A330-737 Perth Plane Switch-Am I Entitled To Compensation?

16 replies


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 19 Jul 2017

Total posts 11

I recently flew from Perth to Sydney and had booked a points upgrade to business. Upon boarding it became apparent that the A330 I was expecting had morphed into a 737. Had I known that this was the plane I was going to fly on, I wouldn't have used my 25000 points to upgrade as the difference to Economy is minimal (wouldn't have booked this flight either). I think the 737experience is lousy on a 4.5 hr flight and there was no curtain between classes meaning there were queues for the Business class bathroom which meant I basically lost the points for an in flight meal and a little more legroom (Platinum ff member).

When I asked the cabin crew they told me they thought they were going on an A330 but the plane was changed at the last minute and "Qantas doesn't have enough planes". I have experienced a number of Qantas flights recently that have had "maintenance issues" especially with A/C problems. When I mentioned this to my pick up driver he told me he had heard that Qantas were deceiving their customers and switching planes if they are not full enough. I don't know if this is true but have seen similar claims online.
As I wasn't informed is there much chance of me getting the points refunded? Is this a frequent problem?


Member since 05 May 2016

Total posts 312

It makes sense for QF to use their planes where they’ll get best value.

Also planes can break down at any time.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 Dec 2016

Total posts 171

No compensations even for red-eye, flown once PER-SYD downgraded from fully flat A330 to recliner 737, even more ridiculous, the plane has light load and virtually every economy pax made a flat bed themselves.

MarkJohnSon Banned

MarkJohnSon Banned

Member since 19 Jan 2018

Total posts 41

Sorry to say it, but the airlines are very clear in their terms and conditions that the plane can change. They are very careful to sell a business class ticket rather than a particular kind of business seat.

Such subsitions are not unheard of with QF’s domestic A332s. Sometimes it’s economics, or other times it’s maintenance issues that all airlines have to deal with.

Having flown between PER and the east coast with the Red Roo somewhat regularly in the past, thankfully, these substitutions are the exception and not the rule.

That said, you can try your luck. Sometimes QF will refund some or all of the points in these situations if you state your case strongly enough.

As a final aside, I would not be listening to taxi or uber drivers for an informed opinion on QF’s maintenance tactics.

Last editedby MarkJohnSon at Apr 11, 2018, 09:09 PM.



Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 667

QF does work their planes very hard so little spare capacity when one breaks down, and likewise if they are not full there are downsized. A330 and 717s in particular but also the A380s are prone to breakdowns without capacity to replace them. There seem to be enough 737s around to cover for them though.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 11 Jul 2017

Total posts 22

I would try your luck calling them and asking for compensation.. Any US carrier would provide compensation or if you had known about prior to flying they would have re-booked you or cancelled for free. Surely Qantas can help out here in some regard. It is a completely different product than what you were expecting.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 47


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 13 Nov 2015

Total posts 83

In 2015, just after VA launched 'The Business'. my PER-MEL red-eye flight was downgraded from A330 to 737. They were very generous with compensation at the time, and was offered 30,000 points + $250 Travel Bank. I only paid 35,500 points for my flight in the first place (Business award).

No idea if they would do the same anymore. Never had the same experience with Qantas unfortunately.



Member since 08 May 2014

Total posts 2

I agree slim chances but in life if you don't ask you don't get so I would give it a crack!


Member since 08 Feb 2018

Total posts 138

Aircraft swaps are unfortunate and annoying, but they happen. They may not have an an A330 ready to go but swapped in a 737 that could be quickly fuelled and crewed. It happened to me once (in economy I'll say) but they very quickly changed the aircraft to a 737 and we got to MEL only 5 mins late, from my perspective it was all well managed and there was no real delay - we got what we paid for. I can see how busi pax might have been annoyed but I guess theres two sides to when these things happen. I would call them and ask, put some polite pressure on them and see what they say, you never know.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 17 Aug 2017

Total posts 28

That’s why I only upgrade or use points on International flights. Still can downgrade quality but less likely.

Doubleplatinum Banned

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

Member since 07 Feb 2013

Total posts 431

No chance at all


Member since 17 Sep 2015

Total posts 73

As an occasional user of Brisbane-Perth...Crew tell me the 737’s are much more reliable than A330,...

Different manufacturers.

Are the A332s really more prone to breaking down than the B738s? What do others with technical knowledge think? Is it a case of 'if it ain't Boeing....?'


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Dec 2017

Total posts 32

There are 3 times as many 737's as 330's in the Qantas fleet. I guess it is just a numbers game. I think anybody in your situation would be annoyed though!


United Airlines - Mileage Plus

Member since 17 Feb 2016

Total posts 29

I experienced this issue (see my comment 'bait and switch').

Whilst there is no doubt every airline has the right to substitute their hardware I do wonder whether QF in particular sell tix on one plane already knowing that it'll be a different machine on the day.
In my case the crew member I spoke to knew they had been rostered onto that flight / 737 for over a week and I purchased my ticket a few days before departure leading me to believe that it was being marketed as a 330 when it had already been switched to a 737.
Be good to get some official stats on the frequency of 'substitutions' on that particular route...

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