Qantas Compensation Payments: Who Is Eligible and How Much Can You Get?

Qantas Compensation Payments: Who Is Eligible and How Much Can You Get?

Qantas has been in the news a fair bit, whether it’s about the expiry of COVID travel credits or the overhaul of its Frequent Flyer system. The latest from the local airline is that it’s settled on an agreement with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to pay $20 million to customers as a penalty for misleading advertising.

This means that thousands of Qantas customers are due to get compensation credits in the coming months. Let’s break down who may be eligible and how much you can expect to get back.

What are the details of the settlement?

News came out this week that Qantas and the ACCC had agreed on a settlement of $100 million in penalties as a result of the airline misleading consumers by advertising tickets for thousands of flights it had already decided to cancel. Additionally Qantas is in hot water for cancelling flights and then not promptly informing ticket holders of its decision to do so. The ACCC has taken the airline to court for this as a breach of Australian Consumer Law.

Of the $100 million in penalties, the airline agreed to pay over 86,000 customers who were sold tickets on these “phantom flights” a share of $20 million.

“We are pleased to have secured these admissions by Qantas that it misled its customers, and its agreement that a very significant penalty is required as a result of this conduct. The size of this proposed penalty is an important milestone in enforcing the Australian Consumer Law. Qantas’ conduct was egregious and unacceptable. Many consumers will have made holiday, business and travel plans after booking on a phantom flight that had been cancelled,” ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.

The statement also noted that Qantas has agreed not to repeat these actions again in the future. Going forward, it will notify customers of cancelled flights no more than 48 hours after deciding to cancel a flight and will stop selling cancelled flights as soon as practicable.

Qantas (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)

Qantas flight compensation: How much are customers eligible for?

As part of the $20 million that Qantas has agreed to pay in compensation for affected customers those on domestic flights that were impacted are eligible for payments of $225 while international ticket holders are entitled to $450. This is on top of any rebooking or refund arrangements that were made in relation to the customers’ impacted flights at the time.

Who is eligible for Qantas compensation?

The ACCC alleged that Qantas engaged in misleading advertising practices during the period of 21 May 2021 and 7 July 2022, by promoting tickets for more than 8000 cancelled flights. It also alleged between May and July 2022 it did not promptly notify customers that their flights had been cancelled. Qantas itself then admitted that its misconduct actually continued from 21 May 2021 through to August 26, 2023, which impacted flights scheduled to depart between 1 May 2022 and 10 May 2024. This means 86,597 customers are due to get a compensation payment.

Those who are eligible for compensation are anyone who (between 21 May 2021 and 26 August 2023) booked or was re-accommodated on a domestic or international flight scheduled to depart between 1 May 2022 and 10 May 2024, after Qantas had already decided to cancel it.

How will customers be notified?

Under the agreement, Qantas will be responsible for contacting and informing consumers about the payment scheme by 10 July 2024 at the latest.

Anyone impacted will be contacted by Qantas or Deloitte Australia (which is administering the payments on the airline’s behalf), via email or text message. They will be directed to a portal to facilitate the payment.

However, the ACCC warns that there is an increase in scammers attempting to take advantage of this payout by impersonating Qantas or Deloitte and advises that customers only provide their personal information through the official claims portal.

Lead Image Credit: iStock

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