When is it worth complaining?

By OWFlyerUSA | Oct 25, 2017, 10:29 AM
Hey hey, everyone. Long time lurker here, but first time poster. Really enjoy the forums, even though I still get confused by all the short-hand.

So, I have a question about when and when it isn't worth battling Qantas...

My partner and I were recently scheduled to fly QF7 in business from Dallas to Sydney, but the flight was cancelled and we were re-routed 24hrs later via San Fran. My question is about the meal allowances and hotel accommodation that Qantas should cover.

I was first informed of the cancellation when I was in Miami on a code-share flight to Dallas. Unfortunately, the plane was about to take-off so I didn't take note of who I was speaking to or what was being said, but I left the phone call under the impression that my partner and I would both be able to book accommodation at AUD200 per night, per person and we were entitled to AUD$100 in meals and incidentals per person. When we touched down in Dallas, we spoke to the Qantas gate agent who told us that it was actually calculated in USD - not AUD - and that meals were calculated at a different amount per meal. This sounded much fairer and I was happy with this. Anyway, we checked into a hotel in Dallas and had a reasonably enjoyable day in a boring city, although would have much preferred to be in Sydney (the delay meant I wasn't able to spend any time in Sydney, but instead had to transfer immediately to Melbourne).

Now, of course, Qantas is only willing to give us a combined amount of AUD300. They also offered 5,000 Qantas points each as an apology, because our QF7 flight from Sydney to Dallas was also cancelled (bad luck, both legs cancelled). Anyway, I followed up with another email that included my receipts, asking them to reconsider, but got no response.

To be honest, I'm a little disappointed. I'm Platinum with Qantas and must spend at least $80,000 a year on international travel with them and OW. I'm not sure why they are being so stingy over this? I'm about to book another $14,000 airfare with Qantas and it makes me wonder whether I should...

Anyway, is it worth calling or writing another email? Is there anything I can do in this sort of situation, aside from taking my business elsewhere?

(Also, since this has happened I totally appreciate Ausbt's advice about how to complain effectively - i.e. keep notes, call, etc.).

Thanks, everyone, and hopefully this isn't a waste of the forums!


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By ChrisCh | Oct 25, 2017, 01:14 PM
Absolutely worth further contact: if you were promised something (such as an allowance towards food and accommodation) which the airline hasn't delivered on, you should pursue the airline until you get what you were promised.

As a back-up, see if your travel insurance will cover this - although many travel insurance policies require you to have claimed as much as possible back from the airline first, before they'll pay out.
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By Traveller14 | Oct 25, 2017, 01:21 PM
The part of QF's offer that is 5000 QFF points is extremely mediocre: that part may be 'worth' as little as A$50.

I would send a letter via Australia Post - not an email - to Qantas' head office in Mascot, Sydney and politely ask for an improvement in the offer.

You could include an itemised note of your total spend, or do it slightly differently.

Look up TripAdvisor and the booking (dot) com website to get an idea as to how much room rates at a four star hotel are per night in say November 2017 (which won't be an exact comparison with your experience): I'm guessing a typical hotel might be US$180 to US$240. Don't choose an even more expensive five star. Bear in mind these rates are not for booking on the day you occupy the room.

Then add in the cost of meals and any transfers (again, don't go overboard), and perhaps from your recent experience itemise them.

Stress that you were forced to book at extremely short notice, which hotels love if they have just a few spare rooms as in theory they can jack up room tariffs.

Politely include your approximate annual spend with Qantas.

Bear in mind you have many alternatives: not just Virgin Australia, Air NZ, United and Delta but indirect carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Korean Airlines and Japan Air Lines to name a few. You may wish to briefly mention this but keep it succinct.

The complete offer from QF is pretty poor. You will aid your case if you do not exaggerate.

It is worth complaining. If we go to Woolworths or Myer, under certain conditions according to consumer law they offer refunds (and often no questions are asked.) Why should QF be able to get away with shabby treatment of you?
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Pete Campbell

By dingogav | Oct 25, 2017, 04:45 PM

Call Qantas Customer Care on +61 2 9691 3399 (9am to 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, Monday to Friday). I have always found them to be very accommodating.

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By OWFlyerUSA | Oct 26, 2017, 01:32 AM
Thanks for the advice. It's just one of those things where you begin to wonder whether it is worth the hassle, but seriously - aside from the principle of the thing - it's actually put us out of pocket by like $300.

Since then I've had to book two other international flights to Australia and I deliberately avoided the QF7 route, which is the fastest for me. So yeah, making the most of the other options - AA and Qatar, if I fly from Miami around the other side of the planet.

I'll let you know what happens.
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By CP | Oct 27, 2017, 06:48 PM
I have always found the Qantas Customer Care line an oxymoron - a registered letter to Mascot is appropriate advice in my experience!
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By akronflyer | Nov 09, 2017, 08:37 PM
I sent a registered letter to an Executive in Qantas and haven't had a response as yet
I posted it back in September, very disappointing

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