Qantas has quietly suspended the “Price Promise” designed to encourage customers to book flights & hotels directly on the airline’s website.
Since 2011, Qantas has offered to match lower airfare prices found on third-party booking websites such as online travel agents. After booking on the Qantas website, customers could lodge a Price Promise claim by midnight on the same day, showing evidence of the lower price found elsewhere. If the claim was approved, the customer would receive a refund of the difference and 1,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points.
As well as flights, Qantas used to have a similar offer for hotel bookings.
Why did Qantas introduce a Price Promise?
When it was originally launched, the Qantas Price Promise was designed to drive bookings via the airline’s direct sales channels. This removes the need for Qantas to pay commissions to travel agencies.
The offer launched around the same time that Qantas constantly reminded everyone to “make your first destination Qantas.com” when planning a new trip. It was designed to give customers confidence that they were getting the best price on the Qantas website – even if they weren’t, the offer might still have discouraged some people from looking elsewhere.
But the Qantas Price Promise did have its flaws. There are countless reports, including on the AFF forum, of Price Promise claims being arbitrarily denied. As it was only possible to submit a claim after booking on the Qantas website, this often led to disappointment.
This is in contrast to Jetstar’s Price Beat Guarantee, which is still available, where customers pay the lower fare (with a 10% discount applied) upfront.
Will the Qantas Price Promise return?
There has been no formal announcement from Qantas about the removal of the Price Promise, which seems to have happened during the COVID-19 travel shutdown.
But, responding to an enquiry from Australian Frequent Flyer, Qantas has said that the suspension is only temporary. The airline says that its Price Promise team, like many Qantas staff, are currently stood down. A spokesperson said that Qantas would look to reintroduce the service again once it has the resources to look after this function.
Whether Qantas actually reintroduces the Price Promise at some point remains to be seen. Qantas may no longer consider it necessary to incentivise customers to book directly on its website as the airline has recently reduced the travel agent commissions payable on international bookings. And it no longer pays any commission on domestic bookings. So, as Qantas is not currently selling international flights (except on codeshare partners), it’s probably paying out very little in travel agent commissions at the moment anyway.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Has Qantas’ Price Promise Been ‘Enhanced’?