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Bumped Onto Jetstar To Japan

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ricco

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Here's s story that is still in progress as I write.
November last year my wife and I bought 2 tickets Sydney Osaka return on FF points leaving April 5 2007 - coming back April 15. All is Ok, we have the elctronic tickets and we're set to travel Qantas.
Feb 12 this year, Qantas deletes the Cairns - Osaka flight on April 5 but does not tell us. By chance I checked the website and our details on the website and we are no longer going to Osaka but Cairns - Tokyo, arriving late in the evening.
This is totally unsuitable for us since we are locked into hotel accomodation and tourist stuff - all paid for!

I rejected the Cairns-Tokyo flight and Qantas came back with an offer to put us on the Jetstar flight - Sydney-Osaka direct on the same day.
For us, it is critical we get to Osaka on the 5th so I took the offer and the web booking was changed. But, when it came to booking my wife, suddenly all the FF seats on the Jetstar flight disappeared and so the end of the day, I was going to Osaka and my wife was headed to Tokyo.

This morning, all has changed and my wife is on the same flight as me. But, we did pay for a economy class ticket on Qantas and the equivalent on Jetstar is Starclass - premium economy as I was told.

I asked Qantas that in view of the obvious downgrading of the ticket to Jetstar, that we be given the closest equivalent to economy Qantas - i.e Starclass.
That was this morning. As I understand it, that set of a flurry of phone calls between Qantas and Jetstar, this afternoon, they came back with a laughable offer - no Starclass upgrade but a refund of 6000 pts and "they would see what else they could do".

I indicated that the offer was a bit of an insult(check how far you can go on 6000 pts!) and that they back to the drawing boards and came up with the right solution - i.e. two seats in Starclass. As I understand it, seat pitch on Qantas economy is 32", Jetstar 30" but Starclass 38". I'm 6'4 and this is a 10 hour flight.

At the time of writing, there were communications flying between Qantas and Jetstar and they would get back to me tomorrow. Really?

At no point between November and yesterday have Qantas told us of the change to the original flight plan. They say they called me on Feb 27 but there is no record, no sms, no message left - nothing! They didn't bother to contact my wife. No explanation for this at all from Qantas. We could have easily turned up at Sydney airport - ready to go to Osaka only to be told we're off to Tokyo.
Why is there such a hassle over this? I know it is all about dollars here. There are Starclass seats available on the flight but, of course, they are not FF seats.

So at the moment, we're booked onto Sydney Osaka with Jetstar and coming back on Qantas.

Can anyone shed any light on this?

Watch this space for the next episode.
 

N860CR

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Unfortunatley this will become an increasing problem as more QF routes are replaced with JQ. In QF's eyes, their equivilant on JQ is an economy seat plus meals, blanket pack and headphones (but not the portable IFE). If you go to the frequent flyer online bookings and search a reward flight, for example, from SYD-HKT on JQ you'll see it costs the same amount of points as QF SYD-BKK for two sectors of basically the same distance.

Obviously, continue to push for star class, but I wouldn't get your hopes up too high. QF has decided that JQ economy plus a few of the extras prepaid are equal to their product (in some cases like on the 767's this is actually pretty correct).

I too had a similar problem with QF not informing me of a flight change last year. I was booked on QF31 (?) SYD-SIN when it was still a late night departure. It was changed to an afternoon departure and I was never told. Fortunatley I looked it up and found out for myself., but it was still pretty poor form from Qantas.
 

d15.in.oz

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What a hassle!

First up, while I agree that Jetstar has shot itself in the knee with its constant advertising that StarClass “is business class for a standard economy price”, the seat pitch down the back is 31” on JQi (30” on JQ) so your talking a 3% difference to QF (but every bit counts, I know).

(Given QFF award redemption rates are the same for JQi/QF economy & JQi/QF business class/star class where they fly to the same destinations, I think you will face a hard sell getting into the front cabin, but keep the pressure on!)

As a fall back, may I suggest that you find an alternate routing that suits YOU! Perhaps check the schedules to KIX via HKG connecting with CX, and via NRT connecting with JL, if it is important that you fly with more than a 31” seat pitch. If there is a connection that suits, advise QFF that you want those flights instead (on the their full service airline alliance partners).

As a last resort, you could always ask for QFF to confirm you into exit row seating on the JQi direct service.

Good luck!
 
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NM

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ricco said:
This morning, all has changed and my wife is on the same flight as me. But, we did pay for a economy class ticket on Qantas and the equivalent on Jetstar is Starclass - premium economy as I was told.
You have been told wrong then. The equivalent of a QF Economy FF award on JetStar is for travel in the main cabin but with the meal, headphones, and blanket provided free.

The Jetstar A330-200 economy seat and the QF 767-300 economy seats are similar in width, pitch and comfort. QF FF economy awards on JQ services get fed and watered (FeedMe Pack), warmed and comforted (Comfort Pack including blanket and pillow), and entertained (headphones provided for main-screen entertainment system).

The only real difference is that on a QF flight you would have had basically unlimited beverages, while on JQ you will have your choice of beverage with the meal as part of the feedme pack. So additional beverages will need to be purchased. For this, I think you may be able to negotiate with Qantas for a discount in the number of FF points paid or some form of refund or voucher that could be deemed to be of equivalent value.

I do not believe you can argue that JetStar Star Class is an entitlement or equivalent to QF ecomomy class travel.

Now if you have booked a QF business class award and had been moved to JQ StarClass then you have a very valid complaint.
 

d15.in.oz

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NM said:
The Jetstar A330-200 economy seat and the QF 767-300 economy seats are similar in width, pitch and comfort...
You will face the wrath of serfty for suggesting that JQi’s “leather” is as comfortable as QF’s seat coverings! LOL
 

NM

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d15.in.oz said:
You will face the wrath of serfty for suggesting that JQi’s “leather” is as comfortable as QF’s seat coverings! LOL
well some prefer the leather seats, others prefer cloth. But JQ StarClass is leather so can't really use an aversion to leather seat covering as a reason to get an upgrade to StarClass.
 

ricco

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Thank you to you all who have taken the time to reply to my post. Very much appreciated indeed.

Danielribo, it's good! to know that we are not the only ones Qantas will not talk to when it counts.

D15.in.oz - you suggestions I took on board. I checked the Cathay Pacific websiteand there is a flight going Sydney to Kansai via Hon Kong but the flight is 14.5 hours with seats available - theoretically versus near 10 hours on the Jetstar flight. So, given the prospects for kicking back in Starclass are not good, the choice would be 10 hours in Jetstar main cabin or 14.5 hours in a Cathay Pacific economy seat. The arrival times at Kansai are about an hour's difference.
And yes, I've lost track of the time I've spent in the exit row and that's something that we hope to get.

What would you do folks?

NM - in the quite lengthy discussions I've had with FF staff on the phone - and I have to give them credit for being understanding and aware - the fact that as FF flyer on Jetstar, the cabin goodies come for free has never been mentioned by them.
NM, you say that I can't argue that Starclass is equivalent or entitlement to QF economy class travel. What would you think to be a proper response for Qantas to make in our circumstance?
 

Evan

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Booking advance has risks. And you agree when you buy the ticket things can change, and do change

Anyway forget seat pitch differences on the A330's the QF A330 is better than a 767 i believe.
The JQ A330's are the A330-200's from QF mainline, same seating just re-covered. So the best deal out of the choices you would have had is i believe the JQ option.

I happen to find an A330 nice and comfortable, so i would choose direct instead of the via HK flights.

Given your situation i think the best to hope for is the option of JQ economy + Extras and some points.
You may get lucky with starclass but there is no real reason they should provide such a swap.

Evan
 

NM

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ricco said:
NM - in the quite lengthy discussions I've had with FF staff on the phone - and I have to give them credit for being understanding and aware - the fact that as FF flyer on Jetstar, the cabin goodies come for free has never been mentioned by them.
NM, you say that I can't argue that Starclass is equivalent or entitlement to QF economy class travel. What would you think to be a proper response for Qantas to make in our circumstance?
Ask them to confirm you will be fed, watered, entertained and comforted. I have no idea what JQ charge for additional beverages on-board, but I would be asking for the equivalent of say 2 or 3 additional beverages as a compensation value.
 

JohnK

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NM said:
The only real difference is that on a QF flight you would have had basically unlimited beverages, while on JQ you will have your choice of beverage with the meal as part of the feedme pack....
Never having flown JQ I would still have to disagree with that statement. There are many differences. Comparing QF economy and JQ economy is like comparing a Bel-Air mansion to a mud hut in Borneo.

NM said:
Now if you have booked a QF business class award and had been moved to JQ StarClass then you have a very valid complaint.
According to QF, JQ starclass is the equivalent to QF business class so how can you argue any points on this tiny discrepancy.

Maybe one day I will get to try JQ economy and starclass to be able to compare to QF but at this stage there is no way that I would rate JQ starclass a premium economy product let alone an economy class product. As for JQ economy product, think LCC and then go lower a little more. Some people may think differently. YMMV.
 

NM

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JohnK said:
Never having flown JQ I would still have to disagree with that statement. There are many differences. Comparing QF economy and JQ economy is like comparing a Bel-Air mansion to a mud hut in Borneo.
That may be the case for JW Domestic services, but I do not believe it hold true for JQ International services.
JohnK said:
According to QF, JQ starclass is the equivalent to QF business class so how can you argue any points on this tiny discrepancy.
JQ Star Class is the equivalent of QD Domestic Business Class. There is a big difference between JQ StarClass and JQ International Business Class that would otherwise have been flown to Japan (767-300 with 1x2x2 config Dreamtime Seats etc.
JohnK said:
Maybe one day I will get to try JQ economy and starclass to be able to compare to QF but at this stage there is no way that I would rate JQ starclass a premium economy product let alone an economy class product. As for JQ economy product, think LCC and then go lower a little more. Some people may think differently. YMMV.
Be sure to check out JQ International Economy (and I mean one of the A330-200 services, not JetStar Asia or an A320 flight to NZ. I have not seen anything would lend weight to your expectation for JetStar A330 International Economy. Plenty of people have had bad experiences on QF, SQ, NZ, UA, BA etc International Economy flights too.
 

NM

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ricco said:
NM - in the quite lengthy discussions I've had with FF staff on the phone - and I have to give them credit for being understanding and aware - the fact that as FF flyer on Jetstar, the cabin goodies come for free has never been mentioned by them.
Note that as per Qantas Frequent Flyer program Terms and Conditions section 13.3.8, "Award Flight bookings on Jetstar Airways operated flights must be booked under a QF flight designator". It is my understanding that anyone travelling on the QF flight number of a JetStar International flight will receive food, beverage (with the meal service), pillow, blanket and headphones. The personal movie player is not included in the QF ticket and you must pay extra for that.

So do ask that specific question regarding being booked on the QF flight number per section 13.3.8, and then ask specifically to confirm what amenities are included for QF flight number passengers.
 

ricco

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NM - thank you very much for the information. It always pays to read the fine print doesn't it.

Today, I was expecting a call from QFF but so far, a deathly silence.
The only thing I did notice is that I can't get into view/change my booking details on the QFF website. The screen message says that it is unavailable.
I can get into my wife's booking and look at it - no prob. What could this mean? Am I pushing too hard? Is Mr Dixon annoyed? Will I be waving to my wife as she roars down the tarmac off to Osaka? Is paranoia starting to set in? Help.
 

serfty

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d15.in.oz said:
You will face the wrath of serfty for suggesting that JQi’s “leather” is as comfortable as QF’s seat coverings! LOL
:p

No wrath; dont sweat on it.

... only real issue is if sleeping, take a change of clothes (or a light track suit or a pair of F jammies) and put them on after takeoff.

Be prepared to peel them off before landing though...
 

ricco

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Thanks serfty but sleeping is out - I don't sleep in the crouch position be it in 31" or 38" of leg room unless there is a some kind of yoga position that Jetstar recommends for its passengers. I'll ask. That's assuming, Sefty, I'll be on the plane.

Omnious sign - no-one from Qantas called today. They said they would. The day before, my mobile was vibrating itself off the table with Qantas FF calling.
I still can't access my booking on the website. It still keeps telling me that the system can't process my request and to try later. And trying is what all of this becoming.
Maybe it's time to hit the airwaves.
 

TravelCheap

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Okay I'm just a newbie but isn't there a fundamental problem here? He booked a flight on one airline and got changed without warning to another flight at a different time on another airline. Nevermind they're owned by the same company. If I buy a ticket to the 8pm screening of Ghostrider I don't want to find out at the theatre I'm now seeing Mrs Potter at 8.30pm - no matter how much free popcorn and ice cream they give me...... :confused:
 

NM

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TravelCheap said:
Okay I'm just a newbie but isn't there a fundamental problem here? He booked a flight on one airline and got changed without warning to another flight at a different time on another airline. Nevermind they're owned by the same company. If I buy a ticket to the 8pm screening of Ghostrider I don't want to find out at the theatre I'm now seeing Mrs Potter at 8.30pm - no matter how much free popcorn and ice cream they give me...... :confused:
No there is not a problem. Your analogy is very different. If he had been changed to a flight to Kuala Lumpur instead of Osaka then your analogy may hold.

Airlines can and do change their scheduled. Do you expect Qantas to operate a flight on that date just because they have someone who is using FF points for an award flight - even if he is the only passenger with a booking? No, the deal is that Qantas will ensure he gets to his planned destination at around the same time as the originally scheduled flight. If they cannot do that in a manner that meets the passengers original schedule then they will refund the ticket (whether paid or points redemption).

Back to your analogy, it may be more accurate to think of it as having purchased a ticket to the 8pm screening of Ghostrider, but that screening has been cancelled for some reason. So the cinema operators make an offer to allow him to choose one of the following options:
  • Attend the 7pm screening of Ghostriser
  • Attend an 8pm screening of Ghostrider at another of their cinemas (the cinema with leather seats instead of cloth seats)
  • Have the ticket price refunded
It is hardly appropriate to expect the cinema to provide Gold Class tickets when he paid for a standard cinema entry.

What more do you expect Qantas to do in this situation?
 

simongr

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NM said:
It is hardly appropriate to expect the cinema to provide Gold Class tickets when he paid for a standard cinema entry.

What more do you expect Qantas to do in this situation?
The slightly better question might be - to ask whether the cinema a should provide gold class Tix when the client bought silver screen and is being offered regula plus free popcorn and coke...
 

JohnK

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NM said:
It is hardly appropriate to expect the cinema to provide Gold Class tickets when he paid for a standard cinema entry.
I am sorry but I still cannot see the comparison between QF economy and JQi economy. QF economy is priced at a premium and yet the number of FF points required for JQi is the same as QF economy.

People do not need to agree with me but the sooner QF and JQi become totally separate entities these issues are going to continue to happen. We are continually reading on this forum the experience of an increasing number of people that complain about JQi service and JQi has only started flying to a limited number of destinations.

How long before passengers who have payed a premium for SYD-LHR economy on QF and at the last minute are told the scheduled service for the day has been cancelled and either take JQi economy or your money back. How easy would it be for passengers to get replacement tickets at short notice. I would hate to think if on the same service passengers who paid for QF business or first class are asked to travel JQi starclass or lower standard equivalent or offered their money back.

NM said:
What more do you expect Qantas to do in this situation?
Provide the passenger with a similar product to what was agreed to in the original exchange of FF points and $$$ taxes and surcharges for ticket to get to destination. Since JQi economy product is well below QF economy product then the least I would expect is JQi starclass or another OneWorld carrier with similar economy product and within reasonable time expectations.

Yes I know QF have a getout clause in their t&c's but their current solution is really not good enough.
 

NM

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JohnK said:
Since JQi economy product is well below QF economy product then the least I would expect is JQi starclass or another OneWorld carrier with similar economy product and within reasonable time expectations.
This is where we differ. I don't see the justification for the "well below" when comparing QF economy with Jetstar International economy for someone on a QF FF award ticket. Yes, there are differences, but some aspects of a JQ A330 economy experience will actually be better than a QF 767 economy experience. I am not implying JQ International economy is the height of luxury. But when compared with QF International economy, which itself has been steadily declining in service over recent years, I don't see huge differences.

Things that are better on QF:
  • Recognition of FF status
  • Premium check-in for passengers with appropriate FF status
  • Additional baggage allowance for Qantas Club and FF status
  • Free beverages throughout the flight
  • Priority baggage for FF status

Things better on JetStar:
  • Newer, quieter aircraft (those 767s can be real rattlers)
  • Better Mainscreen IFE viewing (clearer LCD screens, more screens)
  • Option to pay for personal video-on-demand player (must carry your own on QF)
  • Seat "space" (slim-line seats at 31-34" pitch on A332 vs non-slim-line at 31" on 763)
  • Pre-selection of seats at time of booking (some can do this on QF, but not all)

Things that are the same (or very similar):
  • Lounge access for Qantas Club or FF status
  • Checked baggage allowance (20kg) for non QF FF/QC members
  • Economy class meal
  • Pillow and Blanket
  • Headphones for IFE
  • Hit or Miss cabin crew
  • High standard tech crew, maintenance etc

Now I don't know what QF FF status ricco holds. But it would seem to me that for a person who does not otherwise qualify for the benefits due to FF status, then JQ may infact be a better experience.

It seems to me there is a lot of FUD thrown around regarding JQ International product. For example this statement from ricco's original post:
As I understand it said:
The JQ A332 aircraft have exactly the same seating config as they has when operating QF domestic services - just recovered in leather. That means the economy seats are Slimline models and have a pitch between 31 and 34 inches. The seats in the forward part of the economy cabin (i.e. rows 23 to 41) have most pitch, and those in the rear part of the economy cabin (ii.e. rows 45 to 60) have 31 inches.

Now compare that with the originally scheduled QF 767-300 aircraft which does not have Slim-Line seats and has a reasonably uniform pitch of 31 inches.

The 30" seat pitch will not be found on QF or JQ International A330 aircraft. It may well be found on JetStar Asia A320 aircraft that operate some JQ International flights, but not those to Japan. The Japan flights are exclusively operated by ex-QF A330-200 aircraft.

I am also uncertain if the refund of 6000 QF FF points was per person or total. The award tickets would have initially cost 72,000 points each (unless if purchased when there was a 20% discount deal as was in place for some time last year for some award flights to Japan). If per person it is 8.3% of the initial cost and at the lower end of what I would be wanting for the loss of my Platinum FF benefits and the need to purchase drinks on board. If that was the total refund offered for two passengers (i.e. from an initial spend of 144,000 points), then it would not be enough for me. But I am basing my refund desire on the benefits I would have otherwise received as a QF Platinum FF member (priority check-in, priority baggage, increased baggage allowance as listed above etc).

So I have quantified my view of why I think the two economy products are similar. Would you like to quantify why you believe JQ economy (as booked on QF codeshare for an FF award holder) is "well below" QF economy product?
 
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