Health & Fitness

Despite Billions In Profit, Qantas’ ‘Budget Airline Act’ Behaviour Infuriates Its Most Loyal Frequent Flyer Customers

  • May 15, 2024
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Despite Billions In Profit, Qantas’ ‘Budget Airline Act’ Behaviour Infuriates Its Most Loyal Frequent Flyer Customers

Qantas‘ new extra legroom charges and elimination of free T-80 Row 4 seats have upset frequent flyers.


We’re usually Qantas’ biggest fans, signing their praises wherever possible. Whether it’s their classic TV ads making Aussies well up or their world-beating business class, the iconic Australian airline has always been very dear to our hearts. Are they infallible, though? Sadly not.

Qantas’ recent decision to raise the cost of extra legroom seats has ruffled the feathers of its most loyal customers. Effective since April 18th, the modest price hikes of $5 to $15 AUD for these coveted seats might seem insignificant, but the real hurt comes from changes made to the booking of Row 4 domestic Boeing 737 flights.

The T-80 rule, a well-known travel hack among frequent flyers, allowed passengers to snag these roomy seats for free if they were still available 80 hours before departure. Here’s our video on that hack which, we’re sad to say, hasn’t aged well…

This perk will soon be a thing of the past. Row 4, once accessible to anyone at T-80, will now carry an additional cost of $35 AUD, transforming them into run-of-the-mill extra legroom seats. While Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge members continue to access these seats without extra charge, it effectively locks out lower-tier frequent flyers from this freebie.

Qantas argues that this change benefits their top-tier members by reducing the competition for these seats. However, this justification falls flat for many frequent flyers who have relied on the T-80 rule for some years. Savvy travellers have counted on this window of opportunity to secure a more comfortable flight experience without additional cost and the reclassification of Row 4 seats into a paid category has been labelled a betrayal by some:

“Ah, yes, more things to get the frequent flyers back onside after years of neglect and … hey wait! This is ANOTHER negative…”

@thrillho

Frequent flyers have expressed their frustration online, accusing Qantas of putting profit over passenger loyalty. This sentiment has only been compounded by Qantas’ substantial profit announcements, making the extra charges feel like an unnecessary cash grab, according to the most bitter customers, anyway…

As a Platinum Frequent flyer for over 10 years, to now be charged for the privilege is just poor form. Chanrge for the exit rows, but row 4 should be for high-status flyers as a perk. Why? Becuase there’s no perks onboard.

The new pricing structure impacts a wide range of routes. Short-range domestic flights will see a jump from $30 to $35 AUD, medium-range from $40 to $45 AUD, and the longest domestic routes from $70 to $75 AUD.

How does this land with you? (Pun intended…). Can you forgive Qantas for doing what they gotta do to keep the cash flowing, or does this feel like a slap in the face for their most dedicated frequent flyers?

This is what happens when a CFO becomes CEO.


Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by menshealthfits.
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