Why would QANTAS do this?

Old Dec 10, 18, 11:21 pm
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Why would QANTAS do this?

Sometimes QF confuses me, they seem to make to most stupid decisions that will only get themselves into trouble. I refer to this article:
https://www.theage.com.au/national/v...10-p50l9s.html

This lady paid for a flexible fare, there were seats available on her requested flight, and it was an emergency. On what basis would QANTAS charge her $500 to change her flight? I ask this question as I always buy flexible fares because there is always a chance I might need to change it. Why would I bother paying more if it doesn't give me the flexibility I need? QF have confused me (again).
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Old Dec 10, 18, 11:38 pm
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Flexible fares generally also have fare difference payable... There's a bunch of different flexible fares classes.
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Old Dec 10, 18, 11:42 pm
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Originally Posted by moa999 View Post
Flexible fares generally also have fare difference payable... There's a bunch of different flexible fares classes.
Totally get your point, but doesn't that defeat the purpose of paying for a flexible fare? I might as well start buying non flexible fares and pay the difference at the time if I need to.
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Old Dec 10, 18, 11:46 pm
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Flexible means you can change them, not necessarily for free. Non-flexible and or non-changeable means just that. I’m not sure where the problem is. I think perhaps you are confusing with the not very descriptive term ‘fully-flexible’.
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Old Dec 10, 18, 11:52 pm
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I'm totally flexible and I charge more than $500
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Old Dec 11, 18, 5:58 am
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Non-Flexible: Fare cannot be changed
Semi-Flexible: Fare can be changed for a fee plus fare difference
Flexible: Fare can be changed for no fee plus fare difference
Fully-Flexible: Fare can be changed for no fee and no fare difference (generally the top bucket ie Y, so no fare difference)
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Old Dec 11, 18, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by downtheback. View Post
Non-Flexible: Fare cannot be changed
Semi-Flexible: Fare can be changed for a fee plus fare difference
Flexible: Fare can be changed for no fee plus fare difference
Fully-Flexible: Fare can be changed for no fee and no fare difference (generally the top bucket ie Y, so no fare difference)
Are these your own definitions or where did you get them? I ask because different names or expressions have different meaning at different airlines. Best to keep it simple.
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Old Dec 11, 18, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Thekman View Post
Totally get your point, but doesn't that defeat the purpose of paying for a flexible fare? I might as well start buying non flexible fares and pay the difference at the time if I need to.
No- Just because it is flexible, it does not mean that it is a full fare ticket with no change penalties, no minimum stay etc

For instance on SYD-HKG r/t there is an H class fare for $1565 plus taxes and any fares disguised as taxes
This is a fare where there are no change fees
In order to make a change free of charge, there needs to be H class availability

If there is no H class, then will need to pay fare difference to an available class such as B ( $1865 r/t fare ) or Y ($2265 r/t fare)

If able to book on the flight in H class it will be free of charge
If needing to book into Y class would have to pay ( 2265 - 1565 ) / 2 = $700 fare difference
.
If wanting a flexoible fare, it makes sense (imo) to book the cheapest fare that has that flexibility and pay the fare difference if needed. Likely to be cheaper than buying the Y ticket upfront and guaranteeing paying the highest fare

book a completely inflexible ticket and can end up having to buy a whole new ticket
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Last edited by Dave Noble; Dec 11, 18 at 12:46 pm
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Old Dec 11, 18, 3:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Thekman View Post
Sometimes QF confuses me, they seem to make to most stupid decisions that will only get themselves into trouble. I refer to this article:
https://www.theage.com.au/national/v...10-p50l9s.html

This lady paid for a flexible fare, there were seats available on her requested flight, and it was an emergency. On what basis would QANTAS charge her $500 to change her flight? I ask this question as I always buy flexible fares because there is always a chance I might need to change it. Why would I bother paying more if it doesn't give me the flexibility I need? QF have confused me (again).

IIRC many, many, years ago a flexible fare was easy to understand - it simply meant you could change the date / time of that flight on the same routing without paying an extra fee or fare difference. The fare was the fare.

In fact, you could even swap over from QF to Ansett (I did this once when I missed a QF CBR-SYD business class sector: the ticket allowed me onto the AN flight).

At some point the airline scrooges came up with the idea of changing the definitions of "flexible" so that at best you had a transferable credit (or refund) with or without a penalty fee depending on the various definitions of flexible (as articulated by others on this thread), refunds often taking ridiculously amounts of time whilst the airline held onto the cash and blamed the credit card company.

The idea that unsold seats were a perishable resource and therefore could be sold cheaper at the last minute (remember the old stand by fares?) also went out the window, and the new concept was that the remaining unsold seats were in fact a declining resource whose value therefore should be going up (not down).

Welcome to the concept of yield management!

The problem is that the airline is being wantonly devious by:

1) Creating a deliberately confusing array of so-called "flexible" options
2) Pumping up the prices of airfares around one to two days before flight departure to snare those making new booking or changing the date/ time existing "flexible" bookings in the immediate time scale before a given flight

QF only refunded in this case because the media became involved.

Buyer beware!
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Old Dec 11, 18, 4:29 pm
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When it comes to fare rises close to departure, this is not something that would have affected the passengers in the article since they had already completed the outbound journey - unless they were failing to meet any minimum stay provisions, then there wouldn't be a new fare calculation for the change to same booking class and any fare difference would have been calculated as per date of original fare purchase

There are still tickets which allow changing/booking on other carriers with no issue - just that these tend to be expensive fares
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Old Dec 11, 18, 5:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
When it comes to fare rises close to departure, this is not something that would have affected the passengers in the article since they had already completed the outbound journey
If they achieve fare increases closer to departure through restricting availability to only higher fare buckets, then of course it could affect that passenger. Just because they’ve taken the outbound doesn’t negate the need for a fare recalculation and top up if the originally booked fare bucket is not available on the new return day.
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Old Dec 11, 18, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by lokijuh View Post


If they achieve fare increases closer to departure through restricting availability to only higher fare buckets, then of course it could affect that passenger. Just because they’ve taken the outbound doesn’t negate the need for a fare recalculation and top up if the originally booked fare bucket is not available on the new return day.
Except that it doesn't seem to be doing that - looking at flights for the next week from Hong Kong to Sydney/Melbourne, it does not look at all that the airline is doing that
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Old Dec 11, 18, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
When it comes to fare rises close to departure, this is not something that would have affected the passengers in the article since they had already completed the outbound journey - unless they were failing to meet any minimum stay provisions, then there wouldn't be a new fare calculation for the change to same booking class and any fare difference would have been calculated as per date of original fare purchase

There are still tickets which allow changing/booking on other carriers with no issue - just that these tend to be expensive fares

Out of interest:

- what is your source that the date of original purchase locks in the return price in the event that dates are changed on the inbound sector (you may well be right I just haven't come across that ever before)?
- how do you now that exactly the same fare class applied in the published example (FWIW I don't think can assume that the $500 was just change fees and lacked a fare component even though the world "fees" was used in the article).

Just curious.
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Old Dec 11, 18, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Platy View Post
Out of interest:

- what is your source that the date of original purchase locks in the return price in the event that dates are changed on the inbound sector (you may well be right I just haven't come across that ever before)?
- how do you now that exactly the same fare class applied in the published example (FWIW I don't think can assume that the $500 was just change fees and lacked a fare component even though the world "fees" was used in the article).

Just curious.
I do not know regarding that specific flight - what I was looking at was the next week's flights to see what booking classes are available. There was nothing there to suggest that there were restrictions onavailability being applied - I think by "fees" that they are referring to the total cost incurred. It is also that by "flexible" the person had a ticket that was cheap and allowed changes - however there was a change fee applicable

It is standatd that for r/t fares, changes before departure of 1st flight will be repriced as of time of making the change, whilst changes after departure will be repriced using fares in effect at time of ticket purchase - thee can be exceptons, but they generally tend to be clearly in the fare rules
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Last edited by Dave Noble; Dec 11, 18 at 6:31 pm
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Old Dec 12, 18, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
changes after departure will be repriced using fares in effect at time of ticket purchase - thee can be exceptons, but they generally tend to be clearly in the fare rules
That maybe true - but that is not what it says when you buy the ticket, which states that you pay the fare difference at the time of making the change (extract from flex economy search MEL-HKG return):
  • Itinerary changes permitted. At the time of making the change, you must pay (per person per change):
    • any fare difference

What is there to indicate otherwise to the consumer? Or do we have crossed wires?
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