Qantas is doubling-down on driving travellers to book directly with the airline by rolling out a trio of new benefits for bookings made at the airline’s website, through its app or over the phone.
First up: flight bookings will be fully refundable if you choose to cancel that booking “for any reason” within 24 hours.
“When you make an eligible flight booking as a Qantas Frequent Flyer on qantas.com, via the Qantas app or through your local Qantas office you can cancel for any reason online, within 24 hours of making your booking, the cancellation fee will be waived,” the airline has confirmed to Executive Traveller.
Pleasingly, Qantas says the full cost of the booking – without any cancellation fee – “will be refunded to your original form of payment” through the website’s Manage My Booking page instead of being automatically transferred into travel credit against future bookings.
That refund will include prepaid add-ons such as seat requests, additional baggage allowances and offset flight carbon emissions; it also applies to bookings made with cash, frequent flyer points or a combination of both.
Of course, there are a few caveats. In addition to that booking being made on the Qantas website, through the app or with the Qantas call centre, the flight must depart from Australia and be more than 30 days distant (so, no free cancellation if you get cold feet after booking a last-minute trip).
Provided your booking meets those criteria, you’ll have 24 hours from when you click that Book Now button to change your mind and be refunded your money or points.
Free seat selection, too
Also sweetening the book-with-Qantas proposition: free seat selection on all international flights, for all fares, for all Qantas Frequent Flyer members (a perk previously unavailable to Bronze Frequent Flyers unless they booked Economy Saver or Flex fares or Classic Flight Reward Bookings).
This applies to standard seats, not primo picks such as extra legroom rows in economy, and it represents a saving of between $15 and $45 per passenger per flight depending on your destination.
For reference: seat selection to the likes of New Zealand, New Caledonia and Fiji costs $15; it’s $40 to Asia and Honolulu; and $45 to everywhere else, including London, the Americas and Johannesburg.
In turn, to boost the number of Qantas Frequent Flyer members, it’ll be free to join the QFF rewards program while you’re making a booking online and “immediately tap into all the rewards and benefits of being a Bronze Frequent Flyer.”
Qantas changes a nominal $99.50 joining fee to sign up to its frequent flyer scheme, although this can be skipped any number of ways, but this new move will no doubt further swell the membership books beyond the current tally of 14 million.