Qantas Loyalty Programme – An oxymoron

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by sailor, Aug 24, 2006.

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  1. sailor

    sailor Newbie

    Dec 21, 2003
    7
    0
    My wife and I have been ticking along for a few years as Silvers – mainly internal business, but some OS – watching the QFF programme become less and less a rewards programme for loyalty and more a failure to fulfil the promise.

    Our main use of points has been upgrades from Cattle to Business for the annual trip back to the UK.

    We were pretty miffed with the last set of “improvements’ by QFF – especially the one about not knowing if you get an upgrade until turning up – but hadn’t actually realised how much it had changed our flying habits until I happened to look back on the last year.

    Our number of trips has actually gone up, but Qantas got the grand sum of two flights. About $50k has gone to the Bearded One’s mob - let alone what we’ve spent on the international stuff.

    You really must admire Qantas. They have managed to take a very loyal, reasonable spend customer and so alienate him that it has become habitual NOT to fly Qantas.

    It’s quite scarey. There is a straw that breaks the camel’s back. I wonder if I’d change back if they went back to the old way?
     

  2. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Interesting comments, I too find I am being less loyal to QF than I have been in the past. This year, about to have my 3rd J class trip to Asia, all on SQ none on QF. My trips to NZ have been on NZ. Even domestically I've started using DJ between MEL&CBR and ZL between SYD&DBO whereas before all QF. I will retain WP through a trip to US, but even then may consider NZ. Loyalty (and disloyalty) goes both ways.
     
  3. Dajop has raised some interesting points. I suppose some of what I will add here needs to be looked at from the amount of flying and spending one does. I dont think I do enough to do what Dajop does, because I am flat out retaining QF Gold. I often feel that points are a secondary consideration to SCs. This is where a forum like this is good. Someone needs to develop principles to work out when it is a good idea to diversify into other programs and switch loyalty between carriers. Dajop is able to do this and still retain QF WP. I joined RexFlyer because under a BFOD policy I flew 3 sectors on ZL - now I only need 6 more to qualify for a free flight, but I'm reluctant to fly ZL because I need the QF SCs. I also Joined AAdvantage after reading many of the posts here, and when I have time next year to evaluate things in the cold hard light of day I may use that membership more. I suppose the question is: Where is the break-even point between continuing to support (let's not use the word loyalty) one program and chasing the benefits that may accrue by using other programs?:?: :confused:
     
  4. sailor

    sailor Newbie

    Dec 21, 2003
    7
    0
    All fair and valid points – each of us is slightly different in our objectives and use of QFF..

    For me floating in Silver, SC’s were never too important – I get the same benefits from being a member of QC – and would have had that membership anyway (although would probably have hit Gold this year ironically).

    The only time Silver helped was getting upgrades – and to be honest, if flying Business to the UK, I’d prefer to know when packing, not checking in.

    Having said all that, am still flying QF Business to UK for Xmas – courtesy of points accrued from under a year’s worth of Amex use (plus $500 bucks worth of fees, taxes etc etc etc etc).
     
  5. mileagemax

    mileagemax Intern

    May 11, 2006
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    #5 mileagemax, Aug 24, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2006
    I agree with you Sailor.

    I no longer place value in frequent flyer points with Qantas... even if you earn them, they are just so damn hard to use when you want. If I can use them when I want, I see them as just a surprised bonus.

    I will pick Qantas for other reasons...

    Domestic - Qantas Club access, food/drink, professional service
    International - Safety, Australianess (if there is such a word), Hip Style, Skybeds, Entertainment System
     
  6. cowombat

    cowombat Intern

    Aug 17, 2005
    57
    0
    Melbourne
    All that has been written above applies to me. I'm writing from Asia, having come up on QF earlier in the week on an old 767. Chose this because it was a non-stop - the only thing going for it. Big disappointment compared to 2 weeks ago on SQ where the amenities & seat was soooo much better. Especially the inflight internet access. SQ really understands what it is to be a business traveller. The poor old QF staff were good.. but their efforts don't outweigh the tired product.

    And earlier in the year my partner and I were off to Europe for a well earned rest. Her on a business class FF ticket, so she knew she had a comfy seat. Me on a purchased economy with fingers crossed that upgrades would come through. On the way home we changed plane at LHR to QF. At the point of walking into the departure gate I still had zero knowledge as to whether we would be sitting together in the pointy end, or me back in cattle class. What a dumb way to treat a platinum member!

    We had used the extortinate 240000 points for her business class ticket. I was slow to learn that AAdvantage is the answer. So know I have dumped QF FF program in favour of AA, and as far as possible will fly SQ (where I use LH Star Alliance membership and can still earn PPS points - what a superior FF service!!!)

    The only reason QF 'gets away' with it's ever-contracting FF offer is because of (1) lack of Aussie competition, and (2) ignorance of 99.99% of the population that AAdvantage and LH and SQ alternatives are freely available. Probably this is for the best - if everyone went over to AA, that airline would probably put obstacles in the way of Aussies bypassing QF.
     
  7. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    I had upgrades on two flights this week to and from HKG; both times I knew about the success more than 12 hours before the flights by using www.checkmytrip.com. I was then able to contact Qantas and request a more preferable seat.

    While it was better to know about a successful upgrade when requesting them, I think the current program allows for: 1) more availabiltiy of F/J award seats and 2) greater chance of upgrading.

    IMO Upgrades on longhaul flights are still the most efficient use of Qantas FF points even after the May'05 changes (of course the were even better before then).
     
  8. sailor

    sailor Newbie

    Dec 21, 2003
    7
    0
    Thanks for that tip Serfy - just shows I should lurk here more often.

    But doesn't it just prove my point - if Qantas are allocating seats at least 12 hours out - and it's possible to see that through an external organisation - they're just pi%$*ing in your pocket by making you wait to find out until check-in.
     
  9. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    They don't make you wait until check-in. Anyone can look at the QF FF web site to see if their waitlisted upgrade had been successful. Mine have shown there between 24 and 12 hours before the flight. Nothing "external" about that. And you can phone them and they will tell you as well.

    As soon as I see the waitlist clear I am on the phone to pre-allocate my preferred seat in the upgraded cabin. So the reservations staff can also see that it has been processed. They just don't want to commit to phone everyone to inform them.
     
  10. garyjohn951

    garyjohn951 Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    561
    2
    Melbourne
    I am afraid they can and do wait until you are even at the boarding gate to give you the upgrade.
    Example
    Flew Mel-Syd at 8.00 for connection to 10.30 Syd - Beijing. Checked in at Mel at 7.15, well within the 5 hrs Qantas say you can look for your upgrade. Booking clerk, said sorry no upgrade, here are your BP's all the way thru.
    Asked in QP at 9.00am, still no go. On boarding at 10.15, they spat the BP's out and we got into J.
     
  11. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    That sounds more like an operational upgrade and not a waitlisted upgrade award. The only reason for an upgrade at that point is because they want your economy seat for someone else.

    Perhaps they looked for someone who had requested an upgrade award when they found they needed the op-up and that way they can take the points from the person being upgraded rather than make it free as would have otherwise happened.
     
  12. garyjohn951

    garyjohn951 Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    561
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    doubt it, we were waitlisted for the upgrade to J.
    Went for a stroll thru Y and probably 20 vacant seats.
     
  13. NM

    NM
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    Even though there are empty seats they may still have needed your seat to allow a family/group to be seated together. If it was done at the gate then it was a manual upgrade processes at the airport, which is quite a different process to the usual upgrade waitlist processing.
     
  14. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I am happy with QF so no need to go looking for alternate FF programs. Points are OK but no great deal, status is more important to me.

    I know most people do not agree but I think their customer service is great. The few times that I have an issue it has been resolved to my satisfaction in a timely and efficient manner.

    They also took care of rerouting new flights quickly, without me asking, when I arrived, with 2 bags to check-in, 15 minutes before my SYD-ADL-DRW flight was due to depart.
     
  15. garyjohn951

    garyjohn951 Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    561
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    Melbourne
    mmm, still not convinced it was operational, they still took the points out of my account which indicates upgrade.
     
  16. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    That doesn't mean anything. Some airlines (eg LH) are good at getting customers to pay for upgrades (through miles or upgrade vouchers) when they would have op-upped anyway.
     
  17. Wunala Dreaming

    Mar 14, 2006
    349
    40
    Brisbane
    Note that on flights to Beijing and Shanghai, Qantas is required to block off a number of rows (for the 333 to be able to complete the trip) - that's probably why you saw free Y seats and were upgraded to J.

    Cheers


     
  18. cowombat

    cowombat Intern

    Aug 17, 2005
    57
    0
    Melbourne
    Now that's an interesting comment. Can you tell me which other routes (ie distance) have the same issue? This week I was told my company needs to save $$$$ by year end and by the way, would you mind flying economy sometimes into Asia? Well, yes, I do mind!

    But if I knew the 330-300s must have vacant seats - all the easier to ensure I get some reasonable space by requesting blocking out of seats beside me(being platinum etc should help the request).
     
  19. sinophile

    sinophile Newbie

    Aug 29, 2006
    1
    0
    Perth
     
  20. Altair

    Altair Active Member

    Aug 22, 2006
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    Wellington
     
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