No Compensation for Qantas Downgrade to JetstarQantas has refused to provide compensation to customers downgraded from Qantas’ own services to Jetstar. Downgraded passengers also lost most of the benefits of their original tickets including complimentary food, in-flight entertainment and seat selection after Qantas cancelled their flights.

In one case, AFF member tea&coffee was downgraded from Qantas Business class to a middle seat in Jetstar Economy. This member received no food and drinks – an advertised benefit of all Qantas fares – on their replacement Jetstar flight from Gold Coast to Sydney. They even had to pay extra for water. Despite the downgrade to Jetstar, Qantas refused to refund the fare difference. In fact, our member waited over a month to even receive Qantas points & status credits for the original flight after Qantas “demanded proof of travel”. This member now flies exclusively with Virgin Australia.

It’s a similar story for WLGFlyer who was originally booked in a front row window seat on Qantas. Their flight was cancelled and the only alternative offered was a Jetstar middle seat. This member eventually did receive points and status credits for the flight. But they did not receive any refund and missed out on the double status credits they should have earned due to the downgrade to Jetstar.

Newcastle-based motef has been downgraded from QantasLink to Jetstar on multiple occasions. This member believes the downgrade is unacceptable for several reasons, including the lack of compensation and the inability of Jetstar to through-check luggage. This member regularly flies from Newcastle to Brisbane to connect to Qantas international flights. Flying Jetstar to Brisbane means they need to collect their luggage and queue up at check-in a second time while in transit. motef says that if they wanted to fly Jetstar, they would not have paid more for a Qantas ticket.

Our members believe it is unfair for Qantas to not refund the fare difference when moving passengers to Jetstar flights with inferior service. At the very least, downgraded passengers should be entitled to the benefits of their original Qantas ticket including complimentary food and drink.

AFF member serfty points out that downgrades to Jetstar do not even comply with Qantas’ own Conditions of Carriage. These conditions state that Qantas may rebook customers onto alternative Qantas, QantasLink or Jetconnect services if a flight is delayed or cancelled. However, the Conditions of Carriage specifically exclude Jetstar.

If your flight is changed, you can still claim the points & status credits you would have originally earned by submitting an Original Routing Credit claim. But if you are not happy with the alternative flights being offered, do not accept them. It’s much easier to negotiate better flights at the time than to seek compensation later for a downgrade.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Rebooked on JQ – experiences?


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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]