Flight delayed, missed connection and abandoned by Qantas

DAC1

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But if QF has refunded the 126000 QFF points, then insurance may say you have received a refund so not paying for alternate flights, which would be a very disappointing outcome for someone who had planned to travel.

I had a claim with Covermore earlier this year. This was their view. As I was refunded my points, they would not pay for alternative flights as their view was that I should use those points for a replacement flight (notwithstanding the fact that there was no last minute availability in any class).

Anyway, in short, I think there’s enough in this thread to know that travel insurance is effectively no help where you have flights booked on points and those points are refunded to you.

Back on topic, while I do not have any particularly helpful counsel for the OP, I feel for the OP and it is a terrible situation to be put into at the start of a trip.
 

kamchatsky

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OP, I am so sorry to hear about the experience.

What it means is in the future, I only use QF points on QF metal, or single sector partner awards, and not something like OWE RTW awards. The risk of QF stuff up (accidentally cancelling your ticket), or abandoning you in mid itinerary is too great.

Even booking single sector partner awards has some risks given the incompetence of their call centres.

It makes QFF points pretty pointless, except maybe use them on their online shops.
 

Ade

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Re-iterates my (& few other users here) point that the novelty of large sums of QFF points is wearing off, leaving a very very bad taste. I, too, had booked QF reward seats of partner airlines, had to cancel them because the partner airline kept moving flights around up to the point that I can no longer take the trip and I had to rebook on SQ using VA points. Although, to be fair, in my case, I had also mucked up the trip by booking 2 separate trips.

Regardless, I don't think it's a good idea to book QF reward seats on partner airlines for the foreseeable future. This doesn't mean that the partner airlines are not honouring the reward seats, it is, however, sad to note that QF is, for a variety of reasons, unable to get alternatives for its loyal customers. Understandably, QF can only do so much when the partner airlines cancels/reschedules the flights, but offering a refund as a measure to wash off their responsibilities is not a good colour on an airline using "Spirit of Australia" as it's tagline & selling point.

In this author's humble opinion, QF could have given the OP some options to "somehow" reach their destination with minimum disruption. I'm no specialist in anything airline related, except for being a customer, but I'd think there is always something that can be done by the airline to provide it's customers with a positive experience.

I still fly QF largely and will continue to do so, at least for international sectors. But I'm not above looking to shop elsewhere for the want of better customer experience.
 

JohnK

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@kamchatsky I'm probably panicking but it sounds like to me that Qantas are trying to solve all delay/misconnects etc with a refund of points.

I have a single sector award on points SYD-BKK on a Friday morning in August. I was going to be proactive anyway but I'll come down from BNE a few days earlier and stay with mum and dad. There was no way I was going to add the BNE-SYD leg to that award.

Let's say that Qantas cancels that flight. No availability Sunday or Monday and next available seat on QF23 is Wednesday. Take it or we'll refund points.

That's not ideal. Qantas needs to try and get me to BKK on another flight on Friday or worse case scenario the next day.

People have other plans. I may be off to Europe a few days after BKK. I may have pre booked accommodation. Cruises. Tours etc etc.

This is starting to be a real concern. You cannot take away frontline staff and expect all will be OK.
 

ChrisMars

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Re-iterates my (& few other users here) point that the novelty of large sums of QFF points is wearing off, leaving a very very bad taste. I, too, had booked QF reward seats of partner airlines, had to cancel them because the partner airline kept moving flights around up to the point that I can no longer take the trip and I had to rebook on SQ using VA points. Although, to be fair, in my case, I had also mucked up the trip by booking 2 separate trips.

Regardless, I don't think it's a good idea to book QF reward seats on partner airlines for the foreseeable future. This doesn't mean that the partner airlines are not honouring the reward seats, it is, however, sad to note that QF is, for a variety of reasons, unable to get alternatives for its loyal customers. Understandably, QF can only do so much when the partner airlines cancels/reschedules the flights, but offering a refund as a measure to wash off their responsibilities is not a good colour on an airline using "Spirit of Australia" as it's tagline & selling point.

In this author's humble opinion, QF could have given the OP some options to "somehow" reach their destination with minimum disruption. I'm no specialist in anything airline related, except for being a customer, but I'd think there is always something that can be done by the airline to provide it's customers with a positive experience.

I still fly QF largely and will continue to do so, at least for international sectors. But I'm not above looking to shop elsewhere for the want of better customer experience.
Reaches the same conclusion, starting to accrue velocity points and drain my qff one. Will move over to VA once I drop gold,.
 
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Let's say that Qantas cancels that flight. No availability Sunday or Monday and next available seat on QF23 is Wednesday. Take it or we'll refund points.
If it's a QF flight then IME they will automatically rebook you onto the next QF23, even if it doesn't have award space.
 

aikman

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If it's a QF flight then IME they will automatically rebook you onto the next QF23, even if it doesn't have award space.
Wasn't there another thread where someone was rebooked on JQ after their QF flight from HNL was cancelled?

I suppose in this case QF will just rebook on JQ via MEL on the Saturday.
 

Ade

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his is starting to be a real concern. You cannot take away frontline staff and expect all will be OK.
Absolutely agree. I have mentioned this before in this forum and will say it again - even the frontline QF staff are of the opinion that QF removing service desks, front line staff etc is NOT good. This is not the way an airline functions re customer service. Nothing will be OK, if the customer is not able to talk to a human being, who can not only understand/empathise with the customer, but can also take remedial measure on the spot (or at least offer a reasonable solution favourable to the customer)

Take it or we'll refund points.
Definitely not the way to do business. Imagine if every large/major business said something similar - where does it leave the customer. In my simple mind, this behaviour will lead, if not put the customer on the express path towards the competition. Now, if this is how reality will play out is something we have to wait and watch, sadly
 
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Wasn't there another thread where someone was rebooked on JQ after their QF flight from HNL was cancelled?

I suppose in this case QF will just rebook on JQ via MEL on the Saturday.
Nah.
My flight from Sydney to Honolulu with Qantas has been cancelled and I’ve been rebooked on the flight one day earlier. This is very inconvenient as it would require changing my travel plans (domestic) prior to the Hawaii trip, updating travel insurance, etc.

In order to fly on the same day as originally scheduled the options under ‘manage my booking’ require a connecting flight to Melbourne before a Jetstar flight to Hawaii.
There was no QF flight that day, and they were automatically rebooked on QF the day before. However, they wanted to travel same-day which mean voluntarily switching to JQ.
 

Ade

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However, they wanted to travel same-day which mean voluntarily switching to JQ.
If I may, and I apologise in advance - how is this voluntary? Isn't the customer sort of forced to take up the JQ flight because there was no QF service that day. Granted, the customer had a personal reason to fly on a particular day, but the customer is involuntarily forced to choose JQ because QF made changes. I'm not sure if this a voluntary change? It is an involuntary change made by QF that, involuntarily forced the customer to make a voluntary change.

I'd still log this down as an involuntary change. But I get what you mean.
 
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If I may, and I apologise in advance - how is this voluntary? Isn't the customer sort of forced to take up the JQ flight because there was no QF service that day. Granted, the customer had a personal reason to fly on a particular day, but the customer is involuntarily forced to choose JQ because QF made changes. I'm not sure if this a voluntary change? It is an involuntary change made by QF that, involuntarily forced the customer to make a voluntary change.

I'd still log this down as an involuntary change.
Of course, yes, it is an involuntary change. I should have phrased it better.

But I guess my point is my original statement about being booked onto the next avaliable QF flight is still correct. The customer was not forced** onto JQ
If it's a QF flight then IME they will automatically rebook you onto the next QF23, even if it doesn't have award space.
**in the sense that an option with QF exists, but of course it's no longer the same day
 

justinbrett

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Who do you call when standing outside the lounge after incorrectly being denied entry?

Knowing the rules and being able to quote them (ideally showing them on your phone) is much more likely to lead to a more favourable outcome than just arguing with them. This was my original point (as this is getting off topic) - pax have to know the rules otherwise they'll get screwed by the inexperienced airline staff.

I've been in this exact situation several times - BA lounges in North America are notorious. Both times I've got in but required me to quote the T&Cs.

Similar to the covid cancellations in 2020 - you had to know you were entitled to a refund, not just a credit, and if you ask for it you got it - but the default was to give people credits.
 

MJHoops

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My advice to the OP is you’ll have to get QF to cover your loss because (a) they did not rebook you on an earlier domestic flight as per the terms and conditions; (b) they failed to provide services with due care and skill, which a guarantee under the Australian Consumer Law, when handling your request to get an earlier flight; (c) the service they provided you (a flight that left insufficient time to connect) was not fit for the purpose of getting you to your connecting flight which is another ACL guarantee

In my opinion this was a “major failure”, so you can claim compensation under the ACL (ie the money you spent to replace the flight, and technically then subtracting the value of the points you would have otherwise spent). A refund was not sufficient

A clear and strong letter to QF after you’ve enjoyed your trip is my recommendation

Follow that up with lodging a claim in a consumer tribunal (VCAT, NCAT etc as applicable) if the response is not satisfactory. It doesn’t cost much to file and you don’t need a lawyer. In theory the tribunals are designed so that lawyers are not involved in small claims under $10K but sometimes they are and noting OP’s claim might just exceed that amount. There can be benefit in reducing your claim to $9,999 as the filing cost is smaller

All of this shows, why would you want QF tickets when these are the lengths you have to go to just to obtain your rights as a consumer. I feel rage!
 

blackcat20

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I agree. However, OP states they tried to change flights and were declined. I'm not surprised though, because I've personally experienced this back in April. The website wouldn't let me change it (I assume the website doesn't present the option when the changed flight is just one connecting flight of a multi-flight itinerary), and the agent told me the flights I wanted to change to didn't have award space. Luckily this was back when the 1300 number in the other thread connected you to Hobart, and upon hanging up and calling the 1300 number, a Hobart agent happily modified my booking for me.

Unfortunately if you're not WP it's difficult to get Hobart or Auckland these days, so I can totally see OP having the trouble they had. I would also not be surprised if the website didn't offer the standard change option due to a combination of it being an award ticket (although I've had it work for award tickets in the past), and it being just one leg of a larger international journey.

Yet here we are running up against a similar issue. There's multiple flights we want to move to that have 3+ U seats available but every agent insists that they can only see 2. It also can't be done on the website



Not helpful if not WP or above as the overseas call centres apparently don't have the ability to do much
I'm 6 calls into this ridiculous situation. The website says there are reward seats available, Expert Flyer says there are award seats available, but the SA agents insist there are not, and wont do anything about it. We were not given the option of selecting an alternative when our original flight was cancelled (then the replacement cancelled) and no one will help me fix it. It doesn't matter what time I call, which number I try, I cannot get to an agent that isnt in SA, and as lovely as they have been, they are useless.
 
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This doesn't mean that the partner airlines are not honouring the reward seats, it is, however, sad to note that QF is, for a variety of reasons, unable to get alternatives for its loyal customers. Understandably, QF can only do so much when the partner airlines cancels/reschedules the flights, but offering a refund as a measure to wash off their responsibilities is not a good colour on an airline using "Spirit of Australia" as it's tagline & selling point.
I think I'm going to defend QF a little bit here.
  • If it's a QF award flight, and QF cancels it, then QF should rebook you, either by opening award space putting you onto a different QF flight, or paying cash to buy a revenue fare off another carrier for you if they have decided to stop operating that route
    • I know QF definitely does the former, but to my knowledge they don't do the latter unless it's <72h. Perhaps someone can correct me here.
  • If it's a partner award flight, and the partner cancels it >72h out, then QF will refund you
    • If it's a route that QF also operates, then I would expect that they open award space for you. AFAIK I think they can do this sometimes, but it requires many phone calls
    • If it's a route that QF doesn't operate, you'll just get a refund. To be honest, I think this is acceptable even if it's a bit unfortunate. I would not expect QF to buy me a cash ticket on a different carrier and put me on it.
  • If it's a flight cancelled <72h out or after travel has begun, then the operating carrier should deal with it by whatever means. This is already the policy, but as we've seen in this thread Qantas sometimes struggles to adhere to it, which is awful.
What it means is in the future, I only use QF points on QF metal, or single sector partner awards, and not something like OWE RTW awards. The risk of QF stuff up (accidentally cancelling your ticket), or abandoning you in mid itinerary is too great.
I absolutely agree with this (although it's bothers me that by choosing to this, QF actually makes more profit*). On QF metal, I feel pretty confident that any disruption can be handled (including opening up award space to reaccomodate me automatically). On single-sector (or return) partner awards, my risk exposure to cancellations is reduced, and it's easier to arrange replacement flights myself if worse comes to worse.

For OneWorld Awards, I think the risk exposure to cancellations is way too high + overseas agents can't get their heads around how OWAs work + if mostly not on QF metal, QF can't rebook me.

*I'm assuming that OWAs are less profitable
 

summit_32

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My advice to the OP is you’ll have to get QF to cover your loss because (a) they did not rebook you on an earlier domestic flight as per the terms and conditions; (b) they failed to provide services with due care and skill, which a guarantee under the Australian Consumer Law, when handling your request to get an earlier flight; (c) the service they provided you (a flight that left insufficient time to connect) was not fit for the purpose of getting you to your connecting flight which is another ACL guarantee

In my opinion this was a “major failure”, so you can claim compensation under the ACL (ie the money you spent to replace the flight, and technically then subtracting the value of the points you would have otherwise spent). A refund was not sufficient

A clear and strong letter to QF after you’ve enjoyed your trip is my recommendation

Follow that up with lodging a claim in a consumer tribunal (VCAT, NCAT etc as applicable) if the response is not satisfactory. It doesn’t cost much to file and you don’t need a lawyer. In theory the tribunals are designed so that lawyers are not involved in small claims under $10K but sometimes they are and noting OP’s claim might just exceed that amount. There can be benefit in reducing your claim to $9,999 as the filing cost is smaller

All of this shows, why would you want QF tickets when these are the lengths you have to go to just to obtain your rights as a consumer. I feel rage!
Totally agree - ranting on here is one thing but if you want real action, lodge a claim at VCAT, ACAT etc. That will get their attention and automatically escalate the matter to a more senior and empowered team. Worked for me on several occasions with other large companies - NAB, Origin Energy, who hoped i would go away eventually. I didn't....

Also, i wonder how long before Government acts seriously in this space to protect consumers. I don't know the legislation but it appears that in Australia its really up to the airline to determine how and if they will respond in circumstances like this. This contrasts with the EU and to a certain extent the US which has more clearly defined passenger compensation schemes. In Australia, it appears that social media shaming is the default setting....
 

MJHoops

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I think I'm going to defend QF a little bit here.
  • If it's a QF award flight, and QF cancels it, then QF should rebook you, either by opening award space putting you onto a different QF flight, or paying cash to buy a revenue fare off another carrier for you if they have decided to stop operating that route
    • I know QF definitely does the former, but to my knowledge they don't do the latter unless it's <72h. Perhaps someone can correct me here.
  • If it's a partner award flight, and the partner cancels it >72h out, then QF will refund you
    • If it's a route that QF also operates, then I would expect that they open award space for you. AFAIK I think they can do this sometimes, but it requires many phone calls
    • If it's a route that QF doesn't operate, you'll just get a refund. To be honest, I think this is acceptable even if it's a bit unfortunate. I would not expect QF to buy me a cash ticket on a different carrier and put me on it.
  • If it's a flight cancelled <72h out or after travel has begun, then the operating carrier should deal with it by whatever means. This is already the policy, but as we've seen in this thread Qantas sometimes struggles to adhere to it, which is awful.

I absolutely agree with this (although it's bothers me that by choosing to this, QF actually makes more profit*). On QF metal, I feel pretty confident that any disruption can be handled (including opening up award space to reaccomodate me automatically). On single-sector (or return) partner awards, my risk exposure to cancellations is reduced, and it's easier to arrange replacement flights myself if worse comes to worse.

For OneWorld Awards, I think the risk exposure to cancellations is way too high + overseas agents can't get their heads around how OWAs work + if mostly not on QF metal, QF can't rebook me.

*I'm assuming that OWAs are less profitable
I am interested in the source of the 72 hours making a difference

Is this in some Qantas policy / operational document, the terms and conditions or elsewhere?

Or is it just industry practice?

Thanks
 

NM

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I sure hope for the OP's situation that their return flights were not on the same ticket/itinerary, which will now have auto-cancelled due to no-show. Might be best to check the return flights are still ticketed as planned (hopefully was a different ticket).
 
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