To use staff travel or not????

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1969daw

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Hi ALL

My daughter has been employed by QANTAS and as such after 6 mths I qualify for the B tier of staff benefits.
I travel to LA from Brisbane return every year mid Feb and return March to do a 2 week snowboarding trip with a mate.
I always use my QFF points but the last few years they have started to gouge with levies. It use to cost aprox $350 in taxes and last year it was $850 on top of the points. We usually leave on a Thursday out of Brisbane and return on a Friday out of LA.

I guess what I'm asking is how likely would I be getting my staff travel, seeing I have a schedule I have to stick too, am I better to book my staff ticket in business to get a better chance of travel?

The planes over the last few years have been almost empty going over but always full in economy coming back, one year we had only 8 of us in economy for the trip over three window seats for meals and 4 centre row seats for a bead was quite a nice trip over.

Any and all advice would be appreciated.

Cheers Dale
 

BAM1748

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Depends on your daughters job as to the priority level plus only being there 6 months means you'll be low on the list.

For the best chance travel mid week, forget Fridays out of LAX as everyone is on that flight coming home for Monday work.

But, the sooner you start using it the sooner you'll start saving, but you'll need to change your travel habits.

M
 
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rabbits5

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You would be extremely unlikely to get staff travel on the way back. I wouldn't know for sure on the way over.

Staff Travel B is extremely low priority, added to that, your daughter hasn't been there long enough for you to be anywhere near where you need to be on staff travel listings.

If you have a schedule to stick to, staff travel is the worst. I know that the planes may be empty, but load factors are volatile, one day you may have plenty of empty seats and another the plane may be full. Added to that, travelling Thursday-Sunday is discouraged. I have stories where family members travelling under Tier A and with more than 20-25 years of service being stuck for weeks (especially out of the USA).

You also need to check this, but I'm pretty sure you cant purchase Business upgrades until X years of service (need to clarify this though, I'm not 100% sure).

However if you were to use it for domestic travel, you would get on 9/10 times.
 

rabbits5

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Just as an FYI, Staff Travel B fares aren't that cheap either. I know its not the same quality, but for $200-$300 more you could get a confirmed fare on VA, DL or UA to the USA.
 
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Ex QF staffer here, we used to book our flights the day prior to leaving on an overseas jaunt as the loads can change constantly, going BNE LAX we'd check to see which routing had the better chance of onload, i.e. BNELAX / BNE SYDLAX /BNE MELLAX/ BNE AKL LAX. It's really no good if you have a tight schedule, it only takes one flight to be cancelled ( doesn't even have to be QF - could be UA or VA - anyone who travels US to OZ) and they'll fill up.
My parents never bothered with using my level B benefits as for an extra few hundred bucks they could just buy a confirmed commercial ticket. Depending on the level in the company you get access to business class internationally after 7 years of service.
Hope that helps..
 

EvanC

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A friend of mine flew MEL-LAX and back using the benefit of his dad's staff travel (who has been with QF for many years) a couple of years ago. He had no trouble getting over there, but ended up waiting a week in LA for a flight back, having to go via AKL on separate tickets in the end.
 

rabbits5

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A friend of mine flew MEL-LAX and back using the benefit of his dad's staff travel (who has been with QF for many years) a couple of years ago. He had no trouble getting over there, but ended up waiting a week in LA for a flight back, having to go via AKL on separate tickets in the end.

I think with it being the other way around (the child of the parent who is the employee, rather than the parent of the child who is the employee), it would be more than likely that they were an A tier passenger and as such, had higher priority. The years of service would also play into your friends hand as well.
 

1969daw

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I noticed in my daughters documentation an ID50 category, does this give you preference over A & B benifit travelers or is it still luck of the draw at the gate.
 
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An ID50 would be more expensive than buying a commercial ticket, as an ID50 is taken from the "normal" fare. In this case BNELAX cheapest fare that an ID50 would apply to is a B class fare at $3555.00 (economy)return plus tax, so $1777.50 plus tax for ID50. You would be in front of others using subload staff fares, but you can still be bumped as its still staff travel, and if I remember correctly its subject to "M" class bucket availability.
 

EvanC

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I think with it being the other way around (the child of the parent who is the employee, rather than the parent of the child who is the employee), it would be more than likely that they were an A tier passenger and as such, had higher priority. The years of service would also play into your friends hand as well.
Well that being the case and given that he still had trouble getting back, I'd guess that being in the B tier could end up being rather painful.
 

ABC1

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Use staff travel to go over and points to come back.. Of the 3 Aussie departures BNE seems to be the best.. But you'll never get out of LAX on a Thurs, Fri, Sat or Sun.. Of the 4 flights leaving about now, there is 73 staff listed, and you'd be down the bottom, but with no business upgrade for a few years you might get Y.. and never believe the availability on the website, it's always out.. But hey, we have a really high onload, and 27 years service, and we always manage to go ok.. So tell you daughter she's in for the long haul.
 
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1969daw

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OK so it looks like if your on a schedule especially coming out of the States a booked ticket is essential, I normally fly mid week to USA so if I wanted to save a few bucks I could try my luck with staff travel over but pre book a QFF return one way flight, if only they hadn't introduced the levies it would still only cost me $350 return and that would get me to Vegas or Denver both good spots for a short drive to GREAT snow. thanks for everyone's comments
 

1969daw

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Use staff travel to go over and points to come back.. Of the 3 Aussie departures BNE seems to be the best.. But you'll never get out of LAX on a Thurs, Fri, Sat or Sun.. Of the 4 flights leaving about now, there is 73 staff listed, and you'd be down the bottom, but with no business upgrade for a few years you might get Y.. and never believe the availability on the website, it's always out.. But hey, we have a really high onload, and 27 years service, and we always manage to go ok.. So tell you daughter she's in for the long haul.

Just on the business class upgrade, I noticed on the schedule of zones and prices it lists the economy business and first prices for each zones travel, can you book and pay for business and first class and get on or do you have to qualify before you can purchase those? I told my daughter once she starts talk to some of the older staff to find out about the perks from people that have used the system, I only found out a few weeks ago I could have booked the world trip I did last year on the Qantas site using one world partners and it would have only cost $1600 in taxes and 280000 points which I have plenty of, they keep that well hidden in there terms and conditions.
 
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You need to qualify to get those prices. As a rule, you need to be with the company for 7 years to qualify for business class internationally, unless you are employed at a certain level when joining that automatically gets you business class ( or first).
Staff travel ( if you call them) or the online booking tool for QF Staff travel will tell you if you qualify.
 

williamsf1

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Staff travel is not as good as the “old days”

It appears you have a tight schedule , so I would not even bother and just buy a confirmed ticket.

Staff travel also comes with a strict dress and behaviour code
 

get me outta here

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Geez things have changed very sadly. In another life I worked for QF in 'front line sales', and got completely free flights on many airlines all over the world often in F as IATA had no interest apparently if you hadn't paid a cent. Staff would get up to quite a few lurks ... up to HKG for the w/end and buy a motorbike in a crate and ship it home and do very well out of it. If I went QF I was to pay 10%, so I just went any other airline all of whom charged me nothing.

When I finally departed QF to do further full time study, I left with a stack of tkts that I made very good use of. I don't think I am betraying anything here. Those were the days my friend.
 

ABC1

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Just on the business class upgrade, I noticed on the schedule of zones and prices it lists the economy business and first prices for each zones travel, can you book and pay for business and first class and get on or do you have to qualify before you can purchase those? I told my daughter once she starts talk to some of the older staff to find out about the perks from people that have used the system, I only found out a few weeks ago I could have booked the world trip I did last year on the Qantas site using one world partners and it would have only cost $1600 in taxes and 280000 points which I have plenty of, they keep that well hidden in there terms and conditions.

You wont get J for 7 years.. and First is only for a certain level and above.. so it's down the back for a while. Seriously, use your points.. LA use to be a lot easier when the dollar was down, and when the old 149/150 operated as well. And you've got to wait 6 months for staff travel anyway.
 

milehighclub

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For mid February/early March, I personally don't think that there would be any issues getting on staff travel. That's when I take my holidays cause there are usually seats that time of year. I also take them in October/November for the same reason. Now yes there are stories of 100 staff waiting to get home. They usually occur during school holidays as most families don't have the luxury of taking holidays any other time. In my near 10 years, I have not gotten on a flight twice with hundreds of staff travel trips taken. I've even got on with some careful planning during school holidays.

Since the flight is so far out, checking the loads now is a waste of time. You have 4 flights to LAX (2 via SYD and 1 via MEL) so even as a B companion, it's not impossible. I have other airline staff on all the time and they have an ever lower onload category. As a B companion you could even go via HKG to LAX on Cathay as a back up and vv.

Staff travel also comes with a strict dress and behaviour code

It's not that strict. Neat jeans and a t-shirt are fine for economy, and a shirt without tie and nice pants if up the front (J/F).
 

rocketboy

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When the seats are available, staff travel is a brilliant perk. Particularly if you are eligible to travel in Business or higher. But to rely on it when travelling on a tight schedule is an invitation to invoke Murphy's Law. With few exceptions, staff travel is "stand by" travel and when things go wrong, the cost saving can quickly disappear. Load predictions can be unreliable as any number of last minute factors may change the availability for better or worse. Priority and years of service in the company certainly count, but when the flight closes and all the seats are full, you don't travel . And remember too that sometimes weight restrictions (particularly ex US) may mean staff are left behind even though seats are empty.


Depending on their contract, some employees can buy upgradeable tickets earlier than the normal 7 years. If your travel category entitles you to buy a business class seat on international sectors, always do so. If nothing else, it increases the number of seats potentially available to you. If you end up travelling in economy, you are entitled to a refund for the staff travel fare difference.


But, as recommended before, an advantage of staff travel is being able to purchase one way travel with no cost penalty. Combining a one way outbound staff ticket with a FF return certainly ensures you will be back on schedule. And in the worst case scenario of not travelling at all, most of the cost is refundable.


I made the most of staff travel for over 30 years and was for the most part very lucky. But there were exceptions. Now I am retired and at the back of the priority queue, I am very happy travelling on commercial tickets. It's a treat to know I will definitely travel and in the seat of my choice. I don't miss the nail-biting wait at the stand by desk and, if it's a good day, that last minute dash to the aircraft!


Best of luck making your choice.
 

N860CR

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The issue with the "B" tier is the cost. If you plan ahead (and it sounds like you are), a sale fare on QF/VA but definitely UA will be very close to the same as the staff fare and you're confirmed (and can use the lounge etc if entitled). Staff travel is very stressful especially for partners/parents who don't fully understand how the system works like the staff member does.

If your daughter logs onto Staff Travel online and goes to the "my benefits" tab, it will tell you exactly what class you can book. A "B" getting an upgrade to/from LAX is a tough ask though... they generally go out full up the front.
 
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