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Qantas to pay refunds, hotel costs for fliers stranded by lockout

Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

Qantas, which shut down domestic and international operations Saturday because of a labor dispute, will refund airline tickets and pay the difference for a new ticket on another carrier for the tens of thousands of passengers who had no warning of the airline’s action.

“Qantas regrets that this action has become necessary and apologizes sincerely to all affected passengers,” the airline said on its website.

According to the website, passengers may:

-- receive a refund for flights that are canceled or rebook their ticket;
-- receive the difference in the cost of a new ticket in the same class on another airline; and
-- receive the cost of hotels, meals and transfers for those who are stranded and away from home.

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The airline locked out unions representing pilots and baggage handlers amid growing tensions between the two sides. Other Qantas carriers -- budget airline Jetstar and regional carriers Jetconnect and QantasLink -- will continue to operate, Qantas said. The shutdown affects 34 departures a week at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

In another airline labor dispute, Air France said Saturday it would cancel some long-haul flights because of a strike by crew members that’s expected to continue through Wednesday. Flights between L.A. and Paris on Saturday and Sunday were canceled. The airline is offering refunds for canceled or delayed flights and/or rebooking without penalties to passengers affected by the strike.


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