A VISITING cancer specialist has joined the fight against embattled airline Regional Express (Rex), venting his frustration over the company’s “dismal” customer service and unreliable flight times.
Medical oncologist and Riverina Cancer Care Centre clinical trials director Dr Laurence Krieger flies to Griffith each fortnight to assist local cancer patients.
But the specialist regularly arrives one to two hours late at the Griffith clinic because his flight has been delayed.
Dr Krieger has joined the chorus of frustration led by Sydney cardiologist Dr Charles Thorburn, who last week went public with a baffling rebuke from Rex’s public relations department over a complaint he had submitted.
Dr Krieger, who also runs a Wagga clinic every fortnight, said he had found it easier to combine the trips and fly to Wagga via QantasLink than drive to Griffith.
“I find it less stressful, equally time efficient and much more comfortable,” Dr Krieger said.
“I get so frustrated (with Rex) because there is very little update or communications with passengers.”
Dr Krieger said he experienced substantial delays on four out of five Rex flights but was rarely given an explanation by ground staff.
“I’m supposed to be at the clinicby 9.45am but frequently I don’t get there until 11 or 11.30am,” Dr Krieger said.
“I cannot remember the last time I have arrived at what is usually a packed clinic less than 90 minutes late.”
Meanwhile, Dr Thorburn’s unpleasant experience with Rex has made national news, reported in The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Review and on Crikey.com.
Dr Thorburn, who visits Griffith every two months mostly to treat patients with pacemakers, said he had been met with amazement when people heard how Rex had responded to his complaint.
He was still waiting for answers from the company to the legitimate questions he posed in his complaint.
While he had threatened to boycott his Griffith clinic, Dr Thorburn has confirmed he would continue the vital service, though he may consider changing the day with Rex services on Fridays regularly proving “a disaster”.
“Generally the Friday morning flights are late and certainly nothing like Rex’s trumpeted 84.9 per cent on time departure times – of course the arrival times are a more important statistic,” Dr Thorburn said.
“I had concerns that Friday was a ‘bad day’ and that I might be better to do a clinic on a different day and therefore made the legitimate inquiry whether this was case.”