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Fee for calling help desk to request awards seat.

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mabur4

Newbie
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
7
Hi all,

Couldn't get the business class seat I wanted from Melbourne to Perth on the Qantas website. I had to call up the helpdesk and request they release a seat for the flights I was after. I was told I would be contacted within 24 hours whether I was successful. After 5 days I rang them up and it was confirmed. They charged me 4000 extra points as a booking fee because I rang up. Has this always been the case? The only reason why I rang up was because I couldn't request this online. Appreciate if anyone could answer my question.

Anyway what should be a simple process isn't handled very well by Qantas. RedRoo or anyone else from Qantas if your listening how about doing something regarding the following points

  • Add a function to the website so QFFs can request seats. That way customers don't need to get slugged 4000 points.
  • Speed up the time for approval of seats. Why cant the customer service person look up on the system and grant the request straight away?

In the end I got the seat I was after, so I am thankful for that. However I expect better customer service from Qantas.
 

markis10

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2004
Messages
30,091
Your delving into the world of yield control there, some see it as a black art. Given most CSMs have trouble getting the facts right with any seat awards, having them grasp the realities of yield control I suspect is way beyond their job description.

Getting a seat released takes extra work, in that context I think an extra fee is rightfully charged. Its not something that can be automated because it requires an expert opinion, the easier decisions have already been made with the initial award seat releases.
 

Pleb Status

AFF Supporter
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
2,914
I would take the J seat as a win and leave it at that (as you should have been charged the telephone booking fee and this is basically a cost of getting a seat released).

Otherwise, QF may choose to 'enhance' the system to remove the ability to request seats to make the system 'fairer' for all.
 

under the radar

AFF Supporter
Joined
Apr 8, 2010
Messages
1,086
this applies to so many scenarios..in the end..you couldn't get the seat you WANTED as per QF website conditions (s**t happens) ..so you voluntarily ask for a 'change' in the conditions, which attract a fee ...but expect to be charged 'as per normal'


Pleb Status hit the nail on the head...'suck it up' and move on....be careful what you wish would happen for ALL... if implemented, they often lead to more 'cost' for ALL 100% of the time
 

mannej

AFF Supporter
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
9,543
Was it a specific flight you were looking for a seat on, as there are a number of flights between PER and MEL?
 

Danger

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
6,064
It's a joke. A special privilege for Platinums - that we'll slug you for. It's like a hotel saying 'We're happy to extend your check-out time by four hours because you're a top tier member in our loyalty program. For that privilege, we're charging you 50% of the nightly rate. Please come again'.
 

knightman7

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2012
Messages
327
I think that analogy is a bit disingenuous. The fee for the phone booking is hardly half the cost of the flight. The fact that you have the ability to request an award seat be opened up is a huge benefit and I for one have no issue paying a small fee for this privilege.
 

Red Roo

Authenticated Company Representative
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
1,746
Hi all,

Couldn't get the business class seat I wanted from Melbourne to Perth on the Qantas website. I had to call up the helpdesk and request they release a seat for the flights I was after. I was told I would be contacted within 24 hours whether I was successful. After 5 days I rang them up and it was confirmed. They charged me 4000 extra points as a booking fee because I rang up. Has this always been the case? The only reason why I rang up was because I couldn't request this online. Appreciate if anyone could answer my question.

Anyway what should be a simple process isn't handled very well by Qantas. RedRoo or anyone else from Qantas if your listening how about doing something regarding the following points

  • Add a function to the website so QFFs can request seats. That way customers don't need to get slugged 4000 points.
  • Speed up the time for approval of seats. Why cant the customer service person look up on the system and grant the request straight away?

In the end I got the seat I was after, so I am thankful for that. However I expect better customer service from Qantas.
To clarify, the fee is only charged if the request is successful. Therefore in your case you have been charged correctly.

As others have mentioned, the benefit of having additional seats released does involve several variables and must be reviewed internally on a case by case basis. The balance of Award seat availability and commercial obligation is a very fine line, and one that cannot be made available online with blanket rules.

However I'm sorry to hear that you had to call back after 5 days when you were promised a call in 24hrs. I've passed this on to the Premium Desk for their reference.
 

kevrosmith

AFF Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2009
Messages
2,221
I've had Reward seats released and not had to pay a phone booking fee, points or otherwise, so sounds a bit like luck of the draw. (Or is this a P1 privilege? I think I was P1 for both requests.)

Edit: Just checked the QF website and yep, seems to be a P1 benefit to have Award Assistance fees waived. http://www.qantas.com.au/fflyer/dyn/program/privilegesPlatinumOne#awards

On a similar related note, I tried to book Classic Award on AA LAX-ORD First Class yesterday and today. There was availability and I stepped through the booking process, though it kept getting an error message just before it asked for payment. (Sorry, didn't write down the error message). I tried it 3 times yesterday and once today.

I couldn't be bothered ringing up Qantas to go through the process on the phone, and then risk having to convince them not to charge a telephone booking fee, or having an agent pretend they'd waive it, and then charge it, causing me to have to call up again -- so just booked the flight paying cash directly with AA. Sorry Qantas, you missed out this time because you made it too hard.
 
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