the Qantas lounge with customers complaining about a mediocre buffet, dirty seats and nowhere to sit.
Frequent flyers have been unleashed on online review websites to highlight the failing standards of food, hygiene and service in the exclusive lounges.
On productreview.com.au, Qantas lounges averaged 1.3 stars out of 77 reviews, with many noting that the airline had dropped its previously good standards.
The carrier has previously responded to customer complaints, saying that many passengers are happy with the food and experiences in their business lounges.
Qantas added that all its planes are cleaned between flights and at the end of each day.
Vegan and vegetarian fliers also had cause for complaint after the airline announced it would “simplify” meals for flights of less than 3.5 hours by giving attendants just one meal – a chicken and leek pie.
Despite the airline falling back on its menu, the high-profile executive and vegetarian who led the protests believes Qantas boss Alan Joyce should be fired anyway.
A TikTok video showed the buffet selection in Qantas’ international business lounge
Vegan and vegetarian fliers also had cause for complaint after the airline announced it would “simplify” meals for flights under 3.5 hours by giving attendants just one meal – a chicken and leek pie (pictured)
Jon Dee, director of charity DoSomething, says Qantas has been ‘nonsense’ since Covid and Mr Joyce should be ‘off the menu’.
“If you add up all the vegetarians, vegans, people who eat certain foods for their health, such as gluten-free, and everyone who eats kosher or halal, that’s a lot of disappointed passengers,” he said.
On Friday, the airline’s product and service manager, Phil Capps, announced that a zucchini and corn fritter would be included as an evening meal on all domestic flights.
“We’ve heard the message loud and clear about having vegetarian offers on all our flights and that’s why we’re making that change a priority,” said Mr Capps.
He added that the airline would roll out “a wider menu of new vegetarian options” and introduce fresh fruit on all flights.
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.”