Qantas and Jetstar are preparing for one of their busiest Christmas holiday travel periods in years as they continue to invest for customers.
More than 8.5 million people are expected to fly on Qantas and Jetstar services throughout December and January on nearly 70,000 flights. This is more than half a million more people than the same time last year and the most since 2019-20.
The single biggest day of travel across the Group in the coming weeks is expected to be Friday 15 December with more than 150,000 customers flying throughout the day.
IMPROVING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Qantas and Jetstar have been pulling out all stops to prepare for the summer peak to help ensure a safe and smooth travel experience at this extremely busy time.
Qantas has been the most on-time major domestic airline for the past 14 months and has had the lowest cancellations over the past six months as the airline remains focused on getting customers to their destinations on time more often. Jetstar has seen a big improvement in its performance leading into summer as supply chain issues subside and as new aircraft have joined its fleet.
A number of additional measures are in place over the summer peak including:
- Up to 13 jet aircraft will be on standby as ‘operational spares’, including an Airbus A380, to provide extra buffer in the event of disruptions.
- A significant boost to the number of reserve staff who can be called upon if there is unexpected sick leave.
- Almost 3,300 additional operational employees have been recruited over the past 12 months including cabin crew, pilots, engineers and airport customer service staff as flying has increased.
- Maintenance has been brought forward on Qantas and Jetstar aircraft. This includes a targeted fleet health program at Qantas’ engineering facility in Brisbane on its Boeing 737 aircraft.
- The Group is also working with industry partners to have extra staff during peak periods, including additional ground handlers on standby and airport security screeners.
This financial year alone, Qantas is investing $230 million on a range of initiatives to fix pain points and improve customer experience. Improvements already rolled out include more Frequent Flyer reward seats, a major upgrade to the Qantas app that incorporates baggage tracking, better inflight catering and more generous customer recovery for major flight delays.
MORE INTERNATIONAL FLYING
In line with the continued strong demand for international travel, the Qantas Group is operating significantly more international capacity this summer than last year, including:
- Qantas has more than doubled its Australia-Japan flights with thousands of Australians heading off on a skiing holiday in the coming months.
- Flights to New York from Sydney have resumed (now via Auckland).
- Shanghai-Sydney flights have resumed, the final international destination to return to Qantas’ pre-COVID network since borders reopened.
- Jetstar will also start flying between Melbourne and Fiji this week.
As previously disclosed, Group International capacity is expected to return to pre-COVID levels by the middle of next year and is currently around 90 per cent.
Some of the most in-demand international destinations these holidays include Bali, Auckland, Singapore, Tokyo and London.
Across the domestic network some of the most popular summer holiday spots are the Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne and Perth.
Throughout December and January, more than one million people will fly for under $100 on Jetstar and frequent flyers will use hundreds of thousands of Classic Reward Seats across Qantas, Jetstar and partner airlines.
Travellers who have not yet booked for the holiday period are encouraged to look at mid-week fares, which tend to offer the best value. Jetstar still has one-way fares from $66 from Sydney to Gold Coast and $199 from Melbourne to Singapore in January and Qantas has one-way fares from $155 from Sydney to Melbourne and $169 from Adelaide to Hobart.
Customers still holding a Qantas COVID credit can use their credit up until 31 December 2023. These bookings are eligible for double Qantas Points. To access the double points promotion, customers will need to register here and book an eligible flight with a QF flight number by 31 December 2023. Customers can claim a refund for their COVID credit at any time.
- Check-in online – available online and on Qantas and Jetstar apps for domestic flights.
- Arrive early – customers should arrive at least 1-2 hours prior to departure for domestic flights and 2-3 hours for international flights.
- Stay within baggage limits – check limits for cabin and checked baggage before travelling. Customers bringing excess cabin baggage on board can lead to flight delays.
- Be patient and respectful – with so many people travelling over summer some parts of air travel can take a little longer than normal, like security screening, so please be patient and be respectful to airport staff, crew and other customers. Bad weather and air traffic control issues can also contribute to delays and cancellations.
 For Qantas customers, a ‘COVID credit’ refers to travel credits for bookings up to and including 30 September 2021. For Jetstar customers, a ‘COVID voucher’ refers to Jetstar Airways vouchers that have an expiry date of 31 December 2023 (which will be automatically extended indefinitely).