Even if a number of million dollars punishes Qantas, it will likely consider us a burden
As Qantas is subject to stern questions from a Senate committee and is also being investigated by an appeal of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for as high as 600 million dollars for selling tickets for more than 8000 “ghost flights,” it had canceled before, its customers may be thinking that the future is about to get better.
However, there are a number of reasons to believe they will not. In the midst of ACCC’s lawsuit and the airline’s refusal to swiftly refund millions of dollars of credit for canceled flights during COVID is the indifference to the customers of a duopolistic marketplace.
Qantas is competing in international flights. However, the government’s decision to deny Qatar Airways extra landing rights has limited the competition.
However, with one exception – Virgin It has limited competition within Australia due to the limited options offered by airlines like Rex as well as Bonza.
On Wednesday, former ACCC Chairman Rod Sims told the Senate inquiry about air service agreements that Qantas was in a position to leverage its dominant market position to offer higher prices than it would be in a position to.
It could be put in a more general way: Qantas had the power to treat customers more harshly than it had been capable of.
What the AC alleges
The ACCC asserts that Qantas was involved in fraudulent or misleading behavior that violated the Australian Consumer Law in 2022 by offering tickets to flights that were already canceled, as well as by misleading consumers who had already purchased tickets that their flights weren’t balanced.
In the context of law, when the liability of “misleading or deceptive conduct” is involved, the motives for the conduct aren’t relevant. Hence, all that’s likely to be relevant is whether the Commission’s assertions about Qantas’s behavior are accurate.
A person should not conduct business or trade or in commerce, engage in any conduct that is deceitful or deceitful or likely to deceive or mislead.
For bookings made online, The commission suggests Qantas could have provided incorrect representations, including saying that flights were available. Still, they were not verifying reservations for flights that weren’t available and displaying flights not available on the customers’ “manage booking” pages.
Although the tickets may contain disclaimers, they will not have effect in light of the provisions of Section 18. The law doesn’t permit contract language to exempt any liability for violations of this clause.
A disclaimer may have a bearing on the issue of whether a person was misled. Still, given the fact that 98 percent of consumer agreements on the web are not read, it’s likely Qantas could rely on disclaimers to say that consumers were not deceived.
Read more: Booking customers on canceled flights – how could Qantas do that?
Even if the commission is successful in getting the Federal Court to award a penalty amounting to hundreds of millions, such a fine is likely to be manageable for Qantas given its $1.7 billion 2022-23 profit.
Qantas Chair Richard Goyder at the Senate hearing. Lukas Coch/AAP
Qantas is not prepared for the questions.
In Wednesday’s Senate hearing, Qantas Chief Executive Vanessa Hudson and Chairman Richard Goyder weren’t prepared to answer a variety of questions, asking to be placed on notice.
They also snubbed an opportunity to present members of the inquiry with a formal statement that addressed the main topic of the examination, which was the effect of decisions by the government regarding landing rights on the competition in the aviation industry as well as the costs of living pressures that affect Australian businesses and families.
If asked if Qantas would release the redacted version of its letters to the government regarding international airlines’ proposals for land rights, Hudson refused. However, she stated that Qantas would remove them with confidence.
Goyder said at the hearing that Qantas was a company with “genuine contrition for where we are at” but also had “sound commercial reasons” for several of its decisions throughout the time following the onset of COVID and it later found out to be a High Court subsequently found was an illegal decision to dismiss 1,700 ground personnel.