Upgrade priority: Qantas staff or Platinum One?

By samson12 | Oct 03, 2017, 08:11 AM
Anyone know what QF policy or practice is regarding who gets a J domestic seat in preference? I'm P1 flying 120 x per annum and didn't get my domestic points upgrade this week, but a QF staffer was seated in J. Thoughts / insights from anyone?
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By elchriss0 | Oct 03, 2017, 08:33 AM
I once flew on a QF staff waitlist ticket and got put in 1F when there was a full flight so I'm guessing the staff have priority since I'm sure there would have been a couple of P1s on the SYD-MEL flight i took in peak time. Having said that, on the way up there I was put in one of the dreaded middle seats in Y so it balanced out across both flights.
Last edited by elchriss0 at Oct 03, 2017, 08.34 AM.
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By eastwest | Oct 03, 2017, 10:56 AM
there are a lot of variables which come to play when upgrades are awarded, there may not be enough catering for a commercial passenger for example if the upgrade was awarded. However, putting a staff member without catering in business would be more of an ideal situation and less of a bad reputation for the airline as the staff member has no basis for complaint. This is only one of many different variables. One of the biggest reasons a staff member is in business over an upgrade is due to a no show passenger. staff members are often only given a seat moments before door closure.
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By akronflyer | Oct 03, 2017, 11:24 AM
I remember asking for the proverbial front row on check in on a trip across the ditch and being told it was already taken
It was indeed taken by a QF Staff member whose QF ID card was on her Bag
She knew all the Crew , that was obvious
I had a paid J ticket, no big deal but a tad ironic
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By DCW | Oct 03, 2017, 11:42 AM
HI All,

As a QF staff member, who uses staff travel occasionally domestically, however also a QFFF silver member, I can assure you all on a Staff travel ticket, We are the LAST on and LAST for an upgrade.
I seldom use my Staff travel, especially during peak times (school holidays Special events i.e. GF).

Duty staff for operational requirements are another story.

If we travel on Duty, the circumstances around our travel will dictate if we are a must go or not.
If I'm heading to Syd for meeting or school, Ill be on standby, If I'm sent for an Aircraft recovery i.e. AOG Engine change Ill be must go.
We may be dressed in uniform, other times in our casual clothes.
We are not allowed to access lounges, accept kits and pj's and must be last offered catering often missing out.
QFFF points and status credits are not earned on any form of staff/duty travel.

Qantas is all about our customers first, as it should be.

By ACM | Oct 03, 2017, 12:03 PM
My experience would dictate that whatever the rules are, reality is different! On a J ticket to AKL I was called in the Qantas lounge to the Service Area and given another boarding pass for a different seat that happened to be the bulkhead. When I politely explained that I did not want the bulkhead I was advised the change was so that two passengers could sit together. Not wanting to be objectionable I agreed and guess what, once on board the two in question were Qantas staff. Very recently coming back from Singapore in J with my wife we were already checked in to our allocated seats and had left the premium check in area when the check in lady chased us several meters down the terminal wanting to change our seats. The change was to row 8 of J on an A330. As there are different configurations I asked if this adjacent to the service area or the Y bassinets. I was told "service area" and on boarding found it was the Y bassinets and a crying baby for 8 hours to Sydney. Yes, there were two lovely young ladies in our allocated seats obviously very friendly with all the crew. Rules might be rules but people look after their mates!
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By samson12 | Oct 03, 2017, 01:20 PM
Thanks all. I guess I am disappointed that a long standing (many years) Platinum One flier whose upgrade was in the system for months (literally) would lose preference to what was (I can only assume) a 'last minute' need to move a cabin crew member to Sydney. My 'upgrade-denied SMS' came through about 7.5h prior to departure. Certainly not the end of the world, but useful to know where the priorities lie. I have sent some polite feedback to QF loyalty. cheers
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By Viscount2 | Oct 03, 2017, 01:39 PM
Hi, if samson12 was flying on my airline with approx 120xper annum I would treat him with kid gloves.
"Qantas is all about customer first" ......what a lot a twaddle.
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By samson12 | Oct 03, 2017, 02:03 PM
Folks, so I have just had in writing from QF that the cabin crew EBA states that they can fly in Business Class when on active duty. So there we have it - cabin crew trump everyone else ..... worth knowing .... now I wonder whether this applies in Virgin ..... I think I will try and find out, as I have some contacts there
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By nix584 | Oct 03, 2017, 02:28 PM
Folks, so I have just had in writing from QF that the cabin crew EBA states that they can fly in Business Class when on active duty. So there we have it - cabin crew trump everyone else ..... worth knowing .... now I wonder whether this applies in Virgin ..... I think I will try and find out, as I have some contacts there
I thought it was common knowledge that staff on Duty Travel (on QF at least) get J? Especially flight/tech crew. If you were kicked out of J, that's an issue. But if your upgrade didn't come through, I don't see the issue. The upgrade was subject to availability, there weren't any seats available.

I'm pretty sure VA staff can only travel in J on long haul flights, so domestically they'd be in Y even on Duty Travel, though again flight/tech crew might have different rules in their EBA.

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By samson12 | Oct 03, 2017, 02:34 PM
Folks, so I have just had in writing from QF that the cabin crew EBA states that they can fly in Business Class when on active duty. So there we have it - cabin crew trump everyone else ..... worth knowing .... now I wonder whether this applies in Virgin ..... I think I will try and find out, as I have some contacts there
I thought it was common knowledge that staff on Duty Travel (on QF at least) get J? Especially flight/tech crew. If you were kicked out of J, that's an issue. But if your upgrade didn't come through, I don't see the issue. The upgrade was subject to availability, there weren't any seats available.

I'm pretty sure VA staff can only travel in J on long haul flights, so domestically they'd be in Y even on Duty Travel, though again flight/tech crew might have different rules in their EBA.

agreed and understood. what I find interesting is that my upgrade request was in the system for ages but (I assume) the crew member was placed on the flight within the prior 12-24h (because I heard where he / she was going) - just interesting how it works cheers

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By Theresnormissin | Oct 03, 2017, 02:37 PM
I was recently on a QF flight out of Brisbane that had the entire uniformed jetstar cabin crew being positioned to cairns for the Dreamliner flight onwards to japan. Funnily enough they were not seated up the front.
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By ChrisCh | Oct 03, 2017, 02:37 PM
I think one advantage of Qantas staff travel is that staff can be assigned the very last available seat in a premium cabin (depending on their entitlements) upon boarding, whereas upgrades using points are commercially controlled and not every single seat in a cabin is made available to points upgrades (one of the reasons being so that commercial passengers can't simply 'assume' that their waitlisted upgrade will always come through, which could have some self-funded flyers make a habit of buying lower-cabin fares rather than paying for business class outright).

Qantas countered this a little while back with the 'upgrade at the gate' feature for solo flyers to improve the number of points-based upgrades when last-minute seats become available without making these upgrades a certainty, but staff again have the advantage that they can be re-issued a boarding pass once they're already on board: so if they board in economy but a passenger in business class fails to show at the gate, the staff with the highest 'onload' ranking can be reassigned to business class before the aircraft door closes.

Equally, even if a staff member is assigned to business class but a revenue passenger shows up last-minute, or there's a disruption, broken seat or other issue, they're the first to be moved - either to a worse seat, further back on the aircraft in a lower cabin (and often a middle seat), or kicked off the flight entirely.

(Staff are also supposed to sit where they're told and can't ask other passengers to move seats, even when travelling as a family, according to the staff I've had chats with: and many of them don't feel at ease until the aircraft actually starts to push back, because they know what can happen until then.)

I've also been on international flights where as a Qantas Platinum member my points upgrade was approved (because the cabin looked quite empty revenue-wise: showing J9 C9 etc in the GDS) and Qantas staff I happened to know were travelling on the same flight were declined their own staff travel upgrades, while on other flights where the cabin looked much more full revenue-wise (e.g. J5 C2 in the GDS, for those who understand it), my points upgrade was declined but those same staff as on the first flight were upgraded: so it comes back to the fact that staff can grab any available seat, period (which works when flights are commercially full and the airline is holding seats for last-minute sales but they fail to be sold), but that points upgrades seem to take priority when the cabin isn't commercially full as the airline wants to fill it with commercial passengers. :)
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By NBShone | Oct 03, 2017, 03:33 PM
As someone that flies staff travel, I can confirm that staff are only allocated seating at check-in AFTER Qantas has processed upgrade requests from bronze FF. Frequently, there will appear to be enough premium seats available only for them all to disappear 24 hours before the flight. Whether a upgrade request is confirmed is a commercial decision (presumably with many complex factors) and has nothing to do with there being staff wishing to travel.
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By daniesut | Oct 03, 2017, 03:37 PM
Hi, as a P1 traveler too, I see all the time Qantas Staff, and even Jetstar staff in uniform in Bus when I'm in row4 on dom flights....you cant tell me 4 Jetstar flight crew in Bus on a MEL-SYD peak flight were in no show seats - why not offer me or a Plat in the first or second rows in economy an upgrade to show support for our loyalty rather than just a ipad case for the millions of miles we need to rack up to keep P1...
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By DCW | Oct 03, 2017, 04:37 PM
Hi, as a P1 traveler too, I see all the time Qantas Staff, and even Jetstar staff in uniform in Bus when I'm in row4 on dom flights....you cant tell me 4 Jetstar flight crew in Bus on a MEL-SYD peak flight were in no show seats - why not offer me or a Plat in the first or second rows in economy an upgrade to show support for our loyalty rather than just a ipad case for the millions of miles we need to rack up to keep P1...

Hi Daniesut,

Unfortunately, as much as your status as P1 is valued, EBA's must be adhered to.

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