QF Staff travel

Old Jul 11, 05, 10:59 pm
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QF Staff travel

Arrived back in SYD on QF108 yesterday following a brief 2 day trip to NY.

I overheard (ok I was evesdropping) a Flight Attendant talking to a passenger regarding the benefits of the staff travel program. The passenger was the elderly mother of a FA on long haul.

Mother said that over the years her and her now deceased husband had saved hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel around the globe, and now the FA's sister was also reaping the rewards. They had flown F an a number of occasions, but didnt mind being in the upper cabin on this occasion.

What are the benefits, who do they extend to and are they monitored or capped?

What class are they booked in and what is availabilty?

Surely there must be some QF employees earning under the table $$$ in return for flights to nominated friends and family.

Last edited by under the clocks; Jul 11, 05 at 11:01 pm
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Old Jul 11, 05, 11:23 pm
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Don't know about QF but on NZ there are also some heavily discounted tix from the U.S. to New Zealand, London, the Pacific Islands and Australia for travel agents and a guest providing both are travelling together. Booked into R class [J Class seating except for across the tasman] for US$1499, or N class from $299 for Coach. Not bad considering the lowest published fare for J class LAX-AKL is D3 at US$6733...
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Old Jul 11, 05, 11:49 pm
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Staff travel

All airlines run a staff travel programme of one sort or another. Airlines will give a discount generally calculated as a % of the IATA price for tickets on the airline they work for, or as per mile charge for the ZED fare scheme (zonal employee discount). Tickets are bought in advance and have all taxes and surcharges added after % is calculated.
All these tickets are standby, in otherwords while it appears to be a fantastic perk you can easily end up left on the tarmac. Generally to guarantee a flight you have to buy tickets on several routes then turn up to the airport and hope, for those with families this can mean it is rarely worth using since the chances of 4 or 5 people getting on can be very slim.
Often retired parents are the people who can make best use of staff travel since they are rarely time constrained.
Cabin depends on company policy either seniority or length of service, ZED fares on other airlines are almost always in economy.
Employees can also buy firm tickets at 50% of IATA though to be honest that is often the same price as a market fare.
Selling tickets is an instant dismissal, doesn't mean it has never happened but generally it is not ever worth it. Single staff can fly their brothers sisters and parents, married their own family and parents (these policies vary on every airline.)
Oh and they take this benefit into account when setting staff wages one of the reasons why airlines rarely pay as much as people think.
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Old Jul 11, 05, 11:53 pm
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Originally Posted by under the clocks
What are the benefits, who do they extend to and are they monitored or capped?.
I only know a little bit about QF but speaking from experience on CX (and I'm sure they don't differ that much) you can buy either an ID50, ID75 or ID90 ticket, with the number equating to the discount off the full fare for each respective class. If memory serves me correct, the ID50 is the only firm ticket, but sometimes if a sale is on you are better off purchasing a normal ticket.

When you join the airline, you nominate who is entitled to your staff travel. If you are single, you can nominate two others or if you have a family it applies to your family and the employee's parents (with regards to CX anyway).


Originally Posted by under the clocks
What class are they booked in and what is availabilty?
They aren't a booked ticket unless it is a ID50. With the ID75 and ID90, you turn up on the day and hope there is a seat available. Sometimes you may have a J class ID90 ticket and may be bumped down to Y because that's the only seat available, however you do receive a refund on the difference.

The not so glamorous side to staff travel is that you can be stuck at the airport for days when things go wrong (weather, US aircraft etc) because everyone has priority over you. And if you have only just joined the airline, there is usually a lot more senior people in front of you.

You will find that most staff travel is done over non peak periods to avoid the above problems.
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Old Jul 12, 05, 5:44 pm
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On top of all the other problems mentioned for getting a seat here, staff travel is also heavily restricted, and there are often embargos on popular routes if there is an expected upturn in commercial pax or cargo, or if history dictates it is a possibility. Embargos are often in place on routes such as SYD-LAX and SYD-LHR, and even SYD-MEL when there are special events (F1 is an example).

If I remember correctly, people flying on staff tickets are not to make this known to commercial pax, and are to an extent considered to be on duty (dress code is enforceable, and a few other rules and regulation). Also costs are requested to be kept down (i.e. do you really need the sleeper suit, do you really need those five bottles of plonk).

I know of people who work with QF who have simply bought market tickets for leisure travel more often than using staff travel rights, as time off is set, and not many employers like to be told that you need some holiday time, but you dont know how long for, or when exactly.
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Old Jul 13, 05, 4:11 am
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The benefits often extend to other airlines as well. I have a friend who is a First Officer on QF 747s. I have travelled all over with him over the years, and he simply walks up to any ticket counter and they give him an ID90. This may be different for pilots compared to FAs though ....

He does have to go standby, but managed to get out of Rio in the week of the carnival in J/F a couple of years back by routing Rio / Sao Paulo / Dallas / LA / Syd all sectors on different airlines. He just turned up on the day and saw what was available.

He always has to show his commercial pilots licence which I believe denotes him as certified on 747s (which is the only commercial plane he has ever flown, starting out with Cathay). He also regularly flies jump seat in the cockpit on airlines (providing it is not going to the US - this is not permitted). Subject of course to Captain's approval.

Last edited by ozzie; Jul 13, 05 at 8:39 am
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Old Jul 13, 05, 4:50 am
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Now that's a life. I want to be a First Officer, alas, I'd never be sober enough to fly . I guess that would make me the Captain
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Old Jul 13, 05, 7:02 am
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In a former life, I was married to a QF staffer and received staff travel benefits - the QF "fare codes" were QEA or QEB (Qantas Employee Class A & B, IIRC) depending on our relationship to the QF staff member. Now I'm a little rusty (it was 1994 that I last used the benefits, after all ) - QEA meant that you were the QF staffer/married to/de facto of; whilst QEB was you were an appointed person on their profile, I think...

We travelled ID90 most flights (always had to wait until all paid pax were onboard before we could be assured of any seat availability) and I distinctly remember being bumped/refused on 2 separate occasions...once in MEL and once in ADL (both returning to BNE). So that meant waiting for the next day..due to one of those bumps, I missed a Company Board Meeting and they were not highly impressed .

I only used the "International" flight benefits twice - BNE/AKL/BNE and BNE/NAN/BNE. Didn't even get upgraded on our honeymoon on the latter flight (on FJ).

Having to go through Staff Travel to get the tickets issued was a pain - needing multiple tickets on multiple carriers in case we were bumped, endless checking of loads, ah those were the days .
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Old Jul 13, 05, 8:36 am
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Staff travel is dead easy on QF for staff these days. There's a staff travel website that shows full availability and is easy to use.
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Old Jul 13, 05, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by GoldFlyer
Now that's a life. I want to be a First Officer, alas, I'd never be sober enough to fly . I guess that would make me the Captain
Another benefit is the QF schedule. He regularly has 10 days between long haul flights and jumps on a plane to Europe / US to fill the time.

On another note, staff do have priority over EVERYONE on the plane if they dead-heading (positioning flight).
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Old Jul 13, 05, 2:34 pm
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I can't believe no one has asked if the QF staffers get points/SC's on these tickets.
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Old Jul 13, 05, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by qasr
I can't believe no one has asked if the QF staffers get points/SC's on these tickets.
The answer is no doubt the same as "do they get to use the QP"? (Answer = NO).
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Old Jul 14, 05, 3:02 am
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If I remember correctly, the pilots can go where they want, though tend to spend the time in the pilots lounge ....
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Old Jul 14, 05, 9:12 pm
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On my flight down to SYD in Feb/Mar, I was quite surprised to see two families of four accomodated in the F cabin. One on QF108 from JFK-SYD, and the other family on my return on QF11 from SYD-LAX. The father of the family on the way down was a 747 First Officer, and we had quite a nice chat about flying such a big bird. I presume that the return family was also family of a pilot. They seem to have some of the higher staff priority levels from my experience with other carriers.
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Old Jul 14, 05, 9:59 pm
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Anyone know whether you have to serve a minimum amount of time before being eligible for staff fares ? Through my employer I contract to Qantas and have an employee number and id and would love to be able to get staff bennies.
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