The lack of fare class information on the Qantas website has long been a source of frustration for frequent flyers. When booking a flight, the fare class has many implications in terms of the fare conditions, ability to upgrade and earning frequent flyer points. Yet, the Qantas website does not display the fare class that is being booked.
Why your Qantas fare class matters
There are numerous reasons why Qantas should display this information on its website.
Firstly, some fare classes do not earn any frequent flyer points with Qantas’ partner airlines. If your Qantas flight books into “E” class, for example, you won’t be able to earn points or status credits with any of Qantas’ partner airlines. Many discounted Economy tickets book into this fare class, but you wouldn’t know if you booked on the Qantas website. This could result in a nasty surprise, including if you booked a Qantas flight during the current Alaska Airlines promotion offering double Mileage Plan miles on Qantas flights in the hope of earning Alaska Airlines miles.
There is also a well-known issue with the Qantas website when booking flights that involve connections on partner airlines. If you book an Economy Flex ticket to the United States, for example, the domestic connection with American Airlines (or another partner) may not actually book into a Flex fare bucket. For example, the Qantas website advertises the following itinerary from Sydney to Las Vegas under the “Flex” fare family:
When you go to the payment page, it still clearly says that this is an Economy Flex booking.
But after completing the payment, only then can you discover that the domestic connection on American Airlines actually books into “S” class, which is a discount Economy fare class:
As a result, you’ll earn 10 fewer status credits and 400 Qantas points for the Los Angeles-Las Vegas flight than you would if this booked into a “Flex” fare class. You’ll also face greater restrictions and penalties if you try to change that flight, as it is not a flexible fare. But somebody booking this itinerary on the Qantas website would have no way to know this as you’re not told the American Airlines flight books into “S” class.
There was also a recent case where an AFF member was told they could not change their Qantas Business class ticket without significant penalty because they hadn’t booked a high enough fare class. The issue here is that this member had booked the only Business class fare available on the Qantas website at the time. They would not have been aware of what fare class they were booking because Qantas doesn’t tell you!
Not to mention, Qantas has even been running Double Status Credit promos recently where only certain fare classes were eligible. No doubt we’ll soon be seeing complaints from people that unwittingly booked “I” class fares during that promotion and don’t receive double status credits.
How to find your fare class
It is possible to see what fare class you’ve booked after the booking is completed through “Manage Your Booking” on the Qantas website. Simply expand your itinerary details and there will be a letter next to the class of travel denoting the fare class:
If you want to know what fare class you’re booking on the Qantas website before paying, there is one workaround. If you opt to pay via BPAY, you’ll have the option to view the full booking details in “Manage Your Booking” before you process the payment. Alternatively, just vote with your wallet and book with a travel agent.
Why doesn’t Qantas display fare classes on its website?
It seems that Qantas does not display the fare class at the time of booking because it believes customers are simply not interested in this information. A Qantas spokesperson told Australian Frequent Flyer that most customers are mainly interested in buying the cheapest fare in their chosen fare family (Red eDeal, Flex or Business). As the conditions of all booking classes in each fare family are identical, the airline does not consider it necessary to display the actual fare class.
This may be the case for a Qantas Frequent Flyer member booking an itinerary that only includes Qantas flights. But not everyone flying on Qantas is a Qantas Frequent Flyer member – many are members of other Oneworld airlines – and not all itineraries involve travel on Qantas exclusively.
It may be true that many Qantas customers would not care what fare class they’re booking. For them, having this information available would make absolutely no difference. But for those who do care about this, the information is very important. Not having it there is driving many people away from booking on the Qantas website.
Many other airlines display this information online. For example, the Singapore Airlines website shows the booking class at as soon as you select your flights:
Qantas could even adopt the approach of Lufthansa’s website, which does not automatically display the booking class but gives customers the option to view this information if they wish.
If Qantas wanted to, they would surely have the technical capability to add fare class information to its website. And they should.