Qantas Overcharging for Reward Flights

The Qantas website has been plagued with errors since it was “upgraded” earlier this month. Unfortunately, one of the most serious problems has still not yet been resolved.

The Qantas website is currently overcharging for some Classic Flight Reward bookings. The correct amounts of taxes and carrier charges are being applied, but the amount of Qantas points quoted for many bookings is too high.

The error affects some award flights booked using the multi-city booking tool on the Qantas website. Where there is a transit of less than 24 hours between flights on the same airline – or between Qantas, Emirates & various other airlines’ flights – the price should be based on the combined distance of all flight sectors. Instead, the Qantas website is charging for each individual flight sector separately. This invariably results in the website overcharging.

In one example, the Qantas website is quoting 144,000 Qantas points and €536 for a Business class reward flight from Milan to Sydney, via Dubai and Hong Kong. The correct price is 128,000 Qantas points and €536.

Qantas website showing the incorrect price

The problem does not appear to affect point-to-point bookings made without the assistance of the multi-city booking tool. But this is still a big problem because many combinations of award flights cannot be booked online without the multi-city tool. For example, if you search for flights from Bangkok to Geneva, the Qantas website won’t show any options on Royal Jordanian Airlines…

Qantas website screenshot

There are award flights available via Amman but the only way to book these online is via the Qantas multi-city booking tool. In this case, the website is quoting a price of 103,000 Qantas points (the sum of separate Bangkok-Amman and Amman-Geneva sectors). The correct price, according to the Qantas Classic Flight Reward tables, is 92,000 Qantas points.

Qantas website showing the incorrect price

Qantas is aware that the number of points quoted for multi-city Classic Flight Reward searches is incorrect, but a Qantas spokesperson maintains that it is not overcharging for reward flights. The spokesperson added that the recent website upgrade is not the cause of this particular problem, and that the correct number of points are displayed at the time of booking. Therefore, Qantas does not believe any refunds are required.

Qantas’ IT team is working to resolve the issue and a fix is scheduled for later this week.

As the error is in Qantas’ favour, some members speculate the issue will not be fixed quickly. In the past, Qantas resolved a different error where customers were being undercharged for award flights to Tokyo within 48 hours. But as of now, this mistake remains unresolved after nearly three weeks.

Until this is resolved, be sure to double-check the number of points you’re paying for any Classic Flight Reward bookings made on the Qantas website.

In the meantime, Qantas Frequent Flyer members can book at the correct price by calling Qantas on 13 13 13. Be prepared for a long wait on hold and make sure you ask for the $70 phone booking fee to be waived.

Join the discussion about the Qantas website problems on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Qantas site a mess

(See herehere and here for posts about this specific award pricing issue.)

Update (23 May 2018): This IT error has now been fixed by Qantas. You should now see the correct price when making an online booking with the Qantas multi-city search tool.

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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]