Qantas will now charge you for all 'extra legroom' economy seats

Qantas will now charge you for all 'extra legroom' economy seats

EXCLUSIVE | Qantas will begin charging for extra legroom economy seats on all domestic flights from today, with travellers paying between $20 and $60 to book the emergency exit row on its Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 jets.

The airline began selling emergency exit row seats on east-west routes in 2014, but is now extending the scheme to the rest of its Australian network.

The biggest losers under the arrangement will be Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold and Platinum members, who previously enjoyed free seat selection in the exit rows on most domestic flights but will now have to pay the same fee as low-status and no-status flyers.

The scheme will also be extended to trans-Tasman flights, where exit row seats are currently available for free at the airport on the day of departure.

However, the very front rows of the economy cabin – which also boast extra legroom, at row four on Boeing 737s and rows 23 and 24 on Airbus A330s – will continue to be reserved at no cost for Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge members and other high-value frequent flyers, and not offered to other travellers under the ‘extra legroom’ banner.

Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge members will also be able to pre-select emergency exit row seating at no charge.

Qantas says that expanding the scheme to cover all domestic flights "facilitates a fairer seat selection process, with the allocation of seats which have additional legroom space better reflecting the fee paid."

Qantas' contentious move comes six weeks after Virgin Australia launched its Economy X seating, although Virgin's proposition created several extra legroom rows and also bundles priority security screening, priority boarding and dedicated overhead locker space at similar price points to booking Qantas' exit rows.

Read the AusBT review of Virgin Australia's Economy X seating

It's understood that Qantas has no plans to launch a similar and competing 'Economy Plus' package.

Qantas' emergency exit row seat selection fees

  • Domestic Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 flights: $20 - $60, depending on the length of the flight
  • International short-haul flights (trans-Tasman, Port Moresby, Noumea): $25
  • International medium-haul flights (Australia to Asia and Dubai, Perth-Auckland, Los Angeles to New York, Dubai to London): $90
  • International long-haul flights (Australia to London, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Santiago and Johannesburg): $180
Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

126 comments

  • Dahlie

    Dahlie

    5 Jul, 2017 05:27 am

    I am surprised, but really disappointed that Qantas seems to give you the job of breaking the bad news to its high tier and loyal customers.

    Members who gave thanks

    iM, smidavi, Drew Lambert, green, SooziQu

  • flyOFTEN

    flyOFTEN

    5 Jul, 2017 01:41 pm

    I think the death nell of some frequent flyer programmes is not far away, especially now earn rates with credit cards has been drastically reduced.
    Member who gave thanks

    SooziQu

  • patrickk

    patrickk

    5 Jul, 2017 08:00 am

    I am not sure this will work well parpcualry on short ~1hr flights. They need two of the seats occupied in each bank of three, and so will they get 8 people each flight willing to fork out $20 each. I always chose the exit row as Gold flier and even then not all seats were occupied and people were moved to the seats to make up the numbers. I suspect they will move back to allowing Gold et al to select them without a fee, or use maybe 500-1000 FFpoints for them.  As it is 5000 points to updgrade to business on these flights may be a better value proposition.
    No member give thanks

  • Steve987

    Steve987

    5 Jul, 2017 07:08 pm

    I am predicting a lot of in-lounge seat change requests being approved.

    Or the seats are going to be filled by QF staff while the rest of us squirm.

    Hmmm, I wonder which is more likely...

    As someone else has commented, VA really should double down and status match at least P.


    No member give thanks

  • Timmy22bc

    Timmy22bc

    5 Jul, 2017 08:04 am

    When will the madness end? Why do they consider Honolulu worth $180 (10 hours) when Dubai (at 14) is considered $90? 
    No member give thanks

  • Nick W

    nickw

    5 Jul, 2017 08:06 am

    Probably inevitable I guess...  Was always surprised how easy it was to pick exit rows up domestically 48 hours out as a lowly bronze/silver. 
    Member who gave thanks

    Sema4beach

  • GregXL

    GregXL

    5 Jul, 2017 08:20 am

    So as a QFF Gold I can get main cabin extra seating for my entire family on AA for free, but would have to be P1 for close to the same deal on QF.
    No member give thanks

  • David Edwards

    David Edwards

    5 Jul, 2017 08:20 am

    Why should status pax pay for this ?

    Status pax are getting less and less all the time, and is fast getting to the point where status means bugger all.

    It's getting harder and harder to remain loyal QF.

    Time to look at flying more with other OW carriers. 

    Members who gave thanks

    iM, SooziQu, schuey

  • Mark Ross-Smith

    Mark Ross-Smith

    5 Jul, 2017 08:32 am

    In fairness, many other carriers are devaluing status too. I do agree that airlines could do better and dream up more creative solutions instead of looking for cheap shots at new revenue streams.  My motto is - if it doesn't add value to pax, it's not a viable revenue stream.
    No member give thanks

  • fftraveltimes

    fftraveltimes

    5 Jul, 2017 08:34 am

    Qantas must have let one of its Jetstar staffers in that day. I don't know how else they would have come up with such an 'unpremium airline'  decision. Judging by the feedback here I hope that this odd Qantas idea is grounded.
    Member who gave thanks

    schuey

  • Damien  Greene

    Fatherdamo

    5 Jul, 2017 08:48 am

    As someone who has been qf plat for 5 years but just attained VA plat this year, this has totally decided my future domestic bookings with be with VA. just as VA increase complimentary legroom for plats through economyX, qf have taken it away 
    Member who gave thanks

    SooziQu

  • Mark

    Mightyreds

    5 Jul, 2017 09:05 am

    What a stupid decision and as someone who is 6'5 deem this a absolute insult when they are making money in many other areas!! 
    Member who gave thanks

    morrish

  • Matt

    Matt123

    5 Jul, 2017 12:10 pm

    Try being 6'11!
    No member give thanks

  • J S

    JRS

    5 Jul, 2017 09:07 am

    As a QF platinum flyer this is really disappointing. I fly regularly SYD-MEL and are always in row 13 on a 737 offering the extra leg room. I felt as a loyal 
    Qantas FF this was a nice reward for loyalty, but as time goes on, it appears that Qantas doesn't appericate it frequent flyers as much as Virgin does.
    Members who gave thanks

    heleng, morrish, ejerga

  • David Edwards

    David Edwards

    5 Jul, 2017 09:08 am

    Mightyreds, don't you already pay for the seats, or are you status ?
    No member give thanks

  • Mark

    Mightyreds

    5 Jul, 2017 09:12 am

    My status allows me to select the seat at no cost. I am content with paying on the long haul when I am not travelling in business and understand the business case behind this, but on the domestic legs this is an absolute stupid and insulting decision to the loyal QF passengers. 
    Member who gave thanks

    mcwilrob

  • peteshep

    peteshep

    5 Jul, 2017 09:24 am

    What happens if you book and pay, and then change your flight where exit is not available? What happens if you change seats on the flight (eg. to row 4) closer to the departure time? What happens if you upgrade to business after paying for it?
    No member give thanks

  • kimshep

    kimshep

    6 Jul, 2017 09:22 am

    @ peteshep:: "What happens if you upgrade to business after paying for it?"

    If QF adopts the same strategy applied to international, bad luck - you (not Qantas) eat the fee and no refund for the seat is applicable. This is contained in the T&C's. The fee simply goes into QF's revenue box.

    No member give thanks

  • peteshep

    peteshep

    6 Jul, 2017 10:02 am

    They were slightly sarcastic, rhetorical questions :) Someone with enough time and patience will take these terms to the ACCC at some point as unfair contract terms. Even Jetstar moves your seat selection fees across if you change your flight.
    No member give thanks

  • kimshep

    kimshep

    6 Jul, 2017 10:10 am

    LOL - my 'rhetorical' switch must be 'off' this morning Pete. Agree 100% about your ACCC comment - nobody likes paying for something that isn't delivered.
    No member give thanks

  • fresh  thoughts

    freshthoughts

    5 Jul, 2017 09:30 am

    best part of the article is the virgin economyX ad right next to it.
    some of the best advertising placement I've seen ahahah
    No member give thanks

  • GBRGB

    GBRGB

    5 Jul, 2017 09:31 am

    The slow but continual slide of Qantas back to the monopoly mindset that had many of us moving to VA 5 years ago continues, it was only when they realised how many pax had left they started to change.
    What about existing bookings that we have already selected seats on, will we have to change them and pay for them? 
    Member who gave thanks

    mcwilrob

  • aussiflyer

    aussiflyer

    5 Jul, 2017 09:34 am

    Surprised they didn't follow VA's Economy X and make it free for Plats, or even Golds within the check in window.
    No member give thanks

  • David Edwards

    David Edwards

    5 Jul, 2017 09:44 am

    Can I make the suggestion that all those status pax who are unhappy with this, send a firm but polite request to QF via their FB page, to have the decision makers revisit this ludicrous decision.

    I did, and I hope you do too !! 

    Member who gave thanks

    mcwilrob

  • Mark

    Mightyreds

    5 Jul, 2017 10:07 am

    Also sent this an hour ago!! Let's hope this insane decision is reversed. A lot of damage for the small profit it will make.
    Member who gave thanks

    Briggo

  • Rob McWilliams

    mcwilrob

    9 Jul, 2017 05:58 pm

    Have done the same.  Really hope they reverse this decision!
    No member give thanks

  • amac

    amac

    5 Jul, 2017 10:44 am

    Already done.
    No member give thanks

  • Say Mee

    mspcooper

    5 Jul, 2017 09:46 am

    I like to see one comment justifying this move (apart from, this is a business decision!)
    Member who gave thanks

    mcwilrob

  • ajstubbs

    ajstubbs

    5 Jul, 2017 09:53 am

    Baffling that Platinum and Gold aren't given an opportunity for free selection. I don't know that it will turn many off flying QF which probably explains why they did it - bit of extra cash, almost no ramifications. I agree with the above though, complain if you have status. There needs to be more benefits given the intl competition, not less. 
    Member who gave thanks

    mcwilrob

  • Rob McWilliams

    mcwilrob

    9 Jul, 2017 08:31 pm

    I have sent in a complaint both via Facebook and a written letter in Australia Post.  We HAVE to let them know in no uncertain terms we are not happy about this!
    No member give thanks

  • GBRGB

    GBRGB

    5 Jul, 2017 10:03 am

    I am not on Facebook so can't send QF my disgust at this decision, but what I did do was send this story to the other dozen or so managers in our company who are all equally appalled at this. We are now going to send an email to our CEO asking him to reconsider the companies QF only policy we have had for a few years and once again allow us discretion on which airlines we use.
    Member who gave thanks

    mcwilrob

  • Rob McWilliams

    mcwilrob

    9 Jul, 2017 08:29 pm

    I replied on Facebook and took the ten minutes to write a letter (which I will put in Australia Post tomorrow).  Let's all band together and let 'em know we are unhappy about this!
    No member give thanks

  • David Edwards

    David Edwards

    5 Jul, 2017 10:07 am

    Hi Ajstubbs

    Individually, we probably thought the same thing a while back, that, "I don't know that it will turn many off flying QF", but as time goes by, and QF continue to make status less and less attractive, the thought process changes to, "look at everything we've lost over the past X amount of time".

    Eventually, the bubble bursts and people like me and probably you, and a WHOLE LOT of others, start to question why status is worth it.  

    No member give thanks

  • Peter Gingell

    APACPete

    5 Jul, 2017 10:09 am

    Something to differentiate P1 from P. If you dont drink wine or play golf there is little reason to spend all those thousands to get  those P1 status points!
    No member give thanks

  • Anthony Thompson

    triumph8

    5 Jul, 2017 11:33 am

    Not that he wine they supply is drinkable, since they got rid of teh winemakers and got the perry mafia involved it has only got worse
    No member give thanks

  • David Edwards

    David Edwards

    5 Jul, 2017 10:24 am

    Good on you GBRGB !!!

    As much as we complain in forums, it achieves very little except make us feel good for a few minutes.

    The only way change can be effected is for the masses to go direct to the source of our ire.

    In this case, QF themselves !! 

    No member give thanks

  • Matthew Daly

    Mafflyer

    5 Jul, 2017 10:29 am

    As a Platinum with both this just reaffirms my increasing trend to do my flying with Virgin. This management decision is consistent with the absence of a customer focus philosophy that is demonstrated by Qantas cabin crew. At least staff and management are united on one aspect of the business.
    No member give thanks

  • Richard Robertson

    iM

    5 Jul, 2017 10:32 am

    As a QF Platinum this is a disappointment. Exit rows are the only glimmer of civilisation on a B737, so now I'll just have to work out how to recoup an extra $20 each way from the Business Class lounges when I travel. You can't have it both ways Mr Qantas...
    No member give thanks

  • Mark Bringans

    Briggo

    5 Jul, 2017 10:32 am

    I'm Gold & 6'6.

    Cheap shot by QF at its FF.

    Talk about dumb PR - not much extra revenue whilst kneeing you're FF at the same time
    Member who gave thanks

    mcwilrob

  • Robert Greenburg

    Bob Greenberg

    5 Jul, 2017 10:38 am

    This is a lot fairer than Virgins Economy X because the front row seats are still reserved for their Platinum members where Virgin sells them to first in. It makes good business sence to be loyal to your loyal clients.
    No member give thanks

  • peteshep

    peteshep

    5 Jul, 2017 09:34 pm

    Front seats are not reserved for Platinum - they're reserved for Chairman's lounge and Platinum One
    No member give thanks

  • Trumpdump

    Trumpdump

    5 Jul, 2017 10:46 am

    QF screwing the loyal customer base again..Sad
    No member give thanks

  • Peter Giorgis

    Peter Giorgis

    5 Jul, 2017 10:49 am

    The reason why instopped flying Virgin was that Qf allowed me to choose 13c at no cost.  Now they are charging for this seat I think I'll go back to Virgin as it's the same and they are just gauging where they can.  
    No member give thanks

  • Dean

    deanr

    5 Jul, 2017 11:14 am

    Did Qantas seriously just use the word "fairer" again in describing a negative change? Well, at least they didn't also use the word "simpler" like they did when they made their frequent flyer program infinitely more complicated!

    Seriously though, what a ridiculous comment: "facilitates a fairer seat selection process, with the allocation of seats which have additional legroom space better reflecting the fee paid".

    Before this there was no fee to pay, so now you need to pay more than you did before for the same experience. Yep, sounds fair to me, especially when Virgin Australia now gives platinums 5 rows of extra legroom seats to select for free as Economy X (first few rows of economy plus the exit rows), yet Qantas expects its own platinums to pay for the same privilege and won't even let them sit in the front row where there's also extra legroom, because that's reserved for people more important.

    They should have stuck with their usual term, 'enhancement'!
    No member give thanks

  • peteshep

    peteshep

    5 Jul, 2017 11:48 am

    Not only that - why should someone on a $100 red e-deal pay $20 more to get an exit, but I'm paying $300+ on a Flexible fare and I don't get it included. That certainly doesn't "reflect the fee paid"!
    Members who gave thanks

    Bob Greenberg , mcwilrob

  • Anthony Spasevski

    Zaps1971

    5 Jul, 2017 11:30 am

    And another kick from Qantas to all you Qantas FF.

    Im glad I left Qantas as as FF (I once was P1 for over 6 years) and seen the light after sorry sir we have no first seats for your upgrade from LAX to SYD (paid full flex fare in J class & with over 2.7mil points to use up), when walking in to see only 2 pax in first and asked the cabin manager how many seats are free in first and her reply was 90% free.
    That was the last straw for me pulling out all my company trips with Qantas.
    There is NO Loyalty with Qantas as you can see.
    No member give thanks

  • Emancipist

    Emancipist

    5 Jul, 2017 11:36 am

    And so I look forward to my cash payment when the "Red Tailed Rip Off) (QF) need to fill the emergency row under aviation legislative requirements.  
    Seriously, yet again QATAS overtly declaring they have a frequent payer program NOT a frequent Flyer Program. 
    Glad I am Velocity Platinum also looks like more virgin flight ahead - x2 transcontinental and short haul every week)
    No member give thanks

  • Anthony Thompson

    triumph8

    5 Jul, 2017 11:37 am

    Until Alan Joyce is gone the madness will continue, he has ruined what was once a good airline, i am in HK at the moment on my way back from London, Cathay are infinitely better than Qantas these days, Seats are wide enough for my shoulders and the food is edible.
    it isn't that hard
    I am plat in both qantas and virgin and VA is my preference these days
    Member who gave thanks

    david2202

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    5 Jul, 2017 02:37 pm

    Seriously? Joyce SAVED Qantas by cutting its expenses and increasing its revenue. He's doing the latter here. Without such action, QF would have already gone the way of AN - a wonderful airline, but a lousy business.
    No member give thanks

  • Gnarly Barker

    Gnarly Barker

    10 Jul, 2017 05:48 pm

    Seriously John. If you think an impost of approx 10% on my average ticket price to remain at the same comfort level is acceptable to a loyal customer then I disagree about how much revenue it will raise. Those row 13 seats us QFF so cherish were nearly always occupied by QFF Gold or above.
    Good luck to the smarmy little CEO if he thinks this will be a net positive when you delete the ticket that goes to another airline. I doubt he recovered any loyalty when he stranded all those fliers in Europe
    No member give thanks

  • William G

    William G

    5 Jul, 2017 11:43 am

    QFA really knows how to thank its loyal customers by fleecing them for being loyal notwithstanding the prostitution of its brand.
    Alan Joyce knows exactly what he's doing.
    Member who gave thanks

    david2202

  • Peter Rischin

    souths70

    5 Jul, 2017 11:47 am

    Im am finding it harder & harder to justify remaining platinum with QF. Exit row seats on domestic flights were one of the few perks remaining. I am only silver with VA, but may seriously consider redirecting my domestic flying to them as a result. Poor form Qantas.
    Members who gave thanks

    heleng, Peter Giorgis

  • Alan Su

    alansu

    5 Jul, 2017 11:51 am

    How very disappointing...
    Though interestingly I have a flight from AKL to SYD this Saturday and was in 13C, and after this got re-allocated to 15C. When I went to re-select 13C (as a QF WP) it just did it without asking for payment hmm..
    No member give thanks

  • peteshep

    peteshep

    5 Jul, 2017 11:53 am

    Just submitted a complaint through the Qantas website. Auto response "due to our current high volumes, it might take us longer than we'd like to respond".  Gee, I wonder why?
    No member give thanks

  • Robert Bird

    PG1

    5 Jul, 2017 11:59 am

    Question ...... does Qantas monitor these chats? Seems like a really good source of feedback for them .... kind of like a very active focus group .... of actual users !!
    Members who gave thanks

    heleng, david2202

  • fftraveltimes

    fftraveltimes

    5 Jul, 2017 12:34 pm

    I have already emailed a letter of complaint through their website and linked them to this page as a source of example/ reference.
    No member give thanks

  • fftraveltimes

    fftraveltimes

    5 Jul, 2017 07:46 pm

    um ok, don't know who provided the dislike...at least I'm taking action.

    No member give thanks

  • JakeDrake

    JakeDrake

    5 Jul, 2017 12:31 pm

    Totally get why flyers with status see this a retrograde. But for me with lowly status this is good - I have been avoiding QF and flying VA because anyone can buy the VA exit row seats at the time of booking.    
    No member give thanks

  • airADL

    airADL

    5 Jul, 2017 12:32 pm

    i have a booking for Firday I had already pre selected my normal exit aisle being LT Gold
    it says now about the $20 charge I wonder if I will be hit when I check in

    No member give thanks

  • zoomzoom

    zoomzoom

    5 Jul, 2017 12:41 pm

    QF is one of the world's worse airlines, they regard passengers as "self loading" cargo!. As for loyalty, it is a one way street for them. 
    I stopped flying QF years ago, fed up with lousy service. Never fly QF international and only domestic when absolutely necessary. 
    We really need some genuine competition in Australian skies. John B at Virgin has tried, but we should let in a few international carriers to fly domestic sectors. 
    No member give thanks

  • airADL

    airADL

    5 Jul, 2017 01:05 pm

    VA good time for status match?
    No member give thanks

  • peteshep

    peteshep

    5 Jul, 2017 01:19 pm

    On the website it indicates "from $20 or 3000 points". Why would I spend 3000 points to get 0.67 cents per point value, when I could spend 5000 points (on a flex fare) to upgrade to business and get potentially 3-6 cents per point in value?! Ludicrous!
    No member give thanks

  • David Edwards

    David Edwards

    5 Jul, 2017 01:23 pm

    Because Pete, they bank on peeps NOT doing the sums as you have, and as most FF's would do.

    Further indication that QF are treating us like chumps.

    No member give thanks

  • Paul Cabrelle

    PaulC

    5 Jul, 2017 01:28 pm

    Interesting to note that it costs the airline .005 euro cents per transaction and they want to charge you these exorbitant fees to self service. Talk about price gouging!
    No member give thanks

  • Dean

    deanr

    5 Jul, 2017 01:35 pm

    What on earth are you talking about PaulC, and why are you giving prices in euro cents?
    No member give thanks

  • Paul Cabrelle

    PaulC

    5 Jul, 2017 01:43 pm

    @deanr each transaction on the booking system costs .005 euro cents. The reason for that is Amadeus is based in Europe! 
    No member give thanks

  • Flying mermaid

    Flying mermaid

    5 Jul, 2017 01:51 pm

    2 years ago I did 2,500 status credits in one year with Qantas,  this year I did 20.  Couldn't care less about status with any airline anymore.  This is very LCC ....
    No member give thanks

  • Adam T

    AT

    5 Jul, 2017 02:02 pm

    Oh give me a break, if Qantas was your business you'd be signing off this new policy quick smart. High demand seats in economy....yep charge em!  You think Virgin wants to not charge for those seats....cmon people only a matter of time for them too....and like their P&L can afford to not charge!!!
    No member give thanks

  • aussiflyer

    aussiflyer

    5 Jul, 2017 02:07 pm

    Not necessarily - QF have been charging non members and bronze in economy for standard seats for years and VA have not followed
    No member give thanks

  • Mark

    Mightyreds

    5 Jul, 2017 06:37 pm

    How is this customer focused when we already pay a premium for QF? A very bad business decision for one that would only gain minimal profit. People will just stop selecting these seats on flights that are short haul.
    Member who gave thanks

    mcwilrob

  • patrickk

    patrickk

    5 Jul, 2017 02:16 pm

    AT on short one hour or less flights they may have trouble finding people to fill those seats (which they have to)  at that price.
    No member give thanks

  • Alex_upgrade

    alex_upgrade77

    5 Jul, 2017 03:34 pm

    I suspect that if those seats are still empty 45mins or less from departure they'll be offering free reallocations at the gate to premium FFs. Probably target solo travellers but will need to get their consent if it's an exit.
    No member give thanks

  • markpk

    markpk

    5 Jul, 2017 02:51 pm

    I'm not understanding the outrage here. VA introduces Econ-X and people go "Wow", QF responds by initially applying the same logic to the exit row seats and gets beaten to death? 
    No member give thanks

  • Teejay Cal

    Theresnormissin

    5 Jul, 2017 03:16 pm

    I think its the lack of other options and feeling of being de-valued that has people upset. I just moved from Gold to Platinum for the first time last week (still waiting for my congratulatory email to come through from qantas, not sure how long I should expect to wait for that, or if they even still send them) and suddenly a perk I was used to as a Gold FF is not not available to me as a platinum and is even affecting existing bookings.
    I must admit that I would expect to retain access to these seats given my newly minted emerald status. So despite all the other perks, small changes like that can leave one feeling a little deflated.
    No member give thanks

  • Dale

    hakkinen5

    5 Jul, 2017 03:33 pm

    Hi Markpk,

    Actually you are wrong.  When VA first introduced it Platinums didnt get free seat selection in the extra legroom rows. They was an outcry, and lots of complaints. And they changed their mind and plats now enjoy that perk. As someone who's just made VA plat I'm glad of that. Hopefully QF change their mind about Plat/Gold complimentary selection.
    No member give thanks

  • markpk

    markpk

    5 Jul, 2017 04:58 pm

    Noted. I don't fly VA so I didn't pay that much attention to it. 

    If Qantas increased the space in the first 4-5 rows and offered it as an upgrade perk I'd take advantage of it - and even pay as a Platinum flyer.
    No member give thanks

  • green

    green

    5 Jul, 2017 03:06 pm

    Well, they just killed one of the last worthwhile QFF platinum benefits. What do I care about? Mostly lounge access and legroom. Comparing Australia's two main programs (velocity and QF): 
    • Lounge access, velocity - internationally this is extremely dull to decipher. Even with hours on a layover who wants to work out if you've got access on a Delta flight, domestically in USA, to SLC's lounge if you're gold velocity and flying on a Delta flight with a delta flight number?
    • Legroom - clear lousy decision for tall people who fly a lot (me)

    Upshot - if I can stand to work my way through the convoluted velocity rules for lounge access I'll switch carriers and use the generally cheaper virgin fares to pay for economy X.
    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    5 Jul, 2017 03:29 pm

    Just so I'm sure I'm understanding this correctly, is the article saying Qantas will (now) reserve the front rows in economy for CL and P1 passengers only? They won't even open to other passengers at T-80?
    No member give thanks

  • 1Worldfreqflyer

    1Worldfreqflyer

    5 Jul, 2017 04:00 pm

    It has come to the point where being Platinum really counts for nothing with Qantas, the planes are dirty, service lacking, food unpalatable, there is nothing glamorous or luxurious about QF, I do my minimum  prerequisite 4 flights to retain the status and then all other flights with CX where Im treated 100 times better and like a real VIP even in economy. QF is going down the low cost carrier model when it comes to product and services but senior management really don't seem to care, this latest decision being the perfect example, would someone really have a chat with Alan Joyce? Perhaps through this forum or all of its members we should start thinking of putting a long list of issues and send it as a group to QF senior management, esp Mr Joyce as it really is getting worse and how can they expect loyalty where they do not value it?
    No member give thanks

  • cdirnber

    cdirnber

    5 Jul, 2017 04:39 pm

    Well done QF! (sarcasm off) - other OW airlines provide Platinum level flyers with: free premium economy seating, free long-haul upgrades from any fare-bucket (including the lowest) at any time when there is availability (which is plenty), free OW Gold membership for a family member,  e-mails being responded to between 2 and 10 hours etc etc).  Why would one stay with QF I wonder when privileges (such as the free exit row seats) are continuously 'enhanced' so that 'status' and loyalty do not really mean much any more.
    No member give thanks

  • cloud-9

    cloud-9

    5 Jul, 2017 04:58 pm

    Which FFP provides all those things? 
    No member give thanks

  • cdirnber

    cdirnber

    6 Jul, 2017 05:11 am

    Finnair (AY) does provide all of the above!
    No member give thanks

  • cloud-9

    cloud-9

    6 Jul, 2017 09:45 pm

    ALL those things? Wow.  
    No member give thanks

  • cdirnber

    cdirnber

    8 Jul, 2017 05:30 am

    Yes, all those things and more (e.g. being able to use frequent flyer points to maintain one's status).
    No member give thanks

  • markpk

    markpk

    5 Jul, 2017 05:02 pm

    Further to my earlier comment I don't value the exit rows that much. If I want to work the tray tables flex too much to make it comfortable and for short hops or even ADL-BNE at 6ft I don't have a problem with the legroom in the first 4-5 rows. 

    Sure you run the risk of some dolt putting his seat back - but that's a chance no matter where you sit on the plane. 

    QF is experimenting - maybe it works maybe it doesn't...at least they are reacting to competitive pressure...

    No member give thanks

  • Mark Bringans

    Briggo

    5 Jul, 2017 06:28 pm

    I think you got it wrong -- QF are not reacting to VA.

    Its the bean-counters asking can we gouge some more coin out of benefits, so to use your word - the 'dolts' hit their most valued pax Gold, P, P1.

    VA could really get some mileage out of this with Branson in town.
    No member give thanks

  • markpk

    markpk

    5 Jul, 2017 07:25 pm

    So we clearly have a differing view of inflight amenities...
    • I clearly value being seated just behind J whereby QF are generally really good at spreading out high status flyers whereby the middle seat is blocked - sure leg room may be tight but at least I don't have someone bashing elbows or spreading into my seat
    • You (and many others here) seem to value leg room above all else. So being crammed in 3-across but with leg room to stretch out is your goal. 
    Each to their own! 
    Member who gave thanks

    Briggo

  • Dale

    hakkinen5

    6 Jul, 2017 09:49 pm

    Spot on Markpk.  I think different people value different things.  I'm in the second group you specify. I am quite tall and I can't actually use my laptop at all in standard rows with people sitting beside me.  So I value the leg room in the exit rows where I can actually use my laptop. Each to their own as you say.
    No member give thanks

  • Kevin Markey

    Kevin M

    5 Jul, 2017 05:14 pm

    I think I can feel some economy X flights coming on!  Exit row seats were important to me & if I have to pay for them I might as well get the full deal. I have this years Qantas  Gold locked away already so why not have a dance with Virgin to see how good they are. Sadly this appears to be a race to the bottom!
    No member give thanks

  • Andrew

    EKdevotee

    5 Jul, 2017 07:46 pm

    I'm sorry, but all I can do is laugh. QF has been on the nose for years and is simply on a one way flight to oblivion. I detest their disdain of people who hang out and remain loyal to them. I have not flown QF for years and never will again. If I fly domestically, it's always VA. Clean cabins, pleasant staff and real benefits for plat and gold. Internationally, I would never ever touch them. Emirates is alway superlative and remains my carrier of choice. I spend north of 50K a year with them and the thought of giving one cent of it to QF is abhorrent. The ONLY way to make them listen is to vote wit your feet. C'mon Qantas FFs! Leave and see how good it is without them. Alan Joyce, you continue to put a cream pie in your own face. Haaaa haaa!
    No member give thanks

  • AnthonyvB

    AnthonyvB

    5 Jul, 2017 08:32 pm

    So you have not flown them for years so your comment means nothing
    No member give thanks

  • bsb

    bsb

    5 Jul, 2017 09:21 pm

    😢
     tweet sent tol
    No member give thanks

  • Travis

    wce929406

    5 Jul, 2017 11:27 pm

    I don't have a problem with this at all. Although this takes away something that was free, it gives a fairer seat selection process for everyone (there are people outside our little bubble) 
    If you have a problem with this, exit rows are free when online check in opens and at the airport, so just allocate it online when you check in. 
    Qantas thinking for the little man for once 
    No member give thanks

  • peteshep

    peteshep

    6 Jul, 2017 06:59 am

    Not according to the Qantas Seat Selection page on the website. Only "standard" seat selection is available free during check in.
    No member give thanks

  • highflyer

    highflyer

    6 Jul, 2017 02:53 am

    I think the main issue is that the once published benefit for Gold and Platinum FF's who spend up to thousands of dollars and stay loyal is now being taken away by someone who is willing to maybe pay an extra few $'s for an emergency exit row with extra leg room.  Short term, it may seem to add a bit more revenue, but pissing off Frequent Flyers who may now go to VA and pay the same amount for the Extra X Seat with more leg room, will be a longer term effect.  Bad short term accounting from the bean counters who have no clue once again.
    Member who gave thanks

    green

  • ejerga

    ejerga

    6 Jul, 2017 06:51 am

    So disappointing to see Qantas treating its platinum members this way. Infuriating however are the Facebook comments being made by Qantas in reply to their FF members complaining about this decision!  

    Members who gave thanks

    Briggo, green

  • ducati_boy

    ducati_boy

    6 Jul, 2017 08:49 am

    as someone who spends $30+K per annum with QF, I will now be seriously looking at VA.  Personally, I placed a lot of value of the ability to choose an exit row seat without it being a "premium" due to my height (over 6'4") or any other seat when flying with my family.  Have 4 flights booked with them over the next 2 months, but from then on will look at moving over to VA.  I'm sure Qantas's accountants won't factor in the loss of ~$30K of revenue for the ability to charge about $500 extra in this seat selection strategy over the next 12 months (and multiple that over a few years) ... 
    Member who gave thanks

    Dachie

  • Elizabeth Gunter

    Dachie

    6 Jul, 2017 09:53 am

    I am only a Lifetime Silver Member, dropped from 3 years at Gold last year. I was looking forward to getting back to Gold this year (and probably Platinum for the first time), because of the chance to secure the better seating and exit row at that level. Becoming clear that Qantas don't value loyalty AT ALL!!
    No member give thanks

  • Andrew

    EKdevotee

    6 Jul, 2017 10:50 am

    AnthonyvB, I don't need to fly QF to know how bad it is. Firstly I experienced their shoddy efforts  when I did fly with them. Secondly, the torrent of complaints I see here continuously, their well publicised and continuing actions to annoy their customer base and the constant complants I hear from family and friends is more than enough to tell me what their attitude is to genuine service for its loyal customers.
    I suspect you are not happy also and being embarrassed by your misplaced loyalty, you choose to defend QF rather than do something about their behaviour
    No member give thanks

  • Nathan Burgess

    Nburgess31

    6 Jul, 2017 11:12 am

    Qantas are telling you "go for the cheapest possible fare whether it be QF or VA, status really means little to us.  A person on a red fare $100 fare paying $20 more is worth more to us than you buying Flexi fare or flying 50+ flights with us each year."

    Well message heard Qantas I've just booked next four flights with VA cheap fares better seats.  Lounge access grant by Economy X promotion.  First time in 4 years I didn't have a future paid flight in my bookings with QF.

    After 14 years travelling to gave lifetime gold status 16 days ago and still Platinum I hear there message.  Red deal passengers mean more to us.  I know these bookings only cost QF $1563 but it feels good to be ahead of Qantas in their revenue grab / raising game.  

    Thanks QF for the push to gain status with your competitor I needed the push.  I'll still use you but on the lowest possible fares as status means little with you now.  I needed this push.  Thank you for showing zero respect to your frequent flyers and those paying more revenue to your airline.  
    Thanks for the slap to the face calling this fairer. It was refreshing to see such transparent insult. 




    Member who gave thanks

    green

  • green

    green

    6 Jul, 2017 02:45 pm

    I agree - I'm saying thanks QF. This change finally prompted me to spend a (tedious) night's research on changing FF program (currently OF platinum). Here's where I landed (as an Australian and USA flyer) for anyone else that finds this useful:
     
    I'll change to the VA ff program and accelerate corporate as:
    • This gets you lounge access in Australia 
    • Virgin's delta and other partner airline flights earn at a good status rate in Virgin's velocity program (unlike say AA in QF)
    • The reverse, use delta's milage program, means you end up with no lounge access if only flying domestically (in USA or Australia)
    • Alaska FF is similarly limited (no domestic access to lounges in Australia if just flying in Australia). Similarly, no access to lounges in USA if just flying domestically on Alaskan with QF status.
    • I'm QF lifetime gold  so in economy X seats I can use the Virgin lounge on its current promotion.
    • Economy X domestically in Australia is generally cheaper than normal QF and that's before paying for a QF exit row seat on top of this.
    • Delta in the USA is a better airline for me (shorter layovers and connections for my routes) than any of the other options.
    • Direct routes out of Adelaide are better on Virgin's partners (Sing, AirNZ) than QF (QF usually involves a flight change). 
    • EK out of Adelaide in economy has tiny seats - I avoid them at all costs.
    • The only thing I'll really miss is the Sydney first lounge but, hey, I'm not based in Sydney anyway.

    So, despite a very tedious Wednesday evening of research I think I need to say thanks to Qantas for charging for exit row seats. Its prompted me to shift - bye QF!


    No member give thanks

  • GBRGB

    GBRGB

    6 Jul, 2017 12:10 pm

    I have 3 bookings in the next couple of weeks all with exit rows seat selected, when I go to seat selection page it doesn't allow me to do anything, it annotates I am in a extra legroom seat 13C on all sectors and has a tab below to indicate exit rows can be purchased for $30. When I go to select seat button it doesn't allow me to progress any further, very confusing, so I don't know if my exit row seats are still valid or if I have to pay extra. I haven't got hours to spare waiting on hold at the call centre so I guess I will have to wait to online check in to see what has actually happened, very confusing. 
    No member give thanks

  • Dave

    Grannular

    6 Jul, 2017 01:56 pm

    I really hope someone high up in Qantas reads the feedback on this site and takes it on board. Virgin did with their changes and full credit to them for admitting they got it wrong.
    No member give thanks

  • Damien  Greene

    Fatherdamo

    6 Jul, 2017 03:23 pm

    My question to qantas which remains unanswered since overnight :
    As a loyal platinum frequent flyer why are qantas now charging their own platinum (one world emerald customers )for extra legroom seating on domestic flights when their main competitor virgin have recently increased the amount of free extra legroom seats available to their platinum members through reconfigured planes with economyX seats and nearly all other one world airlines offer me free extra legroom seating. The new policy is a DEMOTION of MY BENEFITS . I am not a chairmans lounge or P1 member so their benefits mentioned are not relevant to me.  Qantas are making record profits and i as a platinum member have contributed to that financial turnaround over the last number of years. So why are qantas now demoting my benefits with the new policy , a policy that all puts them completely out of step with other one world airlines and their leading competitor in domestic travel?
    Member who gave thanks

    mcwilrob

  • patrickk

    patrickk

    6 Jul, 2017 05:01 pm

    Interestingly I made two bookings today. QF mainline was charging the $20 for exit seats while QantasLink 717s were not. Not completely in lockstep.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    6 Jul, 2017 05:03 pm

    The charges only apply to Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 flights.
    No member give thanks

  • Mark

    Mightyreds

    7 Jul, 2017 11:04 am

    Hi Chris, to the best of your knowledge are QF senior management aware of the general consensus from the readers of AUSBT (and no doubt the general travelling population) that this move is total BS?
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    7 Jul, 2017 11:27 am

    Mightyreds: That's a question you'd need to ask Qantas - we don't call airlines to ask if they've read particular stories or the comments under them, although many companies operate media monitoring software that brings relevant stories to their attention.

    No member give thanks

  • Anthony Grisancich

    anthonyg

    7 Jul, 2017 11:57 am

    Very dissapointing. This comes at a convidient time as Vigin add their new seating arrangements. I went to get my seat and now have to pay. Ah well it is proof that that Virgin and Qantas know each others moves and sit around a table to discuss their options
    No member give thanks

  • Allison Hooper

    AllyH

    7 Jul, 2017 07:11 pm

    Once again it seems that Darwin is getting jipped... seems Qantas want not just an arm and a leg for my base airfare, but now the rest of my limbs as well. Just checked my booking for the red eye next Monday night to Sydney - $60 one way for an exit row on a 737. Think I'll take my chances in the lounge and request 2-3 standard seats to stretch out
    No member give thanks

  • Damien  Greene

    Fatherdamo

    9 Jul, 2017 05:42 pm

    Had to book a trip to Hong Kong for 2 weeks time. Would always have chosen  qantas up to now but have chosen VA as a result of this change and putting me as a qf platinum offside. That's $4000 less in qantas coffers and by my reckoning they need to sell 160 emergency exit seats from Melbourne to Sydney to make that up not to mind the future goodwill they have lost from me
    No member give thanks

  • Rob McWilliams

    mcwilrob

    9 Jul, 2017 08:33 pm

    I have just registered my disgust to Qantas via the QF Facebook page as well as a letter which I will put in Australia Post tomorrow.  If enough of us do this they might at least reinstate the no-cost exit row selection for Gold FF and up...
    No member give thanks

  • Rob McWilliams

    mcwilrob

    11 Jul, 2017 06:47 pm

    I have been sharing my disappointment on Qantas's new exit row $$$ policy with service desks in all of the Qantas lounges I've been in since decision was made. Maybe if enough FF's do this they might actually listen! Nothing to lose anyway.  Hope they might see sense and waive fee for Gold FF and up...
    Member who gave thanks

    Nburgess31

  • green

    green

    28 Jul, 2017 09:19 am

    Hmmm - I just booked (domestic on a Sunday - I'm platinum on qantas) and it didn't charge me to pick an exit row seat - very welcome but how's other's experiences? Are you being charged?

    Member who gave thanks

    peteshep

  • peteshep

    peteshep

    28 Jul, 2017 09:26 am

    Looks like they may have listened to the feedback (or at least hoping they have and it's not a glitch) - I was just able to select an exit for an existing flight booking with no charge. It definitely gave the message that it was extra legroom at $0, so looks like they may have changed it for Platinums.
    No member give thanks

  • Rob McWilliams

    mcwilrob

    28 Jul, 2017 12:37 pm

    Looks like you have to be at least Platinum - this "perk" was previously available to Gold also :(  Really want them to reinstate it for that level FF...
    Member who gave thanks

    peteshep

  • Scott Watkins

    scottw

    28 Jul, 2017 04:26 pm

    I also spoke to numerous Qantas staff and wrote to Qantas about this retrospective change. I'm a Platinum FF and I just went through all my future bookings and I can now select exit row seats for free not just on domestic flights but international as well. DBX-SYD and MEL-LAX exit row seats in economy for both myself and my wife (who is not Platinum) confirmed. It seems giving feedback had the desired effect.
    Member who gave thanks

    peteshep

  • peteshep

    peteshep

    28 Jul, 2017 10:23 pm

    Fairly sure if it was a glitch it would have been fixed by now, so this looks like good news 
    No member give thanks

  • Ray Norris

    raynorris

    1 Aug, 2017 02:53 pm

    Just booked an exit row for me (platinum) and my wife (gold) and neither of us was charged - excellent! Well done Qantas!
    Member who gave thanks

    Nburgess31

  • Mark

    Mightyreds

    3 Aug, 2017 12:26 pm

    Qantas has not reversed its decision as far as I can see. They are wanting $30 from BNE to MEL. When I called the call centre the staff member said they have had thousands of complaints and that management are considering changing this back.
    No member give thanks

  • peteshep

    peteshep

    3 Aug, 2017 02:53 pm

    Are you Platinum? Gold? Silver? There are definitely no charges showing up for Platinum FFs.
    No member give thanks

  • Mark

    Mightyreds

    3 Aug, 2017 03:15 pm

    Currently silver. This in my eyes was the only real benefit of silver when flying domestically. (Being 6'6 it was a great benefit at that). As a life QC member the benefits of Gold was not worth chasing.
    No member give thanks

  • peteshep

    peteshep

    3 Aug, 2017 04:10 pm

    So it looks like they've changed it back for platinums definitely, golds maybe, and silver or below definitely not.
    No member give thanks

  • nbyrne

    nbyrne

    8 Aug, 2017 10:32 am

    Qantas are still charging for this. I'm Platinum FF and just booked Sydney-Brisbane - asking $20 for an exit seat per flight. To reach Platinum One would need to spend close to $80,000 on flights in 12 months - apparently the threshold Qantas deems fit for 'free' exit row seats. Disappointing.
    No member give thanks

  • Mark

    Mightyreds

    8 Aug, 2017 11:15 am

    More than disappointing, absolutely disgusting while showing corporate greed at its best. Management need a wake up call.
    No member give thanks

  • djails

    djails

    7 Oct, 2017 02:39 pm

    Adding my voice to this.
    Absolutely disgusting from Qantas: 2017 profit in excess of $1b, CEO took $25million pay check and now they are charging $20 to customers who already spend $20k + per year on flights. This is plain corporate greed and Qantas should be ashamed !
    Please post to Twitter and other social media. That's the only way to publicly shame them.
    Member who gave thanks

    mcwilrob

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24 May, 2019 11:22 am

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