Sunday 9 October 2022

Australians struggle to redeem $1.3 billion in flight credits

Australians are struggling to redeem more than $1.3 billion in travel credits, with airlines creating rules that make the vouchers difficult to use.  Customers are now having to spend extra money to rebook flights, forbidden from combining credits, and forced to pay for higher fares due to confusing terms and conditions. Qantas customer Kerry Webb bought two tickets for flights from Brisbane to Perth for $1200 in 2019. Two years later when the borders to Western Australia opened, she used her travel credit, but the total fare was now $2000. Webb said she was shocked when she had to pay an extra $800.
"They said they were going to give you credits if you had to cancel and honour it for exactly what it is... and don't charge you more," Webb said.

Jason Mittra said he had a trip from Melbourne to Gold Coast on Jetstar cancelled twice.
Mittra was charged $415 for the return flight when using his voucher, even when the cheapest fare available on the same plane was $330.
"Using my voucher has cost me an extra $80. They (Qantas) make it very hard to use the credits," he said. Qantas and Jetstar currently have $1.3 billion worth of unused credits in their system, with the majority of them expiring in December 2023.
If the airline has cancelled a flight the vouchers can be used as cash, but if a customer has been forced to cancel the flight, Qantas requires a new booking to be made on a flexi fare of equal or higher value to the original ticket.
A flight from Hobart to Sydney in October is $351 on a flexi fare, while it's $284 on a Red e-Deal for exactly the same flight.

Qantas says about $80 million worth of vouchers are being spent every month, and they will set up a dedicated concierge phone number in the coming weeks for people to navigate the rules and exhaust their flight credits.
"We will be reminding them (customers) and providing new ways to access them (flight credits) and we will be putting on a dedicated concierge phone number," Qantas CFO Vanessa Hudson said.
Some of the more expensive fares are due to the rise in jet fuel costs as a result of the war in Ukraine.

Story sourced from here, photos are mine.
Australians struggling to redeem $1.3 billion in airline flight credits (

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