Flight delayed, missed connection and abandoned by Qantas

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justinbrett

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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

100% - as the HBA agent explained to me - before covid, oneworld airlines were really good at helping each other out and making seats available for these kinds of situations. Since covid that is all dried up and most carriers are just looking after themselves.

From QF's perspective, they are just acting as a reseller when you book a partner award flight - and if the partner cancels, QF is left to pick up the pieces. Making award seats available on its own flights comes out of its bottom line - compared to the minimal profit (if any) it made on you redeeming on a partner airline. He did say to me QF is more likely to help you out on the return journey as opposed to changes before you've left the country.

Obviously QF must take the good with the bad, QFF generates a lot of profit so if that is going to continue, they've got to suck it up and sort this out.

It's definitely a lot safer to book QF metal.
 

RooFlyer

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100% - as the HBA agent explained to me - before covid, oneworld airlines were really good at helping each other out and making seats available for these kinds of situations. Since covid that is all dried up and most carriers are just looking after themselves.

I'm sure that's the case, but the OneWorld agreement is still in place and customers shouldn't have to face loss because the airlines can't sort themselves out, which I think you are also saying.

From QF's perspective, they are just acting as a reseller when you book a partner award flight - and if the partner cancels, QF is left to pick up the pieces. Making award seats available on its own flights comes out of its bottom line - compared to the minimal profit (if any) it made on you redeeming on a partner airline. He did say to me QF is more likely to help you out on the return journey as opposed to changes before you've left the country.

Qantas are acting as a 'reseller' of a partner award just as a department store acts as a 'reseller' of, say, any consumer good. And in agreeing to act as a reseller, under the OneWorld agreement, Qantas agrees (in theory, anyway) to wear the cost of fixing. In these airline alliances there must be profit win some/lose some all over the place - lounge access/quality/running cost comes to mind. Also, if AA sell a QF flight and QF cancels, AA must look after the QF passenger.

Of course they can look to the minimal cost but just leaving customers high and dry is indefensible.

But perhaps the most startling thing above is that the HBA agent said that the airline is more likely to help you if you have left the country on your itinerary. So according to the agent, the degree of help depends on where you are and not necessarily what they can do? My travel insurance policy clearly says that cover only begins when I've left the country. Maybe Qantas should add similar to their T&Cs?

But even when they aren't selling a partner's product, they can still stuff you around. I have a QR revenue ticket HBA (QF)-xADL(QR)-xDOH(QR)-CAI in Nov. Qantas have cancelled my HBA-ADL leg (the direct flights have all been canned since about May) but haven't issued an advisory about this, so QR can't do anything about it.
 

JohnK

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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.
My concern is that if you look at QF23 many flights are very busy. It only operates 4 days a week and availability 2-3-5 days later is not a satisfactory outcome.

By the way I never thought that I would run into these sorts of issues with Qantas. It is only now that I am starting to worry.

15 years ago I had a Oneworld award that used all 16 legs starting SYD-MEL-AKL-LAX etc. Sitting on SYD-MEL flight for over an hour and it was evident we were going nowhere in a hurry and I would miss the connection. I was quickly rebooked onto a very full direct SYD-LAX flight.

This is how delays/cancellations should be handled.
 

justinbrett

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I'm sure that's the case, but the OneWorld agreement is still in place and customers shouldn't have to face loss because the airlines can't sort themselves out, which I think you are also saying.



Qantas are acting as a 'reseller' of a partner award just as a department store acts as a 'reseller' of, say, any consumer good. And in agreeing to act as a reseller, under the OneWorld agreement, Qantas agrees (in theory, anyway) to wear the cost of fixing. In these airline alliances there must be profit win some/lose some all over the place - lounge access/quality/running cost comes to mind. Also, if AA sell a QF flight and QF cancels, AA must look after the QF passenger.

Of course they can look to the minimal cost but just leaving customers high and dry is indefensible.

But perhaps the most startling thing above is that the HBA agent said that the airline is more likely to help you if you have left the country on your itinerary. So according to the agent, the degree of help depends on where you are and not necessarily what they can do? My travel insurance policy clearly says that cover only begins when I've left the country. Maybe Qantas should add similar to their T&Cs?

But even when they aren't selling a partner's product, they can still stuff you around. I have a QR revenue ticket HBA (QF)-xADL(QR)-xDOH(QR)-CAI in Nov. Qantas have cancelled my HBA-ADL leg (the direct flights have all been canned since about May) but haven't issued an advisory about this, so QR can't do anything about it.

But in 99.9% of situations, where the department store doesn't get stock from a supplier, or it's faulty, they are just going to refund you, not spend their money on a replacement.

As to why QF might go the extra mile once already left the country, that's probably a question of liability.

But even when they aren't selling a partner's product, they can still stuff you around. I have a QR revenue ticket HBA (QF)-xADL(QR)-xDOH(QR)-CAI in Nov. Qantas have cancelled my HBA-ADL leg (the direct flights have all been canned since about May) but haven't issued an advisory about this, so QR can't do anything about it.

That's QR's problem if on a QR ticket - the same way it's QF's problem if QR cancels when on an award booking.
 

Ade

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I think I'm going to defend QF a little bit here.
Agree with you, in principle. The points you put out are super clear.

However, the points don't capture who sold the ticket ($ or reward). If it is in your post, kindly let me know. I might have mis-read this, so apologies in advnace.

The way I see this is as follows :

1. QF selling reward seats on partner airlines (meaning, customer books a seat on, say, MH or QR using QF points booked on the QF website). In this case, QF will issue the ticket, take payment for the taxes etc from the pax. I believe, in this instance, as the customer paid QF for the ticket (points + taxes), QF is responsible for the whole ticket/trip. If there is a hiccup mid-way, I'll be calling QF to help.

I think this is what happened in the OP's case. OP booked reward seats on QF website, paid QF points + taxes. The trip included a leg on QR (partner airline of QF). And when the trip began, QF domestic flights were delayed, which caused the OP inconvenience. so I believe, it is QF's responsibility to get things sorted. I'm unable to see a situation where QF can be recused of it's responsibility as the airline that took customer's money (points + taxes) AND the issue (delayed domestic flights) were no one's causal, besides QF itself.

Now, should an issue arise in QR which causes no possible routing or flights on the day pax wanted, QF is still (in my humble opinion) responsible to find alternatives, exhaust all possible avenues and help address the customer inconvenience. It may not be possible for QF to solve the customer's issue. But the airline should demonstrate to the customer that it had indeed tried so many things before offering a refund.

2. Let's say, QF selling $ tickets on partner airlines, meaning, I book SYD-SIN-CMB-MAA on QF website. SIN-CMB-MAA sector is operated by UL. In my definition (happy to be corrected) - this is a revenue fare sold by QF to the customer. I'm unaware of how the fare I paid is split between QF and UL. Now, if there is any issues in this trip, I will be calling QF, not UL, because I purchased the ticket from QF, not UL.
 

serfty

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Lets get this back on the specific topic/cause of the issue.

It was not QR's problem. It was not caused by QR,. QR did not cancel a flight.

Qantas cancelled a flight, put PAX onto a replacement flight which, while meeting the criteria, was very close to MCT.

The replacement flight was delayed enough to cause a misconnect.

Qantas appear to have washed their hands of the whole thing, even though Qantas caused the problem.
 
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justinbrett

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Lets get this back on the specific topic/cause of the issue.

It was not QR's problem. It was not caused by QR,. QR did not cancel a flight.

Qantas cancelled a flight, put PAX onto a replacement flight which, while meeting the criteria, was very close to MCT.

The replacement flight was delayed enough to cause a misconnect.

Qantas appear to have washed their hands of the whole thing, even though Qantas caused the problem.

The issue comes from the product being exclusively being offered by QR (nobody else flies to DOH) - and if QR are refusing to lift a finger to give a seat for a disrupted pax, then they share at least some of the blame. Considering they just signed an alliance with QF's rival, it's not out of the question they're being difficult.

Not saying QF is not at fault - far from it - I'm still in disbelief they'd leave you stranded at a transit port. But I don't think QR's hands are clean in this either.

Maybe restrict your award redemptions to airlines friendly with QF.
 

Vic

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The issue comes from the product being exclusively being offered by QR (nobody else flies to DOH) - and if QR are refusing to lift a finger to give a seat for a disrupted pax, then they share at least some of the blame. Considering they just signed an alliance with QF's rival, it's not out of the question they're being difficult.

Not saying QF is not at fault - far from it - I'm still in disbelief they'd leave you stranded at a transit port. But I don't think QR's hands are clean in this either.

Maybe restrict your award redemptions to airlines friendly with QF.
The problem with what you're saying here is Doha wasn't the final destination. Qantas does not have to fly them to Doha, they can just as easierly put them on alternatives to the OPs final destination in Europe. QR don't have to lift a finger because QR DID NOT F it up. Qantas F'ed this one up all on their own. The QR flight departed exactly as planned, the PAX missed that flight because QANTAS.

Gotta say your earlier musing about profit don't make much sense. If QF sell a QF award on QR flights, then yes, some of the money they earn from the redeemed QF points has to be paid to QR. If the partner cancels then that money must come back to QF. If QF then make good on QF flights, then QF retain all of the money they earn from the points.
However, that analogy is purely hypothetical, and does not match this thread. (is this what they call a strawman) QR did not cancel. QF messed this one up.

The assumption of reseller is also not exactly correct - QF are selling a QF award. Therefore, the department store analogy doesn't match either, because consumer law gives the consumer the right to choose replacement or refund. The department store then takes up the matter with the manufacturer, to either redeem the refund or get the replacement.
 

serfty

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The issue comes from the product being exclusively being offered by QR (nobody else flies to DOH) - and if QR are refusing to lift a finger to give a seat for a disrupted pax, then they share at least some of the blame.
I disagree.

Because this entire situation was caused by Qantas, Qantas should protect PAX to their destination even if Qantas have to pay $$$ to QR, SQ, BA or any other carrier.,
 

justinbrett

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I disagree.

Because this entire situation was caused by Qantas, Qantas should protect PAX to their destination even if Qantas have to pay $$$ to QR, SQ, BA or any other carrier.,

I didn't say QF wasn't at fault, and ultimately for a pax who is mid-journey, they should expect to be booked to their destination.

But if airlines like QR can't accommodate disrupted pax, then all that's going to happen is QF will stop offering QR awards. They'd be better off channelling pax through EK where they have a much more constructive relationship.
 

dajop

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I didn't say QF wasn't at fault, and ultimately for a pax who is mid-journey, they should expect to be booked to their destination.

But if airlines like QR can't accommodate disrupted pax, then all that's going to happen is QF will stop offering QR awards. They'd be better off channelling pax through EK where they have a much more constructive relationship.

How do we even know if QF tried to get QR to accommodate? It wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility that they didn't reach out to QR. It seems to me passing off the OP and other disrupted passengers to the call centre in South Africa was always going to end in tears ....
 

Vic

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I didn't say QF wasn't at fault, and ultimately for a pax who is mid-journey, they should expect to be booked to their destination.

But if airlines like QR can't accommodate disrupted pax, then all that's going to happen is QF will stop offering QR awards. They'd be better off channelling pax through EK where they have a much more constructive relationship.
Again, the pax did not need to get to Doha. They needed to get to Europe. It's got nothing to do with what Qatar accommodate, and I seriously question if Qantas even asked QR. Qantas has how many other options to get the pax to EUROPE? Including EK.
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How do we even know if QF tried to get QR to accommodate? It wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility that they didn't reach out to QR. It seems to me passing off the OP and other disrupted passengers to the call centre in South Africa was always going to end in tears ....
Exactly, the OP description seems to pretty clearly suggest the call centre just said "too bad so sad". There is nothing there to say they even contacted Qatar.
 
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jase05

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I didn't say QF wasn't at fault, and ultimately for a pax who is mid-journey, they should expect to be booked to their destination.

But if airlines like QR can't accommodate disrupted pax, then all that's going to happen is QF will stop offering QR awards. They'd be better off channelling pax through EK where they have a much more constructive relationship.
No matter what it costs it’s up to QF to get them to their final destination. QF could have got the passenger to LHR on their own metal if they even bothered to try
 

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Reminds me a of a situation a number of years ago ... the flight details will probably date it!!

I had a J fare MEL-HKG on QF, HKG-HEL on AY and then a separate ticket HEL-MAN on AY. Received an email from Qantas overnight to say the MEL-HKG was delayed due to the late running inbound QF28 and I would mis-connect at HKG ... should surprise no-one flying through HKG in September! I called back and they offered me MEL-HKG-LHR on QF27 and then a BA flight LHR-HEL (they couldn't see the separate sector). When I pointed out my final destination was MAN there was no issue switching that BA flight although they had to go away to get authorisation to do so.

QF remains a full-service airline and charges a premium to differentiate itself as such. I have always rated airlines not so much on how they treat me when things go as normal but how well they do so when things go "pear shaped".

It surprises me that QF have fallen so far (I know I read enough here that it shouldn't!) and the OP's treatment appears to have sunk to a new low.

Regards,

BD
 

JohnK

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No matter what it costs it’s up to QF to get them to their final destination. QF could have got the passenger to LHR on their own metal if they even bothered to try
Sounds like QF are not even trying.

They've removed front-line staff who could make these changes and replaced them with overseas call centres that are not empowered to make any changes.
 

Kiwi_Flyer

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<72 or >72 hours out? There is a difference (as per what @madrooster described above - schedule change vs disruption)

6+ weeks. Not a schedule change. The flight I had booked was still showing as operating at the original time. For reasons unknown to me QF decided to move me to a different flight. Happened multiple times.
 

RichardMEL

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to the point about QF being friendly (or not) with QR - that shouldn't come into it.

As discussed multiple times QF should have reacconm ALL pax affected by their causing the misconnect and at their cost on to whatever airlines could get pax there in a reasonable time - specially not strand pax mid travel in a foreign city (ie not at home, even if home is SYD and you're in BNE - you're in transit). If QR didn't want to play ball, then QF should have organised seats in the cabin paid for by the pax on whatever combo gets the pax to ATH (or wherever) - not the same direct routing (which would obviously be preferred to for example have QR Qsuites rather than JQ to SIN and whatever....)

As others have noted QF seems to have a) washed their hands of it and b) gone off incorrect info (at least given to the OP by the call centre) and treated it like a schedule change by a partner, not a misconnect during travel caused by them - huge difference.

It's really pathetic pax were subjected to this :(
 

ms1

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Not exactly the same scenario but I had F classic award seats for SYD-LAX on QF11. The inbound flight got cancelled so QF was saying my flight was delayed by 24 hours. As QF platinum I rang the premium line and was offered to fly AA direct on J or CX via HKG also on J. I asked for EK F via DXB and was told no because only OneWorld alternatives were available. I pushed for EK F saying that I didn't want to accept a cabin downgrade and after getting approval the agent reluctantly agreed. It was a very long way to get to LAX but we had a ball on 2 x 14 hour EK F flights.
 

equus

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Another example of Qantas service failure - but eventual recovery.

3 of us were flying QF BNE-CNS last Thursday 23/06 on the 9:10 am in J. 2 by U class on the one PNR (WP and SG) and the other a revenue J (SG) (our friend, of diminutive stature, nearly 80, but very persistent - and needed to be).

On Wednesday afternoon, our friend receives a call from the Call Centre (SA I presume), and is told (as related to me) "there are too many crew on the flight and they need to be in Business class, so you have been downgraded to economy". She was not happy (to put it mildly).

When I found out, I had a look at flights to CNS, and the early morning 6:10 had been cancelled - so obviously lots of pax to reaccommodate. I presume that must have included some duty crew paxing (if the Call Centre explanation had any origin in reality). Presumably they picked on a single J passenger (even if revenue) ahead of a couple of points free loaders (one of which was WP).

Not great service, no explanation that this was obviously caused by QF cancelling a fight, but that's life. However, this is not where the service failure really occurred.

We arrived plenty early for checking bags, and found our friend at the "service" desk (and had been for nearly an hour) - trying to get checked in and a bag checked. The problem - the disservice centre had cancelled the J ticket, but hadn't issued a replacement in Y, so she had no ticket and couldn't be checked in. Flight showing zero availability. Nobody at the service desk can do anything about it. They have called someone (I presume the QF duty manager), but she has not shown up yet.

Eventually we go through security to the lounge for breakfast, leaving our friend behind, as it is looking increasingly like she won't be on the flight.

About half an hour later, she shows up in the lounge with a boarding pass for 30C (back of the 737 bus - a row that was showing 3 blocked seats before). The manager had finally made it to the service desk, and was appalled at what had happened. Not sure whether or not there are people at the airport that can still ticket (once you get far enough up the food chain) or whether something else was done to get a boarding pass. Our friend said the manager had given her the 30C so she could check the bag in, go through security and get to the lounge, and she would work on getting her back into J.

Very shortly after she had arrived in the lounge there was a page "Passengers name 1 and name 2 travelling to Cairns on (our flight) please contact the service desk".

About 10 minutes later, the manager finds us in the lounge, and gives our friend a boarding pass for 3A, and is profusely apologetic. She states she is going to escalate this for training purposes, as "it should have been fixed the way I fixed it last night, and they need training".

I am not sure if that was completely true - I suspect that there may have been paxing crew who were paged and persuaded/otherwise dealt with that they were not going to be in J because of the appalling stuff ups.

It would be great to be able to say that after that, it was all good, but to add insult to injury, QF managed to leave my bag behind. Fortunately they put it on the next flight, but that meant I didn't get it until after 7pm. Having been dressed for a brisk morning, I really needed a pair of shorts for an afternoon in Cairns - so will see if the Amex insurance will cough up.
 
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