The lead-up to Christmas is shaping up to be a chaotic time for air travellers as unions step up a campaign of industrial action against Qantas.

Following a cancelled strike yesterday, unions are now advising passengers to book with alternative airlines, with the threat of more strikes to come.

Kira Donohue reports.


If you’re planning on flying, steer clear of Qantas.

Or at least that’s the advice of the engineer’s union, who today threatened to take further action against the airline.

The warning is the latest development in a campaign intended to cause maximum interference.

The union is now pressing ahead with a re-scheduled four-hour strike this Friday.

Originally scheduled for yesterday, the action was called off at the last minute, leaving the airline scrambling to resume cancelled flights.

Olivia Wirth, Qantas spokeswoman: “They know that you cannot turn an airline off and on. They’re well aware of that. The damage has been done.”

The union is now threatening to escalate the four-hour strikes into 24 hours by the end of the month.

Steve Purvinas, Aircraft Engineers Union: “If I was a person considering travel over the period up until Christmas I would probably be looking at airlines other than Qantas.”

And in more bad news for the airline, Qantas-owned budget carrier Jetstar announced plans for its own industrial action.

In a first for Jetstar, check-in staff will waive excess baggage fees for 24 hours across all major airports in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Dubbed the “no weigh day”, the strike will take place this Friday from 3.30am.

It’s estimated to cost the company around $50,000 in lost revenue.

Kira Donohue, QUT news.