Qantas has quietly increased the service fees charged when making or changing a booking, including Classic Flight Rewards. The airline has also raised the cap on credit card fees, meaning customers booking expensive tickets may now be slugged an even higher credit card surcharge.
Increases to Qantas booking & change fees
The fees for bookings made via the Qantas call centre, Qantas airport locations or social media increased from 18 December 2019. The fees do not apply to bookings made on the Qantas website.
For domestic and trans-Tasman bookings, the fee has increased from $40 to $45 (or from 3,500 Qantas points to 4,500 points for Classic Flight Reward bookings made with Qantas points, which can be paid for using either points or cash). For other international bookings, the booking fee has increased from $70 (or 6,000 Qantas points) to $77 (or 7,700 Qantas points). This booking fee should be waived for bookings that cannot be made online, such as tickets originating in countries not supported by the Qantas website.
There are also various amendments to Change Booking fees, as outlined in the Qantas schedule of fees. Most fees are increasing, while the fee for changing an international booking is being reduced from $80 to $77.
It still costs 5,000 Qantas points per passenger (plus any price difference) to change a Classic Flight Reward booking, or 6,000 Qantas points to cancel a reward booking. There is an additional change fee that applies to changes made via Qantas Contact Centres, however this is waived for Classic Flight Reward bookings in Business or First class.
There is a discussion about some of these changes in AFF’s Oneworld Award booking thread.
The increased service fees come as the Qantas call centre service continues to get worse and worse. Waiting times remain unacceptably high, with even Platinum frequent flyers reporting hold times of more than 3 hours. Meanwhile, more and more calls are being answered by staff in The Philippines and South Africa that lack knowledge and experience. There are many reports of these outsourced agents providing inaccurate information or being unable to deal with basic requests.
Increased credit card surcharge caps
Qantas has also recently increased the maximum credit card surcharge per passenger when paying for flights by credit card.
The maximum credit card surcharge payable when booking a Qantas domestic or trans-Tasman flight has been doubled from $11 to $22. Meanwhile, the fee cap for international bookings has increased from $70 to $120 per ticket. This is the first time the cap has been increased since Qantas implemented percentage-based credit card fees in September 2016.
The credit card surcharge for Qantas bookings is currently 1.03%, with a lower 0.69% surcharge for Paypal payments and a 0.36% surcharge for debit card payments. This fee is rounded up to the nearest 10 cents for each ticket.
You can avoid paying credit card surcharges by using Qantas gift vouchers. Gift vouchers can be used to book one-way and return flights originating in Australia, and there are no credit card fees when redeeming a voucher.
Frustratingly, card payment surcharges continue to be added to the taxes & carrier charges payable when booking a Classic Flight Reward, even though no other payment option is available.