Qantas hikes international flight change fees by up to 45%

By Chris C., April 13 2017
Qantas hikes international flight change fees by up to 45%

Cancelling or making changes to your next international Qantas flight will become more expensive from later this month as the airline increases the ‘change fees’ applied to passengers in first class, business class, premium economy and economy.

These fees vary by destination, fare type and travel class, with the updated rates applying to new bookings made on and from April 28 2017.

How much is the fee?

On most international Qantas flights including to Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South America, Thailand, UAE, UK and the USA, passengers booked on Economy Sale and Premium Economy Sale tickets will pay $25 more to change or cancel their flight, with costs increasing from $200 to $225.

Travellers on Economy Saver and Premium Economy Saver fares will also pay an extra $25 – increasing from a $100 fee to $125 – while the current $200 change and cancellation fees on Business Saver and First Saver tickets will bump up by $50 to $250.

Amending or axing your trans-Tasman flight will cost $25 more on Economy Sale and Business Saver fares as well, both rising from $100 to $125, while affordably-priced Business Sale tickets again find a price rise of $25 for changes and cancellations, elevating the already-higher fee of $150 to $175.

The most significant changes are for business class passengers booked on Qantas codeshare flights to Fiji (operated by Fiji Airways), with the cost of changing or cancelling a Business Sale fare rising by 45% from $120 to $175, although a more modest increase of $5 is levied on Business Saver and Economy Sale tickets, moving from $120 to $125.

All other fare types not mentioned – including flexible tickets, which already attract a higher ticket price in exchange for easier flight changes and cancellations – are unaffected, as are first class travellers jetting across the Tasman with Emirates on Qantas codeshare flights.

These higher fees to not apply to passengers who book their flights before April 28 2017, with the current, more favourable rates applying in the event of a flight change or ticket cancellation, including when requested after that date.

But regardless of destination or fare type, Qantas is also increasing the assisted booking fees it charges to passengers who reserve their flights over the phone or at airport ticket counters as of May 1 2017, rising from $35 to $40 for Australian domestic and trans-Tasman flights and from $60 to $70 for all other destinations.

The new international fee structures follow earlier changes for Australian domestic passengers, where Qantas' change and cancellation fees on economy Red e-Deal fares rose from $88 to $99 for new bookings made from March 14 2017.

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

27 Jan 2016

Total posts 53

I love that credit card fees have had all the scrutiny by the ACCC and airlines continue to lift every other fee known to man. I understand there are restricted fares and flexible fares, but some of these fees are getting out of control.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1247

Exactly. I would love to know what reason QF us using to justify raising these change fees.

25 Feb 2012

Total posts 78

They don't have to justify it.

25 Feb 2013

Total posts 62

My guess is their justification is that they feel as though their competition from VA (and others) is weak enough now that they can get away with it.

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 42

Change fee should be limited as a percentage of base fare, not a flat fee, too, regardless of whether we get statutorily limited maximum change fees or not. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Mar 2015

Total posts 96

I understand i have to pay a fee to change a ticket, but it annoys me when i cannot rebook the flight online,  the website refering me to the phone. The phone operator then charging me $40 on top of the change fee. A stupid little amount, but still annoying when I have no alternative.

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 163

They always waive the operator fee if you are unable to change online 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Aug 2012

Total posts 74

Mmmm, $99 to change the date of a $115 fare. sounds fair to me hahaha

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1378

Further 'encouragement' to book their Flexi fares I guess.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 100

Simpler and pricier ?

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 117

House prices are soaring in Hobart so no doubt this is to allow QF to fairly reward their contact centre staff.

09 Sep 2012

Total posts 139

I cannot wait to give Joyce and Qantas what they deserve and switch to either Singapore or Cathay.

Virgin is no better, with Etihad's iniquitous levies. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2016

Total posts 33

We have enjoyed (!) considerable success with upgrades to Business from both PE and Economy on DFW - Syd flights on QF8.   It is a terrific use of points.

17 May 2012

Total posts 81

Qantas....They NEVER stop chipping away at the customer....who they care so much about.

07 Dec 2016

Total posts 37

Qantas' change charges are as mystifying as they annoying for J travellers, who are frequently subject to changes of plan over which we may not have much say (in my case working for Channel News Asia). And as for their abysmally understaffed Call Centre, words fortunately fail! Have given up on QF and rely entirely on SQ and when in Australia, on Virgin, with their fee free changes. 

16 Dec 2016

Total posts 50

Considering airfares haven't changed in 50 years - literally, then don't you think it is reasonable that they recoup their massive capital investment somehow? 50 years ago it cost $1250 to fly from Perth to London in Economy, about the same as now. The average weekly wage was $32.50 though. Just think about how tough it must be to make money running an airline for a change and accept that sometimes you have to pay to make changes. People on this site think Qantas should make no money but whinge if they aren't buying new planes every week. Australian aviation is the most deregulated in the world so I think it reasonable they charge a bit more for changes. 

Off soap box now ;)

21 Aug 2015

Total posts 86

Another abuse of market power by QF, they really exploit their position and sock it to Australians. I'm totally over them. Fly only when I have to!

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