Cancelling QF flights due to border closures

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I would appreciate advice from anyone who has had to cancel flights due to border closures in recent times or who knows how QF handles these circumstances.

We are booked to fly SYD-DRW on QF840 on August 20 but obviously we will not be able to go with the lockdown in Sydney continuing. We purchased the tickets with the 50% off sale that was subsidised by the Government in April. I've read that if we cancel we get a flight credit but if QF cancel we can ask for a refund.

Looking at SYD-DRW flights for this week QF840 is not running every day - some days they are offering flights via CBR and MEL. I am not going to rush to cancel our flights yet in case our flight is cancelled closer to departure day, although I will start cancelling car hire, hotels and tours we have booked soon. If our flight for that day is cancelled and we are offered a flight via another city rather than the direct flight we are booked on would that count as a QF cancellation entitling us to a refund? (Our booking shows that the aircraft has been changed back from an A330 to the 737-800 so they would now be expecting lower numbers of passengers.)

Regarding getting a flight credit, on the QF website it states: https://www.qantas.com/au/en/manage-booking/credit-vouchers.html
There are no fees associated with obtaining your Flight Credit. However, any fees that applied to your original booking will apply at time of redeeming your Flight Credit, unless they have been waived. For example, if you purchased a Red e-Deal or sale fare, the change fee will be charged when you redeem your flight credit. Make sure you check the fare conditions of your original booking to find out what fees will apply when you redeem your Flight Credit. No fees will be charged where Qantas cancels your flights.

When I check the fees for Y Red e-deal bookings it shows:
Changes before the day of scheduled departure:
Your original fare may be used as credit towards a new fare of equal or higher value, provided the new fare conditions are met.
For changes made over the phone, you must pay the service fee applicable as at the date of change.
At the time of making the change you must pay:
the change fee of AUD 99
any fare difference between the fare for your new booking and the original fare.

When we booked the flights with the 50% off sale we paid $179 each way. If this $99 change fee applies that doesn't leave much left to go towards a future booking. Has anyone used a flight credit in these circumstances and not been charged the $99 change fee?
 

RichardMEL

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Since it was booked prior to 31 July (and I suspect this date will be extended) the change fees are waived, but given the half off price you paid vs what is available now you'll still have a fairly significant fare difference.

Your other option is to WAIT till much closer to the date - if QF cancels one of your flights you can get a full refund (but have to call). if you cancel prior (and get a flight credit) even if due to border issues then basically QF consider it a voluntary cancel and won't offer a refund.

ie: https://www.qantas.com/au/en/travel...king-changes-and-refunds.html#border-closures

So, I would hold on till just prior to departute in case QF cancel which would be your best option (as credits are a PITA).

good luck (and sorry you likely can't head north)
 
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Thanks RichardMEL. So if I was to get a flight change notification from the direct SYD-DRW flight to say SYD-CBR-DRW like is being offered on some days this coming week, would that be enough to be classified as a QF flight cancellation? We would prefer to get a refund if at all possible.

We still have QF flight credits from when we had booked to fly SYD-DRW in March 2020 through Amex Travel with our Platinum Charge travel credits and the border closed a few days before we were to travel. I couldn't use those with the April sale since I had to book through QF to get the 50% off sale so we would rather not build up too many QF flight credits. Our Son is in the Air Force and is now based in Darwin so hopefully we can get there eventually.
 

Matt_01

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Thanks RichardMEL. So if I was to get a flight change notification from the direct SYD-DRW flight to say SYD-CBR-DRW like is being offered on some days this coming week, would that be enough to be classified as a QF flight cancellation? We would prefer to get a refund if at all possible.
Yes it is, it is an involuntary change which you are not obligated to accept.
 

kpc

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Just as an aside, I cancelled my award booking Syd-Drw rtn in August for a full refund...points came back same day but taxes can take up to 8 weeks apparently
 
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Yes we should have booked the flights with points. We've always kept our points balance for International flights but in the current situation I can see it's much better to have flexibility with domestic bookings cancellation wise to use points as well.
 

stryker

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Just as an aside, I cancelled my award booking Syd-Drw rtn in August for a full refund...points came back same day but taxes can take up to 8 weeks apparently
Likewise, I today cancelled a CBR-SYD-BME points booking (U class) for September, when Qantas advised the CBR-SYD flight had disappeared, and they changed the direct SYD-BME flight to SYD-MEL-PER-BME.

Would have been good for status credits (Points Club), but I couldn't see it ever happening in the current circumstances.

Well, at least the points (29,000) came back today, but what to do with them?
 

Daver6

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I'm in a similar situation, except meant to be travelling to ADL on Friday. QF were running three flights a day and now its dropped to one. Unfortunately for me, the one is mine, so it looks like I'll land up getting a travel credit.

Now I believe I can make changes to the dates free of charge. I notice Monday QF are still selling three flights on for Monday. I'm toying with the idea of changing to one of the flights on Monday (will cost me a bit of money as it's a more expensive fare) with the hope that it lands up being cancelled, thus entitling me to a refund instead of credit. If the flight isn't cancelled (I've picked the wrong one) I can rinse and repeat. Worst outcome though is I still need to cancel but not have a little more invested in the travel credit.

Any thoughts or pitfalls with this tactic?
 

RichardMEL

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I'm in a similar situation, except meant to be travelling to ADL on Friday. QF were running three flights a day and now its dropped to one. Unfortunately for me, the one is mine, so it looks like I'll land up getting a travel credit.

Now I believe I can make changes to the dates free of charge. I notice Monday QF are still selling three flights on for Monday. I'm toying with the idea of changing to one of the flights on Monday (will cost me a bit of money as it's a more expensive fare) with the hope that it lands up being cancelled, thus entitling me to a refund instead of credit. If the flight isn't cancelled (I've picked the wrong one) I can rinse and repeat. Worst outcome though is I still need to cancel but not have a little more invested in the travel credit.

Any thoughts or pitfalls with this tactic?
I think that's a reasonable idea. A bit of a gamble for sure but definitely an idea.

as an aside I ended up in a hilarious situation with an ADL trip in a few weeks. I had a bog standard simple MEL-ADL-MEL. some time back ADL-MEL got moved. I did not like the flight 3h later so decided to have a go. I changed to ADL-SYD-MEL (this was just in the first week or so of the current SYD madness, but checked travel through a hot spot was still OK as a transit) so OK cool. Made the change. Fares were J and it let me select the new fights for nothing so hey extra SC's to boot. It was DSC so I was thinking jackpot. Well obviously things got worse with SYD, then MEL and now ADL going into lockdown, so not too surprisingly more changes happened. Last week the SYD-MEL was cancelled and hilariously moved me to an earlier SYD-MEL so that ADL-SYD now misconnected by 10 minutes. Knew I would cancel/TravelPass the whole thing at this point but let it go as it's not this week and QF are swamped so this morning they cancelled ADL-SYD so I now have ended up with, incredibly MEL-ADL, ADL-MEL-SYD-MEL (yes the ADL-MEL-SYD-MEL is a same day set of connections). Highly amusing indeed.
 
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I would appreciate advice from anyone who has had to cancel flights due to border closures in recent times or who knows how QF handles these circumstances.

We are booked to fly SYD-DRW on QF840 on August 20 but obviously we will not be able to go with the lockdown in Sydney continuing. We purchased the tickets with the 50% off sale that was subsidised by the Government in April. I've read that if we cancel we get a flight credit but if QF cancel we can ask for a refund.

Looking at SYD-DRW flights for this week QF840 is not running every day - some days they are offering flights via CBR and MEL. I am not going to rush to cancel our flights yet in case our flight is cancelled closer to departure day, although I will start cancelling car hire, hotels and tours we have booked soon. If our flight for that day is cancelled and we are offered a flight via another city rather than the direct flight we are booked on would that count as a QF cancellation entitling us to a refund? (Our booking shows that the aircraft has been changed back from an A330 to the 737-800 so they would now be expecting lower numbers of passengers.)
Searching on the QF website for SYD-DRW between now and August 20, I see that for the week Mon 16 to Fri 20 August QF840 is only listed as flying on Mon 16th with flights listed via other cities for the other days including the date we are booked - August 20. When I looked two days ago Sat 14 and Sun 15 were also not showing QF840 but this morning it is now showing for Sun 15th. Between Wed 4th to Fri 13th QF840 shows as available on 6 days and as not available on 4 days. Originally I was thinking that QF840 must have been cancelled on those days but I'm now thinking that it may just be that all seats are sold and that it is still flying on most days. The aircraft was changed from an A330 to a 737-800 so maybe the days QF840 is not showing are full with the reduced capacity. I am surprised that so many people would still be flying direct from SYD to DRW given the border closure and the 14 day quarantine requirement on arrival in DRW. Maybe it's just that a lot of passengers like us are holding off cancelling in case QF cancel the flight.

This morning I received a flight change notification from QF advising that the departure time from SYD has been changed form 0935 to 0815. Is a 1hr20 change of flight time enough to justify asking for a refund rather than a flight credit? In the email it says: "To review other options available to you, including a Flight Credit or refund, visit Manage Booking." I don't see anywhere in Manage Booking regarding refunds. I realise that I will have to call QF and I will not click "Accept Changes".
 

RichardMEL

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Technically it is not a cancel so it doesn't meet the refund criteria. However one could argue perhaps 0815 is too early to get to the airport (or whatever) and that this involuntary (important word to use) schedule change is unacceptable and no other options exist (you could raise border closures I guess if you like, but this is a schedule change QF has made). it would be worth making the call to at least ask if they would consider a refund in these circumstances. I would expect pushback but maybe not a lot. You never know your luck with a sympathetic agent. Be aware though that by the letter of the T&C a schedule change doesn't strictly meet the criteria. Good luck.
 

jb747

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Well they've just announced that they're standing down a large part of the QF & JQ workforce, so I would expect the cancellations to head towards 100%.
 
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Thanks RichardMEL and jb747 for the replies.

There's still two and a half weeks to go so I'll wait until a few days before and see if the flights are cancelled before calling.
 

RichardMEL

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I imagine Monday and Friday flights are being kept either for positioning but also FIFO type essential workers to come and go. Just as a guess. Still I guess hopefully? they cancel for you.
 

group-of-5

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On a similar but not quite identical situation. We've book BNE-PER return in a couple of weeks time. Given the deteriorating situation in Brisbane at the moment, I doubt that the sand gropers will let us in (which is perfectly understandable!). Such a shame, as we were very much looking forward to the trip.

The two direct flights are on a single booking. Looking at the schedule over the last couple of days, Qantas is cancelling all except one flight in each direction each day. In our case, the early morning flight to Perth on our booking is cancelled, but the late afternoon return flight seems to run.

If this continues to be the case in our timeframe, does a single flight cancellation make the refund eligible on the entire booking, or just the single cancelled flight? Just hoping to avoid the dreaded 'flight credit' situation if possible!

All assistance gratefully received.
 

RichardMEL

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If this continues to be the case in our timeframe, does a single flight cancellation make the refund eligible on the entire booking, or just the single cancelled flight? Just hoping to avoid the dreaded 'flight credit' situation if possible!

All assistance gratefully received.
Yes. you would be able to have the entire booking refunded if, for example, the outbound flight is cancelled. Say they offer the later flight as an option you can still get a refund as they have cancelled the sector you booked.

Indeed if outbound and return were on the same booking it would make no sense to refund just one flight as you'd then be stuck with a return and no outbound :)

if, however, one had two different bookings for say BNE-PER and PER-BNE and BNE-PER was cancelled you couldn't get a refund on PER-BNE in another booking even if BNE-PER were cancelled and refund eligible. Hope that makes sense :)
 

group-of-5

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Thanks RichardMEL! Yes, it is common sense that this should be the case, but common sense and Qantas don't always appear in the same sentence. While we still would like to undertake the travel, I doubt we will be allowed to. We'll hang tough until one of the flights get's cancelled, and then go the refund path......now just have to look at the car hire and accommodation issues. Most look pretty lenient. Only issues might be a Luxury Escapes accommodation package that seems to suggest that a Covid related cancellation can be either a credit or cash less various unspecified costs.

I feel sorry for all the businesses concerned. Our personal approach is if a business offers a good covid cancellation policy, we will make sure to support them in the future. We've had a couple of stand outs. China Airlines that gave us a full no fuss refund early in the pandemic, and World2Cover insurance that gave good advice on how to get refunds for bookings and then gave a full refund themselves when we cancelled without making a claim.
 
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Saltywings

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Apologies in advance for piggybacking on this thread - I have a SYD -> PER on Aug 27 which Qantas changed to Aug 28, but of course this makes no difference as we can't enter WA either way. Booking was made on points.

After reading everything ITT and QF's T&Cs, it appears that because QF made the change, I should be able to get a full points refund and - critically - not get hit with the 6000 (points) cancellation fee. Would this assessment be correct, or should I just keep waiting for the highly likely event that the 27th Aug SYD->PER flight will be cancelled as well?
 

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