Qantas Settles Lawsuit with $66 Million Penalty for Selling Tickets on Cancelled Flights

Australian airline Qantas Airways has agreed to pay a hefty penalty of A$100 million (US$66 million) to settle a lawsuit alleging the airline illegally sold tickets for flights that had already been canceled. The announcement came on Monday, May 6, 2024. The lawsuit, filed against Qantas, stemmed from a period of significant flight cancellations during an unspecified timeframe. The details of the cancellations were not disclosed, but the lawsuit claimed Qantas continued to sell tickets for these grounded flights, leaving passengers frustrated and scrambling for alternative travel arrangements.


This incident sparked outrage amongst travelers who faced unexpected cancellations and the inconvenience of rebooking flights or making other travel arrangements. The lawsuit alleged this practice by Qantas constituted a breach of consumer law. The settlement amount of A$100 million reflects the seriousness of the accusations and the potential impact on affected passengers. While the exact number of impacted passengers remains unknown, the significant penalty suggests a considerable number of travelers were inconvenienced by Qantas's ticketing practices.

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Qantas's decision to settle the lawsuit likely reflects a desire to avoid a lengthy and potentially costly court battle. The airline has not commented on the specific reasons behind the flight cancellations or admitted any wrongdoing. However, agreeing to the penalty suggests a willingness to resolve the issue and move forward. This case serves as a reminder to airlines of the importance of transparency and fair dealing with passengers.  Passengers have a right to expect accurate information about flight availability, and airlines face significant repercussions for misleading ticketing practices.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the country's consumer watchdog, is likely to be closely monitoring the situation. The ACCC plays a vital role in ensuring airlines comply with consumer laws and protecting passenger rights. The outcome of this case may also have implications for other airlines.  Carriers around the world should take note of the potential consequences for selling tickets on canceled flights and ensure their ticketing practices are transparent and compliant with consumer regulations.

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