Booking convoluted itineraries on Qantas and partners

Discussion in 'Qantas Airways | Frequent Flyer' started by jpatokal, Feb 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jpatokal
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    jpatokal Silver Member

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    So I'm fairly new to Australia and looking to book a fairly convoluted itinerary on QF and AY, namely MEL-SYD-NRT-HEL and back. Most online search engines (including qantas.com) seem incapable of coming up with sensible prices for this, but Hipmunk indicates that I can get a ~$2200 fare if I start from Sydney. However, not only do I want to start from Melbourne, but I need to stopover in Tokyo for a few nights on the way.

    My question is thus simple: how do I go about searching & booking this? Is there an online site that offers full fare rules and availability (yes, I am thinking about signing up for ExpertFlyer/KVS), and once I've got the flights sorted out, how do I actually book it?
     
  2. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    If this is an entirely kosher itinerary without any tricks involved, why wouldn't one of these two options work?
    1. Phone Qantas; or
    2. Go to a travel agent.
     
  3. jpatokal
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    jpatokal Silver Member

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    The first half of the problem is simply exploring the options, and hanging out on the phone for an hour explaining what it is I want to do, checking the fare rules and hoping the agent has half a clue is not my idea of a good time.

    Assuming I do figure out the itinerary (and I'm increasingly leaning towards doing all the footwork myself), is the average Flight Centre (or equivalent) happy to/capable of dealing with a customer who knows and insists on a precise set of fare rules to use, and how do commissions etc work out? Qantas apparently charges $35/person for phone bookings.
     
  4. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Hence my suggestions started from the point in your post where you said "... once I've got the flights sorted out ...".
    I don't know about Flight Centre, but Qantas agents ought not to have any problems with this as you and they will be dealing with and booking published fares using pretty sophisticated technology.

    Now, if the sticking point is not the absence of online technology to make a complex booking without other human intervention, but simply your unwillingness to pay Qantas or a travel agent the fee that they will charge for doing something out of the ordinary, then you actually have a completely different problem.
     
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  5. jpatokal
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    jpatokal Silver Member

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    Um, no -- I was asking how travel agent commissions work here in Australia. And apparently Qantas charges $35/person for any booking regardless of how ordinary it is.
     
  6. QF009
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    QF009 Silver Member

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    Apparently the commissions vary anywhere between 3% to 5% depending upon whether the itinerary is domestic or international. "Preferred" agents get slightly more. No commissions for transtasman, NZ domestic bookings, and certain Australian domestic bookings made in the cheapest fare buckets.

    The phone booking fee can be waived under certain circumstances. IME it's possible for the fee to be waived if the booking cannot be booked online, for instance if you're redeeming a paper voucher.
     
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  7. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    But if it wasn't out of the ordinary, you'd be doing it for free on the website.
     
  8. straitman
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    straitman Silver Member

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    Some booking that 'we' would consider ordinary cannot be booked on the web site!

    Or another way to ask the question is who or what is ordinary?
     
  9. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    The QF website is better than it used to be. And I would imagine that the majority of QF itineraries actually booked by people are bookable on the website: single airline one-ways and round-trips, online open-jaws and multi-city connections, JSA combos, and simple itineraries that don't fall into those descriptions.

    I can't see why the OP's problem is so difficulty. 90 seconds of searching on random dates produced this on ITA:

    QF464 MEL-SYD 13 Nov 1930-2055
    QF21 SYD-NRT 13 Nov 2205-0600+1
    AY74 NRT-HEL 14 Nov 1200-1520
    ----------------------------------------
    AY73 HEL-NRT 30 Nov 1720-1000+1
    QF22 NRT-SYD 01 Dec 2000-0800+1
    QF421 SYD-MEL 02 Dec 0930-1125

    Fare (A1): AY MELHEL OLECO2AU fare (rules) , psgr type ADT AUD 675.00
    Fare (A2): AY HELMEL OLECO2AU fare (rules) , psgr type ADT AUD 675.00
    Plus taxes, fees and charges
    Total for 1 adult passenger: AUD 2112.44

    Having found the fare and the flights, phone Qantas and say I want to book this, please can you price it for me? And if QF says yes, and reaches the same result, book it. I would think the whole process should take about 5 minutes. It might well take less time than it took me to type this post.

    So what if it costs $35? We'd all rather it didn't cost any further money, but it won't take much messing about looking for other "free" channels for the wasted time to be worth more than that simple $35 fee.

    I really can't see what the problem is.
     
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  10. jpatokal
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    jpatokal Silver Member

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    Ta, finally some useful info. I presume the travel agent gets their commission as a discount from the airline?
     
  11. jpatokal
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    jpatokal Silver Member

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    You know, instead of wasting so much of your precious time typing this post (and wasting a bit more time by moaning about wasting your time), you could just have posted that link to ITA, which was pretty much exactly what I was looking for. [​IMG] But now I'm happy, and I hope you are too! [​IMG]
     
  12. Globaliser
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    Ah. You just needed a link to ITA? An active member of FT for 7½ years needs a link to ITA? OK.

    Glad it's helped.
     
  13. QF009
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    Not really sure. I think it works as a discount on published fares, from what I've seen. For specially negotiated or wholesale fares, they simply pay the airline or consolidator a nett fare whilst charging their clients a mark up.
     
  14. newformula
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    newformula Active Member

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    I've had success quoting specific fare coding out of ITA to flight centre staff and successfully booking a couple of itineraries under the fare conditions that I was looking for. YMMV. I figure that a TA will have to do some work to book the fare and handle any changes; why not pay them for the service. If you end up with someone helpful who wants your business, that's worth it's weight in gold for the future.
     

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