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Qantas Extends Booking Flexibility and Upgrades Economy Dining

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Tom Goward | 08/02/2021

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Qantas is making it easier for Australians to holiday at home with unlimited free booking changes for travel until 2022, bringing back complimentary beer and wine and introducing hot meals in Economy.

Fly Flexible

With so much uncertainty in the travel world, one thing we need right now is flexibility. Qantas has announced one of the better flexible flying options we have seen so far, giving customers peace of mind to plan their next trip with confidence.

Australian domestic and trans-Tasman flights

Until 31 January 2022, you can enjoy unlimited fee-free changes to your date of travel on any:

  • Qantas domestic flights booked between 21 May 2020 and 30 April 2021, for travel between 12 June 2020 and 31 January 2022
  • Qantas trans-Tasman flights booked between 15 October 2020 and 30 April 2021, for travel between 16 October 2020 and 31 January 2022

If you need to change your travel dates, simply do so before your scheduled date of departure and Qantas will waive the change fee. Qantas requires customers to select a new travel date within 12 months of their original booking date and cover any fare increase on new flights.

More information on Qantas’ Fly Flexible policy is available here.

Classic Flight Reward bookings

Travellers who use Qantas Points to book a Classic Flight Reward on Qantas operated flights can change their travel plans until 30 April 2021.

Qantas will waive the change fee for customers who wish to change their travel dates, or refund the Qantas Points plus any taxes, fees and carrier charges paid if you wish to cancel.

Note that this waiver applies to itineraries that consist only of Classic Flight Rewards. Bookings which combine a Classic Flight Reward with any other fare type are excluded.

More information on Qantas’ Flexible Classic Flight Rewards policy is available here.

What if my flight is cancelled?

If your Qantas operated flight is cancelled, you can expect to be rebooked onto the next available flight at no additional cost. Alternatively, you can choose a refund or flight credit.

Improved Economy food and beverage

Qantas is boosting inflight food and beverage options for Economy customers later this month. The airline says that their meal boxes and snacks deliver comforting and fresh options tailored to the time of travel.

Hot Economy menu

Qantas will transition from ‘hot snacks’ to ‘hot meals’ on domestic flights of 3.5 hours or more later this month.

In March, travellers will see hot meals on flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, replacing the current ‘cold snack’ on flights with breakfast and dinner offerings. Other short Qantas are expected to feature a similar offering.

So far, Qantas has shown us their take on ‘Quinoa, chickpea and cauliflower salad’ and ‘Hokkien noodle salad’ – as seen below.


Other meal options will include the likes of gourmet beef pies and roast vegetable quiche, beef and mushroom ragout and roasted chicken with tomato, garlic, and lemon sauce.

Complimentary inflight drinks

Complimentary beer and wine will become available across domestic and regional flights, including some routes where alcohol was previously available for purchase only. Qantas will also stock a limited-edition Qantas Centenary lager brewed by Lion Nathan.

Complimentary beer and wine is served on flights departing after:

  • 12pm: Perth and Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne and Sydney
  • 4pm Weekdays: Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney
  • 4pm: Canberra and Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney
  • 4pm: QantasLink turboprop services

Note that QantasLink Jet services (onboard B717, F100 and A320 aircraft) have beer and wine available for purchase.

What about Virgin Australia’s Economy meals?

Virgin Australia has often performed poorly in the Economy meal department. Following the airline’s exit from voluntary administration under new owners Bain Capital, Virgin Australia made the decision to replace complimentary snacks and drinks in economy with a ‘buy on board’ menu. Virgin has said customers will find an “exciting and fresh” inflight menu, with no word about previous afternoon happy hours where drinks were served without charge.

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Tom Goward

Tom is a Hobart-based writer with a passion for aviation and travel.

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