Zeroing out Vs cancellation of flights

RooFlyer

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Its actually my problem and will remain so until Qantas notifies everyone (including QR) that their flight has been cancelled. Only then can I get a replacement flight. The trip will now be via MEL or SYD (I guess); fortunately, knowing how the Spirit of Australia is going, I allowed a whole day to get from HBA to ADL on Qantas. Hmmm... I wonder with the subsequent tie-up with VA, if QR will let me go on them?
 

MrJetset

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Not exactly the same scenario but I had F classic award seats for SYD-LAX on QF11. The inbound flight got cancelled so QF was saying my flight was delayed by 24 hours. As QF platinum I rang the premium line and was offered to fly AA direct on J or CX via HKG also on J. I asked for EK F via DXB and was told no because only OneWorld alternatives were available. I pushed for EK F saying that I didn't want to accept a cabin downgrade and after getting approval the agent reluctantly agreed. It was a very long way to get to LAX but we had a ball on 2 x 14 hour EK F flights.
Persistence pays off!
 

justinbrett

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6+ weeks. Not a schedule change. The flight I had booked was still showing as operating at the original time. For reasons unknown to me QF decided to move me to a different flight. Happened multiple times.

We were talking about disruption management - the change to any flight regardless of booking class feature only applies to disruptions.

And in my experience, it works quite well. However it didn't work straight away, when I first got the notification that my flight was cancelled (next day, T-16), the change button was greyed out (booked through corporate TA), but once QF loaded an alternative flight, which I didn't want, it enabled the change button and I could select any combination of flights to get to my destination. Probably took about 30-60 mins from cancellation for that feature to become active.
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Its actually my problem and will remain so until Qantas notifies everyone (including QR) that their flight has been cancelled. Only then can I get a replacement flight. The trip will now be via MEL or SYD (I guess); fortunately, knowing how the Spirit of Australia is going, I allowed a whole day to get from HBA to ADL on Qantas. Hmmm... I wonder with the subsequent tie-up with VA, if QR will let me go on them?

Why is it your problem? It's a revenue ticket. QR will have to deal with it when/if it happens.

I assume the flight is not actually cancelled, you're just expecting it to be, as if it was actually cancelled QR would know about it. Is it just zeroed out? Still a long time away, and I see QF are still flying the route just not every day - it could go back on sale.

With QR codesharing on VA flights I assume that would be the way forward for QR revenue tickets - but if one was a oneworld FF (other than QR) and not VA I doubt they would welcome that with no status recognition. Maybe they'll play both sides.
 

RooFlyer

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Why is it your problem? It's a revenue ticket. QR will have to deal with it when/if it happens.

I assume the flight is not actually cancelled, you're just expecting it to be, as if it was actually cancelled QR would know about it. Is it just zeroed out? Still a long time away, and I see QF are still flying the route just not every day - it could go back on sale.

With QR codesharing on VA flights I assume that would be the way forward for QR revenue tickets - but if one was a oneworld FF (other than QR) and not VA I doubt they would welcome that with no status recognition. Maybe they'll play both sides.
It’s my problem because I currently have a ticket with flights that no longer exist. I’m confident the problem will be resolved, though.

Qantas have already cancelled 2 HBA-ADL flights I had booked in July and August. They no longer exist - I believe they’ve been JetStared. I was notified of those and got alternative flights.

When those were cancelled I checked the November trip - a QR ticket with a Qantas feeder flight HBA-ADL. It was no longer on sale so cancelled for want of a better word. This QR ticket was booked by a TA so I called to get alternative flights. TA reported that yes the flight is no longer in the GDS but she can’t do anything until QF puts the notification in the system of the cancellation - else it’s ‘voluntary’ change as far as QR are concerned, with a penalty.

I can’t see any QF HBA-ADL direct flights around that time - only JetStar - is that what you were seeing?

Like I said, I’m confident of getting a resolution and I have allowed a full day to get to my QR flight. Maybe QF are hedging their bets - it may come back by November.
 

justinbrett

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It’s my problem because I currently have a ticket with flights that no longer exist. I’m confident the problem will be resolved, though.

Qantas have already cancelled 2 HBA-ADL flights I had booked in July and August. They no longer exist - I believe they’ve been JetStared. I was notified of those and got alternative flights.

When those were cancelled I checked the November trip - a QR ticket with a Qantas feeder flight HBA-ADL. It was no longer on sale so cancelled for want of a better word. This QR ticket was booked by a TA so I called to get alternative flights. TA reported that yes the flight is no longer in the GDS but she can’t do anything until QF puts the notification in the system of the cancellation - else it’s ‘voluntary’ change as far as QR are concerned, with a penalty.

I can’t see any QF HBA-ADL direct flights around that time - only JetStar - is that what you were seeing?

Like I said, I’m confident of getting a resolution and I have allowed a full day to get to my QR flight. Maybe QF are hedging their bets - it may come back by November.

What's your flight number and specific date? I'll look it up.

I am seeing some zeroed out flights. These are not cancelled. Just removed from sale - that's not the same thing. Like pregnancy you can't be half cancelled - it's either cancelled or not. People are holding seats on these flights. It's so far out, QF may still be considering whether to serve the route or not - noting tourist travel on this route will likely be up by then. Yes, will likely end up being cancelled, but that's not a fait accompli.

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This is a very different issue to the topic of this thread - award long haul seat on a third party carrier vs domestic connection to a long haul flight booked as revenue on that long haul carrier. You'll be fine.
 

ChrisMars

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I am seeing some zeroed out flights. These are not cancelled. Just removed from sale - that's not the same thing. Like pregnancy you can't be half cancelled - it's either cancelled or not. People are holding seats on these flights. It's so far out, QF may still be considering whether to serve the route or not - noting tourist travel on this route will likely be up by then. Yes, will likely end up being cancelled, but that's not a fait accompli.
For what reasons would an airline remove the flight from sales, but keep the existing customer booking, if an airline was genuily pondering wether to cancel the flight or not? It should either keep selling, or just cancel it. To me a zeroed flight is dead, and the airline is keeping the booking for selfish reasons (cash flow, opportunity to rebook on alternative flight if thats become an option) all at the detriment of the customer.
 

justinbrett

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For what reasons would an airline remove the flight from sales, but keep the existing customer booking, if an airline was genuily pondering wether to cancel the flight or not? It should either keep selling, or just cancel it. To me a zeroed flight is dead, and the airline is keeping the booking for selfish reasons (cash flow, opportunity to rebook on alternative flight if thats become an option) all at the detriment of the customer.

For one, they tend to cancel in batches, from closest departure date onwards - so they don't get tens of thousands of people calling reservations at the same time.

Change of aircraft, departure times, change of airlines (ie QF>JQ or codeshare), general uncertainty... lots of reasons.

Basically it's solid enough that it no longer wants to take bookings for the flights (which will further compound the problem if/when it decides to cancel) but not enough that's it's ready to pull the trigger on refunds. There's plenty of cases where zeroed out flights get returned to sale.

All airlines do this, I don't think QF is any worse than other major airlines - and at 6 months out you have to expect some changes, it comes with the territory booking this far in advance. The QF policy will accommodate pax on the next best flights available even if that would have been an increased cost - it's more an issue where there's no alternative flights (ie long haul destination).
 

**TBA**

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For what reasons would an airline remove the flight from sales, but keep the existing customer booking, if an airline was genuily pondering wether to cancel the flight or not? It should either keep selling, or just cancel it. To me a zeroed flight is dead, and the airline is keeping the booking for selfish reasons (cash flow, opportunity to rebook on alternative flight if thats become an option) all at the detriment of the customer.
There is usually a delay between when it is flagged to be cancelled and when it actually happens in the system, sometimes the delay can be longer than usual if the Scheduling / Network team are under a lot of pressure which they are at the moment :)
Revenue Mgmt can/do zero out flights to ensure no one books in the interim, this is particularly important on routes like HBA-ADL where there aren't great flight options for pax on the cancelled services.
 

MEL_Traveller

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For what reasons would an airline remove the flight from sales, but keep the existing customer booking, if an airline was genuily pondering wether to cancel the flight or not? It should either keep selling, or just cancel it. To me a zeroed flight is dead, and the airline is keeping the booking for selfish reasons (cash flow, opportunity to rebook on alternative flight if thats become an option) all at the detriment of the customer.
In addition to the comments already made on ‘why’ I also think there are also some less favourable reasons… they want the chance for their CLs and platinums to have first crack at all the good seats on other flights and airlines. If they cancelled the flight early everyone would be scrambling for whatever seats were out there and their top tiers could be left unhappy.

Can’t have that!
 

RooFlyer

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I appreciate the explanation of 'zeroing out' @justinbrett - I hadn’t thought of that but then again I’ve nearly never really understood the practice other than seeing it shown on Expert Flyer.

And yes, Qantas at least in this case do the notification of cancellation in batches, as my previously cancelled Hobart to Adelaide flights were notified about a month apart, corresponding to the time between the actual flights, so I am sure at some stage I will get notification of the cancellation of my November flight, but in the meantime I’d appreciate the opportunity to arrange other flights - if only Qantas would say that at the moment it’s not going to be scheduled. I’m not sure I appreciate being part of a Qantas hedging their bets strategy.
 

RooFlyer

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In addition to the comments already made on ‘why’ I also think there are also some less favourable reasons… they want the chance for their CLs and platinums to have first crack at all the good seats on other flights and airlines. If they cancelled the flight early everyone would be scrambling for whatever seats were out there and their top tiers could be left unhappy.

Can’t have that!
Actually, as a platinum I do want to have first crack at the other services and seats 😊. That’s why I’m whingeing that we haven’t yet been notified of the cancellation and therefore I can’t change ahead of anyone else. 🤣
 

justinbrett

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In addition to the comments already made on ‘why’ I also think there are also some less favourable reasons… they want the chance for their CLs and platinums to have first crack at all the good seats on other flights and airlines. If they cancelled the flight early everyone would be scrambling for whatever seats were out there and their top tiers could be left unhappy.

Can’t have that!

That doesn't check out - well maybe for CLs - but unless those people are constantly scanning EF there's no way for them to know it's been zeroed out (and anybody can do that, not just elite).

Everybody gets the cancellation at the same time. They may rebook according to status (top down) but that makes no difference as to weather they zero it out a month before cancellation or do it all at the same time.

I can tell you as WP I've been on several zeroed out flights and never received advanced notification it was going to be cancelled.

Actually, as a platinum I do want to have first crack at the other services and seats 😊. That’s why I’m whingeing that we haven’t yet been notified of the cancellation and therefore I can’t change ahead of anyone else. 🤣

Hate to flog a dead horse, but you haven't been notified of the cancellation because it hasn't been cancelled.
 

Elementalist

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For what reasons would an airline remove the flight from sales, but keep the existing customer booking, if an airline was genuily pondering wether to cancel the flight or not? It should either keep selling, or just cancel it. To me a zeroed flight is dead, and the airline is keeping the booking for selfish reasons (cash flow, opportunity to rebook on alternative flight if thats become an option) all at the detriment of the customer.
Like for many reasons.. for instance, when the airline wants to preserve the inventory in case it needs to reaccomodate pax from another flight that is likely to be cancelled. Or when there is a consideration of an aircraft change, so seats are temporarily withdrawn from sale.

I was on QF11 before Easter which stayed zeroed out for over a week until 48 hours before departure, then was returned for sale - this was to manage the potential cancellation of QF7.
 

RooFlyer

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An update on my situation.

To recap - I had a direct HBA-ADL flight in November connecting to QR to DOH-CAI, on a QR ticket. When I observed Qantas had cancelled several of my HBA-ADL flights in July & August (notified & amended), I found that the November flight had also been cancelled (observing that it was no longer on sale), but neither I nor my TA had had advice about that. Plenty of time so no biggie at the moment. @justinbrett pointed out that the flight had been 'zeroed out', so not cancelled and this is why it was no longer on sale.

So I was looking at my reservation on the QR site on Friday evening (QR are threatening to change scheduled at World Cup time, which is when I'm flying) and they had an alert that 'your flights had changed'. QR ones OK, so I checked MMB on Qantas site.

Sure enough, the flight had changed. A new direct HBA-ADL flight was there, different flight number and time (although the alert only said time change :) ). Interestingly, the new flight isn't on sale on the Qantas web site and it too is 'zeroed out' on Expert Flyer. I haven't received a 'flight change' e-mail from Qantas or Qatar.

As the change has been promulgated through to QR it appears that the change is 'real', and I'll get my TA to accept it on Monday, but can anyone hazard a guess as to why its zeroed out? Could it be a 'place-holder' and not in the schedule at all? I've not heard of an airline holding new sales back to give current bookings 'first dibs'. Its the same aircraft type as the original flight, so should be 1 for 1 move, old flight to new.

To be clear - I'm not concerned about the situation, just curious to learn more about the practice of 'zeroing out'.
 
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