qf-downgradeFollowing an involuntary downgrade from Business to Economy, one member is frustrated with Qantas’ refusal to offer any sort of refund or compensation.

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This member had originally booked a Business class ticket from Canberra to Singapore via Melbourne. But the domestic connection was later downgraded to Economy. Qantas offered no refund, and only begrudgingly agreed to even award Business class points & status credits for the flight. After several other disappointing experiences with Qantas, this member says they will book on Singapore Airlines in future.

Other members share similarly frustrating experiences with poor downgrade compensation from Qantas. The airline’s official policy for involuntary downgrades states that refund amounts are determined by the most expensive fare in the downgraded cabin. So, a customer downgraded from Business class to Economy would only receive the difference between the price of their ticket, and the most expensive flexible Economy ticket. No other compensation is offered. This is despite the fact that much cheaper Economy tickets may have been available at the time of booking.


In our member’s case, it seems no refund was offered at all because the flight in question was a domestic connection on an international booking.

One member likens this to paying for a BMW sports car, but receiving a Toyota Corolla instead.

Some members believe that Qantas’ unfair downgrade policy would be illegal on flights departing from Europe. Under the European Union “EU261” regulations, airlines must refund up to 75% of the ticket price in the case of a downgrade. However, no such regulations exist in Australia.

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]