One member is furious after Qantas cancelled their flight, then downgraded them from Business to Economy on the replacement flight. To make matters worse, this member has not received any compensation for the downgrade.

This member was travelling with their wife and infant son from Sydney to New York, with a stopover in Los Angeles. The tickets had been booked in Business class using frequent flyer points. Although the trip got off to a good start, it all turned sour upon arrival in Los Angeles.

The connecting Qantas flight from Los Angeles to New York was cancelled and our member was involuntarily rebooked on American Airlines in Economy class. But the problems didn’t end there. They were then sent back and forth between the Qantas and American Airlines terminals as American required something called a Flight Interruption Manifest (FIM) document. Qantas initially failed to provide this, then later filled one out incorrectly. Throughout the ordeal, this member claims that no empathy was shown by agents of either airline.

After submitting feedback to Qantas, the airline declined to offer any compensation for the downgrade, nor the inconvenience.

Our members do not believe this is good enough. They advise the downgraded member to contact Qantas again via social media (e.g. Facebook or Twitter) and to concisely state their desired outcome. As the booking was paid for using points, our members believe that Qantas should at least refund the difference between the points paid and the number of points that would have been required for the flights received. In this case, that amounts to a refund 9,500 Qantas points per passenger.

If you’re downgraded, our members recommend negotiating compensation at the airport. This gives you greater bargaining power as a customer. Our members also suggest asking for alternative flights in your original class of travel. In this instance, Qantas may have been able to offer Business class seats on another flight the following day.

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]