Qantas is being sued for allegedly failing to immediately refund cancelled flights and instead issuing flight credits during the pandemic.
The national airline is facing a class action lawsuit, meaning it has been brought on behalf of multiple customers.
Qantas has rejected the claims, saying they have processed more than $1 billion in refunds from COVID credits.
Why is Qantas being sued?
The lawsuit claims Qantas customers were entitled to a full cash refund for cancelled flights. The majority, however, were instead given travel credits or vouchers. It also claims the airline misled customers about their rights.
The lawsuit states that Qantas “unlawfully benefited from customers by holding for years a very significant amount of customer funds that ought to have been refunded”.
As of June, Qantas said it had distributed around $2 billion worth of COVID-era flight credits.
About $400 million worth of flight credits remained unclaimed. They expire at the end of this year.
Qantas rejects these allegations, arguing it has made it clear to eligible customers that they are entitled to a refund for their cancelled flights.
In a June update it said: “About 80% of customers who have COVID credits have the option of a refund if they prefer.”
The law firm bringing the class action, Echo Law, says customers who have already used their Qantas travel credits may still be eligible for the class action.
It is seeking compensation for the affected customers.
Echo Law said they’re also investigating similar allegations levelled at Jetstar, Qantas’ budget airline.