Positive Story - Prompt Refund Finnair and QFlyer | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Positive Story - Prompt Refund Finnair and QFlyer

Seat0B

Active Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
513
Qantas
Platinum
I booked a business class ticket to Paris from Canberra via Melbourne, Singapore and Helsinki and return via Vienna, Helsinki, Singapore and Melbourne for travel in October when the DSC promotion was running in February. I used the online TA QFlyer for the first time, as it was a bit complex and I was busy at work.

I was notified on 18 June by QFlyer that the flight was cancelled by Finnair and offered a credit or a refund. The refund processing time in this email was estimated at 14-20 weeks. A friend booked on Finnair via Flight Centre had been quoted a similar time and actually ended up waiting 15 weeks for refund, so I thought this waiting period seemed consistent, if annoying.

The flight credit was described this way - "The rebooking and travel must be booked for before 30 November 2020. Finnair are offering to waive the reissue fee but also any fare difference. Rerouting or change of destination are not permitted. Finnair are the only airline we have seen during this crisis that has such a flexible policy in terms of being able to rebook into any price tier in the same cabin, with most airlines just waiving the change fee." I agree with the TA that this is pretty generous,except for the time of travel, which would be hard with out border closures. Adding to that, the trip was for a special occasion that will now not occur. So I took the refund option and settled in to wait.

On 23 July, QFlyer advised that they had received the refund from Finnair and requested bank details to tx the refund - I had paid by Amex, but they will refund to my bank account = I get ti keep the FF points from the purchase.

I promptly forgot to send my bank details, which I did not sent until Tuesday 28 July.

The refund hit my bank account on 31 July, and I received an email from the Managing Director of the company advising me that it had been transferred and thanking me for my patience and my business.

I paid a $150 service fee that had been included in my original terms and conditions, deducted from my refund. Whilst I would rather not have lost $150 and definitely would rather have had the trip, considering the circumstances and the work they had to do to set up my complex itinerary and make the booking for me I did feel that it was reasonable in recompense for the poor agent who would lose his commission.

So here is a positive story about a well handled and prompt refund process. I thought it would be nice to give a shout out to those businesses that are doing well with this. Anyone want to join me on that?
 

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
21,453
I had a quick look at QFlyer's site - I can't find any info about the $150 service fee. They say a deposit is required of $150... but short on details about their non-refundable fees. I wonder if those fees are actually applicable in the event the airline cancels? FC tried the same thing but was overruled by the ACCC, IIRC.
 

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
21,453
Adding some more info and a warning i guess... looking at Qflyer’s terms and conditions on cancellation, they stipulate a *minimum* 30% cancellation fee for all bookings, regardless if they are fully refundable. So a $5999 QF special to the USA, which generally comes with a $600 cancellation fee, is going to cost you upwards of $1799 booking through QFlyer.

Something to consider.
 
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Seat0B

Active Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
513
Qantas
Platinum
I had a quick look at QFlyer's site - I can't find any info about the $150 service fee. They say a deposit is required of $150... but short on details about their non-refundable fees. I wonder if those fees are actually applicable in the event the airline cancels? FC tried the same thing but was overruled by the ACCC, IIRC.
Sorry for clarity, that was my sloppy terminology not theirs - it was the deposit of $150 that they retained.

Here's the exact wording from the email I received:
"For cancelled flights we can submit for a refund from the airline. Please refer to our agency's cancellation statement on our website in addition to this email. As per our standard booking terms and conditions, the deposit amount of $150 per person remains non-refundable. The minimum deposit offsets a portion of our reasonable overheads and costs managing your booking. However, we understand the distress caused by these travel disruptions and this amount can be used as a credit towards a future booking, applicable to our trading business i.e. round the world, business class or premium economy airfares, rebooked before 30 June 2021."

So they are even offering to credit the $150 towards a re-booking if I make one by 30 June 2021.

And I confirm that I was definitely refunded the full amount of the airfare, less the $150. So In your post #4, I'm wondering if that more aggressive cancellation fee is for new bookings in the COVID era. As I said, my booking was made in February 2020 for the DSCs. It certainly shows how things move and how important it is to keep on top of all the changes.

Anyway, this was my first time doing anything other than booking myself directly on the QF web site, and all things considered, I feel that both Finnair and QFlyer have done better than Qantas - where I booked direct and am still waiting since March for a refund and a voucher, despite multiple follow ups.

YMMV.
 

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
21,453
The cancellation fee - minimum 30% - relates to where passengers choose to cancel. That is a hefty fee, but obviously doesn’t apply when the airline cancels (which, aside from covid, is generally unlikely to happen as alternative arrangements are usually made).

I see the $150 charge for a deposit. Again, it seems very borderline! In the event a customer cancels, the $150 might be a reasonable charge. But where the airline has cancelled, and the agent can not deliver, it might not be considered a valid or reasonable charge. In a way it’s similar to the flight centre $350 fee, which are now being refunded to people.

I appreciate travel agents do work, but they are agents for the airline and other travel providers. They should seek compensation for the airlines, not the poor customer :(
 

jenib

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
134
I have booked with Qflyer (aka Roundabout Travel) a number of times and I have been very happy with their service. They are based in South Australia and try to get you the best deal possible. I once found a great deal to Geneva via QF and Finnair and they matched it and even upgraded my domestic flights to J (the international flights were already J). So I highly recommend them and hope that in these times they survive so I can use them again. 🙂 I often book direct, but in this case the good fare could only be booked by calling Finnair and that proved difficult. From memory it was about $4,600 return from Canberra to Geneva - J class all the way. I was reimbursed by my client for the price of a Y class ticket and paid extra for a J class ticket through QFlyer.
 
Last edited:

BJReplay

Intern
Joined
Aug 21, 2006
Messages
91
I have booked with Qflyer (aka Roundabout Travel) a number of times and I have been very happy with their service...I once found a great deal to Geneva via QF and Finnair and they matched it
Really good to know.

I booked a trip to Iceland (SIA, SAS between CPH and KEF) with stopovers in Copenhagen and Singapore on the way home.

Tried a couple of well known brands in AU that promise to price match as well as a bunch of online TAs and the airlines direct, but the best the well known brands could do was offer "we can match that (J) price in PE".

CheapoAir was the only TA that could complete the booking near the price found by google flights (J class, $6150 booked for $6207) but (no surprise) they have been diabolically bad on handling the cancellation by SIA of all of their flights.

Ticketed SIA MEL-SIN and SIN-MEL and ticketed SAS SIN-CPH-KEF-CPH-SIN.

Even though they emailed a month before the first leg was scheduled saying they'd automatically refund, I could see that the SAS-metal legs (CPH-KEF-CPH) were still booked, and not wanting to risk being no-showed, chased them up. They are now now saying they're waiting on SAS to agree to refund because it was a voluntary cancellation, even though the SIN-CPH flights were ticketed on SAS paper, and those flights aren't running, so it's involuntary as far as the issuing airline is concerned. In other words, the right run-around. As expected.

I will be re-booking, so will be looking out for Roundabout Travel.
 

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