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Trying (and failing) to cancel an upcoming flight

Trying (and failing) to cancel an upcoming flight

Old Feb 6, 20, 10:51 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX Diamond, BA Gold, *A Silver
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Trying (and failing) to cancel an upcoming flight

Hello Qantas flyers, may I ask your advice. I have a 4 person booking from HKG to MEL on Saturday in business. We are changing our travel plans and we're not sure when we'll actually fly that route. Easiest thing to do is to cancel the flight (even if it costs HK$2,000 per person) and make a new booking at a later date rather than keep rebooking the existing trip (at a cost of HK$1,000 per person). I've tried cancelling online, the website button is greyed out so it's not possible to do that online. I've been on hold with both the Swiss contact centre (where I am today) and the HK contact centre (where we will be tomorrow) and I am assuming that they both divert to the same place because both are approaching a 4 hour wait now with no suggestion that anyone will pick the phone up.
I have also tweeted them a direct message asking them to cancel the flights and have emailed them through their webform (which is really for general feedback I think) asking them to cancel the flights.
The flight leaves HKG on the evening of 8/2 but we will only arrive in HKG on 10/2 as we have changed our previous flight.
My question is: do we have to tell Qantas that we want to cancel the flight before it physically departs at 10.40pm HKG time on Saturday evening because we have been making every effort to do that and yet have not succeeded. I read the thread about unacceptably long wait-times on the phone with them and I see what you all mean. Oddly enough I called Cathay Pacific in HKG this morning to change the inbound flight to HKG and they answered in seconds when I'd expected hours wait there as I imagine they are rather busy with their own situation. Every airline's different of course so I'm really wondering whether I should continue to moderately stress about contacting Qantas to cancel the flight booking before it departs or if I've made enough good faith efforts (more than half a day of holiday at the moment) that I can contact them afterwards when they're answering the phone and deal with the refund and associated refund charge then.
Grateful for any advice from the experts!
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Old Feb 6, 20, 12:48 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: NT Australia
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Do your fare rules include any penalty for no show or cancellation after flight departure?
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Old Feb 6, 20, 2:47 pm
  #3  
og
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I may have missed it, but I didn’t see how you made the booking - ie. through QF or through an agent. In any case, you must cancel through the person/ agent/ airline from which you made the booking. I suspect the “cancel” button on the QF website is greyed out because you booked through an agent. The booking agent “owns” the booking and others can’t touch it - including the airline you’re flying on.
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Old Feb 6, 20, 2:51 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by og View Post
I may have missed it, but I didn’t see how you made the booking - ie. through QF or through an agent. In any case, you must cancel through the person/ agent/ airline from which you made the booking. I suspect the “cancel” button on the QF website is greyed out because you booked through an agent. The booking agent “owns” the booking and others can’t touch it - including the airline you’re flying on.
I actually booked the flights on the Qantas website, which made it odd that I was unable to cancel them at all. With both CX and LX flights on my itinerary I was able to both change and cancel them online, with Qantas, I was just able to change them but to cancel them I have to call in - which is the painful part of the process!

Last edited by Moscowflyer; Feb 6, 20 at 2:57 pm
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Old Feb 6, 20, 3:01 pm
  #5  
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Just picking the cheapest fare that I can see for HKG-MEL r/t , the change fee is HKD1000, the Cancellation penalty is HKD2000 and the no-show fee is HKD5000, so would definitely make sure to cancel before departure time. Paying an extra HKD5000 doesn't sound like a great option
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Last edited by Dave Noble; Feb 6, 20 at 3:26 pm
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Old Feb 6, 20, 3:09 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
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I feel like in the past I may have had flights that I could change online but once already tinkered with the cancellation option greys out and you have to call in. I could be mis remembering though

i had reasonable success with the messaging service through the app for the changes I needed to make yesterday- could be worth a shot
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Old Feb 6, 20, 5:20 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 477
Maybe not strictly relevant, but award flights originating outside of Aus cannot be cancelled on line, so I'm wondering if cash bookings are similar.
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Old Feb 7, 20, 1:08 am
  #8  
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hong Kong
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Thank you Dave and Nancypants - a good suggestion for me to actually read the fare rules! You're right that the no-show charge makes it sensible to hold on and get it cancelled (goodness knows what the phone bill will have been - certainly less than $5,000 though!)

And just to close the story, eventually a lady answered and was able to cancel the flights for us - good news. And a couple of minutes later the Twitter team responded saying that they could help and did I want to cancel the flights. That was the first time I've ever used social media to deal with a flight booking, it was simple and effective so I'll try it again if a serious difficulty like this pops up.
We also decided on our dates from HKG to MEL once we knew the schedule in MEL and were able to buy Asia Miles tickets on Cathay Pacific for the four of us on the dates we wanted to and from Melbourne on the direct flight. All in all it worked out better than expected and I appreciate the sensible and knowledgeable advice from the board.
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