Video has emerged of an Australian passenger in Pulkovo Airport, Russia stating her seat on a Qantas flight from Russia to Dubai was cancelled without notice, forcing her to pay thousands of dollars for the same flight, leaving the same airport at the same time via Emirates airlines.
This is despite Qantas and Emirates airlines stating on their respective websites that they have a codeshare agreement in place. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce hailed the recent 5-year extension of the Qantas – Emirates partnership in October 2021 as a significant bilateral partnership in aviation that allowed both airlines to ‘treat each other’s customers as our own’. The partnership also enabled passengers access to frequent flyer points and other benefits.
It is not yet clear whether other passengers were impacted by seat cancellations on this flight. The AFPIN has contacted Qantas and is awaiting their response.
This episode has caused significant distress to the stranded Australian who has asked Alan Joyce to please explain why Qantas has treated Australians in this way and without notice. It has also raised questions on social media about whether Qantas was negligent in leaving Australians potentially stranded in the region.
Travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has warned Australians to leave Russia as soon as possible due to ongoing unrest in the region. They have also warned of reports that non-Russian credit and debit cards are being declined in Russia. This appears to be true for this Australian passenger who had to seek help from her husband in Australia to access funds as her bank cards were declined.
If you have significant concerns for your welfare or that of another Australian, you are urged to contact the Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 in Australia or +61 2 6261 3305 for those outside of Australia.