Qantas: ‘You’re the reason we fly’???

This is a misleading advertisement; ‘You’re the reason we fly, BUT ONLY IF YOU COMPLY WITH EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR RULES’ would be more accurate!

If you move away from Qantas’ relatively expensive full fare bookings you can expect to be treated like a number, not a valued customer. If you have not carefully read and fully understood every piece of information and complied with every restriction and limitation don’t expect any common sense of customer service from the Qantas staff.

We booked a discount international business fare without looking too closely at the domestic connections. Big mistake!!! The Qantas system somehow considered it reasonable to book the Melbourne – Sydney connection with a 13 hour overnight stay in Sydney! There are 12 other flights departing after the one the system selected.

Certainly if we had noticed the flight stuff up, we could have done a dozen different things to drive some common sense into the travel arrangements. The simple fact was we did not see the error, our mistake, and Qantas are refusing to provide any sensible assistance. As far as Qantas is concerned, ‘The rules are the rules and we can get stuffed’.

It looks like Qantas will become yet another Australian business heading for the scrap heap driven by the accounting logic of ‘rule based cost cutting’.

Despite over 20 years of flying Qantas (most as a Gold Card holder), this last episode has moved us to the point where customer loyalty will be replaced by our own cost efficiencies – there are plenty of other options out there. Net cost to Qantas from ‘applying the rules’? Probably in excess of $50,000 this financial year as we book alternative flights with other airlines – their service is likely to be bad, but Qantas is demonstrably no better so why pay more??

What ever has happened to the idea of charging a premium (already built into every Qantas fare) in return for sensible customer service and providing a great experience? If Qantas had provided a little bit of help sorting out our mistake, instead of this negative blog, Qantas would be receiving praise and on-going customer loyalty. Fixing the problem sensibly would have cost Qantas virtually nothing. As it is, Qantas ‘applied the rules’, destroyed customer loyalty, damaged its brand and has potentially lost tens of thousands of dollars in future business.

A stupid outcome from a stupid system, driven by a stupid philosophy. When will bean counters learn the key to business success in the 21st century is exemplary customer service? If you don’t have loyal customers you are in a price driven commodity market and there is always someone who can undercut your price.

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One response to “Qantas: ‘You’re the reason we fly’???

  1. After much pushing, the flights are fixed!!

    4 hours of calls over 4 days, $300 in fees for our initial mistake in not checking everything and several levels of escalation later we have sensible flight times that are within our comfort zone. Our thanks to the call centre people who battled computer systems and policies to get a reasonable outcome.

    I’m hoping Qantas management pick up on this…… Their front line troops were helpful as always – but the systems designed by management seem focused on destroying Qantas in the shortest possible timeframe.

    So far our complaints have been ignored, or to be more accurate the department is so under-staffed / overwhelmed by complaining customers they cannot respond to complaints and send automated emails to this effect. We will see what happens next……

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