Sudden QF price changes

23 replies

PLEASEupgrademe

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Nov 2017

Total posts 93

Have been planning a trip to CNS. Have been checking the QF site via my QFF login (Gold.) I must admit, I am a sucker for the Red-e-deals.

Currently, the time is 12:14 AM Thurs Aug 22nd. Yesterday morning and up until midnight, I saw some Red-e-deals on all days of the week ex melbourne (indirect via BNE) for $179. I was logged into my account prior to midnight and the $179 fares were still available. Now, the lowest non-direct fair is $216.

I booked SYD-LAX-NYC last thursday after weeks of searching, and with the Red-e-Deals, if the price was soon to disappear, it would either say "Price nearly gone" or "Seats nearly gone" next to the Red-e-deal.

In this instance, I saw NONE of these warnings prior to midnight, yet the prices increased by $37 each way.


Is this common? Can someone explain this to me?


PLEASEupgrademe

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Nov 2017

Total posts 93

Let me expand on my previous comment. As I am travelling to FNQ for vacation, I don't mind flying MEL-BNE-CNS-BNE-MEL to maximise Status Credits. On the return journey, I get 60 instead of 30. Every SC counts after all. When travelling for business I don't do this obviously.


Anyway, I have been checking flight prices for some time and the cheapest MEL-BNE-CNS flights were $292 one way or $584 Return.


HOWEVER, when I checked today... I saw prices for the MEL-BNE-CNS-BNE-MEL that were $179 each one way or $358 return.

As I was hesitating on the EXACT dates, I planned to book at least one leg after dinner. However......


I finished work rather late and after doing the usual dinner, washing up routine, the flights reverted backto the $292 one way price AND the durations of available flights were absurd.. IE returning Fri 8th Nov Dep CNS 1245 Arr MEL 2200!!!!

Where as for about 8 or 9 hours during the day yesterday, the options were much better in terms of price and DURATION.

Could this be because of a flash sale between MEL-BNE or BNE-CNS? (I checked those legs individually and saw no sale over past few weeks.) ?

Why else could this have happened.

Anyway, I was forced into booking, because the outbound, which gets into Cairns at midday (Good) said "Price nearly gone"


QANTAS are the shiftiest bunch of the lot in terms of gauging max price out of their customers. Now that I have spent just over $4500 in less than a week. I guarantee they will target me with a DSC.

patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 402

They do go over the top with dynamic pricing and at times it is weird with sale fares being higher than saver fares on international flights despite greater restrictions. One presumes no one I silly enough to fall for it. These are driven by computer generated algorithms in which people play little if any role. Also they use this to hook you. My rule is that if it is great bargain then take it there and then but do check how restrictive the conditions are.

GBRGB

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Jan 2014

Total posts 224

I have found return flights generally more expensive than flights departing, I have even gone to the hassle of booking two single trips to avoid return leg pricing the system seems to regularly throw up. There is no other reason than price manipulation that two tickets on exactly the same plane for the same passenger should be different, there is definitely some sneaky stuff going on.

Brandon Loo

Member since 10 Jul 2018

Total posts 98

I've experienced this a lot in the last few months – check a domestic flight price through the Qantas website and if I don't buy it straight away, it shoots up by $50 or more just 20 min later.

I've noted the prices on Amex Travel or Expedia also change dynamically with the Qantas website, within the hour. I'm not sure if they come down or not as I look at other options instead.

Last editedby Brandon Loo at Aug 22, 2019, 08:13 AM.

patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 402

Try to book from the US is another thing with much higher prices on QF than if you book from Austrlaia on QF with the smae fliht numbers just going in different directions maybe they can't discount on th US until the AA agreement so finalised. The irony is if I book on AA the prcie is displayed in $A (as they know where I am) but on QF website it is $US go figure.

mern2001

Qantas - WP Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Apr 2013

Total posts 83

I have to agree - I find QANTAS' price policy frustrating. Pricing changes constantly and, to get a good price. you often have to take some tortuous route at midnight. I'm currently P1, which means an awful lot of booking and flying with them - and loyalty. Recently, I have been less loyal and have been booking with BA, JAL, Finnair and Cathay. For the most part, it has been a breath of fresh air. I will lose my P1 status - but it has been worth it.

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Oct 2014

Total posts 331

I received an email on Tuesday morning for a 'Flash Flight' sale that was valid for 48 hours and expired at midnight Wednesday. This included both domestic and international destinations, so I'd suggest that this is the reason for your experience @pleaseupgrademe.

QF has been bombarding people with multiple daily emails of late. Areas for each seem to be flights, shopping sale(s), and a selection of one of: health insurance, wine club, or miscellaneous services. On average, I am getting 3-4 per day.

I'd imagine you either didn't receive the email, received it and the 48 hr deadline didn't register, or maybe - due to overload - didn't open it.

As a general comment though: price buckets can change or exhaust at any time.

jason.ng174

Etihad - Etihad Guest

Member since 07 May 2019

Total posts 9

As kimshep says, the price nearly gone refers to how many seats are left in each fare bucket. However, Qantas can change the allocation of seats across fare buckets as well as change the price applied to each bucket anytime.

I also suspect that in addition to the Qantas flash sale, Virgin was running a sale which can trigger Qantas to match the prices. For example Virgin was selling SYD-HKG return for $549, which prompted Qantas to match at $551. but now that the Virgin sale is over the prices are back in the $700s

PLEASEupgrademe

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Nov 2017

Total posts 93

In my opinion, it is extremely UGLY. I have never held status with an airline before. Last year, for business and personal reasons my travel load suddenly increased. I went from bronze to silver in one trip, and as I was 20 Status Credits short of Gold less than a month out from anniversary, I flew to Sydney for the day and spent time with relatives, ( I was a QF club member, and it was cheaper for me to obtain those 20 Status Credits needed for Gold by purchasing an el-cheapo fare than renewing my QF club membership.) Almost everything about the way Qantas charges its customers is ugly and almost always difficult to understand. I know that this is partially due to the unique isolation/location of Australia from the "old world," thus, our domestic and international aviation market is unique and wide open for price gouging.

There is a fascinating thread on AFF in the QF section called "QF Double SC promos - I am not 100% sure I follow the logic anymore."

That thread has evolved into a discussion/debate not just about DSC promotions, but pricing and targetted deals etc. Quite interesting.


It seems as though there is no personal input at Qantas anymore. It feels as though the relationship with their travelling customers is run on autopilot. I believe that The Qantas Group derives the majority of their income not (necessarily from flights) but from creating and perfecting a clever scheme by which all aspects of your financial life can supposedly be capitalised upon. That is the profitable area of the business in my opinion. Over the years, QF has been very clever at creating a secondary currency system in Australia in which many people seem either addicted or habituated to. Where the system fails miserably is with the people who pay top dollar to fly with them. Even those who are ultra-loyal seem to be increasingly miffed by their policy changes/ stagnant customer service. As a newly minted Gold member, despite extra baggage allowances, Status bonus, complimentary lounge access etc I feel as if the overall experience of booking and flying with them has become gradually less valuable. For example, last year when I travelled to the USA for business (I had no choice in terms of carrier) I flew Air NZ to Chicago via AKL and LAX, and returned from NYC (EWR - United Airlines) to LAX-AKL-MEL and the experience was not only seamless, but the customer service was top notch. The Air NZ app is connected with all Star Alliance airlines and their respective apps. I always knew where my luggage was despite tight connections. I found the Air NZ 777 product and the cabin design to be much more amenable and attractive compared with QF. Furthermore, the cabin crew were great, and this was replicated throughout the alliance as the crew on my United flights were also quite acceptable for what I paid. I dream of the day when an Australian domestic and international airline becomes a fully-fledged Star Alliance member (with Turkish Airlines purchasing a decent-sized minority stake in VA, who knows what the future could hold?) If and when this happens, Qantas would have to up their game in terms of their customer service, product and possibly pricing.

Having said all of this, Qantas is a publicly listed company and first priorities ( Safe airline operations being the most important,) are profits, profits and more profits to the shareholders. From a business perspective, Alan Joyce is one of the most astute and brilliant airline executives in the post GFC era. He has managed to pull the QF group out of an absolutely dire financial position.


Whilst many may not agree with my opinion (s), it is just that... an opinion. I have a B(Tech) in Air Transportation Management and have worked as an aviation consultant. I don't know everything I will admit. There is no replacement for actual travel experience (Which admittedly I have had very little of compared to most members of this community.)


Maybe this is a rant, but having to pay an extra $123 each way ($226) for return flights with even more terrible connections has made me really mad as I could have used the extra $$ for at least a night or two in an aparthotel.


I constantly wonder if QFF members, especially those with status due to flights on QF metal have a breaking point, where they just say "I'm out," and if so is this more common of recent, and what exactly is the average breaking point of a customer with status regarding QF?




patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 402

Originally Posted by PLEASEupgrademe

In my opinion, it is extremely UGLY. I have never held status with an airline before. Last year, for business and personal reasons my travel load suddenly increased. I went from bronze to silver in one trip, and as I was 20 Status Credits short of Gold less than a month out from anniversary, I flew to Sydney for the day and spent time with relatives, ( I was a QF club member, and it was cheaper for me to obtain those 20 Status Credits needed for Gold by purchasing an el-cheapo fare than renewing my QF club membership.) Almost everything about the way Qantas charges its customers is ugly and almost always difficult to understand. I know that this is partially due to the unique isolation/location of Australia from the "old world," thus, our domestic and international aviation market is unique and wide open for price gouging.

There is a fascinating thread on AFF in the QF section called "QF Double SC promos - I am not 100% sure I follow the logic anymore."

That thread has evolved into a discussion/debate not just about DSC promotions, but pricing and targetted deals etc. Quite interesting.


It seems as though there is no personal input at Qantas anymore. It feels as though the relationship with their travelling customers is run on autopilot. I believe that The Qantas Group derives the majority of their income not (necessarily from flights) but from creating and perfecting a clever scheme by which all aspects of your financial life can supposedly be capitalised upon. That is the profitable area of the business in my opinion. Over the years, QF has been very clever at creating a secondary currency system in Australia in which many people seem either addicted or habituated to. Where the system fails miserably is with the people who pay top dollar to fly with them. Even those who are ultra-loyal seem to be increasingly miffed by their policy changes/ stagnant customer service. As a newly minted Gold member, despite extra baggage allowances, Status bonus, complimentary lounge access etc I feel as if the overall experience of booking and flying with them has become gradually less valuable. For example, last year when I travelled to the USA for business (I had no choice in terms of carrier) I flew Air NZ to Chicago via AKL and LAX, and returned from NYC (EWR - United Airlines) to LAX-AKL-MEL and the experience was not only seamless, but the customer service was top notch. The Air NZ app is connected with all Star Alliance airlines and their respective apps. I always knew where my luggage was despite tight connections. I found the Air NZ 777 product and the cabin design to be much more amenable and attractive compared with QF. Furthermore, the cabin crew were great, and this was replicated throughout the alliance as the crew on my United flights were also quite acceptable for what I paid. I dream of the day when an Australian domestic and international airline becomes a fully-fledged Star Alliance member (with Turkish Airlines purchasing a decent-sized minority stake in VA, who knows what the future could hold?) If and when this happens, Qantas would have to up their game in terms of their customer service, product and possibly pricing.

Having said all of this, Qantas is a publicly listed company and first priorities ( Safe airline operations being the most important,) are profits, profits and more profits to the shareholders. From a business perspective, Alan Joyce is one of the most astute and brilliant airline executives in the post GFC era. He has managed to pull the QF group out of an absolutely dire financial position.


Whilst many may not agree with my opinion (s), it is just that... an opinion. I have a B(Tech) in Air Transportation Management and have worked as an aviation consultant. I don't know everything I will admit. There is no replacement for actual travel experience (Which admittedly I have had very little of compared to most members of this community.)


Maybe this is a rant, but having to pay an extra $123 each way ($226) for return flights with even more terrible connections has made me really mad as I could have used the extra $$ for at least a night or two in an aparthotel.


I constantly wonder if QFF members, especially those with status due to flights on QF metal have a breaking point, where they just say "I'm out," and if so is this more common of recent, and what exactly is the average breaking point of a customer with status regarding QF?




I'm glad you had a good experience with United as the year before it was my worst ever: LA-Melb clearly no idea of managing passengers on a long haul flight, something Qantas generally does well. All to their own but for regular fliers Qantas ain't too bad and much the same as or better than BA, CX and UA from my experience in the last couple of years. Now some planes are new and some older but that applies to all.

PLEASEupgrademe

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Nov 2017

Total posts 93

"Now some planes are new and some older but that applies to all."

Old planes can be very cleverly refurbished to make the cabin more pleasant on the eye ala AA and their 737 fleet. Less experienced travellers would swear their aircraft was "brand new."


Also, On long haul intl/night flights, couldn't QF try and emulate Emirates with the mood lighting and "stars" on the ceiling?


patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 402

Originally Posted by PLEASEupgrademe

"Now some planes are new and some older but that applies to all."

Old planes can be very cleverly refurbished to make the cabin more pleasant on the eye ala AA and their 737 fleet. Less experienced travellers would swear their aircraft was "brand new."


Also, On long haul intl/night flights, couldn't QF try and emulate Emirates with the mood lighting and "stars" on the ceiling?


As I said it depends on the plane QF refurbishing A380s as we speak but until then they will look as well as be 10years old afterwards they will look newish if not new...it depends on the replacement and refurbishment cycle. The A330s were done a few years back and due to be replaced in a couple of years, The 787 does have ‘mood' lighting but irritating when passenger has little say on it. Stars on the ceiling really!!!!

PLEASEupgrademe

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Nov 2017

Total posts 93

Qantas refurbs. They say end of next year for their 12 A380s.... However, I had the displeasure of flying J on VH-EBG (I think) both to and from AKL. I didn't care all that much because it was a short flight, but I overheard MANY complaints when the J cabin filled up on boarding. Woman next to be was disgusted. The A330 refurb didn't go to plan (as far as I know) although they do have quite a lot more of them than they do A380s.....


However, it will be with interesting to see how on time the 380 refurb is!

PLEASEupgrademe

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Nov 2017

Total posts 93

Originally Posted by patrickk

Try to book from the US is another thing with much higher prices on QF than if you book from Austrlaia on QF with the smae fliht numbers just going in different directions maybe they can't discount on th US until the AA agreement so finalised. The irony is if I book on AA the prcie is displayed in $A (as they know where I am) but on QF website it is $US go figure.

Have you ever tried using a VPN to do this?

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