10-hour flight, 5 movies, $100: Qantas passenger takes action over broken in-flight entertainment system

How many movies can you squeeze in on an international flight?

An angry Qantas passenger who demanded $100 as compensation for a broken in-flight entertainment system has been told to take his claim to a higher court.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal rejected the action by Melbourne man Zoran Ivanovic late last month, telling him that it did not have the power to rule on the matter because it was an international flight.

The tribunal heard that Mr Ivanovic calculated the sum by saying he could have watched five movies during the 10-hour flight between Hong Kong and Sydney, which would have cost him $20 each on land.

The flight, which took place on May 12 last year, was initially delayed because of problems with the entertainment system but took off after passengers were told it had been fixed.

Despite these assurances, the tribunal heard that the screen did not work for Mr Ivanovic during the entire flight. Qantas subsequently apologised for the technical problems in an email and credited Mr Ivanovic with 3000 frequent flyer points.

However, Mr Ivanovic was not satisfied the airline had made sufficient amends for his missed movie time.

"Mr Ivanovic is aggrieved by this unsolicited crediting of frequent flyer points as he does not believe it adequately compensates him for the failure of the in-flight entertainment system," wrote VCAT member Lindsay Warren.

But Mr Warren dismissed the claim, stating that international tickets were governed by the Montreal Convention of airline rules and that related matters must be heard by a court with federal jurisdiction.

A separate $2500 claim by Mr Ivanovic involving an allegedly drunken altercation with the airline's staff at a Qantas lounge in Singapore Airport was also dismissed.

Mr Ivanovic sought the second action after he was issued with a no-fly notice due to safety concerns while waiting for a flight from Singapore to Melbourne in March last year.

He had earlier complained to the airline about being allocated the wrong seat on the flight and wanted to speak with a duty manager.

The tribunal heard that Qantas had refused to let Mr Ivanovic on board the flight as he was acting in an aggressive and abusive manner towards staff and that he had been drinking alcohol.

Between six and 12 police were called to speak with Mr Ivanovic at the time, the tribunal was told.

Mr Ivanovic told VCAT that he had experienced a number of issues with Qantas customer service in his travels that were "dismissed out of hand" and that he had "had a gutful".

VCAT member Mr Warren dismissed the second claim, agreeing with the decision by Qantas staff to issue Mr Ivanovic with a no-fly notice.

This article 10-hour flight, 5 movies: Qantas passenger seeks $100 for missed movie time was originally published in The Age.

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