Qantas has engaged with the Australian Frequent Flyer forum for many years via the airline’s official “Red Roo” account. Sadly, Qantas announced last week that it would no longer be assisting its customers on AFF.

Red Roo has helped our members immeasurably over the past seven years. Many of our members have positive stories to tell about times that Red Roo saved the day, even when Qantas’ traditional communication channels had failed. Red Roo was particularly good at providing service recovery, turning negative experiences with the airline into positive ones. They’ve also kept us informed about many of the changes at Qantas over the years, all the while keeping us entertained with their sense of humour.

There are too many examples to list them all, but one that truly stands out was the time Red Roo arranged to have flowers sent to a disgruntled First class passenger that had vowed not to fly Qantas again. This small gesture completely turned around the member’s opinion of the airline.

Thank-you to the team for all the help in the past. The previous Red Roo, who I think has now left was amazingly proactive and helpful, and probably kept me flying QF a lot longer than I should have.

The Australian Frequent Flyer community is especially grateful to a particular “Red Roo”, who sadly departed from Qantas last year. Her efforts did not go unnoticed by our members, and her engagement with the forum reflected extremely positively on Qantas among our more than 40,000 members (and the many tens of thousands of other Qantas customers that browse the forum every month)!

It’s very much in Qantas’ interests to engage with a forum that’s home to thousands of the airline’s most loyal customers – many of which are also strong brand influencers. Moderator samh004 has done some quick calculations and estimates that, combined, AFF members earn well over a million Qantas status credits each year.

That’s a small customer base earning a lot of status that is now going to be overlooked. The previous team that handled AFF seemed to have no troubles giving us a little attention every now and then, and I would think the QF image did well out of it. Shame to throw that all away.

One member adds…

IMHO this is incredibly short sighted as the loss of only a couple of customers would more than pay for the few hours of time that it cost Qantas to be involved with the AFF site. Qantas seem to have forgotten that loyalty is a two way street.

Participation in online forums also gives any business invaluable insights into customer feedback that they may not otherwise receive. This helps the business to identify potential issues they may not have otherwise been aware of, providing an opportunity to address them.

In Red Roo’s absence, Qantas recommends using Twitter, Facebook or the Qantas call centre (where waiting times regularly exceed two hours) to get in touch.

I guess a sign of the times at Qantas. 2 hour waits on hold are the norm now. The staff answering are nowhere near as good as they used to be. My experiences with their FB team have been variable, to say the least. I guess customer service isn’t a priority anymore.

Red Roo has been an outstanding ambassador for Qantas over the years and will be sorely missed. Should Qantas decide to reconsider its position, Red Roo would be more than welcome to return at any time!

Join the discussion HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]