Qantas: Get rid of change fees? – Alan Joyce says no.
Qantas and its low cost offshoot Jetstar normally charge something between AU$55 and AU$99 for making changes to an existing standard domestic booking. COVID-19, and the unpredictability of the pandemic’s affect on the airline industry have seen them currently suspended.
In the USA, Firstly United, and then American, Delta and Alaska Airlines all declared that they would abolish charge change fees permanently. That’s right, they used the ‘P’ word.
Will Qantas follow this innovative move? Answer: ‘No’
How would you be able to charge more for ‘flexible fares’ then?
Joyce’s argument is about keeping ‘completely flexible’ the fares for business. But really its about losing the ability to charge cheap low-cost non-flexible fares for tourists, and hitting up Business for more expensive ‘flexible’ fares.
That would maintain the spread of fares chargeable on any particular flight. Often non-flexible fares are less than half the cost of fully flexible economy, with business class being more than twice the cost of flexible economy – which you can see reflected in the screen grab from the Qantas booking site above.
We must all remember that ‘permanent’ is not an absolute term in American English.
Maybe the re-born Virgin, or the newly domesticated capital city flights of Rex could look at eliminating change fees ‘permanently’ as a point-of-difference from Qantas. Paul Scurrah – there’s an idea, with no consultants fee attached.