Qantas wouldn't give me a free upgrade

19 replies


Member since 02 Jul 2017

Total posts 1

Wonderful thank you from QF today on the return hop across the ditch. 2 spare seats in PE so a polite request was made to see what the chances were.

Platinum every year since inception and the predictable response. Certainly sir $450.00

Why can't QF get it into its organisational head that a simple decision which involves no additional expense on its part can either create a grateful, happy and supportive customer or, disenfranchise a customer who turns left on alternative OW carriers every 8 weeks to Europe. Why? Precisely because of QF's lack of care.

If my business had access to the database of customer spending patterns showing the leakage to other customers (other OW carriers in this case) I would have our Sales people banging on their door and asking the simplest of questions. QF however doesn't even care enough to look at what is leaking though, let alone call to see what they could do to win our business.

And they whinge about the unfair structural advantages that Middle Eastern and Asian carriers have. Those carriers are humiliating the legacy carriers because they understand the simple principles of customer care and offer superior hard and soft products.

Well done QF-NOT


Member since 31 Mar 2014

Total posts 272

The entitlement in this post is overwhelming. The only way you could have made it better is if you had of yelled: DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Jan 2014

Total posts 291

Every time I hear someone wants something for nothing my immediate thoughts are with the people who actually paid for their PE seat, and for that same person who instead of having a nice empty seat next to them to make the journey even more peaceful and enjoyable had to put up with someone occupying that seat, and they didn't even pay for it.

New Mint

Member since 24 Feb 2012

Total posts 66

Have to agree with the responders here. How do you know there weren't 4 or 5 (or more) other Platinums flying who also “deserved” this free upgrade to the 2 vacant seats? You get what you pay for and if on the very rare occasion you score a free upgrade be grateful for that. As an aside, I recently flew (on a paid fare) business class with Philippine Airlines and there were only 3 other passengers in the whole cabin on the return flight (A330 with 18 Business Class seats). I can tell you it made for a wonderful flight, with very receptive crew who only had 4 of us to look after. I can assure you I was very glad they didn't just hand out free upgrades to people who DIDN'T pay for it just to fill the empty seats!


Member since 13 Sep 2013

Total posts 118

Waaaahhhh.... Qantas didn't give me something for free!



Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 731

I got a free upgrade to PE last month in the cabin and was quite chuffed to get it. I wouldn't dream of asking. I had requested as I was short of points. A couple of weeks ago they moved me and my wife to an exit row. Just be grateful when it happens!!! I am not sure if any others do it on request either but good luck if you can find one.

Rod H

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Mar 2015

Total posts 271

Reminds me of something a bit similar that happened a couple of years ago.

Was about to board VA A330 from Melbourne to Perth with a Business Class Ticket when the staff called " for all Business Class passengers to board now ".

Quite a few passengers raced to the check in and when they handed over their Boarding Passes most were told to wait until they were called.

It turns out that all of them were Platinum or Gold Members travelling in Economy who tried to Board first.

They got quite vocal and annoyed at being told to wait and when I walked past a very vocal gentleman I simply asked him if he thought that a FULL fare Business Class Passenger did not deserve to have priority over those that were travelling Economy even with high Status.

He did not say another word and when I handed my pass to the check in fellow he said very quietly " Thanks for that ".

Another example of those who do get some priority and perks virtually demanding that they have priority over full fare Business Class pax.

Most of these perks are a Privilege NOT an Entitlement!

Enjoy them but don't demand them.

Phil Young


Member since 22 Oct 2012

Total posts 250

If you're a regular Platinum flier on QF then you should know the steps to request a Points Upgrade. It's certainly not done by putting in a "polite request" to a member of staff. It must be done on the website at least 24 hours ahead of the flight, not asking at check-in for either a free or a points upgrade. It's no wonder that the staff person said it would cost you $450.

And as a business, airlines prefer people to give them cash for the premium cabins rather than passengers assuming that they will always get an upgrade merely because there are often empty seats on certain flights.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Jul 2011

Total posts 53

Yes.....that comment was never going to go down well on here...


Member since 28 Nov 2017

Total posts 3

It was many moons ago I had the good fortune to be upgraded for free twice, yes twice, on the same flight, from economy to PE. I was grateful for the upgrade but then QF decided that wasn't enough, so they upgraded me to J. That was the rare moment.


American Airlines - AAdvantage

Member since 13 Jul 2015

Total posts 58

Airlines would prefer to fly with a half empty premium section that upgrade you for free - why would they upgrade you for free?

Last editedby jubbing at Feb 24, 2020, 10:57 AM.

John Phelan

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Oct 2011

Total posts 261

Anyone who has the hide to ask for a free upgrade identifies themselves as precisely the type of person who should not be given one.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 May 2019

Total posts 59

Yes, it's probably a little naive and optimistic to expect an upgrade in these circumstances but I think there's a kernel of truth to the post. Qantas is terrible at surprise and delight below the Chairman's Lounge level.

Obviously commercial aviation is a volume game and margins are razor thin but I can't think of another consumer facing company that takes so much cash from me on an annual basis and doesn't give me something special to smile about every so often. A solid platinum frequent flyer who is doing the hard yards domestically might be handing over $30K to $40K a year. If you've been crusted on for years as QF_ALT has been that's a lot of cash. Is it unreasonable to a few perks? I don't think so - especially when other airlines such as Cathay frequently dole out surprise upgrades.

As for the “you're not entitled to the perks - you should take what you're given” point, that is just wrong. I make spending decisions based on stated status benefits. One of them is priority boarding. If I'm promised something in a commercial transaction and I buy based on that promise I expect to be given it.



Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 731

Greg the whole point of a surprise upgrade is that it is a ‘surprise', and not a perk one is ‘entitled' to. I have received surprise upgrades on Cathay, Emirates and Qantas in equal measure (one each) and numerous paid upgrades (with points) on Qantas. The perk I get from the $10-20k per year in fares paid is that I get a points upgrade pretty well every time I ask. Far more frequently than gold, silver or bronze. That is a clear perk for which I am grateful.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 May 2018

Total posts 1

I agree with the OP occasionally it would be nice to reward the loyal members before they jump ship (even if you have to ask).

Most companies are spending on attracting new customers and forgetting the existing ones.

Unfortunately frontline staff have very little discretion like in the "good ol days"

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