Qantas and Jetstar will both waive change fees on new international bookings made between today and 31 March 2020.
It’s good news for travellers that are hesitant to book international travel amid the current coronavirus uncertainty. However, the Qantas change fee waiver is not as generous as those introduced by many other overseas airlines in recent days.
Yesterday, Australian Frequent Flyer published an article about the change fee waivers that have been introduced by many major airlines all over the world. Since that article was published, even more airlines have introduced similar, generous policies. These include Singapore Airlines, LATAM Airlines, Etihad Airways and Cathay Pacific.
Qantas & Jetstar change fee waiver policy
Qantas and Jetstar will waive change fees on new bookings made until 31 March 2020 to all international destinations. However, this applies only to travel that is due to commence by 30 June 2020. Only one free change is permitted, and you’ll still need to pay any fare difference if a higher fare applies to the new ticket. In addition, the new travel date must be on or before 30 June 2020 and changes must be made at least 3 days prior to travel.
The full policy is available on the Qantas website.
The same terms & conditions apply to Jetstar and Jetstar Asia flights. (Jetstar is wholly-owned by Qantas.)
This is a welcome development. However, many overseas airlines are allowing free changes on flights to all destinations for travel until 2021. Some U.S. airlines are even now extending this to include existing flight bookings. So Qantas’ policy of only allowing changes on new flights booked for travel until June comes across as stingy.
The limitation that any new flights must be taken prior to 30 June 2020 is also particularly restrictive. The whole point of offering a waiver is to give the travelling public the confidence to book flights at a time of uncertainty. The current global situation could last many months – we simply don’t know yet how long this will last – so offering customers the ability to change only to a flight departing prior to the end of June may not inspire a great deal of confidence.
Existing Qantas and Jetstar bookings are not included in the new change fee waiver. But you may still be eligible for a refund if your flight is changed, cancelled or there is another travel waiver in place that’s applicable to your destination.
Virgin Australia is also now offering change fee waivers on all new and existing bookings, for travel until 30 June 2020. Virgin’s policy is less restrictive and more generous than Qantas and Jetstar.