Economy 'Flex' - a bit of a con? | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Economy 'Flex' - a bit of a con?

miniyazz

Intern
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
76
A bit of a moan more than anything else.

I recently bought a Flex Economy Return trip to Zagreb in Croatia, from Alice Springs, via LHR both ways, for the not inconsiderable sum of just over $3400 (H fare bucket, IIRC, at least for the QF segments). The LHR-ZAG both ways with BA.
Towards the end of the trip I ended up in Western Europe and decided it would be more convenient to cancel the ZAG-LHR flight and just hop on at LHR. Imagine my surprise when on phoning up the agent I was advised there would be a $234.30 additional fee to remove this flight from my itinerary (apparently due to the booking changing from a return booking to a multicity), plus the $80 service fee (which they offered to waive).

I also discovered any fare difference would only be paid in favour of Qantas (i.e. changing to a cheaper flight will result in no refund), and ended up paying $196 for the privilege of changing to the much shorter and less expensive flight from AMS-LHR (bearing in mind I could have booked direct with BA on that flight for $114, if I weren't locked into a 'flexible' ticket).

I am aware of the APD leaving LHR but this would have been considerably less than the proposed charge and it's honestly a smack in the face to try to remove a flight from an itinerary and be charged through the nose for saving the airline money, on a so-called flexible ticket.

In short, I won't be doing that again. Beware the 'flexible' economy option..
 

Spongbob

Active Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
682
The "flexibility" is the possibility of making changes, in comparison with a "use it or lose it" non-flexible ticket.
 

miniyazz

Intern
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
76
The "flexibility" is the possibility of making changes, in comparison with a "use it or lose it" non-flexible ticket.
That's not really the case though, is it?

Picking a random date of 12 Dec, currently I could fly one way to LHR via Flex or Saver tickets. Flex allows changes with no fees; Saver allows changes with a $125 fee or cancellations with a $200 fee. The added cost for Flex over Saver is $520. Aside from a minor difference in points and SCs earned, I could change my itinerary four times and still be better off having bought the non-Flex ticket.

There are no 'use it or lose it' type tickets routinely sold by Qantas, as far as I am aware. Even the international Sale fares have a $225 change fee or a $500 cancellation fee.
 

jpp42

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Joined
Nov 1, 2011
Messages
232
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
Flex allows changes with no fees;
This is only change of date/time, right? And only if that same fare class is available on the new date/time?

I think that's the thing is that there are a lot of gotchas to what part is actually flexible - as shown by the O.P,, routing is not usually changeable without a fee.
 

calmelb

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Oct 13, 2014
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The only real differences are that flexible fares don't come with change fees, and by booking into the highest fare of that class you can't get fare differences. However when you change then those fare differences do come into play. Changing the departure location does not surprise me that it costs more money overall, though I do agree the extra fees section is very well hidden. I always try to book to the closest main airport that I would fly out of (eg LHR) and then book the extra flights on top of that, can sometimes save you money and can sometimes make it easier to change
 

miniyazz

Intern
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
76
The only real differences are that flexible fares don't come with change fees, and by booking into the highest fare of that class you can't get fare differences. However when you change then those fare differences do come into play. Changing the departure location does not surprise me that it costs more money overall, though I do agree the extra fees section is very well hidden. I always try to book to the closest main airport that I would fly out of (eg LHR) and then book the extra flights on top of that, can sometimes save you money and can sometimes make it easier to change
Yes I think that would be a good way to do it. Intra-Europe fares are usually really quite cheap.

This is only change of date/time, right? And only if that same fare class is available on the new date/time?

I think that's the thing is that there are a lot of gotchas to what part is actually flexible - as shown by the O.P,, routing is not usually changeable without a fee.
'No fees' applies to any itinerary change including change of flight.
 

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