- Mar 6, 2006
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.