Qantas cancelled my Business Class classic reward and tried to charge me $3000 to reinstate!

MichaelCB

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Jul 6, 2022
Posts
1
Tried to book a flight with a mix of Business and Economy. Didn't have quite enough Reward Pts for Business both ways to Europe. Called Qantas FF centre. Get this, waited 5.75 hrs for the call to be answered and then spent 1.5 hrs working through what I wanted.
At the end of all that time was told they had an IT problem and they would call back. That was April'22 and I am still waiting for the call back.

So, I managed to book a group of multi-city flights and split up the seat classes.

Then Qantas sends a note a few weeks later saying 1 flight leg has changed. By 24 hrs - it happens. I rang them again. Only waited 1.5 hrs but then spent another 1 hr on the phone whilst they worked it out.
They were pretty good (I thought) and made the changes.

A few weeks later I called again. It seemed my leg to get over to Europe had disappeared. What the...
At least I only waited 0.5 hr on hold but another 1 hr trying to resolve. They said they would fix it and call me back to confirm. Humbly apologised for the error. That was mid-June. Guess what, still waiting for the call.

So, called again early July. Humble apologies again. Only waited 20mins for the call to be picked up, but again spent over an hour on the phone working through this. Terribly sorry but there are no rewards seats for the dates I need. I have connecting flights and accommodation already booked.
They said they could fix it. All I had to do was buy 2 new tickets to get to Europe and they could get me on a plane. COST OF TICKETS 1 WAY TO ROME = $6500.
So, I had gone from having confirmed seats to Rome and paying only points (zero dollars), to Qantas saying it was all their fault and they could fix it if I pay them $6500. They said they would ring me back and confirm if they could do something different for me. Maybe fix this.
That was 5 days ago. Guess what. Still waiting for them to call.

3 Days ago I rang again. There is nothing they can do from their end. Need to complete a Customer Feedback Form. I have done this. If it is anything like their phone calls this will probably get lost in the "dark zone".

I've re-booked with another airline at almost half the quoted Qantas price. Discussed the matter with the travel insurers - it's a maybe.

Amazed that a major Australian Corporation can admit to completely stuffing everything up. Putting us through all the stress and apologising. And then saying that I have to pay them to fix their problem.
 
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bazzam

Intern
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Apr 17, 2008
Posts
62
Has anyone had any luck using the Airline Customer Advocate (ACA)? Home

According to it's charter "The Airline Customer Advocate is an independent body established in July 2012 as an industry based scheme to facilitate the efficient resolution of complaints from customers about the airline service provided by the five participating airlines. These airlines are Jetstar Airways, Qantas, Regional Express and Virgin Australia."

So given it's apparently funded and run by the airlines to monitor themselves, I'm not expecting much.

According to their website customers can complain about:
  • flight delays or cancellations
  • telephone or internet reservations
  • customer service at the airport or inflight
  • baggage services
  • fees and charges
  • safety and security
  • airport lounge facilities
  • frequent flyer program terms and conditions
  • discrimination and services for customers with specific needs
  • requests for refunds
The biggest hurdle to even lodge a valid compaint in that you need to file a complaint with the airline, wait for their response and then request the airline review the response if you are not happy with the outcome. Only then are you eligible to lodge a complaint with the ACA.

Even then, according to the ACA "In general, phone calls and chat discussions are not considered to be part of the ACA’s complaints process.". To me this seems to suggest that unless you get anything in writing from the airline any conversations are worthless. Given the lack of response from Qantas there doesn't seem to be much chance of email correspondence being received.

Wondering if anyone has any success or experience with the ACA?

Seems like it may be a bit of a waste of time with the likely outcome of booking a new ticket (not with Qantas).
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Posts
20,827
Qantas
Platinum
Amazed that a major Australian Corporation can admit to completely stuffing everything up. Putting us through all the stress and apologising. And then saying that I have to pay them to fix their problem.
Welcome to AFF @MichaelCB . Sorry to hear the circumstances that brings you here.

Unfortunately it’s all too common with today’s Qantas. There are dozens of stories like yours here but I don’t suppose that makes you feel any better. Getting passengers to pay for a revenue ticket when they stuff up the points ticket is also very common. I wonder if they have a script to suggest that?
 

Ewing

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Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Posts
2,489
Qantas
Gold
Virgin
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Mine haven't ticketed without API in recent memory. However, it has been an automatic process - book, get PNR, do API, e-ticket shows up a few minutes later.

But this is getting off topic.

Apologies for the OT - but I wonder if it's changed again.

I'm flying SYD-LAX on Friday. Realising I hadn't entered my API when applying for my ESTA on Sunday night, I entered it. I have an e-ticket PNR issued in March.

I haven't flown to the US since just before the pandemic but I do now recall having to enter it to get an e-ticket in the past (I just wasn't match fit this time 🤣).
 

Guvner

Established Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Posts
1,335
Has anyone had any luck using the Airline Customer Advocate (ACA)? Home

According to it's charter "The Airline Customer Advocate is an independent body established in July 2012 as an industry based scheme to facilitate the efficient resolution of complaints from customers about the airline service provided by the five participating airlines. These airlines are Jetstar Airways, Qantas, Regional Express and Virgin Australia."

So given it's apparently funded and run by the airlines to monitor themselves, I'm not expecting much.

According to their website customers can complain about:
  • flight delays or cancellations
  • telephone or internet reservations
  • customer service at the airport or inflight
  • baggage services
  • fees and charges
  • safety and security
  • airport lounge facilities
  • frequent flyer program terms and conditions
  • discrimination and services for customers with specific needs
  • requests for refunds
The biggest hurdle to even lodge a valid compaint in that you need to file a complaint with the airline, wait for their response and then request the airline review the response if you are not happy with the outcome. Only then are you eligible to lodge a complaint with the ACA.

Even then, according to the ACA "In general, phone calls and chat discussions are not considered to be part of the ACA’s complaints process.". To me this seems to suggest that unless you get anything in writing from the airline any conversations are worthless. Given the lack of response from Qantas there doesn't seem to be much chance of email correspondence being received.

Wondering if anyone has any success or experience with the ACA?

Seems like it may be a bit of a waste of time with the likely outcome of booking a new ticket (not with Qantas).
I recall reading an article somewhere recently (on here maybe?) about exactly this issue.

The obvious flaw here is there is no apparent time limit for a written response from the airline(s). A better process is one where the complaint is lodged, and a process is triggered, via the ACA website and an automated notification sent to the airline with the details pro-forma style. That way there's transparency, consistency of information shared, and a set time limit for all parties.
If the airline fails to respond within a certain timeframe, the complaint is then automatically formally raised with the ACA and all parties notified.
If the airline consistently fails to respond, fines apply. The fines can finance the people, process and technology required at the ACA, or stick yet another charge on flights.

The govt doesn't seem to hesitate introducing these types of monitored processes when it comes to banks etc. Maybe because they don't have a Chairman's Club.
 

Mr H

Established Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Posts
1,361
I recall reading an article somewhere recently (on here maybe?) about exactly this issue.

The obvious flaw here is there is no apparent time limit for a written response from the airline(s). A better process is one where the complaint is lodged, and a process is triggered, via the ACA website and an automated notification sent to the airline with the details pro-forma style. That way there's transparency, consistency of information shared, and a set time limit for all parties.
If the airline fails to respond within a certain timeframe, the complaint is then automatically formally raised with the ACA and all parties notified.
If the airline consistently fails to respond, fines apply. The fines can finance the people, process and technology required at the ACA, or stick yet another charge on flights.

The govt doesn't seem to hesitate introducing these types of monitored processes when it comes to banks etc. Maybe because they don't have a Chairman's Club.
I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.

If I were making a complaint with a view to going to a regulator or court, I would write by registered post to the registered address and include something like:

"I look forward to receiving your reply within 28 days. If I do not receive a reply in full or direct contact details of a named case officer within 28 days, I will assume you have decided not to engage with my complaint".

Then, after 28 days, if there is no response I would invite them to reconsider their position with identical wording but 14 days instead of 28.

I would hold that up as evidence of a complaint and an appeal against the outcome.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2014
Posts
7
Have been reading this blog for a week with much trepidation. Booked in Jan-Apr an extended family visit to LHR and onto ATH with a cruise to BOM, flying onwards to MEL; all in Bus on pts. BOM-MEL booked for 2. I have had to forget the cruise so have booked a paid flight ATH-MEL via DXB in Bus. No relevant FF flight available. Problem - what is risk of losing total booking for 2 BUS tickets (QFF points) BOM-KUL-MEL with a partner airline (Malaysian airlines) given the many issues raised in this forum.

Called Q Call Centre this am and got Fiji after wait of 10 mins. Explained what I wanted to do to operator, Beccy, who listened carefully as I said I did not want cancel the 2 person booking if you cannot re-book wife's ticket and cancel mine. "Yes I can do that, split your current ticket into separate booking, leaving wife's ticket as per the original booking and then cancel my booking". She did the split and then said "log into your QFF account and can you see the new separate booking" - "Yes I can," can you see your wife's stand alone booking "Yes again". Now I will cancel your separate booking which will disappear from your QFF account." It did. Quoted points return of 104,500 in 5-7 days and $$ back in 8 weeks. All over in 28 mins. I don't know whether this is standard for Q call centres but I was impressed with her skill and agility. Await to see what partner airline does in a few days time.
 

Mr H

Established Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Posts
1,361
Have been reading this blog for a week with much trepidation. Booked in Jan-Apr an extended family visit to LHR and onto ATH with a cruise to BOM, flying onwards to MEL; all in Bus on pts. BOM-MEL booked for 2. I have had to forget the cruise so have booked a paid flight ATH-MEL via DXB in Bus. No relevant FF flight available. Problem - what is risk of losing total booking for 2 BUS tickets (QFF points) BOM-KUL-MEL with a partner airline (Malaysian airlines) given the many issues raised in this forum.

Called Q Call Centre this am and got Fiji after wait of 10 mins. Explained what I wanted to do to operator, Beccy, who listened carefully as I said I did not want cancel the 2 person booking if you cannot re-book wife's ticket and cancel mine. "Yes I can do that, split your current ticket into separate booking, leaving wife's ticket as per the original booking and then cancel my booking". She did the split and then said "log into your QFF account and can you see the new separate booking" - "Yes I can," can you see your wife's stand alone booking "Yes again". Now I will cancel your separate booking which will disappear from your QFF account." It did. Quoted points return of 104,500 in 5-7 days and $$ back in 8 weeks. All over in 28 mins. I don't know whether this is standard for Q call centres but I was impressed with her skill and agility. Await to see what partner airline does in a few days time.

You need to go to an Amadeus portal (Check My Trip will do) and make sure every booked sector has a ticket number. If not, you need to sit on the phone until they do. MH has an issue with married sectors - so two MH flights with less than 24 hours between them will become paired and a change to one will knock out the other one.
 

Mr H

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Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Posts
1,361
It would be.... but this OWA pnr is on the old 280k points system.

I also think there will be issues getting the correct refund back because of many changes to this booking. The Qantas system seems coughpy, they can't seem to see all the taxes changes on their system. It disappears after changes, being replaced by new amounts OR it just disappears after a few months.

I am sure you are within your rights to be making the changes, but your original booking would have been made prior to 19 September 2019 - nearly three years ago. You must have made multiple changes to it over the past three years to keep it alive. It is hardly surprising that the system is struggling to cope.
 

ChrisMars

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Sep 16, 2017
Posts
647
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[/QUOTE]
I am sure you are within your rights to be making the changes, but your original booking would have been made prior to 19 September 2019 - nearly three years ago. You must have made multiple changes to it over the past three years to keep it alive. It is hardly surprising that the system is struggling to cope.

Can we keep award booking alive that long? Does it means that next time Qantas enhancce the award chart, it might be good idea to make a bunch of booking and keep them alive as needed?

Edit, just realising change fee, when back, will make this unatractive
 

renatts

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Posts
110
There would be special Covid circumstances that allowed the booking to remain alive so long.
Can we keep award booking alive that long? Does it means that next time Qantas enhancce the award chart, it might be good idea to make a bunch of booking and keep them alive as needed?

Edit, just realising change fee, when back, will make this unatractive

I just returned from a OWA originally booked 6th August 2019 for a May 2020 trip. Delayed it over 10 times due to Covid for a May 2022 trip.

It was a hassle, but I kept it alive. Kept the old 280k per person rate.

A few Hobart operators commented on how messy it was, a few overseas operators didn’t know how to deal with it, and I had a lot of trouble keeping it alive. Would not recommend.
 

Ktan89

Member
Joined
May 28, 2019
Posts
454
Yeah, the rules were originally 12months but due to covid they were able to keep it alive. It must be really messy especially if you change the departure city because the currency charge will also need to be converted.
I do think there were some charges and refunds of taxes were incorrectly calculated from time to time
This time they have really messed up mine and all I can do is wait until customer service replies back to me after submitting a Web form.
They should credit me back the previous charge of $2,769.08 and let tax calculation start fresh again now. I did manage to add another flight to it and paid another additional taxes - new tickets came through after being on the phone with the consultant for 4hours the team leader came on and said she will get it done for me.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2014
Posts
7
You need to go to an Amadeus portal (Check My Trip will do) and make sure every booked sector has a ticket number. If not, you need to sit on the phone until they do. MH has an issue with married sectors - so two MH flights with less than 24 hours between them will become paired and a change to one will knock out the other one.
Thank you Mr H. Just got back to this. Check My Trip says each leg has the same Booking No. Am I to assume that 2 separate ticket numbers are required, one for each leg? Would separate Booking no's require bags to be picked up from flight #1 and re-lodged at baggage drop for flight #2? Also go thru security again?
 

Mr H

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Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Posts
1,361
Thank you Mr H. Just got back to this. Check My Trip says each leg has the same Booking No. Am I to assume that 2 separate ticket numbers are required, one for each leg? Would separate Booking no's require bags to be picked up from flight #1 and re-lodged at baggage drop for flight #2? Also go thru security again?
The ticket number is multiple digits - looking like 081-2223337777. This will be the same for each flight, but you need to check that it is listed for each flight - otherwise the flight is not on the ticket.
 

Mr H

Established Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Posts
1,361
The ticket no appears once on the MH E-ticket covering both sectors. KUL is the change of sectors and flight. Sufficient?

If the e-ticket shows the new flight then all is good. But if it doesn't then it was a point in time that has passed. E-tickets are mostly decorative, it is the booking on the Amadeus system in real time that counts - that determines whether or not you can fly!
 

Ktan89

Member
Joined
May 28, 2019
Posts
454
I think Qantas just walked away with my additional $2,769.08 in taxes.. I sent two emails to Stephanie Tully's emails with no respond. I haven't heard anything from my web complaint form/ticket. Qantas Twitter doesn't respond back to me at all now and if I call the booking team, they will say they cant help with refunds.. which is strange because they can expedite refunds on a cancelled PNR so they must be able to contact some ticketing team/department internally.
I have no luck with reaching the Hobart team now, I tried 4times this morning already.
 
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