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Qantas Revenue booking cancellations (under covid19)

Melburnian1

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This isn't really 'news' for some AFFers, but here's part of an article from 'The Australian' online featuring QF unfavourably (Tuesday 15 September 2020):

'Qantas is leaving passengers with international flight bookings in limbo by refusing to cancel services from October onwards, despite a federal government ban on overseas travel being extended to December 17.

The Qantas position means those who opt to cancel their overseas flights face a penalty even though there is virtually no prospect of the services being operated.

On its website, Qantas says it knows it is “frustrating however we don’t want to cancel flights that we may be able to operate”.

Chief executive Alan Joyce has said international flying would not resume in any significant way until July 2021.

A spokesman indicated an update was likely in the next few weeks, with the schedule for international flights now a month-by-month consideration. “We continue to work through an unprecedented number of booking changes due to travel restrictions,” he said.

“Our flights are being cancelled in stages to best manage this, with impacted customers being contacted and provided with their options.”

The situation has floored travellers who want fares refunded for flights they know they won’t be able to take because of the government ban.

Lifetime gold frequent flyer Ian Harris said he was still waiting for a refund for $12,500 for premium seats on Brisbane-Chicago flights booked in June.

“We held on until the flights were cancelled by Qantas and were told we should not expect a refund for 10 weeks,” he said.

“It’s been over 10 weeks now and we’re still in the dark. My loyalty to Qantas is completely shot.” He contrasted the treatment from Qantas to that of China Airlines, which contacted his travel agent the day after the overseas travel ban was extended...'
 

maroonone

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This isn't really 'news' for some AFFers, but here's part of an article from 'The Australian' online featuring QF unfavourably (Tuesday 15 September 2020):

'Qantas is leaving passengers with international flight bookings in limbo by refusing to cancel services from October onwards, despite a federal government ban on overseas travel being extended to December 17.

The Qantas position means those who opt to cancel their overseas flights face a penalty even though there is virtually no prospect of the services being operated.

On its website, Qantas says it knows it is “frustrating however we don’t want to cancel flights that we may be able to operate”.

Chief executive Alan Joyce has said international flying would not resume in any significant way until July 2021.

A spokesman indicated an update was likely in the next few weeks, with the schedule for international flights now a month-by-month consideration. “We continue to work through an unprecedented number of booking changes due to travel restrictions,” he said.

“Our flights are being cancelled in stages to best manage this, with impacted customers being contacted and provided with their options.”

The situation has floored travellers who want fares refunded for flights they know they won’t be able to take because of the government ban.

Lifetime gold frequent flyer Ian Harris said he was still waiting for a refund for $12,500 for premium seats on Brisbane-Chicago flights booked in June.

“We held on until the flights were cancelled by Qantas and were told we should not expect a refund for 10 weeks,” he said.

“It’s been over 10 weeks now and we’re still in the dark. My loyalty to Qantas is completely shot.” He contrasted the treatment from Qantas to that of China Airlines, which contacted his travel agent the day after the overseas travel ban was extended...'
My experience (twice) has been ringing at 10 weeks +1 day for a booking direct with QF and they wil contact the refund dept and refund to credit card within 3days
 

zig

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Finally received refunds for 2 cancelled flights this week. They were cancelled on 23/6. After 12 weeks I phoned QF to follow up and was told they would be escalated for refund and I should receive the funds in 5 working days. A further 2 weeks passed and I followed up again. This time I had a helpful agent in Auckland who kept me on hold whilst she phoned the finance department. After 15 minutes on hold she was still waiting on hold herself to speak with the finance department and offered to phone me back once she had spoken to them. About 30 mins later she phoned back to tell me that I QF would process the refunds in 3 days. I received an email notification about 1 refund, but not the other. Funds back in my Amex account in 4 days.
 

Notyourbag

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Just called the QFF number to get a flight refund vs travel credit. Was passed through to the reservations team (only a 5 minute wait!). I asked if I could get the refund moved from my AMEX I'm looking to cancel this month to my Qantas Visa. The lady gave me the shrqetrefunds@qantas.com.au email and explained I need a letter from AMEX and the new VISA bank with the credit card details or two separate letters signed by a JD stating which card has been shut down and which is open.

What a mess! It shouldn't be this hard! Kudos to Etihad as you just needed to enter your CC or bank details on where you want the refund to go.
 

Danger

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Just called the QFF number to get a flight refund vs travel credit. Was passed through to the reservations team (only a 5 minute wait!). I asked if I could get the refund moved from my AMEX I'm looking to cancel this month to my Qantas Visa. The lady gave me the shrqetrefunds@qantas.com.au email and explained I need a letter from AMEX and the new VISA bank with the credit card details or two separate letters signed by a JD stating which card has been shut down and which is open.

What a mess! It shouldn't be this hard! Kudos to Etihad as you just needed to enter your CC or bank details on where you want the refund to go.

I imagine the easier experience with EY is because the UAE doesn't have the stringent anti-money laundering laws that we do.
 

maroonone

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Just rang to refund Int’l cancelled flight and was offered 10% bonus value plus double FF points and double SCs. Unfortunately cannot foresee opportunity to is even in the long expiry period.
 

HappyFlyerFamily

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Just as a data point...

My Qantas international flight (QF code and metal - revenue, not points - booked directly on the Qantas website) for 12 December finally got cancelled today (19/10). First an email headed ‘We’ve had to make some changes’ but the explanation then saying they cancelled the outbound leg and that they will email flight credits. Then 6 minutes later a ‘Qantas Flight Credit Confirmation‘ email with the amount and what to do if you want a refund.

Now next step to make the call to get a refund, refuse their standard inducements to leave my money with them and then wait another 10 weeks....
 

kff39

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This is a long one, but I wanted to share my experience in case it helps anyone.

I booked MEL-JFK return (for around AU$1400, roughly half each way), took the flight out in March, and due to come back to MEL in April, but that flight got cancelled and re-booked for May (which later also got cancelled). I was automatically given credit, rather than a refund.

So, I contacted QF and requested a refund, at which point, I was told that the refund amount would be AU$105 as they had retrospectively adjusted the fare as though I had booked a one-way MEL-JFK. Now, if I had voluntarily cancelled the return leg, this would be more acceptable, except I didn't, the pandemic did. So I queried further for a fare breakdown and was told, and I quote "We cannot give out this info as its calculated by the system.". IDK about you, but this seems pretty unethical to me, the fact that they re-adjusted what was charged initially to minimise the refund amount. Anyway, I dropped it because there were more urgent matters to deal with at the time, and I was quoted 8-10 weeks for the refund to be processes. Fine, as long as it's in writing, and it gets done, and I forgot about it.

Fast forward, October 8th (yes, less than two weeks ago as I write this and 16 weeks since the initial refund request, wild), I remembered and checked my statement, surprise surprise, no refund. So I contacted QF again via Messenger, and was responded to very quickly, with a generic message of "Due to high demand, refund processing is now in excess of 12 weeks" (How convenient). Refreshed and re-energised from a long break from dealing with this ludicrous situation, I thought I'd try again to get a full refund, not just the $105, and also decided to spice things up a little and demanded a solution with 48 hours, as well as threatened them with the ACCC and Vic Consumer Affairs otherwise. Now, you can call me hasty, and I agree, but anyway, I also lodged a complaint with the ACCC with all the chat transcripts and documentations at the same time. Lo and behold, a mere 12 hours later, a refund of AU$600 appeared on my statement. I'm not sure if the ACCC complaint did anything, as I never got a follow up. But given that turn-around time, one has to wonder.

I also want to contrast this with the refund process of a Reward booking that I had with QF flying QR. When QR cancelled the flight in July, I contacted QF and received a refund within a week. One week. This solidified for me the claims that have been made by others regarding Qantas being very sneaky and strategic with refunds when it concerns their own cash, bordering on unethical and illegal business practice. While I appreciate that the airline is having it rough right now, one should not resort to shady practices to self-preserve.

Again, I'm not sharing this to talk s**t about airlines or QF in particular, because there's been enough of that. I'm only hoping that my experience can help others still awaiting refunds to get theirs, as well as doing so quickly because for a lot of people, every dollar counts right now.

TL;DR - QF will delay your refunds for as long as possible, hoping you would forget about it, even going as far as trying to get away with giving you less than the amount owed. So, be firm, persistent, and drop the ACCC and consumer affairs.

Hope y'all are well, safe, and get your money back.
✌🏼 🤙🏼
 

snabbu

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My LAX-SYD-LAX revenue tickets have just been refunded after almost 6 months. I don't pay much attention to the exchange rate but I seem to have made a couple of hundred USD on the refund so I'll take that as a win.
 
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Melburnian1

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This is a brief excerpt from 'The Australian' online on Friday 23 October 2020, reporting on QF's virtual AGM held earlier today.

While some in the travel trade will disagree, I reckon these comments are insulting to those who've requested refunds, which to me (perhaps being simplistic) is a basic right when a company fails to provide a contracted service.

Alan Joyce, CEO of QF is the person quoted:

'...He apologised to passengers still awaiting refunds as a result of flights cancelled due to travel restrictions, indicating Qantas hoped to have all requests finalised by the end of the year.

The vast majority of travellers had converted their unused fares to credits, Mr Joyce and he thanked them for that.

“I don’t think any airline was set up for the level of fares we’ve had to refund,” he said. “Some of these refunds are really complex to do. We are seeing the wait times go out as a consequence of the massive amount of refunds we’ve had to do.”'
 

onelongflight

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Still waiting for a refund since June for my flights :( , rang qantas today and they couldnt do anything since its been booked through a travel agent..
 

eminere

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Still waiting for a refund since June for my flights :( , rang qantas today and they couldnt do anything since its been booked through a travel agent..
That's "normal" in the sense that you do have to pick this up with the place that sold you your tickets.
 

onelongflight

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That's "normal" in the sense that you do have to pick this up with the place that sold you your tickets.

Yeh I know, I emailed my agent and he says they are still waiting on refunds from qantas back from March. On the upside the lovely qantas rep helped me upgrade my domestic trip to business class for next year :)
 

Melburnian1

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This letter headed 'SMH'/'The Age' Traveller section on Saturday 21 November 2020:

(businesses are not established just because they want to be kind to us, but this goes beyond the pale given that many AFFers cannot fly internationally on booked tickets due to a government decision and hence want a refund):

CUTTING REMARKS I
After a 12 week wait, Qantas refunded the costs of my US trip. I really felt for the customer service representative I spoke to who was kind but obviously stressed. He told me his team was small and was handling everything except refunds. This included bookings, lost baggage and meal requests. No wonder I waited four hours on hold. He admitted that Qantas had cut the refunds team and they were handling 90,000 applications with roughly 30 completed a day. Alan Joyce, there are no winners here; not the airline, those stressed staff and the unhappy Qantas customers. Makes me shudder further now I hear that all service desks will be shut.

Kieran McGregor, Hawthorn, VIC
 

RAM

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The risk of Q going into administration is increasing by the week. By my figuring they now have around $1bn in negative Net Tangible Assets. As of 30 June 2020 they had less than $300m of Net Tangible Assets (as reported in their preliminary Results report issued in August on pg3).

Q's competitive position is dire vs their refreshed competitor VA & the recipient of substantial Fed Govt money (even more relatively so than Q) Rex.

For those who like the utmost detail & the ACCC link - see this post (massively reduced below but click on the link at top if you dare!).
Q's cash position looks to be terminal.

If anyone was only offered Q travel credits etc IMHO should call Q and demand a full cash refund as per the ACCC web site (see link below). If you continue to wait then your money may only be repaid in early 2021 if Q does not go into administration before then. Unfortunately that event does appear likely.


Some on AFF have been discussing that this 'full cash refund' is restricted to only certain tickets under Q's T&Cs. The ACCC disagrees and states that ALL tickets are eligible for full cash refund.

Qantas’ terms and conditions state that customers with fares booked on any of its domestic and international flights are entitled to have their fare refunded if Qantas makes a significant change to their flight, and Qantas cannot offer another booking which is acceptable to the customer.

The ACCC was concerned that Qantas’ communications to customers between 17 March 2020 and 31 May 2020 did not adequately inform them of their right to receive a refund.

In some cases, the ACCC considers Qantas’ emails may have encouraged these customers to cancel bookings themselves in order to receive a credit when many would have been eligible for a refund.

“We want to ensure that customers are aware that when Qantas suspends or cancels flights due to travel restrictions and fails to provide them with an acceptable alternative flight, they are entitled to a refund,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said
.
....

Travel bubbles (such as to NZ) do not lend themselves to making big profits especially as all the international carriers who have not bailed on flying into/out of Australia could reasonably lay claim to being entitled to operate through to NZ ahead of Q having an entitlement.

So whilst we will be flying again internationally one day, whether it could be on a plane with a kangaroo on its tail is uncertain. So there's unlikely to be any point holding onto thousands in Q flight credits if you want to use them for international travel.
If you've not received your refunds now over one month since your posts below. Get on the phone tomorrow & mention the ACCC.

Still waiting for a refund since June for my flights :( , rang qantas today and they couldnt do anything since its been booked through a travel agent..
I'm closing in on 6 months on my SYD-SCL-SYD revenue ticket. Thanks for giving me hope, snabbu.
Just as a data point...

My Qantas international flight (QF code and metal - revenue, not points - booked directly on the Qantas website) for 12 December finally got cancelled today (19/10). First an email headed ‘We’ve had to make some changes’ but the explanation then saying they cancelled the outbound leg and that they will email flight credits. Then 6 minutes later a ‘Qantas Flight Credit Confirmation‘ email with the amount and what to do if you want a refund.

Now next step to make the call to get a refund, refuse their standard inducements to leave my money with them and then wait another 10 weeks....


The post below is typical of what happens when you raise the issue that Q is breaking the law & was pulled up for it in June. All cancellations are covered by Federal Legislation - not just the ones back in March to May - regardless of what some may try & tell you.

Make sure you ask the CSA their name, get them to spell it for you, just to let them know you mean business.
Talk politely & softly - they're the meat in the sandwich made by AJ.
This is a long one, but I wanted to share my experience in case it helps anyone.

I booked MEL-JFK return (for around AU$1400, roughly half each way), took the flight out in March, and due to come back to MEL in April, but that flight got cancelled and re-booked for May (which later also got cancelled). I was automatically given credit, rather than a refund.

So, I contacted QF and requested a refund, at which point, I was told that the refund amount would be AU$105 as they had retrospectively adjusted the fare as though I had booked a one-way MEL-JFK. Now, if I had voluntarily cancelled the return leg, this would be more acceptable, except I didn't, the pandemic did. So I queried further for a fare breakdown and was told, and I quote "We cannot give out this info as its calculated by the system.". IDK about you, but this seems pretty unethical to me, the fact that they re-adjusted what was charged initially to minimise the refund amount. Anyway, I dropped it because there were more urgent matters to deal with at the time, and I was quoted 8-10 weeks for the refund to be processes. Fine, as long as it's in writing, and it gets done, and I forgot about it.

Fast forward, October 8th (yes, less than two weeks ago as I write this and 16 weeks since the initial refund request, wild), I remembered and checked my statement, surprise surprise, no refund. So I contacted QF again via Messenger, and was responded to very quickly, with a generic message of "Due to high demand, refund processing is now in excess of 12 weeks" (How convenient). Refreshed and re-energised from a long break from dealing with this ludicrous situation, I thought I'd try again to get a full refund, not just the $105, and also decided to spice things up a little and demanded a solution with 48 hours, as well as threatened them with the ACCC and Vic Consumer Affairs otherwise. Now, you can call me hasty, and I agree, but anyway, I also lodged a complaint with the ACCC with all the chat transcripts and documentations at the same time. Lo and behold, a mere 12 hours later, a refund of AU$600 appeared on my statement. I'm not sure if the ACCC complaint did anything, as I never got a follow up. But given that turn-around time, one has to wonder.

I also want to contrast this with the refund process of a Reward booking that I had with QF flying QR. When QR cancelled the flight in July, I contacted QF and received a refund within a week. One week. This solidified for me the claims that have been made by others regarding Qantas being very sneaky and strategic with refunds when it concerns their own cash, bordering on unethical and illegal business practice. While I appreciate that the airline is having it rough right now, one should not resort to shady practices to self-preserve.

If you paid by CC then you can call your issuer & request a chargeback.
So I lodged a dispute with Amex. Already sorted and credited to my account. Sweet.
Get the idea! Call Amex now & request a chargeback if Q have not refunded it yet.

Pushka followed the script & Q wouldn't play ball so she rang Amex & all refunded. You've got better things to do with your time & money other than to give AJ an interest free unsecured loan.
Just called the QFF number to get a flight refund vs travel credit. Was passed through to the reservations team (only a 5 minute wait!). I asked if I could get the refund moved from my AMEX I'm looking to cancel this month to my Qantas Visa. The lady gave me the shrqetrefunds@qantas.com.au email and explained I need a letter from AMEX and the new VISA bank with the credit card details or two separate letters signed by a JD stating which card has been shut down and which is open.

What a mess! It shouldn't be this hard! Kudos to Etihad as you just needed to enter your CC or bank details on where you want the refund to go.
 

Melburnian1

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Interesting, RAM, but with the banks (perhaps not AMEX), most if not all have very strict time limits for lodging chargebacks as Visa and I assume MasterCard stipulate this. The quicker one does it, the better.

I've only ever had to do it occasionally for small purchases but have never had a problem.
 

RAM

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Sorry aCCc gave a proforma reply. Paid by BPAy ...sigh
Don't be put off. Did you read the ACCC statement from June - that's what you need to repeat to Q if a problem.

Key points, what date did Q cancel your flight. Q announced in early Oct (1st week I think) that they'd cancelled all flights through to 27/28th March 2021. If it was prior to this then after ten weeks, call & quote the June ACCC statement (link in my post referred to above) about Q not fulfilling its requirements.
 

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