Qantas’ CEO Alan Joyce practically owns the aviation throne for turning around the airline’s financial situation, fighting for direct flights to Europe and maintaining the carrier’s #1 worldwide safety record for four years running…

… but don’t expect the airline boss to ever accept royal-like treatment, no matter how tempting it may be.

On New Year’s Eve, when millions of people worldwide were celebrating the start of 2017, a few Qantas passengers were ‘stuck’ in Dubai (how ‘stuck’ can you be in such a gorgeous city with an equally gorgeous Prince… :) hi Faz), patiently waiting for a ride home after their Airbus A380 experienced a technical glitch.

The carrier worked hard to get the aircraft back in the air, but travellers were forced to wait it out for around 24 hours.

Among them was the CEO of Qantas himself, Alan Joyce.

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Despite early reports suggesting that the head honcho had used his aviation contacts to score himself an early ride home, Qantas revealed this week that Joyce had actually stayed behind and endured the delay like a regular Joe Blow.

An official statement revealed that Joyce had declined the offer to fly out with another carrier or take the first flight out of the city in order to “stay with the group of passengers that he was part of”.

Qantas’ Group Executive – Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth, said in the release that her boss “copped the same 24-hour delay” as the other travellers and he actually “spent a lot of time talking to his fellow passengers about what was happening” – that’s how people knew he was there.

Awww.

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“It’s disappointing that some reporting zeroed in on this false premise of a CEO who went MIA, without checking the facts.”

Olivia Wirth, Qantas Group Executive – Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs

Wirth continued, saying media also missed reporting facts like how staff worked around-the-clock to fix the aircraft, a specialist engineer was flown in from London to assist, all passengers had hotel rooms to stay in (despite the city being practically booked out for New Year’s) and the last 80 passengers to fly out were all upgraded on the flight home.

“None of this makes up for not being where you’re supposed to be. And we know it’s our job to get you there, safely — which is the first priority of everyone at Qantas,” she added.

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