Qantas Business Class customers bumped to economy in Tokyo

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Pushka

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I'm certainly not outraged.
There is a lot of group think on this site, and there seems to be a number of the members who want to protect their patch from outsiders.
I'm just trying to support the OP to point out that sneering isn't ok.
I’m seeing much more support for the OP than the sneer. And admin have chipped in too.
 

timster

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We have indeed spoken to Qantas about this. Back in September, myself and another well-known AFF member spent weeks trying to get a straight answer about what their downgrade compensation policy actually is. Eventually I received an answer, and the information was published here: Qantas Downgrade Compensation is Woefully Inadequate

I did also request comment from Qantas last week about the issue that the OP in this thread had. I published their response in the relevant article: Qantas Forces Passenger to Accept Downgrade

You'll be pleased to know that we have also now contacted the ACCC about this.

Good to hear. Now while we're waiting for the ACCC, the next logical step would be for AFF to draft our version of what we think the downgrade policy should be. Then present that to the ACCC and the airlines for a determination. This area should be driven by consumers. With direct experience of operational issues, policies in other jurisdictions (EU), past abuses etc. Do we need a dedicated thread to get that started ?
 

get me outta here

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Good idea to have a separate thread. We can also look at / post other examples to the thread from o/s for comparison and argument and put together something well researched thought out and fair. Could be start of something big, and give us something to do in holiday downtime. :)
 
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SOPOOR

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Good to hear. Now while we're waiting for the ACCC, the next logical step would be for AFF to draft our version of what we think the downgrade policy should be. Then present that to the ACCC and the airlines for a determination. This area should be driven by consumers. With direct experience of operational issues, policies in other jurisdictions (EU), past abuses etc. Do we need a dedicated thread to get that started ?
I can reply on Qantas behalf for that

"We thank you for your feedback, your request has been fwded to the relevant department,
You will expect to hear a reply within 14- 28 business months"
 
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Good to hear. Now while we're waiting for the ACCC, the next logical step would be for AFF to draft our version of what we think the downgrade policy should be. Then present that to the ACCC and the airlines for a determination. This area should be driven by consumers. With direct experience of operational issues, policies in other jurisdictions (EU), past abuses etc. Do we need a dedicated thread to get that started ?

You are welcome to start a thread on this, if you like.

As a starting point, the EU already has mandated compensation amounts for involuntary downgrades. Perhaps we could use those as a "benchmark". Either way, whatever the compensation is, the airlines should no longer be allowed to profit from it.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Either:
  • EU's 75% model, or,
  • bumped pax entitled to difference between their original fare in the cabin ticketed and the lowest fare paid in the cabin they end up flying. (which will possibly be close to 75% anyway)

If a pax is initially bumped to a lower cabin but elects to be reaccommodated on another flight in their original cabin - whether the same or another airline - they should be entitled to delay compensation in bands similar to EU: 2 hours $300, 3 hours $500, 4+ hours $1000,

Food an accommodation should be provided for delays where appropriate.
 

KSC

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When my parents many years back got bumped due to oversold Singapore Airlines flight on Economy and no status, they were given accomodation, food vouchers and upgrade voucher to business clason their next flight.
This downgraded passenger should at least got a proper full refund and something extra for her next flight.

The amount of money and time with the back and forth with the call Center combined with bad reputation is not cost effective for Qantas.
 

timster

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You are welcome to start a thread on this, if you like.

As a starting point, the EU already has mandated compensation amounts for involuntary downgrades. Perhaps we could use those as a "benchmark". Either
way, whatever the compensation is, the airlines should no longer be allowed to profit from it.

I have started a new thread for members' contributions to a draft policy on Downgrade Redress ...
 
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Just an update on this.

We've had some correspondence with the ACCC. They have invited AFF members (and anyone else that has been involuntarily downgraded by an airline and believes the compensation provided was inadequate and/or they didn't receive the service they paid for) to report specific concerns about possible contraventions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, including the Australian Consumer Law, to the ACCC Infocentre: Report a consumer issue

Information about the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 is available here: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2019C00317

The ACCC is not a dispute resolution body, and they tell us that they cannot investigate everything that's brought to their attention. But if enough people complain and the issue of unfair airline downgrade compensation is deemed to result in widespread consumer detriment, there is a possibility for the ACCC to take action in the future.

For individual dispute resolution, don't forget about the Airline Customer Advocate. (We do also have an AFF forum for the Airline Customer Advocate, which has helped some of our members in the past.)
 
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Here are a few clauses in the Australian Consumer Law (Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)) which could be relevant here:

Section 18:

18 Misleading or deceptive conduct

(1) A person must not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.

Section 21:

21 Unconscionable conduct in connection with goods or services

(1) A person must not, in trade or commerce, in connection with:

(a) the supply or possible supply of goods or services to a person; or

(b) the acquisition or possible acquisition of goods or services from a person;

engage in conduct that is, in all the circumstances, unconscionable.

Section 61:

61 Guarantees as to fitness for a particular purpose etc.

(1) If:

(a) a person (the supplier) supplies, in trade or commerce, services to a consumer; and

(b) the consumer, expressly or by implication, makes known to the supplier any particular purpose for which the services are being acquired by the consumer;

there is a guarantee that the services, and any product resulting from the services, will be reasonably fit for that purpose.

(2) If:

(a) a person (the supplier) supplies, in trade or commerce, services to a consumer; and

(b) the consumer makes known, expressly or by implication, to:

(i) the supplier; or

(ii) a person by whom any prior negotiations or arrangements in relation to the acquisition of the services were conducted or made;

the result that the consumer wishes the services to achieve;

there is a guarantee that the services, and any product resulting from the services, will be of such a nature, and quality, state or condition, that they might reasonably be expected to achieve that result.

(3) This section does not apply if the circumstances show that the consumer did not rely on, or that it was unreasonable for the consumer to rely on, the skill or judgment of the supplier.

(4) This section does not apply to a supply of services of a professional nature by a qualified architect or engineer.

There may also be other relevant sections.
 

vetrade

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Insofar as QF (or all Aussie airlines) is concerned, the problem with Sections 18, 21 etc. is that QF could readily argue that they do advise passengers that flights may be overbooked, seats / class of travel are not guaranteed and downgrades are possible. Those disclosures are QF's defence against accusations of misleading, deceptive, unconscionable conduct, fitness of purpose and perhaps even the amount of compensation paid, which the airline advises is at their discretion (which therefore presumably infers passenger acceptance).

For those reasons I don't think the general sections of the C&C Act are of much use if the intention is to change airlines' behaviour (obviously QF's long standing behaviour in this regard is proof of that). Laws need to be changed to specifically define what is / is not acceptable practice by airlines regarding downgrades, compensation etc. and stop the practice of airlines themselves setting the rules under which they operate with regard to overbooking etc.
 
M

Max Samuels

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My only criticism is (a) an alternative business class flight should have been offered and(b) the refund should have been the difference between 1/2 of what they paid minus the cheapest economy fare at the time that it was originally booked...with a few thousand bonus points to sweeten the deal.
Does anyone know what the actual "rules" are with being put on another flight? Many years ago I was QF whatever it was SYD-BKK. Anyway it was cancelled and they said that they had put me on the flight "the next day", but I said "nah - I need to go now", and they magically put me on Thai.... if I hadn't pushed back I don't know if that would have been offered to me. I am wondering - is it the same with downgrades?
 
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Max Samuels

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Insofar as QF (or all Aussie airlines) is concerned, the problem with Sections 18, 21 etc. is that QF could readily argue that they do advise passengers that flights may be overbooked, seats / class of travel are not guaranteed and downgrades are possible...
That is true, but it is essentially saying that "we don't promise you anything" but will take your money. That just cannot work in a society, right? One can write as many disclaimers as they like but it still needs to be in the "spirit" of the law. Personally I think they just go down the path of least resistance. They assume and hope that people will allow them to be treated like coughe. But I think if you can be bothered, and hold your ground, you can be compensated. I think it is especially relevant when their advertising revolves all around their "hard" product. If your whole sales pitch is lie-flat beds in J, but you swap it to a 737... I'm sorry Mr Joyce, but that is a COMPLETELY different product and no sane person would say they are equitable in any way. Especially if you pay a premium for that product and chose it over another carrier.
 

KSC

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That is true, but it is essentially saying that "we don't promise you anything" but will take your money. That just cannot work in a society, right? One can write as many disclaimers as they like but it still needs to be in the "spirit" of the law. Personally I think they just go down the path of least resistance. They assume and hope that people will allow them to be treated like coughe. But I think if you can be bothered, and hold your ground, you can be compensated. I think it is especially relevant when their advertising revolves all around their "hard" product. If your whole sales pitch is lie-flat beds in J, but you swap it to a 737... I'm sorry Mr Joyce, but that is a COMPLETELY different product and no sane person would say they are equitable in any way. Especially if you pay a premium for that product and chose it over another carrier.
With the change on Thai was this on first, business or economy?
Also what was your Qantas status ?
Wondering as I have a feeling if you are on
Business or First and a Bronze I’m not sure how accomodating they would be.
 
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Max Samuels

Guest
With the change on Thai was this on first, business or economy?
Also what was your Qantas status ?
Wondering as I have a feeling if you are on
Business or First and a Bronze I’m not sure how accomodating they would be.
Plat
Y

But still... there are obviously "rules" and the agents seem to have some room to move. When I declined to be moved to the next day, they didn't call anyone - they just tapped a few keys on the computer and away I went!
 

KSC

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Y

But still... there are obviously "rules" and the agents seem to have some room to move. When I declined to be moved to the next day, they didn't call anyone - they just tapped a few keys on the computer and away I went!
Yeah you really need to be firm in these situations unfortunately.
 

stoney

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Posts
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When my parents many years back got bumped due to oversold Singapore Airlines flight on Economy and no status, they were given accomodation, food vouchers and upgrade voucher to business clason their next flight.
This downgraded passenger should at least got a proper full refund and something extra for her next flight.

The amount of money and time with the back and forth with the call Center combined with bad reputation is not cost effective for Qantas.
I am old enough to recall the Ansett days when I was a Life member loosing hundreds of thousand points in the demise of the company. It was so good to know that there was a top quality hotel provided together with meals and transport as compensation for problems causing delays. The industry has now become more like a public transport provider than what one expects from an airline where we pay top dollar for business class.
 

stoney

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We do need a separate thread for an all inclusive push back against airlines setting their own rules. I would be happy to contribute to lobbying the right people to bring about a more equitable set of laws. The vehicle would be the AFF as can be seen from this most excellent forum. I see some good advice coming forward and I would like to see some of the senior members like DC3 provide some of their wisdom.
 

blaz

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Does anyone know what the actual "rules" are with being put on another flight? Many years ago I was QF whatever it was SYD-BKK. Anyway it was cancelled and they said that they had put me on the flight "the next day", but I said "nah - I need to go now", and they magically put me on Thai.... if I hadn't pushed back I don't know if that would have been offered to me. I am wondering - is it the same with downgrades?
Yes,...there is a rule about that. My understanding is that if their flight is cancelled or delayed, Qantas are required to put you on the next available flight, no matter the airline.I don't think this is true with budget airlines though as they have a different set of rules.
 
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Max Samuels

Guest
Yes,...there is a rule about that. My understanding is that if their flight is cancelled or delayed, Qantas are required to put you on the next available flight, no matter the airline.I don't think this is true with budget airlines though as they have a different set of rules.
But does it apply to cabin class? I think it should...
 
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