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Qantas holiday fiasco...

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by waltervp, Sep 3, 2003.

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  1. waltervp

    waltervp Intern

    Nov 8, 2002
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    I got my 71 y.o. mother and the 7 y.o. twins to the airport too late at the end of their Cairns visit, and they were checking in one minute past the closing of flight time... (It closed while they stood in line). Mother had one suitcase, and the kids had carry-on only. The suitcase I could have taken care of, but they were not going to let them on. The service desk told mum to buy a new ticket for all three of them immediately to get on the next flight.

    Two hours and almost $1700 later they got on a plane to Canberra. They had a Qantas holiday with non-refundable flights. I did not know that it did not cover getting to the airport late! I thought that was for changes of plans!
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    Being a Gold FF myself Qantas has always bowed over backwards for me. How can they do this to a pensioner!!! HELP!
     
  2. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
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    Wasn't there a priority check in line at Cairns ? (if you're SG, you should be able to use it).
     


  3. waltervp

    waltervp Intern

    Nov 8, 2002
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    There was only 1 or 2 people in line in any case. I was not flying myself and mother/kids are regular FF members only....
     
  4. redrat

    redrat Member

    Apr 26, 2003
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    I know it's a little late to be advising this but if it was me I would have used my status to get to the business checkin and then asked people there if I could go in front of them.
    I've let people through in front of me before when it's obvious they're close to the wire.
    Truth be known, the seats had probably been re-allocated to a standby or overbooked in the firstplace. :(
     
  5. waltervp

    waltervp Intern

    Nov 8, 2002
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    I did not know they were on the 10:00am (exactly) flight, I thought they wanted to be at the airport at 10am... which is why we were late in the first place. My mother told me verbally they were on the 10am flight and we aimed at being there at 930am. Some delays later we got there at 945am and at the counter at 946am, I still had not realised the actual flight time was 10am, and thought mother just gave me the time she wanted to be at the airport... Typically a flight time is 10:05 or 10:35... when she told me 10am I figured that was not a flight time but the time she wanted to be at the airport so she could be there well in advance....

    These are really just the silly things that can go wrong. So until they told us at the counter the flight just closed a minute ago it still caught me by surprise. But the point that remains is how can they be so harsh to a pensioner and two little kids.

    They told me that things have changed, shareholders and royalty alike, they all get treated the same now... and this is what they do. Bang! I was not dressed in a suit myself, was not shaven, and was treated with contempt and even felt that the lady at the service desk was rude to me for even challenging them!

    When I asked if they could hold the seats on the next flight while I checked the Virgin desk she said she could not, nor was there a guarantee these 3 seats would still be there in 3 minutes as all flights were really full for the next few days... My mother did not want to miss that flight, fearing she would be stuck in Cairns and immediately paid the demanded $1700.

    My experience has been the exact opposite in the past. In the past they made no fuss for me coming as late as 2 hours past flight time to check in with my non-refundable tickets and reroute me without questions! I have had to buy new tickets, or pay additional $$$ at times when I made flight changes in advance. That is the price you pay for cheap tickets. But just being a little late... come on Qantas!
     


  6. shillard

    shillard Guest

    You said it yourself, mate, "that's the price you pay for cheap tickets."

    A few points.....

    1) Travel insurance - ever heard of it? This is why you see it recommended so strongly EVERYWHERE - travel agent brochures, QF Holiday brochures, the QF website, EVERYWHERE.

    2) Various conditions apply to various fare classes - these should have been explained at the time of booking, and with some cheap fares if you miss your flight - YOU LOSE. See Point 1 above.

    3) Put yourself in QF's shoes - would you hold seats for a customer while they ducked off to see if the competition could do it cheaper?

    4) Surely as an SG you would have the presence of mind to determine exactly when your mum was supposed to depart, and ensure that you got her to the airport in plenty of time? I never leave things like this to chance, and quite possibly waste a lot of time by always getting to the airport earlier than I need to - but then, I've never missed a flight.

    5) Why should pensioners or kids be entitled to special treatment in a case like this? Do they pay more for their tickets than the average joe, and are thus more deserving of special consideration? I think not.
     
  7. waltervp

    waltervp Intern

    Nov 8, 2002
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    Point taken. It is currently with the travel insurance... The booking had nothing to do with me, they were my relations, I offered to get them to the plane, I tried my best but got them there late. They paid for the consequence, Qantas got their money, Qantas did not loose the full fare to the competitor, no loss to me either.... Why should I care? Guess it is the same as the taxi being late, missing a bus or something...

    As I have been late for flights and have missed plenty of them, I have never been treated like I saw them being treated, and it was disappointing to me. I lost my loyalty to Qantas and since the FF point system is only getting worse (in my opinion) and the fees for everything (especially the related credit cards) higher I have no more incentive to fly Qantas at all. I will now fly on $/schedule basis, and not be biased towards Qantas. No big deal, Qantas wont even notice my lack of loyalty if I fly with someone else here and there. The world still goes around, and airlines come and go just like their customers.

    Let my experience be a warning for other tourists who might be as dumb as me and for those who can't get kids and older people to the plane in time. Especially for fellow travellers who are so used to the special treatment that if one day the book gets thrown at them they get outraged. There are rules for a reason.... Now lets explain this all to my 70 year old mother and my brother who pays for the kids' fares...
     
  8. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Why complain here? Send a letter to QF. I can understand their position, but it sounds like they were excessively rude about it. They should have at least advised you the $1700 fare would be fully refundable - so then you could have booked it, gone off and checked DJ, or contacted a QF call centre to try to get a cheaper routing, and if so, returned and cancelled the fare ad got your money back.

    Note - OTD's are now one of the key performance indicators by which QF will be measured, now that DJ is forcing them to reveal their punctuality statistics. It's a shame though they couldn't just let you pay the difference between what had been paid and the new $1700 fare.
     
  9. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    I am not too sure that they would have been "rude". Don't forget that I used to work there doing just that job, and still have to deal with the "great unwashed" on a day to day basis.

    Quite often, what is said in a certain manner does not appear to an impartial bystander to be rude, but when heard by the passenger, who has just been told that their flight was closed and leaving without them, and has also been told they will have to cough up another $1700, in this stressful situation, it can appear to be rude to them.

    Not really sure that travel insurance will cover this case either. Can't recall a single insurance policy covering you for "forgot to ensure that I got to the airport in time to check in". Injury, yes. Accidents, Yes. But not this one.

    Dave
     
  10. waltervp

    waltervp Intern

    Nov 8, 2002
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    I must agree... Also cannot imagine insurance covering this. The flat tire excuse would work better than some uncle excuse!

    Anyway, I feel bad for them, wished I could change it, and I will be more on time myself in future too. No complaints about the staff either, they no doubt have bosses that harass them for not following the rules, for planes leaving late, etc.... My wife tells me to get over it too and just because I have always been 'lucky' doesn't mean everybody should get away with it! It was a very expensive lesson none of the involved could afford...

    Walter---
     
  11. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

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    Probably In QF's case (ie duopoly) this is reasonable to expect. But I've had businesses (hotels usually) that have had expensive offerings and directed me to competitors. Net result ... I gain respect for that business and are much more likely to send my business their way in the future.
     
  12. QF WP

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    Jun 20, 2002
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    waltervp, while we can all feel for all involved, I agree with all the posters here....shillard put it succinctly. Particularly as you are a QF Gold and should be used to the close-off timing, not checking with your mother as to the flight number, departure time - she unfortunately also should take part of the blame as the pax who was lax.

    Had you been there in the line 5 minutes earlier, you would have been heard the normal call of "any paxs in the line waiting for QFXXX , please go to Counter yyy for immediate check-in for this flight."

    Don't like your chances with QF or travel insurance.
     
  13. hardya

    hardya Intern

    Oct 19, 2003
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    After all the discussion in this thread, it is obvious that talking about being there on time etc is purely academic as the event is over.

    Write a FAX on behalf of your mother (clearly pointing out your status as well) and kindly request reconsideration of the decision.

    Might be handy if you could claim some excuse such as mechanical breakdown or similar circumstance (just being late may not be acceptable).

    FAX to the attention of Geoff Dixon, Qantas CEO : (02) 9691 3339.

    Failing that, write again and tell them you intend to take considerable business elsewhere if the issue is not properly addressed.

    May not work, but wortha go.
     
  14. redrat

    redrat Member

    Apr 26, 2003
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    Well there goes that good thought. I thought you knew the QF people read this forum to see what's going on as well.
     
  15. sully

    sully Member

    Jul 31, 2003
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    Can't we just build a bridge??? (ie get over it). If you stuff up the times, and have no real excuse but that you stuffed up the times, then pay the price.

    Sometimes threads become quite frayed. This one is, I'm afraid.
     
  16. straitman

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    Apr 27, 2003
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    :D As sully says, it's time we all moved on. :D
     
  17. sully

    sully Member

    Jul 31, 2003
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    Wolloomooloo, NSW
    Absolutely. While I may seem to be labouring the point that I have suggested be dropped, I think we should be constructive in our advice. Telling a gold FF member to advise Dixon that he may consider taking his business elsewhere is a bit of a joke. If there was a viable alternative such as the Ansett Golden Wing Club (aahh the good old days of inefficiency yet frequent upgrades) then this would have some validity. Vergin on the Ridiculous is NOT such an alternative.

    Oh I know, if you don't treat me well then I will go on Countrylink, those 48 hours of travel will show YOU.
     
  18. QF WP

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    :wink: As sully and straitman have said, it's time we all moved on.

    The only additional point that could keep this thread alive is a report from waltervp on any action after the event.

    In the absence of any report, next.....
     
  19. hardya

    hardya Intern

    Oct 19, 2003
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    Fax to Dixon

    OK, Dixon may just laugh at a fax from a whingeing member of the public, however even if there is only a 1% chance of QF being generous and refunding the money, surely it is worth the 20 cent fax. And if he is a QF FF Gold then he has a lot of other options next time he flies abroad. And he would talk to a lot of his friends as well.
     
  20. QF WP

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    hardya, Dixon wouldn't even see the fax as it would be directed for answer by his office staff to somebody in Public Relations.
     
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