Fee waived for over the phone bookings success and failure.

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Damien00

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Hi guys,

I've recently had two experiences booking QF award tickets that had to be completed over the phone.

The first was to find out if there was any routing available that I couldn't see online - the visible options I wasn't happy with the booking class so I wanted to see what else was available. There was an option I couldn't see through my online searches and I had to book it over the phone. There was no mention of any over-the-phone booking fee and none was charged.

The second was a booking I could make online but it didn't ticket. When I rang up I was told it was because the flight originated in a country (Indonesia) with specific credit card rules meaning the online booking was never going to complete successfully. However they could process it over the phone for some reason or other. On this occasion I was told there would be a booking fee, the CSR was aware that these are sometimes waived but was firm on the fact that she had been directed that in this circumstance it could not.

Either way it was not a big deal and I paid the cost, but I found it curious that in this case especially there was no way I was going to be able to complete the booking without a call but this was the time the fee was enforced. The case where it was waived I honestly could've booked an alternative that didn't require a phone call.

Anyway, I thought I might kick off a discussion for when fees have been waived and when they havent to gauge the experience of others out there. Does being firm with the CSR result in a better success rate? Does the old Hang Up and Call Back for a different CSR result in a different outcome?

Not QF bashing here... just curious to hear your experiences.

Cheers,
Damien
 

fairbasa

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I find this extremely variable from CSR to CSR, however...it seems to be getting harder lately. In the past, I've had CSRs proactively offer to waive them for me when a complex booking was involved that couldn't be done online.

- Recently I booked a new OW Award for a friend and the CSR insisted on charging the booking fee
- I argued that because QF provided no other means for me to book it (couldn't do it online) then they must waive the fee.
- They spoke to a supervisor and confirmed they must charge the fee
- I stood my ground and asked to speak to the supervisor, arguing they were engaging in drip pricing for advertising an award for 280k points, but provided no means to book it for less than 285k
- After a further 15mins on hold whilst they waited to speak to a supervisor, they agreed to waive the fee as a 'one-off'

Basically, I think it depends on the circumstances of the call. If it's a change to a booking, I think it's reasonable they charge a fee. If it's a new booking you can't do any other way, I don't see how they can charge for the service.

Off-topic: I recently had to ring Fairmont to get some info on a hotel, not only was the CSR very helpful, they even upsold me into a better room. No charge for the booking. Sometimes I almost forget the days when customer service was free.
 

Mule

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December last year.

Needed to change a flight for medical reasons and tried to make the change on-line and wasn't able to. Rang to ask why and was advised that this wasn't possible as there had already been two changes to the flight. I hadn't made any previous changes so called BS. Turns out the two changes were made by Qantas in changing the departure time by 5 and then 10 minutes. Took me half an hour to finally speak to someone in NZ that realised it was unfair to charge me the phone fee. First poor experience with the Call Centre.
 
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Plutonus

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Had them refuse to waive it on numerous occasions for bookings that can't be done online. Usually end up lodging a complaint and getting it refunded four months later.
 
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shadowground

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I was successful in getting it waived last month when upgrading from Y to J on a trans-tasman flight. There was no option to do this through MMB and the option to "Change" was greyed out and said to contact your Qantas office.

Had to argue my way through it, and after consulting with a supervisor they waived the phone booking fee, reluctantly so.
 

Awesom Andy

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I never had any success myself with QF. Although I'm currently 100% successful with BA (2 out of 2) and SQ (from about 3 requests).
 

blackcat20

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Never been charged the phone fee. If they don't say that they are waiving it, I ask and have never been denied.
 

Matt_01

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I think I have only ever been charged for voluntary changes for reward bookings and credit card fees. I can not recall getting charged a booking fee.
 

Jock28

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This conversation needs to specifically reference booking fees for award or revenue bookings.

It is now standard procedure that WP and higher requests for award seat release request do not attract the award booking fee. Changes and cancellations always attract a fee.

Phone booking fees are an entirely different matter for revenue bookings and/or changes.
 

Awesom Andy

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It is now standard procedure that WP and higher requests for award seat release request do not attract the award booking fee.
Unless your name is Awesom Andy... but then, I needed that seat so had to pay it anyway. :(
 

seat11a

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I had success having the fee waived when booking 2 Iberia J class award tickets from Madrid to Marrakesh. For some reason Marrakesh isn't an option on the QF website, while Casablanca it. Agent very happy to make the booking while waiving the booking fee. Cheers
 
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Regularly book a paid OW Circle Asia ticket, which cannot be booked on line, and while QF want to charge a $60 booking fee, after complaining, the fee is waived.
 

Croupier

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Tonight tried to book a MH award over the phone as QF no longer displays MH award seats, before I could say anything the agent advised me of the $60 phone fee, I asked for a quote, 53k $286 tax + $60 phone fee :shock:
Explained that I would like the fee waived as i cannot book online, she said there are many airlines in OW that they can't show them all and the fee is mandatory!!
Luckily I have a stash of AA miles so booked with no trouble no phone fee for 40k miles and $82 AUD taxes.


Good one Qantas. Time to ditch the QF branded CC and head for AMEX rewards, transfer to SPG to AA I think.
 

JohnK

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Explained that I would like the fee waived as i cannot book online, she said there are many airlines in OW that they can't show them all and the fee is mandatory!!
Hang up and call again.
 

cmon0005

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Tonight tried to book a MH award over the phone as QF no longer displays MH award seats.

As far as i remember QF have never shown MH award seats online, maybe this might change once MH move to Amadeus this year?
 

Croupier

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2 calls today, first agent adamantly refused, second one said she will see what she can do, after a minute on hold said as a one off they will waive the $120 for 2 pax )) and that in future they are trying to add all partners to the online reward booking engine.

I wonder how many of these one offs I can get away with?

Happy to have 2 X J seats on JL79 HND-SGN for 106000 points and $119 in tax
 
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