Australian airline Qantas remained grounded for a second day Sunday, leaving tens of thousands of stranded passengers worldwide awaiting an independent watchdog's decision in the labor dispute.
The cancellations affected more than 600 flights and 70,000 passengers, Qantas said.
At Sydney airport, columns of "canceled" illuminated the departure board. Throngs of weary passengers crowded the help desk to rebook with other airlines as suitcases lay scattered all over the floor.
"It makes me wonder whether I would book with Qantas again," said Isabelle Storer, who was stuck at the airport with her husband after a visit to the United States.
Their connection to Adelaide was canceled, leaving her frustrated because her husband needed medical treatment, she said.
Passenger Ron Fuller waited at the airport, albeit more optimistic.
"For a month or two, everyone will be anti-Qantas, there's no doubt about that," Fuller said. "But emotion probably gets in the way sometimes."
In a statement, Qantas pilots slammed the airline's chief executive for grounding the entire fleet, saying it is unfair to passengers, shareholders and workers.
"Alan Joyce obviously thinks Qantas is his personal plaything to use in his high-stakes game against pilots and other workers," said Richard Woodward, the president of the Australian and International Pilots Association.
The dispute has escalated, forcing government officials to ask watchdog Fair Work Australia to intervene.FULL STORY