A "fuming" business traveller has hit out at Qantas for changing the flight's aircraft without notifying or reimbursing passengers, leaving him with a less comfortable seat for an overnight flight.
Cal, an Aussie blogger who shares tips online on how to get more bang for your buck while travelling, was flying interstate on a red-eye flight from Perth and had booked a business class seat on an Airbus 330 six months in advance. After arriving at the airport, Cal discovered the aircraft had been switched to a Boeing 737, with no mention or offer for reimbursement.
The aircraft change may seem small on paper, but Cal argues the differences between the two are many, and would have a big impact on his ability to sleep on the flight. He booked a business class seat on the Qantas A330 anticipating a lie-flat bed, but the 737 business class offers what Cal says is a standard recliner seat. "It’s like buying a Mercedes and getting a Volkswagen but still paying the same price," he says online. "Sure it's still the same company, but it’s two completely different products".
Differences between the A330 versus B737
The Qantas website explains the A330 boasts a cabin width of 5.28m. In comparison, the B737 's cabin width is 3.54m. While B737 planes only have business class seats that recline slightly, and not all the way flat, on A330s, business class seats are referred to as "suites" and have "innovative seats that recline to fully-flat beds" according to Qantas and reviews online. These can then be fitted with a mattress for a comfy night's rest — something Cal was hoping to get on his flight from Perth.
Same price for both Qantas aircrafts
Cal said he was charged the same price for flying on the B737 as he would have been charged for the A330. This seems to be standard Qantas policy. For example, flying from Perth to Sydney in March, on a business class seat on an A330 at 6am or 11.40am costs $2786. A business class seat on a B737 at 8am or 10.15am is the exact same price.
When approached by Yahoo News, Qantas would not provide comment but Yahoo understands that fares are sold on a route and cabin class basis, not based on aircraft type.
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Qantas experiencing backlash all year
This latest complaint comes after a year of Aussies being"fed-up" with the service from Qantas. In May it was revealed Qantas was the most complained about airline in the country.
One Aussie woman spoke out after a booking error meant she was wrongly charged. She shared with Yahoo that she tried for weeks to get a refund from Qantas and was "fed-up" with the airline's "dirty little tricks". In the end, the mum said she was $1000 out of pocket because of problems with the airlines customer service.
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