Gladstone flight delays 'frustrating' - but not the norm
A GROUP of Qantas travellers were stranded in Gladstone last Friday night after their plane developed a technical fault.
Passenger Sherie Elliott said they were informed of a delay while final flight checks were being done and it wasn't until 5.30pm it was finally announced the plane was unserviceable.
"At 6.30pm we were told they had arranged a flight for us at 8.35am the next day," she said.
Two passengers with connecting flights were given the only available seats on a plane leaving for Brisbane later that night.
Approximately 50 remaining passengers were taken to a motel where accommodation had been organised for them by Qantas.
One passenger who was only visiting Gladstone for the day said they hadn't brought any spare clothes or even a toothbrush.
The passengers, including Ms Elliot and her partner, were flown to Brisbane at 8.45am on Saturday.
"We only missed the first 10 minutes of the presentation, but this is the second time this has happened to our family in the last month and that was also a Friday night," she said.
Passengers arriving for a flight scheduled to leave at 6.45am on Saturday morning were also advised their plane had been delayed by four hours.
Qantas had issued a text the night before advising passengers of the delay, but many had not received the notification.
Qantas staff managed to accommodate some passengers with connections for national and international flights, but several passengers were alarmed that they would miss pre-booked events, family gatherings or tours.
One family, who were required to be at the Brisbane cruise ship terminal before 1pm, made it aboard with only minutes to spare.
Flight data obtained from the Federal Government indicated that in the past year there were 36 cancelled Qantas flights at the Gladstone airport.
With nearly 2,000 flights scheduled at the facility, this represents just under two percent of flights cancelled.
A spokesperson from Qantas said delays and cancellations were frustrating but the safety of passengers and crew was the airline's number one priority.
"There are many reasons that a flight could be delayed or cancelled, including bad weather, however we do our very best to minimise the inconvenience to our customers."
Alliance Airlines data showed that since the airline commenced operations in Gladstone in July 2017, they had only one flight cancellation.