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Thursday 16 March 2023

Consumer watchdog has Qantas in its sights

Consumer organisation CHOICE has Australia's national airline Qantas under fire because of its refund policies.

“CHOICE gave Qantas a 2022 Shonky award in large part for its unfair flight credit system, which has let customers down time and time again over the past few years,” says Patrick Veyret, head of Policy and Government Relations at CHOICE.

“The intense public outrage in response has clearly had some impact on the airline - but there’s much more to do to make all credits workable for all consumers.
“Some Qantas flight credits can only be used for a booking of equivalent or greater value - so if you have a $300 flight credit, you can’t use it to book a $290 flight. That is clearly unfair.

“Qantas customers also frequently complain that when they go to rebook a flight at the same time on the same route, they have to pay significantly more when using a credit than they paid for the original flight.

“Flight credits should work like gift cards. People should have the choice to transfer the credits to other people, as well as split the credits over a number of transactions.

In April last year, CHOICE filed a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) calling out "”onerous restrictions" in Qantas's credit redemption rules.

Qantas is one of the most complained about businesses on the New South Wales Fair Trading Register for the past six months in a row, CHOICE says.

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