Qantas unlocks unlimited flight changes to January 2022

Travellers booking domestic and trans-Tasman flights can now change their plans as many times as they need to.

By Chris Chamberlin, February 8 2021
Qantas unlocks unlimited flight changes to January 2022

Qantas passengers will have the freedom to change their travel dates on both domestic and trans-Tasman flights for an unlimited number of times through to January 2022, as the airline encourages travellers back into the skies.

The airline says its new "Fly Flexible" policy applies to all new bookings made from today "until at least the end of April", covering flights as far ahead as its schedule stretches – up to 355 days in advance – and those unlimited flight date changes can be made until January 31 2022.

Travellers could previously make just one free flight change, for travel until the end of June.

Virgin Australia is expected to match Qantas by extending its own waiver on flight change and cancellation fees – which currently ends on June 30 2021 – for bookings made by 30 April 2021, for travel up to January 31 2022.

Change fees waived on all Qantas fares

Qantas typically applies a change fee of $99-$125 on its cheapest economy tickets, such as domestic Red eDeal fares and trans-Tasman Sale and Saver bookings.

“Customers have told us that sudden changes to border restrictions by state governments are giving them second thoughts about going on holidays or taking a business trip,” said Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer, Stephanie Tully.

“By giving customers unlimited flight date changes for almost a year, we think it will encourage more people to book, helping to boost tourism which is so vital to local economies and businesses around the country.”

For prospective trans-Tasman flyers, New Zealand's border does of course remain closed to Australia, with no firm opening date.

Despite a mooted 'Q1 2021' launch – which had previously been postponed several times throughout 2020 – Qantas isn't widely selling trans-Tasman flights until July, running only a skeleton schedule in the months ahead.

This makes any trans-Tasman booking from Australia something of a gamble, with the fee waiver on domestic flights being more useful for most flyers.

There's no extended waiver of change fees on other Qantas international routes, including those selling from July 2021.

Qantas' unlimited flight date changes: what's the catch?

While a generous policy for travellers booking paid airfares, Qantas' updated 'free flight changes' rules don't apply to Classic Flight Reward bookings.

Being journeys booked using Qantas Points, these continue to have change and cancellation fees waived until April 30 2021 only – not until January of next year.

Even for travellers on eligible paid tickets, fare differences still apply when making a change.

This means passengers who snap up attractive sale fares may find significantly more expensive flights waiting for them, when requesting a change.

As well, as the policy only applies to bookings made until April 30 this year, those who make flight reservations in May (and beyond) would not enjoy the same level of flexibility under the current policy.

Where flight changes are requested, these can be for travel as far forward as available in the airline’s booking system: that’s up to 355 days in advance.

Prior to this update, Qantas passengers could make one complimentary flight change for travel until the end of June 2021, unless further fee-free changes were permitted under normal fare rules.

Also read: With borders closed, where is Qantas flying its Boeing 787s?

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 207

Can you change the flight from one destination to another, or can you only change the flight date  (for example) a Sydney Gold Coast to another Sydney Gold Coast flight?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 175

Date only

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 48

Basically it turns into a credit, so you can use it on any Qantas flight, the real catch is you have to pay the fare difference on the new ticket, so if you can't find that sale fare you paid originally you pay the difference between what you paid and the new fare, of course that's a better pill to swallow as you don't have to pay the normal  change fee on top of that

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 120

A good move and a very smart one, just a shame it's only for new bookings made through to April, although at least that covers the school holidays and then some.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 67

Wouldn’t it be fun to see this last in some form. I remember when discounted flights required a Sat night stay and had to be return, so stranger things have happened. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1250

Unlimited flight date changes only, not unlimited flight changes which suggests far more flexibility.

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 120

oh look VA back in the air and REX on the horizon and all of a sudden QF cares about its customers. Sorry IMO they've had 10 months to introduce this and now they're marketing it as good customer service.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 75

Decided to dummy-test this today on an existing reservation I have for a July trip from MEL - OOL. The QF website says the offer extends to existing bookings.

Not only did the system still try to charge the change fee, but it also spat out a higher price than Qantas' own booking engine, despite the fare code of the lower price advertised on the booking being exactly the same as my original booking.

Perhaps this hasn't been successfully implemented, but as of now, if I actually had to change this, I'd apparently have to join the queue for hours on the phone and even assuming they promptly waived the change fee, I still might have to argue through the fare code pricing. Sigh, colour me unimpressed (for now). 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 175

Full credit would be more useful than date change...personally i'm less inclined to book now.

Especially with constantly changing borders, date only doesn't provide that much flexibility.


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