Man shares image of cracked window on delayed Canberra-Perth Qantas flight

A man’s journey from Canberra to Perth could be best described as a comedy of errors topped off with a rather concerning view on the way home.

Perth man Richard Edinger was in Canberra last weekend catching up with old mates, but the tale he returned home with had little to do with that – painting a picture of the sorry state of Australian air travel.

Mr Edinger told news.com.au he was booked to fly out of Canberra at 10am to Sydney, then home to Western Australia after a quick change over.

According to Mr Edinger, he was shuffled around between a number of re-booked flights before Qantas eventually got him on a direct flight to Perth … at 7pm.

News.com.au understands the Canberra to Sydney flight was delayed by mechanical issues.

When he eventually got to his seat on the plane, he said he was “crammed in the back corner” of the aircraft on row 30F.

After a big weekend with mates made worse by almost a whole day spent wandering an airport, he couldn’t even recline his seat.

When the food trolley finally made it to him mid-flight, they had “run out of the one meal choice I wanted because I’m in the last row”, leaving him with no choice but to eat the leftover ”rabbit food”.

The Perspex (protective layer between the cabin and the window) sheet on his window was shattered and taped together with sticky tape which he described as the “icing on the cake”.

“I knew it was totally safe still but it just really topped off the whole situation,” he laughed.

A Qantas spokeswoman confirmed it didn’t impact the structure of the aircraft.

“It is superficial damage to a Perspex scratch plate that covers the windows,” she said.

Mr Edinger took to social media with his ordeal resonating with hundreds.

Despite this, he says he’s “not a Qantas critic”.

“I think (CEO Alan Joyce) gets far too much uninformed criticism,” he said.

“Remember, before the pandemic, he had turned the airline around.”

Mr Edinger said given the massive spike in prices over the holiday period – especially already expensive flights between Perth and the eastern states – poor service like delays, cancellations and in-flight food options doesn’t cut the mustard.

“They absolutely need to lift their standard of service when you’re expected to pay that much,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Australian consumer watchdog confirmed domestic airfares had soared well above pre-pandemic levels to a 15-year high across the board.

Its quarterly report stated the price hikes were spurred on by strong demand for travel and constrained supply, with airlines scaling back schedules in response to high jet fuel costs.

It also found operational challenges were a factor.

ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said the watchdog would be keeping a close eye on the airlines – putting the lot on notice.

“Historic lows and highs for discount airfares in the same year illustrate how changeable this market has been as the industry recovers from the pandemic,” she said.

“We accept that the airlines are still experiencing some pandemic-related resource challenges, but the ACCC will be monitoring them closely to ensure they return capacity to the market in a timely manner to start easing pressure on airfares.

“We would be concerned if airlines withheld capacity to keep airfares high.”

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