Qantas customers were forced to wait hours on the tarmac without food and water after a series of technical issues on domestic flights.
About one hundred passengers on flight QF596 were stuck in their seats for three hours after landing at Gold Coast airport on Monday night.
While waiting on-board the plane, one passenger told Nine News they had run out of food and water but were offered complimentary glasses of wine.
“No there is a bit of red wine going around, but we’ve run out of water and there’s no food,” the passenger said.
Another passenger who was stuck on board the plane said they were disappointed after preparing for just two hours of travel time.
“I am so disappointed in Qantas services … rubbish … We’ve been on a plane for five hours,” she told Nine.
A Qantas spokesman confirmed the delay was due to an issue with the plane’s wheel steering, which meant it would have to be manually towed to the terminal.
The difficult manoeuvre took three hours to complete.
“Our Sydney to Gold Coast flight on Monday night was towed from the runway to the gate because of an issue with the aircraft’s nose wheel steering,” a Qantas spokesman said.
“We apologise for the inconvenience and would like to thank our customers for their patience while we organised for the aircraft to be manually towed.
The incident comes a week after another Qantas flight destined for Los Angeles was stuck on the tarmac for six hours before it was finally cancelled.
A passenger on board flight QF93 said they were also left without food and water and were incredibly frustrated when they discovered the flight was cancelled.
“We just wanted to get off. We were tired, there was no water, we weren’t even offered any food, we weren’t allowed to get out of our seats,” she told 3AW radio the following day.
A Qantas spokesman apologised to customers for the experience saying it was caused by “multiple rolling issues”.
“This was a significant disruption caused by multiple rolling issues, including delayed arrival of the incoming aircraft, runway works, bad weather and the number of hours that our crew can legally work,” they said.
“We wanted to get as many customers as possible to LA, which is why we kept working to resolve the issues as they came up.
“Despite best efforts, we weren’t able to make that happen.”
They contacted each impacted customer to apologise for the “frustrating experience” and offered them a seat on a flight the next day.
Any customer who chose not to travel received a full refund, and all customers impacted by the delay were given a $1000 AUD travel voucher as an apology and recognition of the disruption.
A Qantas customer, who did not wish to be named, said she had a flight to the US a few weeks ago which was the “worst she’s ever experienced”.
“The flight was delayed a few hours, when we finally boarded we sat on the tarmac for another 40 minutes waiting to be refuelled,” she said.
The passenger added that despite flagging that she was gluten-free, by the time the meal cart got to her seat the only meal left was a chicken salad with couscous.
“During the flight, those of us in economy were told they had run out of meals and they just had the chicken salad left,” she said.
“I know food on planes looks gross but this was worse than usual.”
She said when the breakfast was served they were only offered fruit as they were told the fridges were broken.
“It was pretty s***. They need to do better.”