After an instance in which a passenger was held on hold for eight hours, Qantas conceded on Thursday that its current call wait rates are “unacceptable.”
The flag carrier stated in a new statement that it hired an additional 750 employees in the last year to operate the phone lines, but that training can take up to six weeks.
The fundamental cause of the problem, according to Qantas, was a combination of flying returning after COVID and passengers unsure how to spend their accumulated flight credits.
“We sincerely apologize to customers who have had to spend so long to speak to someone and we thank them for their patience,” read the statement.
“No airline’s contact centers were designed to be able to manage the record number of calls and complexity of queries for COVID-era travel, particularly when international travel is involved.
“Our call volume has increased from an average of 7,500 calls a day to 14,000 calls a day, with calls on average taking 50 percent longer to resolve than pre-COVID given the complexity of some itineraries across more than one airline where routes are reopening, and flights are restarting at different times.
“We also see large spikes in calls every time there is a change to travel conditions somewhere in the world, such as the announcement that New Zealand was opening up three months earlier than expected. Around two-thirds of calls, we receive relate to international travel.