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JQ OOL NRT - flight cancellation - compensation for downgrade??

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Bazzi

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Our 13th October JQ flight OOL NRT was cancelled with 3 hours notice due to Typhoon Vong Fong. We had flown from SYD the day prior to join the flight - we actually live in the Southern Highlands of NSW.

My experience with the offshore JQ call centre to reorganise flights was chaotic - they didn't know the flight had been cancelled and didn't know when a decision to restart flights would be made. We were due to join a cruise in Yokohama departing 16th October so I wanted to make an informed decision about the best flight departure to avoid a flow on problem should the next day flights be cancelled.

We were travelling Star Class and settled on a 16th October departure OOL NRT, which meant having to make our own way to the next cruise port, Osaka. I contacted JQ again on Tues 14th October requesting seat allocation and was told that despite having confirmed reservations for the 16th Oct OOL NRT in Star Class, there were no seats available. I asked whether there was a distinct possibility that we would turn up for the flight only to be downgraded to Y - and 'yes' was the answer. Given that information, looking at my ipad there was a direct flight departure OOL NRT on Wed 15th (flights had restarted) and seeing availability in Y, I asked whether we could transfer to that flight. The JQ agent told me that there were no direct flights OOL NRT on the Wed 15th! 'But it's on the screen in front of me' I replied. 'There is no flight OOL NRT tomorrow'. End of conversation.

Wed 15th we went to OOL with bags packed and prepared to get on the direct flight. The ground crew at OOL were fantastic. No seats in Star Class were available but we could downgrade to Y to be confirmed for the flight and with 45 mins to flight closing and two Star Class passengers not checked in, should they not show, we would be restored to that cabin. The OOL JQ manager was consulted about compensation but said that they would hold off just in case we ended up travelling in Star Class. Unfortunately, the passengers did show and we travelled in Y. We were told to contact JQ operations on our return with regards to compensation. On a happier note, it was our first experience on the Dreamliner and it was fantastic.

On returning, I sent a very detailed letter to JQ - number of calls made, duration, costs, name of JQ staff both at call centre and at OOL. Given the complete debacle I cheekily asked for a full refund of both tickets but said that I felt the fare difference between Star Class and Y at time of booking in Feb (approx $400 each)would be considered fare compensation.

After 4 weeks I received a reply and a total compensation offer of $100 per person JQ voucher. The 'conditions of carriage' were quoted in the reply, but I dispute that this clause is relevant to a difference in travel class. I have replied to JQ, mentioned such and suggested they may like to review their compensation offer before I take it to a consumer authority.

Any comments/advice welcome.
 
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eastwest101

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Just so I get this clear in my own head - you were originally booked OOL-NRT but where did you end up flying to and on what date? You can edit the original post up to 1-2hrs I believe. Did you actually want to fly to Osaka (KIX) to join your cruise there and accepted a downgrade from StarClass to Economy class? Just not totally sure from your post as to what your altenatives were and where you actually ended up.

Do you have the screen shots or screen captures of the fare difference you are asking for on file? And which State are you in? As long as you have gathered all your documentation I think some people here may be able to advise you on how to approach this.
 

Quickstatus

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Ah another downgrade and inadequate compensation.

I suppose this is different because the passenger had a choice and requested to travel in Y with the off chance of going back to J-. However the overriding feature was IIROPS causing the need for this to arise.

We should move to match the EU regulations ASAP. Where's Nick Xenophon.
 

drron

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Ah another downgrade and inadequate compensation.

I suppose this is different because the passenger had a choice and requested to travel in Y with the off chance of going back to J-. However the overriding feature was IIROPS causing the need for this to arise.

We should move to match the EU regulations ASAP. Where's Nick Xenophon.
You should email him too as well as your local member.
 

Bazzi

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Just so I get this clear in my own head - you were originally booked OOL-NRT but where did you end up flying to and on what date? You can edit the original post up to 1-2hrs I believe. Did you actually want to fly to Osaka (KIX) to join your cruise there and accepted a downgrade from StarClass to Economy class? Just not totally sure from your post as to what your altenatives were and where you actually ended up.

Do you have the screen shots or screen captures of the fare difference you are asking for on file? And which State are you in? As long as you have gathered all your documentation I think some people here may be able to advise you on how to approach this.

Thanks eastwest101, have edited post. No screen shots unfortunately, I just remember that the Y fare was really cheap but then when we saw Star Class fare we thought ' why not'. We live in Southern Highlands of NSW. Purpose for detailing the length of the calls (longest nearly 1 hour) was to highlight the inability of the call centre to deal with the situation. We took the Y option on the 15th as we probably wouldn't have ended up in Star Class on Thurs 16th anyway and then we would have had the added inconvenience of missing one day of our cruise and of getting to Osaka.
 

ozbeachbabe

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Did you ever approach your travel insurance provider and see if they would cover the cost of a new ticket eg CNS/NRT or CNS/KIX plus a domestic flight KIX/NRT.

I'd go down that road first before accepting any downgrades.
 

Himeno

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So lets see if we understand this…
Original plan was to depart Australia OCT13 and spend some time in Tokyo before getting on a cruise departing Yokohama OCT16.
JQ11 OCT13 cancelled due to Typhoon.
You were rebooked to JQ11 OCT16. Which would then require that you make your own way to Osaka as you’d miss the cruise from Yokohama.
Noticing that flights had restarted for OCT15, you requested that only to be told said flight didn’t exist.
You went to OOL in time for JQ11 OCT15 anyway, requesting to be put on the flight.
Business class seats were unavailable and you were downgraded.
After returning, you asked JQ for compensation for the downgrade. You are not happy with the compensation they gave.


After being told that first flight was cancelled, I would have asked about being rerouted though BNE/SYD into NRT or HND via SIN or HKG
 

Bazzi

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So lets see if we understand this…
Original plan was to depart Australia OCT13 and spend some time in Tokyo before getting on a cruise departing Yokohama OCT16.
JQ11 OCT13 cancelled due to Typhoon.
You were rebooked to JQ11 OCT16. Which would then require that you make your own way to Osaka as you’d miss the cruise from Yokohama.
Noticing that flights had restarted for OCT15, you requested that only to be told said flight didn’t exist.
You went to OOL in time for JQ11 OCT15 anyway, requesting to be put on the flight.
Business class seats were unavailable and you were downgraded.
After returning, you asked JQ for compensation for the downgrade. You are not happy with the compensation they gave.


After being told that first flight was cancelled, I would have asked about being rerouted though BNE/SYD into NRT or HND via SIN or HKG
Our circumstances were somewhat problematic in that my partner does not fly well so that is why we chose the direct day flight from OOL. Flying overnight is not really an option - having to make our own way to Osaka was the lesser of two evils rather than flying at night. I did ask about rerouting but that was a very firm NOT POSSIBLE - under the circumstances because of the typhoon and that many passengers were affected (the cruise line told us they had hundreds to reroute) - that may have been correct. Had we not been able to get on JQ11 on the 15th, we would have been immediately catching the train to BNE and getting the afternoon SQ to SIN and then onto HND or KIX.
 

Bazzi

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Did you ever approach your travel insurance provider and see if they would cover the cost of a new ticket eg CNS/NRT or CNS/KIX plus a domestic flight KIX/NRT.

I'd go down that road first before accepting any downgrades.
Well, the insurance is another story. The past 5 plus years we have traveled under the ANZ Plat card insurance. During the Icelandic Volcano drama, it cost us $2k to get from Stockholm to Paris by train - didn't contact Chartis (the underwriter) enroute for authorisation, just submitted our amended travel docs and all paid within 10 days of claim lodgement, no questions asked.

ANZ insurance now underwritten by QBE - contacted them after my first phone call to JQ and asked what our options were (JL SYD NRT was showing availability for the next day in Y) and was told that we had to accept the first available flight JQ offered, which at that stage was Thurs 16th. I explained that we were joining a cruise which departed before we would arrive on the 16th and that the next port was Osaka - they said they would cover expenses from NRT to KIX. To add a further layer, the cruise company had to seek permission for us to board in Osaka and, as of the 13th, were unsure whether the ship would call at Osaka - all dependent on what, if any, damage caused by the typhoon. All this was conveyed to QBE and basically they said they would pay for us to chase the ship for up to 5 days before they would deem the situation a lost cause. However, the claim would have to be assessed - no guarantee we would recover any costs. Not so sure I will be traveling under that cover anymore.
 
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Bazzi

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Finally got an unexpected and great result from JQ - $500 cash refund plus $800 in travel vouchers - courtesy of intervention by the Airline Customer Advocate. Thanks to JQ for the extra flight vouchers - an excellent gesture of goodwill.
 

smit0847

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Finally got an unexpected and great result from JQ - $500 cash refund plus $800 in travel vouchers - courtesy of intervention by the Airline Customer Advocate. Thanks to JQ for the extra flight vouchers - an excellent gesture of goodwill.
This is the only reason you got this.
 

Nizar

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Great result.
If I get downgraded I know how to get adequately compensated.
Thanks to the OP for posting the outcome, appreciate it.
 

JohnK

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Finally got an unexpected and great result from JQ - $500 cash refund plus $800 in travel vouchers - courtesy of intervention by the Airline Customer Advocate. Thanks to JQ for the extra flight vouchers - an excellent gesture of goodwill.
Great result.

I still cannot understand why airlines want to stuff people around when they have been inconvenienced. Bottom lines and greed.
 

Cool Cat Phil

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Great Result in the end.

In terms of only having just 21 seats in the J cabin in all 11 of the 787's in the JQ fleet, I wonder if JQ made a mistake with having so few J seats.

The A330's previously used by JQ had at least 35 seats in J, so obviously the aim is to fill the cabin with more Y seats.
Although the likelihood of issues occurring such as the OP's will happen more frequently as JQ like to have a full J cabin where possible through up-selling 14 days prior.
 
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