United Airlines Targeted Offer for 50% Bonus on Premier Qualifying Miles


United Airlines sent an email out yesterday for a 50% bonus on Premier qualifying miles (PQM’s or EQM’s as I would rather call them). You can try to see if this offer is open for you as well. My account was not targeted.


The thing to note here is that this offer is valid for new ticket purchases made between September 13 to December 7, 2012, and for travel completed by December 7,2012.

The headline of this offer is misleading “Earn up to double Premier qualifying miles”. Higher fare classes already earn 50% bonus and combining with this offer, you can earn 200% PQM bonus first class, business class and high economy class fares. It is quite surprising that they are offering the 50% PQM bonus even for the lowest economy fare buckets.



You can always check to see if your account is targeted for this offer. If not, you will see a message saying that your account is not eligible.

Here are terms and conditions of this offer:

  1. Offer valid for members originally targeted, including original recipients of the email invitation.
  2. To qualify for the offer, register on united.com, then purchase and complete paid qualifying trips anywhere United flies.
  3. Offer valid for tickets purchased between September 13, 2012 and December 7, 2012 for travel completed between September 13, 2012 and December 7, 2012.
  4. On paid qualifying flights members can earn 50% additional bonus PQM for tickets purchased in United Global First, United First, United BusinessFirst, United Business and full-fare United Economy (F, A, J, C, D, Z, P, Y and B booking classes), and 50% bonus PQM for tickets purchased in discounted United Economy (M, E, U, H, Q, V, W, S, T, L, G, N and K booking classes).
  5. This offer does not apply to Premier qualifying segments, class-of-service bonus miles, class-of-service PQM, Premier bonus miles, redeemable bonus miles or other promotional PQM.
  6. PQM cannot be redeemed for award travel.
  7. Offer is not valid on United-marketed code-share flights operated by other carriers.
  8. Offer is not valid on government fares.
  9. Offer is not combinable and can be earned an unlimited number of times.
  10. Bonus will be posted to the member’s MileagePlus account at the end of the promotion period, and by December 31, 2012.
  11. E-Ticket® purchase is required. Tickets purchased in the U.S. through United Reservations are subject to a $25 ticketing fee and tickets purchased at airport ticket counters are subject to a $30 ticketing fee. Fees are subject to change.
  12. Flight activity must be posted to the member’s account by December 15, 2012 in order to qualify for this promotion.
  13. Offer is subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply.
  14. Miles accrued, awards issued and bonus offers are subject to the rules of the United MileagePlus program. For complete details about the program, visit united.com/mileageplus.

Promotion code TB4M54

Triple American Airlines AAdvantage Miles for Radisson/Radisson Blu Stays

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Radisson & Radisson Blu hotels are offering triple (1500) American Airlines AAdvantage miles per stay from September 1st to December 20th, 2012. You need to provide your AAdvantage number at check in and cannot earn Club Carlson God points for the stays. Here’s the link to this offer.


Regardless of the number of nights, you will receive flat 1500 miles per STAY.

This offer only makes sense if you are staying at a very inexpensive Radisson/Radisson Blu property or don’t plan on collecting Gold points at all. You can always transfer 100000 God points to 18K American Airlines AAdvantage miles. Five $200 Radisson/Radisson Blu stays would earn you in excess of 100000 points and could be transferred to 18K American Airlines miles.


You need to calculate how many Gold points you would earn from your stay compared to flat 1500 American Airlines miles. For me this offer doesn’t make sense at all.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

The Triple Miles Offer (“Promotion”) is available for new reservations at participating Radisson and Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts (“Participating Properties”) for Eligible Stays beginning September 01, 2012 and completed by December 20, 2012 (“Promotional Period”). An Eligible Stay is defined as a stay of one or more nights at the same hotel regardless of the number of times you check-in or check-out during the stay at an eligible rate. Ineligible rates under the Promotion include employee rates; airline crew rates; travel agent rates; hotel employee rates; tour operator rates; wholesaler rates; rates booked through online travel companies; complimentary rooms, including, but not limited to, rooms booked as Award Night stays, or other stays involving other gift certificate or free night vouchers. American Airlines AAdvantage members who provide their member number at the time of check-in can earn a total of 1,500 AAdvantage miles for each Eligible Stay during the Promotional Period. There is no maximum on the number of Eligible Stays that can qualify for the bonus during the Promotional Period. Rates for each night may vary. Mileage is subject to all AAdvantage program rules and regulations. Participating Properties are subject to change without notice. Offer subject to availability and blackout dates may apply. Gold Points® may not be earned for Eligible Stays under this Promotion. Radisson reserves the right to add, modify or discontinue these terms and conditions or the Promotion with or without notice. Void where prohibited by law. By participating in this Promotion, you agree and consent to these terms and conditions. Allow six (6) to eight (8) weeks for the AAdvantage mileage to be posted to your AAdvantage account. American Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage® program and its terms and conditions at any time without notice, and to end the AAdvantage® program with six months notice. Any such changes may affect your ability to use the awards or mileage credits that you have accumulated. Unless specified, AAdvantage® miles earned through this promotion/offer do not count toward elite-status qualification or Million MilerSM status. American Airlines is not responsible for products or services offered by other participating companies. For complete details about the AAdvantage® program, www.aa.com/AAdvantage AmericanAirlines, AAdvantage and Million Miler are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.

Priority Club Offering 40% Bonus on Purchased Points

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Priority Club just sent an email regarding a promotion for buying points. This offer is valid from September 13th to October 15th, 2012. You can buy maximum 50K Priority Club points and get a 20K bonus points for total of $575.


This is not the cheapest way to purchase Priority Cub points, however. If you have some points sitting in your account, you can make a Points & Money award reservation and pay $70 for every 10K Priority Club points that you purchase. You can just later cancel the reservation and the points purchase transaction is not reversed.


The only benefit of buying points through this offer is the fact that buying points have generally been elite qualifying. You can qualify for Priority Cub God or Platinum status by either staying certain number of nights or earning certain number of points.



Buying points through this offer makes sense if you are few thousands points short of Gold or Platinum elite status in Priority Club rewards. Otherwise you should just do Points & money reservations and buy points for less money.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Price includes all applicable fees. Purchased Points are not refundable and are applicable toward all Priority Club® Rewards awards. Members may purchase a maximum of 50,000 points per calendar year and receive as a gift a maximum of 50,000 points per year. Please allow 24-48 hours for miles to post to appear in the recipient’s account. All other Priority Club® Rewards Terms and Conditions apply.

*Offer available for purchases made between September 13 – October 15, 2012 inclusive. Bonus points will be awarded upon completion of the transaction. Bonus points will be awarded to the recipient of the points purchase. Offer is subject to change. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Only purchases made online are eligible for the bonus.

Emirates and American Airlines in Talks About Potential Codeshare Agreement

There was an interesting piece in the Air Transport World about the remarks that the president of Emirates Mr. Tim Clark had said on a speech given at International Aviation Club in Washington this week. Mr. Clark had stated that they were in talks with two US airlines regarding code share agreements and that the talks with American Airlines had been ongoing for couple of years. Emirates already serves seven airports in the United States and has interline agreements in place with most US carriers like Delta and US airways.


Emirates and Alaska announced a frequent flier partnership on January this year and each airlines members have been able to earn both redeemable and elite qualifying miles since March 1st. Also, Emirates has had a similar agreement with JetBlu from July 1st. Thing to note here is that these are not codeshare agreements but rather just ability for both airlines fliers to earn and redeem on each other’s metal. Emirates used to have a similar agreement for earning redeemable miles on United Airlines as well, but that agreement has been terminated.


Also, Emirates and Qantas just signed a 10 year frequent flier and codeshare agreement last week where Qantas will tunnel all of their European traffic via Dubai and Emirates gets to use Qantas’ domestic network for feeding their flights out of Australia.

If American and Emirates sign a codeshare agreement, it will be American’s fourth (or fifth if El Al is included) partner in the region. Royal Jordanian, based in Amman, is a fellow Onewold member. Gulf Air, based in Bahrain, is a partner airline as is Emirates rival Etihad, based in Abu Dhabi, with whom American also has a codeshare agreement.  There has been chatter about Qatar Airways joining an alliance in the near future and it well could be Oneworld due to close ties with the head of British Airways and Qatar.


It is interesting to see all these partnership that Emirates is forming with number of airlines outside an alliance. Mr. Clark has already stated that Emirates doesn’t see any reason to join any of the three worldwide alliances.

I have flown quite a bit of Emirates and have Gold status on their Skywards frequent flier program. The service both on business and first class is very good and I really like the depth and selection of the onboard entertainment system.  I am not, however, huge fan of Dubai’s airport that resembles an overflowing zoo during the peak flight banks. Opening of the new terminal should easy the congestion.

United Airlines Mileage Plus – Buy or Gift Miles at 40% Discount


United just emailed me an offer (same as last month) for buying miles at 40% when you buy more than 30000 miles at a time. This offer is valid until September 19 11:59PM CDT. Although the wording of the email indicates that this offer is targeted, it should be open for anyone using the link. The price of a mile bought under this offer including the tax is 2.26 cents each.


The maximum number of miles that you can buy per year per account is capped at 100000. The way around is to open an account for all household members.

Does it make sense to buy United Mileage Plus miles at 2.26 cents each?

you are using your miles for international business and first class travel on Star Alliance partner airlines and don’t otherwise have easy access to earning miles, the answer is most likely yes. I personally value my United miles highly due to rather lax routing, double open jaw and a stopover rules.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Offer details:

  • To take advantage of this offer, you must use the order links on this page.
  • For a limited time, save 20% off the regular price on purchases of less than 30,000 award miles, save 40% off the regular price on purchases of 30,000 award miles or more
  • Buy Personal Miles or Give Miles for less – only $28 per 1,000 miles when buying less than 30,000 award miles or only $21 per 1,000 miles when buying 30,000 or more award miles (normally $35 per 1,000 miles) plus a 7.5% excise tax for a limited time
  • 2,000 mile minimum purchase required and after that miles are available in increments of 1,000
  • Discount can be used multiple times while the promotion is valid
  • Promotional offer valid until 11:59 p.m. CDT on September 19, 2012
  • Purchase up to 100,000 MileagePlus Personal miles or Give Miles per account per calendar year
  • Credit card will be billed immediately for purchase
  • Program fees and mileage rates subject to change
  • Discounted pricing will automatically display when using the links on this page
  • Allow 48 hours for miles to post to MileagePlus® account
  • Personal Miles and Give Miles are non-refundable
  • These miles can only be used for awards and do not count toward Premier® status
  • If you have questions or concerns about this offer, please email custserv@ualmiles.com for assistance
  • All MileagePlus Program Rules and terms and conditions apply


Qatar Airways Introduces Easy Deals – Awards Up To 50% Off


Qatar Airways just launched a new Easy Deals initiative. Every month they will have number of destinations at up to 50% off of the usual number of miles required. You need to pay the usual taxes/fees and fuel surcharges.


It is somewhat weird that you need to register for this promotion at least 24 hours prior making the award booking. The booking window is open from 15 September to 22 of October for travel from October 1 to October 23, 2012.


Easy Deals is our new programme feature that offers you the opportunity to redeem award tickets online on Qatar Airways for up to 50% less Qmiles.

Every month, Easy Deals will showcase an array of Qatar Airways flights on select routes, where you can save Qmiles.

To avail our Easy Deals,  follow these simple steps:

  • Click on the below link(s) to view the available Easy Deals
  • Register for our Easy Deals at least 24 hours prior to booking an award ticket, by logging into your membership account, click on “Manage Qmiles” and select Easy Deals for the applicable month from the “Register for an offer” menu. Alternatively, you can register by calling our Member Service Centre at +974 4449 6449
  • Redeem your award ticket online by clicking on “Book & Upgrade” menu and take advantage of our Easy Deals. Should your trip contain any of the listed sectors, you will enjoy attractive mileage savings.

The wording on the confirmation page indicates that these awards are valid only on the exact one-way city pairs listed i.e. Buenos Aires to Sao Paulo wouldn’t include Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires. I would hope to be wrong, however.

Here’s the list of destinations:




Quite often the fuel surcharges spoil these sale deals. The YQ’s (fuel surcharges) are somewhat reasonable on Qatar Airways, however. Here is an example from Seoul to Doha that is on sale using miles. The YQ is 139K KRW that is around $123.



I really like award sales and glad that they are coming to Qatar Airways as well. The only drawback is the rather short booking and flying window. These are most useful for Doha based passengers as vast majority flights are either Doha originating or terminating.

There are few of gems like Buenos Aires to Sao Paulo for 6500 miles in business class. That is really a steal. I took that flight two weeks ago.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

  • Only applicable on Qatar Airways operated flights on select routes.
  • Award seats are limited and subject to availability
  • Easy Deals Award levels are applicable only for award tickets redeemed online at qmiles.com.
  • Members need to register for the offer at least  24 hours prior to booking an award ticket.
  • Not valid in conjuction with any other offer.
  • Redemptions are valid for anyone the member chooses. Each redemption may include up to 9 passengers on the same transaction.
  • Qmiles plus Cash option and award upgrades are excluded from Easy Deals Awards.
  • Date changes not within the offer period or route changes not part of sectors on offer will be subject to the corresponding fees and additional Qmiles will be charged.
  • If some sectors of your trip are not within the offer period or part of the promotional sectors, those sectors will be charged at regular Qmiles.
  • Regular award tickets Terms and Conditions apply.

Priority Club Stay X Get Y Bonuses for 4rd Quarter – Up To 15K Bonus Points


We now have the information and the codes for the 4th quarter 2012 Priority Club Stay-bonuses. As usually there are three different thresholds for 5000, 10000, or 15000 bonus Priority Club points. These are for stays from October 1st to December 31st, 2012.


You should register for the 3, 7, or 15 night version of this promotion. Note that the bonuses are based on NIGHTS and not on STAYS. You can register at priorityclub.com/register. You need your Priority Club account number or the email address and the four digit promotion code below.

Please note that once you have registered for one of the variations of the promotion the selection cannot be changed. 

You can combine this promotion with other numerous promotions that the Priority Club has at the moment.

5502 = Stay 3 Nights – Get 5K Points

5503 = Stay 4 Nights – Get 5K Points

5504 = Stay 7 Nights – Get 10K Points

5505  = Stay 8 Nights- Get 10K Points

5506 = Stay 10 Nights – Get 10K Points

5507 = Stay 12 Nights – Get 10K Points

5508 = Stay 15 Nights – Get 15K Points

5509 = Stay 18 Nights – Get 15K Points


Priority Cub has these quarterly stay bonuses four times a year. Remember to sign up to the highest one that you are sure that you can achieve. You cannot change the selection after you have registered.

Starwood Aeroplan Offer: Up To 8000 Bonus Miles


Starwood has teamed up with Air Canada’s Aeroplan by offering up to 8000 bonus Aeroplan miles. All you need to do is to have an Aeroplan account and sign up for this promotion. You don’t have to change your earnings from Starpoints to miles to be eligible for this offer. You can combine this offer with Starwood Better by The Night promotion that offers double/triple points for stays and online booking bonuses.


Here’s the breakdown this promotion:

– You will receive 3000 bonus miles if you stay total of 3 nights during the promotional period

– If you stay total of 5 nights or longer, you will receive 5000 bonus miles. Note that the nights do not have to be consecutive.

– If you have at least 3 nights at Starwood properties in Canada, you will receive an additional 3000 bonus miles.

This promotion is valid from September 10 to December 9, 2012. Note that you need to register for this promotion prior to your stay.


If you are going to have any Starwood stays during this promotion period, there is absolutely no downside for registering for this promotion. These Aeroplan miles are in addition to the Starpoints you will earn from your stays as you don’t have to change your earning preferences.

Redeeming Aeroplan miles is rather expensive nowadays. They charge fuel surcharge on redemptions so redeeming for anything else than business or first class doesn’t make too much sense.

Here are the terms and conditions of this promotion:

  • Aeroplan Bonus Miles are offered to eligible Aeroplan members who stay a minimum of three to five nights paying an Eligible Rate at participating Starwood properties during the promotional period. Advance reservations are required and bookings are based on availability. Black out dates may apply . Offer not applicable to groups. Reservations must be made directly with Starwood (by phone, www.starwoodhotels.com, or specific Starwood property website) or via a travel agent. Bookings via third-party online retailers and other wholesalers are not eligible for this bonus offer promotion. You must be a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest Program and have registered for this promotion. Membership in the SPG program is free. Please visit www.spg.com. All Starwood Preferred Guest terms and conditions apply. Please allow six to eight weeks after the promotion ends for Aeroplan Miles to be posted to your Aeroplan account.
  • An Eligible Rate is any rate that is eligible to earn Starpoints in the Starwood Preferred Guest program. SPG-participating hotels and resorts and a description of Eligible Rates can be found at SPG.com under program terms and conditions. See Section 1.4 for the complete definition of Eligible Rates, but note that certain prepaid rooms where the booking is made through a third party (including but not limited to travelocity.com, expedia.com and orbitz.com) are not Eligible Rates and do not earn Starpoints or qualify toward promotional earnings.
  • Qualifications and Starwood Terms: All promotions are subject to the Starwood Preferred Guest program terms and conditions, which are subject to change without notice and can be found at spg.com. Offer is applicable to individual members only and not to groups. Not responsible for omissions or typographical errors. Starwood reserves the right to discontinue this offer at any time. To update your communication preferences or learn about our privacy practices, view our Privacy Statement on spg.com/privacy, or access our privacy information line by calling 1-877-782-0071 in the U.S. and Canada or +353-21-4930474 in all other countries. Starpoints, SPG, Preferred Guest, Sheraton, Four Points, W, Aloft, The Luxury Collection, Le Méridien, Element, Sheraton, St. Regis and their respective logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates. Void where prohibited by law.

Use Star Alliance’s Visa & Health Section to Check Vaccination & Entry Requirements


Visa & health entry requirements vary depending of the country where you live, the transit countries on your journey, and vaccinations you have had. It is really difficult to keep track of them. The embassies websites are often full of outdated information.


I got caught about these the other week when I was denied boarding South African Airways flight from Sao Paulo to Johannesburg because I didn’t have my Yellow fever vaccination booklet with me. I wrote a piece about the ordeal and about my vaccinations in Bangkok.

There is a terrific tool that is constantly updated and then used by the airlines to check passenger’s eligibility to enter countries. This service is called Timatic and it is part of IATA.

Timatic features:

  • Passport requirements and recommendations
  • Visa requirements and recommendations
  • Health requirements and recommendations
  • Airport tax to be paid by the traveler at either departure or arrival airport
  • Customs regulations relating to import/export of goods and small pets by a passenger
  • Currency regulations relating to import and export by a passenger

Most of the airlines don’t have the whole version available on their websites. The health module is most of the time missing, although it is equally important as visas etc. If you don’t have i.e. yellow fever vaccination proof when entering South Africa from Brazil, your entry will be denies either by the airlines or by immigration.

Luckily, the Star Alliance has made this tool available on their website. You need to plug in your nationality, permanent residence, transit points, and the destination, and the system will split out the requirements for each and every step.

Here’s a typical display:




It is the traveler’s responsibility to ensure that they fulfill the entry requirements to any country in their journey. Alternatively, it is likely that the airline will catch this and will deny boarding as happened in my case. Denying boarding is better than immigration denying entry and putting you back to the country where you are coming from.

The tool that you can find on Star Alliance’s website is truly terrific. You should check the entry requirements to countries that you visit. Sometimes there are unexpected changes and vaccination requirements may depend of the transit countries in your journey even if you don’t leave the airport.

Last Call for Awards on Qatar Airways Using United Mileage Plus

United partners are dropping like flies. First Emirates was gone, then was Virgin Atlantic’s turn earlier this year, and now it is a final couple of days to redeem awards on Qatar Airways. United gave heads up of this change on June 1st.

United Qatar Announcement
United Qatar Announcement

You can still continue booking awards that have Qatar legs until and on 14th of this month. Theoretically you should be able to do this over the phone as well, but you may encounter uninformed agents that tell you that the partnership has already ended when, in fact, it has not.

United Qatar BCN PER via DOH
United Qatar BCN PER via DOH

I have flown quite a bit on Qatar this year and have come to like their business class product and often empty cabins. Most often than not I have the entire two seat sections just for myself. I am not a huge fan, however, of the Qatar transit experience and the premium terminal that is at capacity often during the flight banks.

Qatar Plenty of Space
Qatar Plenty of Space


If you are contemplating using United miles on award tickets on Qatar, this is the last choice. The Qatar’s business class product is fantastic compared to United.

SPG Better By The Night Promotion Registration Now Open

SPG Better By The Night promotions registration has now opened. I wrote about this new SPG promotion on August 22nd and the online booking bonuses on August 23rd.


You can now register for this promotion at spg.com/betterbythenight.


You can read my take on this double/triple points promotion here and about the online booking bonuses here.

SPG Bonus Beginnings: 3K Bonus Starpoints or Free Night Award


Overall, Starwood’s promotions so far this year have been lackluster compared to 2011 and the upcoming promotion is hardly any better.

Starwood has been, however, sending very good offers for new members that have not been staying at Starwood properties at all or have only had a stay or two last year. This promotion “Bonus Beginnings” is targeted and won’t work for you unless you have received the email invitation.


There are two options to choose from:

1. 3000 Bonus Starpoints

2. Free night award for category 1 to 5

The free night at category 5 SPG property would cost you 12K to 15K points depending of the season and is better option that the 3K bonus Starpoints. The free night award is valid until Ocotber 31st, 2013 so you have plenty of time to use it.


Now that you’ve joined SPG®, you know that every stay gets you closer to Free Night Awards and other amazing benefits.

We’d like to see you again soon. Here’s a great offer to keep things going: Register by October 31, 2012, then complete a stay between September 1, 2012, and October 31, 2012, and you’ll receive your choice of 3,000 bonus Starpoints or a Free Night Award at a Category 1–5 hotel or resort.

Check out, and then check in to, any of our more than 1,100 hotels and resorts across nine brands — including W®, Le Méridien®, Westin® and Sheraton®. Clear your calendar and start packing. We can’t wait to have you back.

Is it time to sign up family members for SPG?

SPG has now sent similar offers couple of times in the past year for members that have not been active in the program. I think that it is probably worthwhile to sign up family members to SPG membership to take advantage of these “Bonus Beginnings” offers in the future.


It is interesting that the best SPG offers this year are going to members that haven’t stays at Starwood properties at all. It is good way, however, to get people (and family members) activated in the program.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updates and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting SPG promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Here are the terms and conditions of this promotion:

3,000 bonus Starpoints: Registered member can choose to earn 3,000 bonus Starpoints after one (1) eligible stay. Stay must be at an SPG participating property from September 1, 2012, through October 31, 2012. Nonparticipating properties can be found at spg.com under program terms and conditions. Bonus Starpoints will be credited to the member’s account within 2–3 weeks of the stay posting to the member’s Starwood Preferred Guest® account.

Free Night Award: Registered member can choose to earn one (1) Free Night Award in a standard room at any Category 1–5 hotel after one (1) eligible stay. Eligible stay must be at an SPG participating property anytime from September 1, 2012, through October 31, 2012. Non-participating properties can be found at spg.com under program terms and conditions. Free Night Award(s) must be used by October 31, 2013, and can be redeemed by calling your local SPG Customer Contact Center and mentioning Award ID D1NFN. Free Night Award is not transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash. Unused Awards are forfeited. See “All Offers” below for additional terms and conditions.

All Offers: All above-listed offers are nontransferable and void for Starwood employees. Register online at spg.com/bonusbeginnings by October 31, 2012. Once a member chooses his or her offer, it cannot be changed at any time. An eligible stay is defined as one or more consecutive nights paying a qualifying rate in the same hotel regardless of the number of check-ins or checkouts that occur and posts to the member’s Starwood Preferred Guest account. Eligible stays/nights will be tracked by the date the member checks in and not the date the member checks out. A qualifying rate is any rate that is eligible to earn Starpoints in the Starwood Preferred Guest program. A description of a non-qualifying rate can be found at spg.com/t&c. Multiple rooms charged to the same member during the same stay will only count as one stay. All promotions are subject to the Starwood Preferred Guest program terms and conditions, which are subject to change without notice and can be found at spg.com. Offer is applicable to single members only and not to groups. Not responsible for omissions or typographical errors. Starwood reserves the right to discontinue this offer at any time. To update your communication preferences or learn about our privacy practices, view our Privacy Statement on spg.com/privacy, or access our privacy information line by calling 1-877-782-0071 in the U.S. and Canada or +353-21-4930474 in all other countries. Starpoints, SPG, Preferred Guest, Sheraton, Four Points, W, Aloft, The Luxury Collection, Le Méridien, Element, Westin, St. Regis and their respective logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates. Void where prohibited by law. All rights reserved.

Qantas Involuntarily Downgrade Compensation F to C Johannesburg to Sydney


Yesterday, I got a call from Qantas UK to my phone number in the United States. It is actually a Google Voice one so I get a transcript of the message (not understandable) and also the actual voice mail as an email attachment. It was only a message to call back the Qantas in the UK.


I checked the ExpertFlyer and realized that he Qantas has downgraded the flight. Instead of sending three class equipment that has economy, business, and first class, they sent a two class plane that doesn’t have first class at all. I called Qantas back and enquired about switching to Emirates via Dubai to preserve a first class, but was told to contact the issuing airline that in this instance was American Airlines. Made a quick call to AA that told me that it is Qantas’ responsibility to rebook me due to an equipment change.

Made a second call to Qantas here in South Africa and it got transferred to Qantas’ call center in the Melbourne. I got a cockiest lady answering the call who was pretending that it wasn’t their problem at all that they had switched the aircraft and that I would need get back to the issuing airline, this case AA, and just request a fare difference back.

Qantas Fare Refund Table Invol Downgrade
Qantas Fare Refund Table Invol Downgrade

Had the ticket been issued in Australia, Qantas actually has a compensation table on their website for various kinds of downgrades. This downgrade from paid first class to business would yield a refund of 1200 AUD. It is not a lot, but the fare difference between a full F and J is only $643.


It is inevitable that there are equipment changes at time, but it is how the airline deals with the issue that matters. I was downgraded couple of times this year with Emirates, but they have procedures in place to correctly address the issue. You will get an options voucher that allows you to travel a return trip in the originally booked class in a case of a downgrade. Also, they throw some miles at you for the inconvenience.

It is understandable that in a case of equipment substitution they send these two class planes to a market that doesn’t have strong consumer protection. Had they tried to downgrade passengers that are originating from the European Union, Qantas would have been required to refund 75% of the entire ticket cost per the EU regulations.

I was really surprised about the cockiness of the Qantas in this instance. If you downgrade the flight due to equipment substitution and just brush off the passengers that are inconvenienced, it is a very short sighted way of doing business. It might work if you run a business in a monopolistic market but not in a competitive environment.

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