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Why Brisbane bound Qantas customers slept on airport floor

Qantas customers slept on the floor of a local airport after the plane was forced to make an unexpected stop over.

The flight from Sydney to Brisbane was diverted to Maroochydore and landed before midnight because of the mass flooding event in Queensland’s capital.

The airline had been accused of abandoning customers, something they strongly deny.

One 2GB listener told Ben Fordham a friend of theirs on the flight had been promised food and accomodation from Qantas.

Host Ben Fordham was told priory was given to Platinum and Gold Frequent Flyers, the elderly and families with young children while the remainder of passengers were told to make their own arrangements.

Some Qantas customers on a flight from Sydney to Brisbane slept on the airport floor after the flight forced to stop over in Maroochydore because of the floods last week. Picture: Supplied/2GB Radio
Camera IconSome Qantas customers on a flight from Sydney to Brisbane slept on the airport floor last week. Supplied/2GB Radio Credit: NCA NewsWire
Some Qantas customers on a flight from Sydney to Brisbane slept on the airport floor after the flight forced to stop over in Maroochydore because of the floods last week. Picture: Supplied/2GB Radio
Camera IconThe flight was forced to stop over in Maroochydore because of the floods in Brisbane. Supplied/2GB Radio Credit: NCA NewsWire

It was also alleged on the radio station that only the Frequent Flyers received pyjamas and full amenity kits while others slept on the floors and chairs of the airport.

Qantas said its team “worked their hardest to look after its customers during unforeseen disruptions, as it always did.”

A spokeswoman for the airline said customer safety was paramount, which was why the plane needed to be diverted from Brisbane as it was unsafe to land there.

They said there was limited last-minute hotel availability on the Sunshine Coast and bussing passengers to Brisbane was not an option because of the condition of the roads.

“Our team was able to find rooms for a number of passengers, particularly those most in need,” the Qantas spokeswoman said.

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Camera IconA Qantas spokeswoman said it would have been “unsafe” to land in Brisbane and bussing passengers to Brisbane wasn’t an option because of the road conditions. Gaye Gerard / NCA NewsWire Credit: News Corp Australia

“Some customers chose to find their own transport and accommodation for the evening and were provided the details for reimbursement, and others stayed in the terminal overnight which is always a last resort.

“Customers in the terminal were provided with water, hot drinks, food and the limited number of available overnight kits.

“Additional team members came in to provide support and stayed overnight at the airport with passengers.

“We sincerely apologise to our customers for the disruption.”

Between February 23 and 28 there were at least 33 areas inundated by more than 1m of rainfall across southeast Queensland.

Over that time, more than 750m of rain fell on Brisbane.

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