Qantas says it has now fixed what appears to have been a widespread problem that saw customers with cancelled Classic Flight Reward bookings for multiple passengers only receiving a refund for one passenger.
Many Australian Frequent Flyer members have complained over the past few months that, after requesting a refund, they only received a refund for one passenger on cancelled reward bookings made using Qantas points with more than one passenger on the ticket. But the problem does not appear to be entirely new, as we’ve also found multiple references to exactly the same problem occurring more than a year ago.
Qantas Frequent Flyer members are normally entitled to a full refund of the points & taxes on an award booking if the flight is cancelled by the operating airline. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Qantas’ Flexible Classic Flight Rewards policy also allows customers to cancel their award bookings for a full refund of the points & taxes for any reason. This policy currently covers reward bookings made until 31 July 2021, for travel until 28 February 2022 (but could be extended again in the future).
Affected Australian Frequent Flyer members have said they had to call Qantas to receive a refund of the points for the remaining passengers on the same ticket.
Here’s what a few AFF members have posted on our forum:
Cancelled a classic reward for 2 on Wednesday, got the points back for PAX 1 within a few hours but still waiting for the points for PAX 2 to come back. Weird that they aren’t processed at the same time as it was on one PNR.
– ChrisW., 26 March 2021
I had the same situation which required me to call Qantas to refund the points for the 2nd passenger. They refunded the points on the spot.
Now I’m waiting for the $ portion to be refunded back. They say it will take approx 8 weeks from day of cancellation.
– risaka, 11 April 2021
I’ve also had the long wait for refund of tax component of a Classic Flight Reward. Unreasonable, but not unexpected. However, I’m also having issues with the points.
In September I cancelled a Oneworld Classic Flight Award for 3 pax. Points for 1 pax were returned immediately. Had to chase QF for the remaining points.
Last week I cancelled a single sector Classic Award for 3 pax and again, points have only been refunded for 1 pax.
– Captain Halliday, 12 April 2021
Common experience, from what I’ve been seeing on AFF. I’ve had 2 cancellations for multiple passengers, and each time was refunded the points for 1 pax only. A phone call resulted in immediate refund of the points, with the dollars arriving ~8 weeks later (for both pax, no problems there.)
– BriarFlyer, 12 April 2021
Qantas told us that they aim to refund all Classic Flight Rewards as quickly as possible, but that some bookings require manual intervention.
In response to our questions, Qantas said that it had identified a “temporary issue” affecting some multi-passenger bookings which has since been fixed. Qantas does not believe this has been an ongoing issue, and that similar issues flagged a year ago would be unrelated to this particular problem.
Further, the airline said that it has not been recently contacted by Qantas Frequent Flyer members about this issue, and that all outstanding multiple passenger booking refunds impacted by this issue have since been refunded.
But the sheer number of posts on AFF about this issue over the past few months would indicate that, in fact, many Qantas customers have complained about this issue recently. Anecdotally, the problem had been reported so frequently that call centre staff were well aware of it and knew exactly what to do when a customer called to complain. As one AFF member posted on our forum last month:
I happened to be on the phone with QFF about another issue this morning, so I raised this. The person I was spoke with was well aware that a recent batch of multi-pax cancellations had only refunded one adult’s worth of points. Suspect they’ve had plenty of other calls about it. They popped me on hold for a few minutes and the missing points were showing on my activity statement before the call ended.
– sudoer, 17 March 2021
Some AFF members have also disputed Qantas’ claim that the problem has now been fixed, with one AFF member writing last week:
Nothing has changed for me. Points are refunded for 1 PAX in 24-48 hours. Points for any addition PAX have to be chased up. In my experience, the cash component always has to be chased up and they’re not interested until the full 12 weeks have passed. My last experience with this was less than a fortnight ago and the rep (premium line, HBA) was well aware of the issue.
– Captain Halliday, 22 April 2021
If you’ve cancelled a Qantas booking for multiple passengers during the past few months, you may wish to double-check that you’ve received a full refund for all passengers. Hopefully, by now, Qantas should have corrected the error and refunded the remaining amount. But if this hasn’t occurred, you might need to call Qantas to get the rest of your refund. (Be prepared for a long wait time if you don’t have Platinum or Platinum One status.)
If you’re yet to cancel your booking and are concerned you may encounter this problem, you could also try splitting the booking before you cancel it. That way, there will only be one passenger on each booking when you cancel it online – which means you won’t encounter this issue.
Long wait for refund of taxes
Although this specific issue appears to have only affected the refunding of Qantas points, many Qantas customers say they’ve also had to wait months to get the taxes & carrier charges from Classic Flight Reward bookings refunded.
Some Qantas customers say their refunds have come through eventually without any action required. But others say they’ve also had to follow this up with a phone call.
If you’re still waiting for a monetary refund from Qantas, some AFF members have discovered that you can call after 8 weeks. If it’s been less than 8 weeks since you requested a refund, the call centre staff will be unlikely to expedite this. But if you’ve already been waiting at least 8 weeks for your money back, the call centre agents may be able to process your refund on the spot.
If you don’t do anything, the good news is that you should still get your money back eventually. Some Qantas customers say their refunds have come through within around 3 months without any action required. But one AFF member says that their cancelled Classic Flight Reward booking from February 2020 was only refunded in March 2021.
In fairness to Qantas, at least the airline’s policy is to offer a refund for all cancelled flights. Some other airlines do not even refund flights that the airline itself has cancelled.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Long wait for refund for cancelled reward flights Qantas – a common experience?