Qantas cabin crews have voted to hold a 24-hour strike in the coming weeks, which could spark chaos for domestic flights over Christmas.

Flight attendants have voted to strike as they demand an increase in pay and better working conditions.

The Flight Attendants Association claims a two-year pay freeze due to COVID-19 has left them tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

A Qantas plane on the tarmac at Sydney Airport.
Qantas flight attendants are threatening to strike. (Oscar Coleman)

The decision threatens to disrupt Christmas travel for millions of Australians however the union has made no announcement of the proposed date for industrial action yet.

The union said disrupting Christmas travel is a last resort but members want a pay increase and for proposed changes to working hours including fewer breaks to be scrapped.

Qantas has slammed the announcement as a “very disappointing step” as negotiations for a new agreement continue.

“They’ve said they’ll minimise the impact to customers of any industrial action and we’re urging them to stick to their word,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

“The proposal we’ve put forward includes three per cent annual pay rises and access to more than $7000 in bonus payments.

“Cabin crew are also in line to receive 1000 shares worth around $6000.”

Qantas planes on the tarmac.
Qantas cabin crew are calling for an increase in pay and better working conditions. (Kate Geraghty)

Qantas said the shift length changes it was asking for were the same that applied to crew working at other domestic airlines in Australia.

“Crew will still have the same maximum hours over their roster period, and if they are rostered on to a longer shift they’ll be compensated with overtime of up to 300 per cent,” the spokesperson said.

“We want our existing crew to operate our new Airbus A321XLR when they arrive and we’ll continue to negotiate towards that goal.”

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