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Qantas fined US$125,000 for selling New York - Los Angeles tickets

10 Discussions

John Odlum

Member since 13 Sep 2016

Total posts 15

Qantas currently flies LAX-JFK on a Boeing 747 and from later this year on a Boeing 787 to provide travellers on AU-LAX flights with an onwards leg to New York. But the airline isn't allowed to sell that LAX-JFK or JFK-LAX leg. However it seems that Qantas has been doing just that, which has resulted in a fine from the US Department of Transportation which will be as high as US$125,000.
More at https://skift.com/2018/03/29/dot-slaps-qantas-for-violating-obscure-u-s-law/

rufusfly

Member since 13 May 2016

Total posts 54

Qantas currently flies LAX-JFK on a Boeing 747 and from later this year on a Boeing 787 to provide travellers on AU-LAX flights with an onwards leg to New York. But the airline isn't allowed to sell that LAX-JFK or JFK-LAX leg. However it seems that Qantas has been doing just that, which has resulted in a fine from the US Department of Transportation which will be as high as US$125,000.
More at https://skift.com/2018/03/29/dot-slaps-qantas-for-violating-obscure-u-s-law/
Qantas has been fined $125000 or could be fined $125000 ?

Himeno

Member since 12 Dec 2012

Total posts 278

It seems like the US DOT has reinterpreted the cabotage rule from "international ticket" to something even more limited then the limited rule QF was already using.

Eli

Member since 30 Jul 2015

Total posts 9

QF did nothing wrong. These old cabotage rules were long in effect before code shares were ever a thing.

QF is not going to fight this since they want Trump and co to sign off on the AA JV!

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Oct 2014

Total posts 315

QF did nothing wrong. These old cabotage rules were long in effect before code shares were ever a thing.

QF is not going to fight this since they want Trump and co to sign off on the AA JV!


That is open to interpretation, Eli. Legally, QF has plead 'guilty', based on the court's re-interpretation and has been fined USD $ 62,500.00. Should further infractions occur within the next 12 months, a further additional amount of USD $ 62,500.00 will automatically apply.

QF was granted an exemption to the Cabotage Rule in 1959 which allows QF to sell LAX-JFK-LAX sectors in conjunction with an international journey. In this case .. which occurred in 2015, QF sold the above sectors in conjunction with an Air Vanuatu codeshare and an American Airlines codeshare to Auckland NZ. Under the Court interpretation, had the trips been on QF (metal) flight numbers, they would have been fine. The sold fares were ticketed with QF codeshare flight numbers but on non-QF metal. QF argued that the industry has become considerably more complex since 1959 and that 'codeshares' were not even heard of when the original grant was made.

QF took a 'path of least resistance' in this matter. In terms of corporate legal fees, you don't get much representation in US Courts for $62,500.00. Should the QF/AA JV be granted (or not), I am sure that QF will look towards the DOT to revise the clarity / grammar of the original 1959 rule.

Red Cee

Member since 15 Feb 2018

Total posts 151

All airlines that offer codeshare services across the USA will need to be aware of this. I’m sure Qantas aren’t the only airline that could be affected.

Hany

Member since 15 May 2017

Total posts 3

So what does this mean for travellers? If we are headed beyond the intial US port, do we need to buy a separate ticket with a US airline and have to through a separate donestic check in? Will Qantas offer special connection support for say luggage transfer and delayed flights with AA?

John Phelan

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Oct 2011

Total posts 197

So what does this mean for travellers? If we are headed beyond the intial US port, do we need to buy a separate ticket with a US airline and have to through a separate donestic check in? Will Qantas offer special connection support for say luggage transfer and delayed flights with AA?

No different from now. This case is specific to a handful of travellers who were flying JFK-LAX as part of a QF ticket that then put them on a QF codeshare departing the US on another airline. There's no impact at all on the standard arrangements for codeshares within the US.



Last editedby John Phelan at Apr 03, 2018, 12:09 PM.

ausJCP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Aug 2014

Total posts 126

Qantas is a very large company, and their booking engines -- advanced though they are -- are not without flaw.

A friend was able to successfully use points to make a Qantas award booking for the LAX-JFK domestic sector only. The booking itinerary was completely confirmed, however he arrived at LAX to board the flight and was denied at check-in. Apparently even non-revenue pax can be tripped up by these cabotage restrictions.

It's not likely Qantas deliberately and proactively undertook this practice just for two very obscure codeshares. More likely there was a back-end booking engine mis-configuration of the TN and AA codeshares to Auckland and Tahiti respectively.

Regardless of intention, Qantas contravened a pretty straightforward foreign regulation and received a nominal penalty.

henrus

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 Oct 2013

Total posts 768

Qantas is a very large company, and their booking engines -- advanced though they are -- are not without flaw.

A friend was able to successfully use points to make a Qantas award booking for the LAX-JFK domestic sector only. The booking itinerary was completely confirmed, however he arrived at LAX to board the flight and was denied at check-in. Apparently even non-revenue pax can be tripped up by these cabotage restrictions.

It's not likely Qantas deliberately and proactively undertook this practice just for two very obscure codeshares. More likely there was a back-end booking engine mis-configuration of the TN and AA codeshares to Auckland and Tahiti respectively.

Regardless of intention, Qantas contravened a pretty straightforward foreign regulation and received a nominal penalty.

Were they booked on an AA service upon checkin?

ausJCP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Aug 2014

Total posts 126

Qantas is a very large company, and their booking engines -- advanced though they are -- are not without flaw.

A friend was able to successfully use points to make a Qantas award booking for the LAX-JFK domestic sector only. The booking itinerary was completely confirmed, however he arrived at LAX to board the flight and was denied at check-in. Apparently even non-revenue pax can be tripped up by these cabotage restrictions.

It's not likely Qantas deliberately and proactively undertook this practice just for two very obscure codeshares. More likely there was a back-end booking engine mis-configuration of the TN and AA codeshares to Auckland and Tahiti respectively.

Regardless of intention, Qantas contravened a pretty straightforward foreign regulation and received a nominal penalty.

Were they booked on an AA service upon checkin?

No, he was simply turned away by the check-in agents. Walked to T4 and purchased an airfare at AA (at a premium).

The next month he received a points refund and brief apology from QF. Not a good look for the airline.

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