Monday, August 9, 2010

Schapelle Corby - QANTAS has no answers


"Baggage Handlers Sick of Accidentally Re-routing Their Drugs" says The Chaser, alongside a satirical piccie of a man accidentally collecting his life sentence (or maybe an appointment with the firing squad?) But don't ask QANTAS for the evidence to clear you, because the travelling public need to hear the corporate message loud and clear "We're not in the game of policing," a direct quote from Steve Jackson, their Head of Security, on Monday 9th August 2010, when asked why QANTAS did not immediately (and without prompting), identify every single QANTAS security camera pertinent to Schapelle and/or her luggage, and preserve this crucial footage straight away. There was no other answer, or explanation. Comforting, eh? Did they fail to hear the nationwide news about Schapelle, within 24 hours of her arrest? Were they on a different planet to the rest of us?

Here's the email I sent Steve, just after our phone conversation:

"Thanks for speaking to me this morning Steve. I have further (extensive), questions for you, which I will put in writing, send to you, and make public. I think that's a better (and more accurate), approach than any attempt I might make to quote from our extended conversation.

You (and QANTAS), will then have the option of replying (or not), to those questions, via letter or email. This completely removes any possibility I might inadvertently "Misquote" you, which most certainly, I have no intention of doing - because personally speaking, some of the unequivocal quotes I got from you horrify me enough anyway (speaking as a member of the flying public). Most certainly, I am NOT reassured. And as I said, "Questions," whether answered or not, are very powerful.

I also guess those further public "Questions" (answered or not), will be pertinent to any further books or articles written on this matter, as well as to any potential civil action against QANTAS for negligence.

In a nutshell Steve, it is any travellers worst nightmare to be banged up in some foreign hell-hole, after contraband they have NO knowledge of is found in their luggage (right up there with the fear of terrorism) - and the public will be very, very pissed (excuse the colloquial term, but I think it expresses the emotional quality best), to know that QANTAS doesn't think acting at the speed of light to investigate the matter is their responsibility. At least, that's the corporate attitude I gleaned from our conversation. Hopefully, if that's just my personal misinterpretation, those further (very detailed), questions coming your way will clarify things.

Because Steve, have no doubt, Schapelle's case will provoke a global fear in the travelling public (of finding themselves in the same situation), and quite honestly, your replies to me this morning gave me (personally speaking), NO reason to trust your airline to act swiftly, and in the best interests of passengers. In fact, "Arrogant" and "Negligent" are the two words that best describe the corporate attitude I gleaned from our phone conversation to-day, though I acknowledge you personally did your level best to remain civil (though it frayed briefly at times, and I felt some irritation slipped out).

So Steve, here's a quiet word in your ear. I'm NOT your problem, your problem is reassuring your paying customers (globally), that QANTAS will act with the speed, urgency and focus of a scalded cat the next time one of your passengers is facing a potential death sentence, or 20 years in the slammer. Is that clear?

Regards, Kim"

However, Steve did give me a convoluted and unsatisfactory story about one QANTAS camera at their check-in, at Brisbane Domestic Airport - but failed to explain . . .
  • Why the allegedly "Intermittent" footage from this one camera wasn't preserved before the "Repair" that allegedly "Wiped" everything.
  • Why the footage from this particular camera wasn't investigated by QANTAS as soon as they heard (like the rest of us), about Schapelle's arrest in Bali. Let's face it, QANTAS had a long history of corrupt insiders, and Schapelle's arrest was bizarre and unique. No Australian (before or since), has been charged or convicted with smuggling marijuana from this country, to Bali, because it's insane. It sells for peanuts over there, and the local market is heavily controlled by gangsters who'd slit the throat of a competitor before they had a chance to draw breath. Didn't that ring any bells for our national airline? Or did it ring multiple alarms, just ones they didn't want to hear?
  • What happened to the footage from every other QANTAS camera (in the public areas, and the baggage handling areas).
So, between now and next Tuesday (17th August 2010), I'm pretty busy - and I'm really hoping for some good news about Schapelle by then (which would certainly take my mind off these historical matters), but if the fight to free an innocent woman continues, QANTAS should shed all illusions. The public questions (pages of them), the protest, and the global damnation of their brand will not stop until this young Australian woman is home.