"Free" classic flight actually costs $1000 more - and no one knows why?

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by GaryBne, May 8, 2014.

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  1. GaryBne

    GaryBne Intern

    Jun 23, 2011
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    Qantas actually penalizes passengers for using Classic Awards – or rather using a combination of Classic outbound and cash return makes the return $1000 more expensive.

    I went to book BNE-MNL-BNE 6 Dec / 5 Jan and the best price for economy was $524 +626 = $1140 per Adult pax

    With the new online booking system all of the above pricing is on the one long web page. I have a choice for each date Click to the right to choose business class, middle for economy or click to the far left to buy a classic rewards seat – which is what I wanted to do.

    So I click left and choose the classic reward seat for 30,000 points + $292 in taxes. But when I do that the return flight suddenly jumps to $1639 (from $626) for a grand total $1931 + 30,000 points.

    So I say that it is not a reward at all. That in fact it is a deceptive promotion. It’s not a reward when it costs me and extra $1,023 per passenger plus 30,000 points! Basically doubling the price.

    There is no rule or condition I have broken. The QF web site states:

    You can also combine wholly Australian or international Qantas or Jetstar and selected partner airline Classic Awards with an Any Seat Award or cash fare in the same booking.[SUP]#[/SUP] For example, you can choose a Classic Award for your flight out, and a cash fare for the flight back. Check the conditions that apply to these new combined bookings.[SUP]β[/SUP]

    # The option to combine a wholly Australian domestic and international Qantas, Jetstar and selected airline partner Classic Awards departing from Australia with an Any Seat Award or a cash fare is only available when ‘Search Qantas & Partner Classic Awards' has not been selected.
    β When combining a Classic Award with another fare in a single booking, points and Status credits will not be earned on any Classic Award flights in the booking. If you combine Classic Awards with non-Classic Award fares (“Commercial Fares”), the most restrictive fare condition of those Commercial Fares apply to the segments booked as Classic Awards for booking changes, cancellations and refunds. Please refer to the applicable Commercial Fare conditions for details.


    I contacted reservations, who told me to frequent flyer who told me to contact customer care who after a week of no reply told me they only care about post flight problems and to contact reservations. Or anyone else but not me.

    So I finally got only a helpful person in Reservations. Ross. Wonderful, helpful Ross could not fathom it either and spends about two weeks contacting various experts who had no idea. In the third week he called me to say he gave up.

    Ross was unwilling to admit I was being screwed - but I’m sure I could hear him nodding on the phone.

    I also tried Plan B. Making two separate bookings. But making a one way MNL – BNE while cheaper than $1639 (about $714) the catch was they insisted that I show my passport and credit card at the manila office within 14 days. Clearly impossible. Even when I “paid” for the MNL-BNE on 100% points ( points + Pay) and therefore no possible credit card fraud could be involved, they still insisted on showing my passport and credit card ( but what card?) to the MNL office.


    In all I spent about nine hours on this and got nowhere. One call went for an hour and 15 minutes including being put on hold for 19 minutes. Detailed written complaints with screen shots etc. were ignored.

    A “reward” flight is supposed to be a sweet “gift” not a pain in the backside. It’s not – its punishment.

    It’s a Loyalty system Mr Joyce – get it? So why target your most loyal customers and annoy them most? Crikey QFF is the only profitable arm of the business. Are the cretins hell bent on destroying that too?


    Where do I take this next? I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.

    ACCC? They don’t act on single complaints?

    Ombudsman? - are they toothless? Does anyone know from experience?

    I think small claims court. At least then as a legal case the board will have to hear of this rubbish.

    GaryBNE
    Loyal customer since 1991 ….one time Platinum, now silver
     

  2. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    30,088
    5,547
    BNE & SYD
    You are booking two one way fares, one a classic and one a revenue, which is why it changes price. Yes you can book an award and a revenue fare, but at no time do Qantas say that award complies with the cheaper return revenue fare conditions.
     
  3. Ausbt

    Ausbt Established Member

    Apr 21, 2012
    1,062
    433
    That's quite a difference. I booked a SYD-NRT Classic Reward in J and the cash pricing comparison on the return NRT-SYD in Y jumped from $600 to $850. I was happy to pay that given I didn't want to burn more points on J both ways on this occasion. But in your case for a Domestic that's a huge difference.
     
  4. mannej

    mannej Senior Member

    Mar 16, 2009
    9,426
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    Perth
    Not sure why this post quoted below jumped threads, but here goes.

    FWIW, Classic Awards are definitely not "free". I think Markis may have got the correct answer on this one.
     
  5. GaryBne

    GaryBne Intern

    Jun 23, 2011
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    #5 GaryBne, May 8, 2014
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
    With respect to your experience Marcis, I'm not booking two one way fares. I'm booking both on the same web page at the same time.

    I went forward with a dummy booking and it used the same inputs for pax names etc and I am certain it would have given me the one PNR.

    ALSO the T&C I pasted above clearly allows both Classic and cash legs on a single return ticket. That is whey the say that the most restrictive condition applies to both legs. So I say of the same conditions apply to both legs, then ipso facto they are the same booking. They cant have it both ways

    I wasn't after a reward price for return - I just didn't want it to go up by $1000! that mon ami is a 'penalty" in any book


    In any case a "reward" is not something that ends up costing me twice the price.

    and finally- the return leg on the combined fare was $1600 but buying a single one way return was only about $700 ...

    Gary
     
  6. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    30,088
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    BNE & SYD
    #6 markis10, May 8, 2014
    Last edited: May 8, 2014

    You are booking two fares on the one PNR, just like you can hook a rede deal one way and a flexi the other, they are two revenue fares that go to a trip that makes up the PNR. You are seeing a higher priced fare because you are buying a one way revenue fare in conjunction with a one way award, in order to get a cheaper fare as a return, the return fare rules are only applicable at this stage when both legs are revenue fares.

    Qantas allow you to now put different fares on the one PNR, what they have not done or advertised is the fact the definition for the return fares has not been changed, by definition you cannot have a return fare if one leg has an award in it, as it's now two fares, both point to point.
     
  7. GaryBne

    GaryBne Intern

    Jun 23, 2011
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    Well ..

    1 To me it sounds like lawyer weasel words - and I may well lose the legal case . But perhaps not the marketing/loyalty/moral argument .. In any case I want to see what the ACCC/ Courts have to say.
    2 No one in Qantas could explain or show me why. And I spoke with many people. None put forward your argument
    3 It still does explain that when I went to book a single return leg on its own it was just over $700, but when combined with a Classic outbound it is $1600.
     
  8. equus

    equus Active Member

    Jul 22, 2008
    801
    223
    BNE
    Just a guess on this -Point of Sale. Both are being priced as one way fares, but when priced "stand alone" you are seeing a price based on point-of-sale of the origin of the ticket (MNL). When combined in the "return" booking, it is still pricing as a one way, but the point-of-sale is that of the whole ticket- which is now BNE - hence the different price for the "same" one way fare.
     
  9. under the radar

    under the radar Established Member

    Apr 8, 2010
    1,085
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    this is my 'simple' take on this... a return BNE-MNL-BNE flight...SAME conditions/terms for BOTH sectors using the SAME payment method for both sectors.. gives you a 'certain' price (usually cheaper)...THEN you decide to change the payment type on ONE sector...which brings about different terms/conditions for that sector.. thus 2 separate types of terms/conditions..one type up and one type back.. in effect 2 one way fares...thus the price change for the whole trip.... well its clear in my head anyway!! :D
     
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  10. wandering_fred

    wandering_fred Established Member

    Jun 12, 2006
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    #2 It would cost QF money to permit awards as part of a round trip ticket...

    Should they? Of course. Or price international as all one way fares like domestic.

    (un)Happy wandering

    Fred
     
  11. harvyk

    harvyk Senior Member

    Apr 15, 2009
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    Hang on a minute, you asked for a fare, they offered it to you, you declined and have thus lost no actual money or points. What case does QF have to answer?
    It is well known around here that points can be either very good value, or very bad value, they no longer use the term "free flights" have haven't done so in the last 14 or so years (about the time they introduced excl taxes)...
     
  12. legroom

    legroom Established Member

    Nov 2, 2012
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    The simple man in me told me to book the in / out legs separately.

    Out as a Classic Award

    In as a single one-way fare

    Less angst for you and everyone else !

    Let others worry about the minutiae of T & C

    You had done more (complaining) than most.

    Time to accept that Qantas can change the fare as there is nothing to say it cannot.

    You can combine but .... QF does not say the fare must remain same.

    All the best
     
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  13. GaryBne

    GaryBne Intern

    Jun 23, 2011
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    This simple man tried that... booking both legs separately... but buying a one way ticket from MNL-BNE requires me to present myself passport and credit card to the QF Mnl office within 14 days. impossible
     
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  14. legroom

    legroom Established Member

    Nov 2, 2012
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    Sorry, I had overlooked that.

    Yes, that IS ridiculous and I now agree with you that it stinks.
     
  15. Mwenenzi

    Mwenenzi Established Member

    May 17, 2006
    1,801
    254
    MEL
    Will they accept a QF Cash card?
    Or QF voucher/credit? Book a flight--> cancel-> use credit for MNL-BNE
     
  16. GaryBne

    GaryBne Intern

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    I am sure not... even if I buy the MNL-BNE ticket using only points(points plus pay),so there is no $ involved then they STILL want me to appear at QF Mnl with passport and credit card. what credit card no one knows. But we must obey the computer
     
  17. mannej

    mannej Senior Member

    Mar 16, 2009
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    There has been evidence of members being able to get the Credit Card/Passport conditioned waive, but only by booking through the AU Call Centre.

    I am sure if you search through the forums, you will find a thread or two relating to this.
     
  18. turtlemichael

    turtlemichael Established Member

    May 24, 2006
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    #18 turtlemichael, May 8, 2014
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
    Why would using a purchased gift card require your presence in MNL? Does anyone have experience of this?
    Edit: Answer my own question. Gift cards can only be used for one way fares when they originate in Australia.
     
  19. Cynicor

    Cynicor Established Member

    Jun 13, 2007
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    Immediate impressions on this are the same as Markis10- pricing as 2 one way fares. This could be confirmed by just checking the one way fare on the QF site.
     
  20. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    39,979
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    It must be pricing the revenue airfare as a one-way. I suspect this was designed intentially that way but could also be a bug. There are many anomalies in the new booking engine as I have found booking flights ex-SIN.

    What you could do is book using points outbound BNE-MNL and then book a one-way revenue airfare MNL-BNE from Expedia or someone similar. Unfortunately though at the moment the best Qantas one-way is ~$1160. You could wait until the next Qantas sale to see if this price drops.

    Would you be interested in a MH one-way priced at ~$515 but transitting KUL? That appears to be available on Expedia right now.
     
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