I booked flights home from LHR to SYD next September. Original booking was BA Business class to HK then a 7.5 hour layover before Cathay Premium Economy back to Sydney. 1 booking code. All using classic rewards.
This morning I managed to find Qantas Business class from HK to SYD classic rewards which would also reduce our layover to 3 hours. I jumped at these seats and purchased because they’ve been hard to find!
Quesiton is, will Qantas be able to edit this booking by removing the Cathay Premium Economy and linking the Qantas flight to my original booking? It seems easy but I’ve heard some horror stories of whole bookings disappearing.
Spoke to Qantas who said it was possible to cancel the 2nd leg of the existing booking once we land in HK and they will credit that portion back.
Baggage they said speak to the check-in staff at LHR to interline the bags to the Qantas flight which should be fine (hopefully!).
Not ideal but if it works out we do reduce our stopover and get a much nicer seat home!
I’m sorry to be a wet blanket, and I’d love to be wrong … but what the Qantas agent said to you doesn’t sound right to me. According to the relevant Qantas Terms & Conditions, once travel has commenced, you’re not entitled to a refund for any un-used segment.
Note condition 14.9.3:
“14.9.3 Once any travel has commenced on a Classic Flight Reward, the Reward is considered used, even if the remaining travel is not completed. Qantas Points will not be re-credited to the Member’s account for unused ticket coupons.”
Qantas call centre staff are notorious for not telling and/or knowing the truth. Just because you were told something by the agent doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
There’s also a recent discussion about this on Australian Frequent Flyer.
If I were in your situation, I’d try to resolve this before you fly. At the very least, I’d get an assurance that you’ll get a refund in writing.
My other advice would be that you should not try to link the two bookings, simply because there’s more that can go wrong if you ask Qantas to do that. Keep the two bookings separate – the two airlines have an interline agreement so they should easily be able to check your luggage through all the way to Sydney from London, even if the bookings are separate.
Please let us know how you go!
Thanks @sixtyeight, I must admit I thought it sounded a bit “too good to be true” and qantas on the phone are typically hopeless.
I’m not overly concerned if i foreit the points/cost of the 2nd leg if it means we reduce our layover and get a much nicer seat home.
I also agree with not linking the two bookings, I will definitely keep these separate.
The only thing I’m questioning is say our bags do go the whole way through… as it’s a separate booking, would we have to exit and check back in at HK and go through security again or could I just check in online with Qantas and get straight on with digital boarding pass?
I don’t know the HK-specific rules (I’m sure @djtech could help here!) but generally with interlining you do not need to exit the transit area and check back in.
You might be interested in this informative article about how interlining works. It’s very much focussed on Star Alliance, but the principle of how it works is the same.
I know you won’t be flying with Cathay, but they offer some helpful information on transiting in Hong Kong:
In theory, your luggage should be checked all the way through to final destination (Sydney) but because you will be travelling on two seperate bookings, make sure that when you check in in London, you inform the BA check-in agent of your seperate connecting booking to Sydney. As @sixtyeight mentioned, as BA and Qantas are partners, they should be able to check your baggage straight through to Sydney. Given the current entry restrictions in Hong Kong, you won’t be able to collect your luggage if you do not go through immigration and complete the required PCR tests. We aren’t sure how that is going to change by September, but that is how it stands currently. If you do require checking-in with Qantas in Hong Kong, there should be a transfer desk there who can assist you.
Another note, is it not possible for Qantas to simply remove the connecting Premium economy flights and refund the points difference? It was always my assumption that it was possible but I have never tried.
@djtech thanks for your response.
Regarding removing the connecting flight, I really think it depends on who you talk to at Qantas. As I’m only Silver status, I think you speak to the people that may not have as much knowledge and the last thing I want to do is lose the whole booking at the BA business flight for the long leg between LHR and HK. It seems like madness to me that they can’t simply remove one leg from a booking and then connect my two preffered tickets!!!
They sure don’t make it clear in the terms and conditions either. Per Clause 14.7 of the QFF Ts&Cs, 14.7.4 says that changes are allowed for
(d) change to any Segment routing or airline
but does not say that they can be cancelled and does not mention a change in destination of the booking.
@djtech I think my best option is just to keep things as is and talk to the groundstaff at LHR regarding bags. I’m really not too bothered about getting a refund if it means a better experience (the Premium Economy leg was the lightest on points/taxes anyway).
The only upsetting thing will be if there is a decent delay out of LHR or a schedule change that means we can’t get on the Qantas flight.
My concern with your current booking at the moment is that because your LHR-HKG-SYD booking is all in one, the check-in agent at LHR will check your luggage all the way on the premium economy flights and when you inevitably no-show, your baggage will be “stuck” in Hong Kong. We can’t predict entry requirements then, but that means having to go and collect baggage after going through the various processes the city requires.
However, I did double check the Terms and it should be possible as I found on the conditions when you start a points booking:
Up to 24 hours before departure of the first flight:
The following changes are permitted up to 24 hours before departure of the first flight in your booking:
change to name (only for flights with a Qantas (QF) flight number on the ticket that are operated by Qantas)
change to class of travel
change to any segment routing (including departure, stopover or destination cities) or airline
So it makes it pretty clear that segment routings including destinations can be changed. Now it’s just a test of patience and using the HUACA strategy!!
@djtech if we mentioned at the check-in desk that we are actually taking another flight, could they put the bags onto the Qantas flight instead though?
Also I called Qantas again, they said they actually can cancel the 2nd leg however it would actually cost me $100 odd in taxes and 5000 points to change. Do you think this is worth doing just to avoid baggage confusion??
It is up to you whether you want to risk it. After all, it is your travel plans. I personally would cancel the unwanted flight just so it is clear to the agent and eliminate any chances of confusion.
Did they mention that you would get the difference in points refunded as well? In theory, while you pay the adjusted rates of tax ($100) and the change fee of 5000 points, you should also get the difference in points returned to you for having one less flight in your itinerary.
I have just booked a European one world trip through Hobart. I got an amazing staff member at the end she said I’m now going to summarise all rules… I wrote it all down.
Qantas have backtracked and are still allowing free changes up to 31/12/22.
After this date, 5000 points to change or add and 6000 points to cancel any segments.
Up to 24hrs before flying subject to availability and extra cost you may change date and time but NO name changes.
Make all changes before departure.No changes allowed as soon as journey commenced
Do not be a no show as everything else on that trip in the system will be wiped out
I assume you’d be ok on number 6 as it’s your last leg and you are not linking bookings but for clarity in this climate I would cancel before you commence.