What's more annoying than being delayed nine hours on a long-haul flight between Sydney and Los Angeles while stuck in a seat with a broken entertainment system that only shows the flight tracker?
Try receiving an insultingly dismissive apology letter from the airline's customer care staff almost two months after firing off a complaint email.
A Qantas employee hit the send button too soon when replying on Monday to aggrieved passenger Daniel Haseler's complaints about what he felt was a sub-par flying experience in July.
Mr Haseler wrote to the airline to complain on July 16, just after returning to Melbourne from the US, then to the office of chief executive Alan Joyce after he heard nothing for 16 days. He finally got a response this week, a month and a half after first writing, that read:
Thank you for getting in touch with us about the late departure of your recent flight to
"Due to the complexity of the air travel industry, with various factors outside of our control, occasional delays are a frustrating inevitability. In these instances we take all other available measures to minimise the disruption to our passengers, but sometimes a lengthy delay is unpreventable. We would like to sincerely apologise for
Mr Haseler told Fairfax Media his initial gripes about the flight were not overly serious - a nine-hour delay, a defective entertainment system and a slow check-in at Los Angeles Airport because just one staff member was on hand to process scores of passengers from five separate flights. But the airline's tardy and botched response infuriated him.
"I believe tomorrow is 40 business days since I first wrote my complaint and I get back a pro-forma response not addressing a single issue I raised," Mr Haseler said. "I was fobbed off and they didn't even bother to do that properly."
Qantas, which posted a record $2.8 billion full-year net loss last month, expressed regret at its bungled handling of the complaint.
"We're very disappointed both with the delay in responding and with the way this complaint was handled," a spokesman said. "Clearly it fell below the standards that we set for ourselves and we'll be taking steps to make sure that it does not happen again."