Saturday, 29 June 2019

Qantas removes regional change fees

The Australian airline Qantas announced this week it has removed the $99 change fee for bookings made through its discounted fares program to provide residents living in regional Australia with greater flexibility and additional savings if their travel plans change.

The discounted fares program was launched in November 2017 in response to community concerns around the cost of air travel in selected regional cities where residents compete with a very high proportion of travel from the resources industry or are impacted by their remoteness. Residents can access discounts of between 20 and 30 per cent off return fares for travel to their closest capital city.

More than 18,000 return trips have been booked by residents across the 14 regional cities eligible for the program.



Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David said the removal of the flight change fee was designed to make the discounted fares more accessible for more residents.

“As the national carrier, we know how important accessible and reliable air travel is for communities across regional Australia which is why we offer discounted fares for residents,” said Mr David.

“We recognise that some residents have been reluctant to book these fares in circumstances where they didn’t have a firm return date.

“By removing the flight change fee, we’re eliminating this obstacle and giving customers the flexibility to change their flights at a reduced cost if their travel plans change.

“We’ve seen a strong uptake since we launched the discounted fares, but we’d like to make it easier for even more residents to take advantage of the savings available and expect this change will give them the confidence to do so.

“There are some fundamental realities about the costs of operating regional services that we can’t change, but we’ll continue to listen and respond to community feedback.”

The removal of the change fee is effective from today for all new return bookings made through the resident fares portal or through local travel agents. Residents who wish to change their flight may need to pay the difference between the fare for the new booking and the original fare (available at a discount when flights are changed through the resident fares portal).

The discounts are available for personal travel to individuals who reside in the following regional ports:
WA – for travel to PerthNT – for travel to DarwinQLD – for travel to Brisbane
BroomeAlice SpringsMount Isa (and return travel to Townsville)
KalgoorlieYulara (Uluru)Cloncurry (and return travel to Townsville)
KarrathaMoranbah
ParaburdooLongreach
Port HedlandBlackall
NewmanBarcaldine
Qantas recently announced a $5 million grants program to support regional communities across the country. Applications are open and interested community groups can apply via qantas.com/regionalgrants 




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