Qantas' regional arm QantasLink will temporarily remove business class on selected flights between Sydney and Canberra, Hobart and Adelaide from July, with the current two-class Boeing 717s being replaced with economy-only versions of the same aircraft.
The substitutions will take place between July 28 and August 24, again between October 29 2015 and January 31 2016, and once more from March 15 until April 11 2016, caused by maintenance requirements of the airline’s Boeing 717 fleet.
A full list of the exact flights affected hasn’t been released, although passengers on these services can choose to remain on the same flight but in economy, or can switch to a different Qantas or QantasLink flight in business class at no charge.
Travellers on impacted Sydney-Hobart flights will also be given the option to transit via Melbourne to retain their business class seats.
Alternately, Qantas is offering affected passengers a full refund should they choose not to fly, or a refund of the difference between the cost of their business class fare and a Y-class economy fare – the most expensive economy ticket you can buy, and only $100 cheaper than the least-expensive business class seats on Sydney-Canberra flights.
If remaining on the same flight is the best option for your schedule, we’d suggest opting for the full refund and then making a completely new booking in economy, which will almost certainly keep more cash in your pocket than by taking the partial refund.
Frequent flyer members who have used their points to book a Classic Reward seat in business class have similar options of:
- a reimbursement of the difference in points needed between business class and economy
- full return of any points used to make the booking, or
- being rebooked on other flights with Classic Reward seats available.
Qantas introduced business class on selected Boeing 717s in early 2014 as a replacement for the ageing Boeing 737-400s, which have all since been retired from the fleet.
Earlier this month Qantas began beaming movies, TV shows and music over WiFi directly to passengers' iPads and iPhones using a new Q Streaming app on selected Boeing 717s flying between Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart.
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