Two months ago we brought you the story of AFF member kpc‘s downgrade from First class. This member had booked a First class award using Qantas points from Dallas to Sydney. The flight was cancelled at short notice and they were re-booked into a mixture of Economy and Business class via Los Angeles and Auckland.

Initially, Qantas refused to provide a refund of the difference in points between First and Business class. The case has since been resolved, thanks to the Airline Customer Advocate.

A final update: After more than 3 months of getting absolutely no adequate responses from the QF frequent flyer team including emailing the Manager Service Delivery of Qantas Frequent Flyer Service Centre, the Qantas Customer Care team, and engaging the Qantas social media team on Facebook, I made a complaint to the Australian Airline Customer Advocate mentioned above, and lo behold, a week and a half later, I have been refunded 56000 QF points, being the difference between a F and J QF award between Dfw and Syd. I’m not sure whether I should jump for joy or just shake my head….:shock:

Our members were very pleased to see that the Airline Customer Advocate has once again proven to be an effective complaint resolution mechanism. However, our members have less praise for Qantas…

Very disappointing outcome. Sadly it looks like being [Qantas Platinum] doesn’t means much these days. I hope loyal members who get treated as badly as the OP will be smart enough to show QF that loyalty is a two way street and take their business elsewhere, at least temporarily. The only way to talk to big organisations and force them to change is by hurting them financially.

The Airline Customer Advocate is an industry-funded “ombudsman” for Australian airline passengers. It provides a free and independent service for Australian consumers that are not satisfied with the way an airline has handled their complaint.

There are some limits to the assistance that the Airline Customer Advocate can provide. They only work with Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Tigerair and Rex. Complaints must be related to things like flight delays, cancellations, refunds, baggage services and various other issues outlined on the Advocate’s website. And you must have already tried to resolve the issue with the airline.

The Advocate will not always be able to provide a resolution. Last year, only 52% of complaints received by the Advocate were resolved. But that means that more than half of the complaints received are resolved, and a number of members have reported positive experiences on our Airline Customer Advocate forum.

If you’re dissatisfied with the way an airline has handled your complaint, it may be worth getting in touch with the Airline Customer Advocate.

Join the discussion HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]