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Ultimate card & free flight

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kelfly

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I received the famed offer today, to 'upgrade' my rewards maximiser card to an 'ultimate card'. I'm considering it!! How do seating arrangements work with the free flight if you travel with someone else? I suppose my question is - one flight would be booked via Amex and the other by??? They would need to be linked somehow, I think, for us to be seated together???
 

Mal

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The flights are on Qantas, so you book both flights, then call Qantas up and ask them to link the two bookings together.

(That is assuming you actually want to sit next to each other :) )
 

kelfly

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Hey Mal, it's a child/teenager I'd travel with so perhaps it might be better to sit apart!!!

But seriously, how do you book the freebie on Qantas?
 

Mal

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kelfly said:
But seriously, how do you book the freebie on Qantas?

Have a look at the PDS here: http://www.americanexpress.com/australia/campaigns/qantas/pdfs/pds_ultimatecard.pdf

Page 30-32 is where you need to refer to.

I believe the process is:

Call 1800 507 104, and tell them you wish to book your free flight. They will then transfer you either to Qantas or Amex Travel (depending on the time, phone loads etc) and will have pre-briefed the agent on what is going to happen.

They'll then confirm certain details with you and book your ticket.

Once you know the flight details, then you can book the other ticket through normal channels, and call Qantas and tell them the situation and that you wish to link the two bookings together. They should do it without any hassles.
 

kelfly

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Thanx Mal, that makes sense. I was thinking qantas website, rather than phone.

I'll have a read of the PDS.

Thanx for your help.
 

oz_mark

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Mal said:
I believe the process is:

Call 1800 507 104, and tell them you wish to book your free flight. They will then transfer you either to Qantas or Amex Travel (depending on the time, phone loads etc) and will have pre-briefed the agent on what is going to happen.

Interestingly, for the two times I have been through the process, I was not transferred anywhere, the original person handled the booking.
 

mm472

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I have got this card,

and i to wondered about the flights,, so i asked the questions before i signed up

The flights are in "O" class only

so there are not 1000s of seats available but you should be able to get a seat if you book far enough in advance.


hope this helps

Cheers

MM
 

kelfly

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How far in advance do you reckon, MM? And what's O class? I'm fairly illiterate...
 

v8Statesman

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I have done this twice now. I have never got the free flight. Both times I had to upgrade to "S" class for about $60 each way. (PER-MEL).

Didn't complain to much as $120 return to MEL is good and I was then able to ODU in the QP :p

Oh and I got the points and SC :p :p :p
 

pksw

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kelfly said:
Hey Mal, it's a child/teenager I'd travel with so perhaps it might be better to sit apart!!!

But seriously, how do you book the freebie on Qantas?

Hi Kelfly, I hope I can help, even though it may be slightly different. I have a platinum Amex credit card that entitles me to a free domestic flight on Qantas. (not the ultimate card, but they should be similar in theory).

I've claimed a few flights before:

The first time I asked the Amex person to book my partner's flight during the same phone call that I redeemed the free domestic flight. I think it was a $35 or $65 booking fee.

The next time I thought that I'd just get on to the Qantas website and find the cheapest possible flight for my partner (MEL-SYD return) and entered all my details into their website, up until the final payment step. I then called Amex, asked them if they could put me on the same flight number. As soon as that was done, I proceeded with the online purchase for my partner.

At check in, we just went together, and they seated us together. Saved the booking fee, and was quite simple to do.

Another time work paid for me to fly interstate, and I used the free flight for my partner to travel with me. On the return trip back, we got to the airport too early (thought the Sydney traffic would be worse) - and enquired at check in if we could take the earlier flight back to Melbourne.

As the ticket work provided was fully flexible there was no charge to change flights. However the "free Amex" flight was a restricted class, and I would have to pay a change of booking fee, or it may have been a ticket where no changes were possible.

I have to compliment the Qantas staff - they allowed us to change both tickets at no charge. I would have happily paid the fee, but the guy said he'd do us a favour. I think that's pretty good customer service.
 
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oz_mark

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pksw said:
As the ticket work provided was fully flexible there was no charge to change flights. However the "free Amex" flight was a restricted class, and I would have to pay a change of booking fee, or it may have been a ticket where no changes were possible.

I have to compliment the Qantas staff - they allowed us to change both tickets at no charge. I would have happily paid the fee, but the guy said he'd do us a favour. I think that's pretty good customer service.

I've had this go both ways, where they have changed the flight (or QuickCheck has let me!), and other times where they point blank refuse ('O' class is not changeable on the day of travel).

I suspect there are factors such as plane loads, phase of the moon, and so on in play as to whether they will allow it or not.
 

Maca44

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I have a Amex Plat credit card and have used it on two occasions now for the free flight. On the first occasion when I rang AMEX to book I was given a choice of about 4 flights to select, and then within several days I found it was necessary to move both outgoing and return flights back a week. Again, there was no problem with AMEX doing it. I think it would have been a different story if QF had to do it, or they would have charged me extra etc, but not amex. I was very pleased with the AMEX service, and the friendly staff.
 

Willie

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I recently redeemed the free flight to PER. I booked my partner on the same flight, rang QF to link the bookings and was told not possible! Rang back to speak to another agent who said no problem!

OLCI required two check ins, one for myself, one for my partner, no problem as allocated seats together.

The return was a different story. OLCI twice as before under the two seperate bookings presented seats 12 rows apart. My seat was an exit row and the partner seat was not. I rang QF to ask them to seat us together – not possible. “We don’t have seating plans”, was the answer, “go back online and shift your seats yourself!” Hmmmm.

Couldn’t get us both an exit row so left it for the airport.

At the Quick Check Bag Drop – would you believe it took 45 minutes at PER (30 minutes at SYD on the way over) I was indignantly asked, “Why would you expect to be seated together when these are two separate bookings?” Well, because I had taken the time to inform QF that we were travelling together and that we were seated together on the way over perhaps. The Slow Check Bag Drop Agent told me that it was a fluke or a coincidence maybe... Yeah right! Shame he didn’t even know what the seating plan was on his screen and I pointed out the aircraft type to him.

Sorted it out later at an information desk – no exit row though! Why can seating be such a hassle with QF? They come across as such a bunch of fools!

Anyway… I am off! I am well over the packets of dried apricots and almonds QF provide in wh(Y) on Cityflyer to accompany your complimentary beverage on the 8.30PM MEL/SYD flight. Like we are so lucky… When you fly DJ at least you are able to purchase something that manages to satisfy the hunger pangs! QF there is nada… nothing!

With the news that DJ has introduced status, I am running to the other terminal! Sure, the earning flights are currently limited to DJ and associated entities however I am certain it will improve with time. The three times I have flown with DJ I have always been moved to The Blue Zone at no cost and more importantly no drama! “Would you like to take advantage of The Blue Zone today?” How could you say no to that?

It is about customer service and QF for some peculiar reason just continue to get it wrong.

Back to the original post – just watch how they link the bookings if you want to be seated together.

Agree with other posters… AMEX people are amazing and very generous with their changes!
 

kelfly

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Thanx for the advice guys. And some interesting stories too!
 

pksw

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Willie said:
I recently redeemed the free flight to PER. I booked my partner on the same flight, rang QF to link the bookings and was told not possible! Rang back to speak to another agent who said no problem!

I can't claim the MEL-PER flight anymore via Amex Platinum, as they no longer offer it for redemption. Is this flight still available on the Ultimate card?

Willie said:
on the 8.30PM MEL/SYD flight. Like we are so lucky… When you fly DJ at least you are able to purchase something that manages to satisfy the hunger pangs! QF there is nada… nothing!

I never know what they are going to serve on domestic flights, so I stock up at the airport buying overpriced chocolate bars and chips etc. (I really should be more organised and just buy them at the supermarket beforehand). I fully understand what you mean by mid flight hunger pangs!
 

oz_mark

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pksw said:
I can't claim the MEL-PER flight anymore via Amex Platinum, as they no longer offer it for redemption. Is this flight still available on the Ultimate card?

It is no longer available on either card. There was some grandfathering of the option for some older cardhaolders, but I believe this period has ended now.
 

straitman

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Just a thought that works.

When booking just prior to your membership year expiring it's possible to book two tickets at once. One for the expiring year and one for the year ahead (for your partner).

AMEX will then link the bookings for you.
 

Mal

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I booked this year's Amex free flight (Plat Credit Card) today.

Rang up the Amex hotline, pressed 2 for flight redemption. The lady I spoke to at Amex travel was very pleasant and efficient. I knew exactly what I wanted and within about 5 mins, had my booking all set.

I was asked if I was travelling with anyone else (so I assume that meant that they would try and link the bookings if that was the case, or maybe to upsell me for another fare?).

This time I did a BNE-MEL return (Wish the BNE-PER's were still available - really miss that!). Still it's $325 worth of flights for my annual fee!

These free flights book into O Class (which is one of the red-e-deal classes).

All great! Thanks once again Amex!
 

Willie

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It is no longer available on either card. There was some grandfathering of the option for some older cardhaolders, but I believe this period has ended now.

Grandfathering.... love it! Yes, sadly PER has gone. Shame they don't include more regional destinations as it would be a fun way to see some more of the country!

I notice in NZ that AMEX are giving away free tkts to Australia on either QF and EK. Now, I'd be keen for a similar deal for us!

It is a good deal and as I mentioned before the AMEX team are very helpful and 'creative' with changes.
 

mr_matt_t

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Maca44 said:
I have a Amex Plat credit card and have used it on two occasions now for the free flight. On the first occasion when I rang AMEX to book I was given a choice of about 4 flights to select, and then within several days I found it was necessary to move both outgoing and return flights back a week. Again, there was no problem with AMEX doing it. I think it would have been a different story if QF had to do it, or they would have charged me extra etc, but not amex. I was very pleased with the AMEX service, and the friendly staff.

That's nice to know. I booked a PER-SYD flight earlier this year for my wife on the Ultimate. Forgot all about that it was booked through AMEX. Plans changed and called Qantas to see if could have the SYD-PER leg changed to MEL-PER. First operator quoted $38 change fee + fare difference (about $120 total from memory). Called back later after confirming flight times and was told would have to pay the change fee + a rebooking fee because not booked through Qantas. Total was $58 (and I thought the fare difference on top of this as well - but was pleasantly surprised not charged). Actually to date only been charged $5.50 on the cc.

What was interesting to find out was the value of the return leg of the journey. $208.59 as I was told I could use as credit if I cancelled the return leg of the journey. Certainly makes the PER to east coast trips worth it. The original fare was O class. The changed ticket is booked as N.
 
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