CHOICE membership

Qantas Airlines

Be very careful if you are booking a flight with Qantas. I did and the flight was cancelled costing me thousands.
If you have to book with Qantas do so through a travel agency and require them to hold your payment in their trust account until you release it after the flight.

Copy of claim I made against Qantas. They have ignored the claim.

Re: Compensation claim;

Dear Sir,

This claim is for flights on Booking Numbers 6WWBOM and 5JE5QY. I have not provided copies because you will have the originals on file. The original booking was made on 10 September 2021.

This claim is based on the provisions of Australian Consumer Law. (The Act)

Your terms and conditions are void, at inception, because they do not comply with the provisions of The Act. You have recognised your obligation to comply with the provisions of The Act, in your terms and conditions, but fail to do so. Your conditions extinguish guarantees and remedies provided in The Act.

On 29/12/2021 you changed our booking, without my knowledge or consent. You made no effort to enter into a dialogue with me to determine whether the changes were acceptable. You gave no explanation for the change.

The new date you selected was totally unacceptable. I had a booking for a cruise parting the day before.

I spent one hour twenty minutes on hold at 1:00 AM. in the morning trying to contact you, with no success.

I then spent a further four hours and thirty minutes from 6:00 AM. on hold before I was connected to your operator. That would not be considered, under The Act, to be supplying a service in a reasonable time.

Talking to your operator was totally disgusting and useless experience. Your operator was not interested in helping me find an alternative flight that was acceptable. All she was interested in was having me cancel your revised booking. Presumably so I would have to re-book, at inflated prices.

I was also told that the flight I was booked on had been cancelled. If fact it was re-numbered and rescheduled at an earlier hour. I should have been given priority access to that flight, because it was a replacement for the flight I had booked. When I asked your operator why I wasn’t re-booked on that flight she told me it was already fully booked. Unbelievable!

I eventually found a flight that was workable although it involved considerable additional expense for me. (Two nights in a Hobart hotel @ $220.00 a night, plus meals, taxi fares, and $360.00 for additional PCR testing at my expense etc.) Approximately $1000.00 additional. (I haven’t received the account from the Cruise Line for the PCR tests yet but one is expected.)

When I booked the flight you charged me an approx $800.00 additional That was for the same flight on Monday instead of Wednesday. Your Web page would not accept that change until I re-booked the second flight which was unchanged, resulting in a further charge which made a total increase of $1,603.98 for the changes. None of which were requested or required by me. I am entitled to a refund of those additional charges.

We had to cancel the return flight because we were placed in hotel quarantine.

Assuming that the return fare was half the total of initial $1,519.12. I am entitled to a further refund of an $759.56.

When we came out of quarantine there were no Qantas fights available from Hobart to anywhere useful so we had to fly Virgin to Melbourne.

You charged us $2,078.16 for a flight from Melbourne to Perth. The original cost of that flight, from Hobart to Perth, when booked, was approx. $800.00. And that price was for the total trip Hobart to Perth. An increase of over 260%. I should therefore receive a further refund of $1,278.16.

That makes total refund required $4,641.64. I have not included any claim for damages I am entitled to under The Act.

The changes to my itinerary did not increase your cost of providing the service by one cent, but you have increased the cost to me by $4641.64. In fact the changes reduced the cost to Qantas, because by cancelling some flights, all remaining flights were fully booked. Exactly the type of behaviour The Act is intended to prevent. Profiteering?

You have also consistently understaffed your help desk, making it impractical to obtain assistance.

You are making customers wait 8 weeks for a refund which would be devastating to someone with a limited budget. Simply because you haven’t put on additional staff to deal with the problems you have intentionally caused by changing bookings. A cheap source of working capital? You should be paying them credit card interest rates.

Claiming a refund on your web site is impossible because it just goes around in a circle. You get to “Request a refund” and it takes you back to “Manage your booking” and away you go again.

Your actions are unfair, and unconscionable conduct under The Act. You have also exploited your dominance, in the market place.

Furthermore you are causing serious damage to the Australian tourism industry and the Australian economy.

One of the main reasons so many Australians holiday overseas is cheap reliable air travel. Six of my last eight holidays have been overseas for that reason. You are further damaging the tourism industry because holiday makers have less to spend, at their destination, after paying your inflated fares.

Patrick N. Wines

27 February 2022