It was a frustrating start to the Easter school holidays for Qantas passengers this weekend after multiple failed landings at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport saw two flights redirected back to Perth.
On Friday afternoon, passengers flying from Perth to Kalgoorlie were minutes away from landing when two failed attempts saw the flight turn around and return to Perth Airport.
A Qantas spokesperson said the Friday night flight, QF 1890, had to return to Perth because of poor weather conditions in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Passengers on board the flight told the Kalgoorlie Miner the Virgin flight from Perth to Kalgoorlie landed shortly after in the same conditions.
Kalgoorlie residents on board the returned flight were put up in a motel in Perth for the night before they returned to the airport early Saturday morning for a replacement flight.
But passengers were left again disappointed when their flight returned to Perth Airport for a second time after two failed attempts at landing at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport.
Again, passengers said the Virgin flight landed in the same weather conditions shortly after their flight turned around.
A Qantas spokesperson said the Saturday morning flight, QF 2638, could not land because of low visibility in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
“Due to weather in Kalgoorlie, our crew made the decision to return the flights to Perth, where they landed safely,” a spokesperson said. “We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience.”
WA Football Commission regional manager Gemma Harrison, who was returning to Kalgoorlie for round one of the Goldfields female football competition, said she was frustrated at the lack of communication from Qantas.
As the organiser of the female football league, Ms Harrison said it was disappointing to miss the first game of the first round.
“I think the major frustration was knowing that the Virgin planes were landing in the same conditions. We agree with the safety aspect, but it is confusing and frustrating for everyone not knowing what’s going on,” she said.
“I can imagine the other side of people waiting in Kalgoorlie were upset as well — they would have watched both planes come in and then leave again.”
Passengers were able to land — third time lucky — at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport on Saturday afternoon. Ms Harrison said she had travelled with Qantas for more than 20 years and had never had a problem like this in the past.