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Qantas has to be the worst Airline ever

Qantas has to be the worst Airline ever

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Old Jan 1, 10, 11:02 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Qantas has to be the worst Airline ever

I am sending you this message from the American Airlines/ Qantas lounge at LAX while awaiting the departure of flight QA 26 to Auckland. This is to be my first time flying Qantas and I was excited about the experience. Unfortunately, my interactions with Qantas staff here in Los Angeles have been disappointing to say the least.

I live in Seattle and am a loyal Alaska Airlines customer. So loyal, in fact, that I was able to book a ticket in Qantas business class using my Alaska frequent flyer miles. At the time of booking only a premium economy seat was available. My return flight is a business class seat. I was told by both Alaska Partner desk and Qantas customer service to ask for a business class seat when I arrived in Los Angeles.

After an amazing flight on Alaska from SEA to LAX, I checked in at the Qantas desk. I was told business class was very empty, however only Alaska could change my seat. Surprisingly, the Qantas agent, Hazel, was totally unhelpful and very rude. She said to have Alaska call Qantas. I dutifully called the Alaska Partner Desk where the Alaska agent, Vivian, called Qantas customer service who told her that only the check in gate can reassign me a seat. Qantas customer service also verified that that business class was nearly empty. Yet, no one was able to assign one of those empty seats to me, despite my having reserved a business class ticket. Hazel reaffirmed that there was nothing she could do.

All of this transpired at approximately 6pm. Since my flight was not scheduled to depart until 11, I requested access to the business class lounge, since I was traveling under a business class award. Again, Hazel gave me a flat out no. I then asked her if I should have flown V Australia, and her response was “ Yes please fly them next time.”

Why couldn’t I have access to the lounge at the very least. I have access on my return flight and this is a business class award. I ended up just paying
I am completely shocked by the dysfunctional and unacceptable level of service I received. If I am flying using a business class award and business class is empty, why can’t they put me in business class. There is no loss of revenue to Qantas and the brand good will would be enormous. I am a marketing professional and I know that Happy Customers = Return customers.

As a loyal Alaska customer, I have to ask myself I Alaska wants a partner that treats their best customers this way. My experience runs contrary to everything I have heard about Qantas. In fact, it is the type of experience that would encourage me to consider other carriers – and encourage my friends to do the same. Just as an aside, the friends who I am meeting in New Zealand flew V Australia…I’m looking forward to comparing notes.
JeremyWake is offline  
Old Jan 1, 10, 11:19 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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How were you able to book a return business class ticket return if you could only get it one way?

Anyway you'll be in a business class seat since your on a 2-class aircraft where the last 2 rows of business are sold as premium economy
eoinnz is offline  
Old Jan 1, 10, 11:35 pm
  #3  
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I think AS doesn't offer one-way awards, so AS points for business award in both directions were deducted, with a voluntary downgrade to PE. This is presumably what the OP means by "paid business ticket".

The OP's beef is entirely with AS; and they are very adept at customer relations, so he continues to love them despite being screwed by AS. QF does not receive payment from AS for business class travel LAX-AKL, instead AS pays a lower dollar amount for the PE ticket that AS issued. This is why QF doesn't want to pay for J lounge access at LAX for the OP; now if AS had paid for J instead of PE, it would be a different story. Of course AS would counter that it is happy to pay for J instead of PE, but QF won't accept payment. QF does have a set formula for releasing award seats, and empty seats go for other purposes first (e.g. being used for upgrade would generally take precedence over being used for additional awards).

Now the OP should be happy that he paid so little for his award tickets on QF == AS has the cheapest redemption costs of any FF program right now. Unfortunately these cheap partner awards also come with restrictions, like the poor service from AS that he encountered. I fly a fair bit with AS as well as QF, so I think I know exactly what transpired. Frustrating for the OP -- understandably so -- but ultimately this is an AS problem and QF was just following the rules while AS was not (or misled their customer).

Edit to add: all airlines transfer flights to gate or airport control at a certain cutoff time; after this time, no changes can be made by the central reservation system. AS was quite capable of contacting the QF person controlling this flight, but chose not to do so. A tip for the OP: next time, walk over to T3 and ask the AS agent at their F check-in to help you ... some excellent senior agents work for AS at LAX and they would have known the phone number to call at QF to get the seat reassigned by QF, and the ticket reissued by AS. Too bad AS 800 number didn't know how to do this or tell you this little bit of advice.
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Old Jan 1, 10, 11:48 pm
  #4  
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Qantas provided exactly what you were entitled to and to call them the worst airline based on this seems bizarre

Given that you were booked in Premium Economy, you had no lounge access rights so they were quite correct in not permitting access. If U class had become available between booking and date of departure, as long as AS award rules permit, you could have rebooked in business. There was no way that they would just upgrade you at the airport

For the inbound journey, you will indeed be able to get lounge access since you are booked in business class. Although you may have paid AS the cost of a business award, they only booked PE with QF

Dave
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Old Jan 2, 10, 12:34 am
  #5  
 
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Oh, I can think of many much worse airlines than QF, some of which carry the US flag...
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Old Jan 2, 10, 12:44 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by JeremyWake View Post
If I am flying using a business class award and business class is empty, why can’t they put me in business class.
Will Alaska compensate you with a partial refund of miles for this error?
tom911 is online now  
Old Jan 2, 10, 12:53 am
  #7  
 
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JeremyWake welcome to Flyertalk.

I can sense your frustration, but what has happened is how things work with award tickets at times. Your primary issue is against Alaskan, not Qantas as they seem to have misled you about certain things. Qantas probably didn't help when giving some conflicting information.

Qantas allocates a certain portion of seats on each plane to Frequent Flyer tickets. These seats are limited in number, and are snapped up quickly - especially on the U.S -> Australia/NZ routes.

You can buy these seats using points from Alaskan, who then pays Qantas for the seat.

At the time you made you booking, there were no FF seats available in Business, so Alaskan found you a Premium Economy seat. The issue of them charging the same points for a mixed PE/Business itinerary is entirely their choice and issue... not one of the making of Qantas.

The phone operators (Alaskan and Qantas it seems) have provided incorrect information - and this appears to be a common misunderstanding by phone operators in the U.S involving Qantas awards. Perhaps they try and appease the customer more rather than telling the truth?

Quite simply Qantas didn't release further Award seats (and even if a plane is completely empty they don't always release more award seats), and the advice of asking again at check-in is incorrect in 99% of cases. This will not lead to an upgrade into Business, regardless of how empty the plane is.

Lounge access with Qantas is only provided where you are flying in Business (or First, or have other lounge access eg oneworld status or Qantas Club membership). While you 'paid' for a Business return ticket, Alaskan did not get you booked into the Business cabin, so you did not have access to the lounge.

While this is frustrating, this is unfortunately how things work. I hope you enjoyed your LAX-AKL flight. If you have been seated in a Business seat (with Premium Economy service), then you should have a very similar experience to Business itself.
Aus_Mal is offline  
Old Jan 2, 10, 1:02 am
  #8  
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At least the OP made it into the T4 AC/QP.

and, yes, the OP should be sfaeley ensconced in thier Skybed by now.
serfty is offline  
Old Jan 2, 10, 1:20 am
  #9  
 
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When I last flew LAX-BNE the Qantas desk was staffed by AA employees. I did not enjoy the experience but overeact like the OP never.

He had not even flown on a QF plane and he makes that judgment.
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Old Jan 2, 10, 1:27 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by serfty View Post
At least the OP made it into the T4 AC/QP....
Presumably by paying USD 50 for an AC day pass.

It would be interesting to know how much more QF gets for a J award than for a PE award (I've heard it is an extra USD 400 LAX-SYD but that is suspect info ... if true it illustrates why QF prefers to fly empty seats rather than release additional awards ).
number_6 is offline  
Old Jan 2, 10, 1:33 am
  #11  
 
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Sheesh, only 2 days into 2010 and already they're coming out of the woodwork - first the frog and now this....
shillard is offline  
Old Jan 2, 10, 2:02 am
  #12  
 
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At least the OP got Qantas right

Originally Posted by Aus_Mal View Post
JeremyWakeYour primary issue is against Alaskan, not Qantas as they seem to have misled you about certain things.

You can buy these seats using points from Alaskan, who then pays Qantas for the seat.

At the time you made you booking, there were no FF seats available in Business, so Alaskan found you a Premium Economy seat.

The phone operators (Alaskan and Qantas it seems) have provided incorrect information - and this appears to be a common misunderstanding by phone operators in the U.S involving Qantas awards.

While you 'paid' for a Business return ticket, Alaskan did not get you booked into the Business cabin, so you did not have access to the lounge.
There is no "n" in "Alaska"
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Old Jan 2, 10, 2:11 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by jwright View Post
There is no "n" in "Alaska"
Ooops Kinda like the no U in Qantas. Thanks for the correction.
Aus_Mal is offline  
Old Jan 2, 10, 2:25 am
  #14  
 
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Well that puts the score at about 1 million points to 5, in QF's favour....
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Old Jan 2, 10, 2:59 am
  #15  
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I've been making the same mistake myself, finding searches for Alaska airlines works a lot better than searches for Alaskan airlines
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