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Qantas booking cancellation (under covid19)

Dvg

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Oct 3, 2019
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Agree, and that's a reasonable point.

However - and this is a *huge* however... the way qantas is dealing with flights converted into vouchers or credits is that when you come to use them, you must buy a fare of equal or higher value. If you have purchased a $1500 fare to London which is now a credit, and when you come to fly they are offering $1200... you won't be able to book that. You'll have to book another fare, which could be $2000. Also, you cannot take your $1500 voucher and use it for three trips to new zealand, or for Aussie domestic.

It gets worse for those that may have purchased a business saver fare to the USA or London for $5999. When you come to redeem that credit it could be the fare is $8999 (which we are seeing some anecdotal evidence of already).

Other airlines like British Airways have converted flights into credit, but allow the passenger to use the credit in any way they want. When they come to redeem the credit, if the fare is lower, they get a new voucher for the balance. And so on, until the total credit is exhausted.

There were so many ways that Qantas could have done this to make the refund conditions fair and reasonable, but they don't seem to have given passengers any choice except to demand a cash refund :(
It would appear there will be ongoing confusion with regards to the “unusual” way Qantas is managing this whole refund, voucher, cancellation issue. But I for one would like to understand the govt giving qantas and virgin 715 million dollars to assist them without any equity in return. The planes have stopped the staff aren’t getting paid, I just can’t get my head around it, be happy if some of the more experienced members could clarify it for me.
 
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It would appear there will be ongoing confusion with regards to the “unusual” way Qantas is managing this whole refund, voucher, cancellation issue. But I for one would like to understand the govt giving qantas and virgin 715 million dollars to assist them without any equity in return. The planes have stopped the staff aren’t getting paid, I just can’t get my head around it, be happy if some of the more experienced members could clarify it for me.
I think this is part of the whole 'we have to all contribute to hibernate the economy'. Just as the govt is asking landlords, banks etc to forego - not defer - payments, the govt probably doesn't want other businesses to be saddled with debts or other equity deals when they come out the other side. It kind of makes sense in that respect.
 

woodborer

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It would appear there will be ongoing confusion with regards to the “unusual” way Qantas is managing this whole refund, voucher, cancellation issue. But I for one would like to understand the govt giving qantas and virgin 715 million dollars to assist them without any equity in return. The planes have stopped the staff aren’t getting paid, I just can’t get my head around it, be happy if some of the more experienced members could clarify it for me.
They didn't 'give' them 715 million dollars. They gave them a 'relief' package where they waived fees and reduced aviation fuel excise. Given the industry has basically shutdown and the relief was based on activity, they won't really be getting anywhere near that level of savings.
 

JohnM

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I just phoned to cancel a points redemption booking because the only option online was a voucher - which is not applicable to cancelling a redemption booking, so there appears to be some IT coding issues there.

It was about a 20 minute wait to connect.

What the agent did say is that it will be 2-4 weeks to process the refund. I'm not sure whether that means just the $$ back to my Amex or also for the points back into my FF account.
 

Dvg

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2019
Messages
11
They didn't 'give' them 715 million dollars. They gave them a 'relief' package where they waived fees and reduced aviation fuel excise. Given the industry has basically shutdown and the relief was based on activity, they won't really be getting anywhere near that level of savings.
Ah so that’s a bit clearer, I thought it was fees etc backdated to Feb 1st and a relief package.
 

RichardMEL

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Mar 28, 2014
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Walloper - two thoughts on your J trip to LAX.

1. I would wait till a) flight is cancelled and/or b) QF extends the voucher/refund date (it seems fairly certain they will have to). That way you should be able to get a refund

2. I think it is likely fairly certain than WHEN (not if :) ) things ramp up post CV that cheap J fares all over will be available as incentive to get people back in the air - you may well do better than the $5k-$5.5k they were offering as sale fares prior to it all going to crud.

Unfortunately you'll never get a "voucher for a J flight to LAX" for obvious reasons. Airline industry doesn't really work tha way (though in the brand new world who knows?). It's a nice idea, but then would result in people just booking sale fares or cheaper fares, then cancelling for a "magic voucher" then try and use it for when prices are high. Nice idea, but I can't see it as something that would ever happen.

So if I were you, for right now, I would just wait on QF's next action.
 
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It's a nice idea, but then would result in people just booking sale fares or cheaper fares, then cancelling for a "magic voucher" then try and use it for when prices are high. Nice idea, but I can't see it as something that would ever happen.
A valid point, but the 'like-for-like' could have been restricted to bookings made before 'xx March'.

At the end of the day it doesn't cost the airline any more to fly a passenger on 14 or 15 January (or whatever date the season changes). Just they have the opportunity to make more profit, because of demand.

If QF wanted to keep the money, they could have lost a bit at the other end in peak season.
 

RichardMEL

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A valid point, but the 'like-for-like' could have been restricted to bookings made before 'xx March'.
Sure, but implementation? It would be a nightmare I would imagine... And it's not like any company, let alone QF, has idle resources sitting around to do niche things like this.

and while I grant that many people have been forced to put off trips to various places for reasons raging from business reasons like conferences or meetings cancelled through to the family trip to Disneyland, there's no guarantee that people would want to fly to the same location in the same class/faretype again in the near future.

I'd love to know if there's any other airline or even, for example hotel, that would even offer such a thing because of the very nature of inventory/yield control. The systems really aren't built for this sort of thing IMO.
 

FlyingKangaroo

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Sure, but implementation? It would be a nightmare I would imagine... And it's not like any company, let alone QF, has idle resources sitting around to do niche things like this.

and while I grant that many people have been forced to put off trips to various places for reasons raging from business reasons like conferences or meetings cancelled through to the family trip to Disneyland, there's no guarantee that people would want to fly to the same location in the same class/faretype again in the near future.

I'd love to know if there's any other airline or even, for example hotel, that would even offer such a thing because of the very nature of inventory/yield control. The systems really aren't built for this sort of thing IMO.
Two data points on this:

1) LATAM cancelled a flight I had booked within South America next week and the option they offer on their website is that if you rebook the exact same route for a different date but with no change to origin or destination, it's like for like and no fare difference was charged. To change the origin or destination was also possible, but required the fare difference.

2) A small boutique hotel I had in Uruguay also offered what basically amounts to "one night free in the same room you booked" for use up to one year from original check-in date. No additional charge even if the list price is higher for the new date. Only Christmas, Easter and one specific "holiday week" in Uruguay were excluded.

I can see why most airlines and hotels aren't chomping at the bit to take this approach, but the fact that LATAM did and that it can be done yourself on their website suggests to me the tech capability is there without much need for any manual "niche" processing.
 
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Sure, but implementation? It would be a nightmare I would imagine... And it's not like any company, let alone QF, has idle resources sitting around to do niche things like this.
So ok... the alternative is that the passenger demands a refund. Depends how badly the airline wants to hang on to the money in the form of credits and vouchers. QF spends resources to the nth degree on fine print in CoC's, how many hundreds of hours drawing up intricate SC earn tables that were detached from actual miles flown, and all other manner of unfriendly actions like no interlining of bags.

If they wanted to add a code to a voucher allowing to rebook without fare difference, they could. The actual mechanism and mechanics to do this must be in place, because during IRROPS they can book into another fare class in the same cabin for no difference in fare.
 

RichardMEL

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So ok... the alternative is that the passenger demands a refund. Depends how badly the airline wants to hang on to the money in the form of credits and vouchers. QF spends resources to the nth degree on fine print in CoC's, how many hundreds of hours drawing up intricate SC earn tables that were detached from actual miles flown, and all other manner of unfriendly actions like no interlining of bags.
OK but you understand that all of that stuff was decided and worked on way before any of this stuff (ie CV) descended, put a lot of people out of work and the focus on a company like QF into other areas. I am NOT defending QF but trying to be realistic about the situation. Just because of the "fairer and simpler" (which isn't) changes, and the oneworld policy re interlining of bags (which IIRC was alliance wide rather than a QF specific thing, even if some carriers like CX IIRC chose to still interline)...

we're now in such a situation where I bet you anything there's a small number of critical staff left trying to keep the whole thing running (and we know even in the "Good Times" this is an effort!!!). QF has essentially zero cash coming in, and a whole lot going out... are they really going to start finding scarce money to produce a customer very friendly thing such as discussed?

If they wanted to add a code to a voucher allowing to rebook without fare difference, they could. The actual mechanism and mechanics to do this must be in place, because during IRROPS they can book into another fare class in the same cabin for no difference in fare.
Rebook without fare difference seems do-able but again it's hard to really know given how the original clunky voucher/credit voucher system has been built on top of Amadeus. Again I'm not disagreeing per se with the notion, but more thinking of making these things a reality in the current environment.
 

RichardMEL

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Two data points on this:

1) LATAM cancelled a flight I had booked within South America next week and the option they offer on their website is that if you rebook the exact same route for a different date but with no change to origin or destination, it's like for like and no fare difference was charged. To change the origin or destination was also possible, but required the fare difference.
Very interesting indeed. Thank you.

I suspect this is easier with a "live" booking in the system vs a credit voucher created from a PNR (specially as we all know QF's implementation is a real kludge unlike using an off the shelf product from the GDS - if one exists on Amadeus).
[/QUOTE]
 
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I accept QF staff are busy. But in the course of writing my response to you I came up with the 'book with no fare difference' option in all of about two minutes. The mechanics might take a few more hours to resolve, but seriously - how many hours have they spent crafting emails urging people to 'act now to lock in a voucher'? And crafting emails which appear to indicate that ACL laws won't apply to allow for a full refund? Those things have all taken a long time to write, and probably checked by legal, and vouchers with expiry dates allocated, and IT involved, etc. They could have spent that time doing something more equitable.
 

RichardMEL

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Mar 28, 2014
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tbh I've always thought that the restriction on credit vouchers that they are bound by the original fare rules and thus one must "buy up" using a voucher to be pretty crappy. I had always wondered if that was a technical limited or a policy one. Probably policy, but it is hard to know.

Thinking as an IT guy, we know the gift vouchers are created as "dummy" bookings from fictional place A to fictional place B (I forget the airport codes used but it's something like QZZ or something iirc). thus it is a "complete" PNR with a booked "flight" with a value. When a credit voucher is issued it's more or less the same thing, except, I believe, the original flights *and booking class* are still recorded in the PNR. That may explain the technical limitation. Now sure why not reset that somehow? I don't know. It would have suited them in the good times to say sure here's a credit, but use all of this value *and book a higher fare* in there to boot as it ensures them more money so it's a bit grey to me.

Technical considerations aside (as you can tell I am one of those annoying people who likes to think about making the ideas reality - because that's part of my day job I guess). I don't disagree with the idea at all. I would have thought if I cancel a flight and get a credit voucher that voucher should be basically as good as cash. I've only had a few in my time and usually booked higher anyway, but I also know if I use a GV and do not spend the entire value they will credit a residual voucher for amounts over about $2, so it does seem to be a thing.
 

RichardMEL

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ALso programming on top of legacy systems is not something just anyone can do, and I doubt it's something that could be worked out in mere hours.

Remember QF almost certainly will have stood down a lot of their staff in IT as much as other areas of the carrier to save costs.

I know a number of friends I know at US majors dealing with similar issues (ie keeping their jobs) are facing all sorts of things from layoffs to forced leave to restricted hours with 45+% pay cuts (I've seen variations reported directly).. I still expect there are not programmers sitting around Mascot twiddling their thumbs just waiting to muck around with the entire voucher system specially right now when it's a high priority service.

I mean, and it's not like we haven't experienced this kind of thing before, you go to receive, or redeem, a voucher and the system is down because of some sort of coding error? Even more frustrating.

This is far more complex than just changing expiry dates (eg: till Dec 31, 2021) or the like.

I know I'm coming across a bit anal about this stuff, but it really is not going to be as simple as it seems - I may not be familiar with the specifics of the QF integration with Amadeus - but I have enough decades of experience in the IT industry at large to be fairly confident with my assertion :)
 

serfty

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Remember QF almost certainly will have stood down a lot of their staff in IT as much as other areas of the carrier to save costs.
Qantas IT in relation to software development are basically managers and company reps. The actual code cutters are developers residing mainly West of Perth - and I do not mean Rottenest Island.
This is far more complex than just changing expiry dates (eg: till Dec 31, 2021) or the like.
And that West of Perth thing is the main thing that makes it difficult. A fifteen minute change for anyone competent and familiar with the code would take 2 months work effort to implement by the time all 'interested' parties get their cut do the work.
 
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Nukie

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Jan 26, 2010
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We had a PER-LHR-GVA-PER flight booked for 26 April return 13 May.
24 March after all flight cancelled received the email about flight turned into a voucher but clicked the refund button as didn't want a voucher . Hadn't received a confirmation email. Should we be concerned? Also I paid for a seat allocation. Where can you claim a refund on that?
 

RichardMEL

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Re working with developers "West of Perth" :D that raises another issue... one of difficulty with change management and delays.

Some years back I worked for a major Oz Telco in a role involving systems sizing, capacity planning and the like. At that point I worked for a contract consulting form (a big well known one) offering services to said Telco. However all their actual hardware, software and the like was managed by a 3rd rather large and well known provider. You know the people HAL 9000 was named for :)

In order to get anything done for the client (Telco) on the systems run by HAL it was literally a nightmare involving getting approvals from client, passing it through any number of managers, then getting approvals signed off by HAL.. and then some. Literally a simple change to a small setting somewhere could take a week...

but I digress on this as it's headed OT. :) I still feel that any radical (I know some will disagree with that word :) ) change to the system as is, in these times, is probably a bridge too far..... but that's just an opinion. They've already surprised me in the past few weeks so.. never know! :D
 
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Nothing is to stop them announcing policy now, and using the next three months to work out how to enact it. They could even do it manually if they wanted.
 

lindyb

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Jul 17, 2009
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47
I had a flight booked for May DWN - PTH return and have been waiting to see if Qantas will cancel the flight and hopefully receive a refund as I already have a credit voucher to use when all returns to normal. I received an email today advising me my fight has been changed and after checking the flight change It seems Qantas are trying to find a way around refunds by offering an alternative flight.
My original return flight was 3.5 hrs and I am now being offered a return flight via Brisbane that will take 23 HOURS and an overnight stop!!!! Not Happy Jan
1585565082594.png
 

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