- Flexible domestic economy fares merged into a single fare type
- ‘No shows’ to result in full loss of the economy fare
- Qantas website to display business and economy fares on single screen
Qantas will rejig its domestic fare structure next month to streamline the rules and conditions attached to economy bookings, including making full refunds available on all flexible fares.
However, failing to turn up for your flight could mean having to buy a completely new ticket for the journey home, as opposed to today's rules that allow 'no shows' on the most expensive bookings.
The new system, which kicks into gear from February 18, will see the two economy 'flexible' fare types – Fully Flexible and Flexisaver – replaced by a single Flex category.
Some of the Flexisaver sub-categories or ‘fare buckets’ will move into the new Flex group, while others are being demoted into the Red eDeal segment.
This will reduce the total number of Qantas domestic fare types to just three: Business, Flex and the cheapest Red eDeal rates.
No change to cost of Qantas domestic flexible fares
While fares will remain 'dynamically priced' in line with demand, the actual price you’ll fork out for a flexible economy ticket won’t change as a result of this consolidation.
Instead, it means your business won’t need to shell out even more cash to secure a fully-refundable ticket as any flexible fare will now offer refunds on or before the day of departure.
’No shows’ in Qantas domestic economy
Meetings run long, traffic backs up and cars break down – but if you don’t arrive at the airport before your flight departs, you risk forfeiting your fare under the new Flex rules.
Your best strategy if delays are keeping you from the airport: jump onto the Qantas website (or fire up the smartphone app) before check-in closes and switch to a more suitable flight.
Better yet, plan ahead by booking a flexible fare on a later service – if you happen to reach the airport early, put your Flex ticket to good use and ask to be moved to an earlier flight.
Earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points, status credits
Tickets sold as Red eDeals will earn points at the Discount Economy rate, while all Flex fares are treated as Flexible Economy.
However, the L and V ‘fare buckets’ will be downgraded from the Flexi Saver/Flexible Economy category to instead be classed as Red eDeals/Discount Economy.
Discount Economy does earn fewer points and status credits than Flexible Economy, but as the L and V buckets will now be used for less expensive tickets, base-level flexible fares will instead book into K and M class – both of which continue to accrue points and status at the Flexible Economy rates.
In other words, you’ll still earn Discount Economy points and status credits when booking a domestic Red eDeal and Flexible Economy points and status on all flexible fares: making the change more of a behind-the-scenes rejig than a frequent flyer ‘enhancement’.
Book business class and economy on the same ticket
From late March Qantas will show business and economy fares on the same booking screen – something which was available until the Qantas website was revamped last year to become more ‘tablet-friendly’.
Having everything in one place makes it easy to book one leg of a journey at the pointy end and the other back in economy, as seen here in our sneak peek of the new website layout before its official launch:
It also highlights the cost difference between the most expensive economy ticket and the most affordable business fare, which can sometimes be surprisingly small.
Existing Flexi Saver, Fully Flexible bookings
The new Flex fares won’t appear until February 18, so if you’ve already made a reservation – or you’ll be making a booking before that date – the current fare rules and conditions apply.
And if your existing Flexi Saver booking uses the L or V fare bucket, don’t fret: Qantas has confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that your points and status credits will appear at the Flexible Economy rate as originally promised.
That includes flights booked before but taken after February 18, as the original ticket would have been sold and purchased as a Flexible Economy airfare.
Qantas international fares and ticket types remain unchanged.
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