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Why Qantas Gave Me 8,000 Points For An AI-Generated Email

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Tom Goward | 06/07/2024

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Imagine turning a frustrating flight cancellation into a windfall of 8,000 Qantas Points. Here’s how I did just that by sending Qantas an AI-generated email.

Controversial opinion, but I absolutely love it when an airline cancels or reschedules my flight. The reason? Airlines are typically obliged to get you to your destination, and once something goes wrong, they’ll need to make alternative arrangements.

Thanks to the power of cancellations, I have been offered superior airline products like jumping from Qantas into Emirates First Class with its closing doors, fantastic dining and onboard shower. Even Jetstar has been forced to wine and dine me, with a hotel, meals and transport on my $39 Economy class ticket. Then there are the occasions where a flight is rescheduled well in advance, which is basically a free-for-all to make fee-free changes.

So when Qantas cancelled my flight last month, I was pretty frustrated with the way they announced it, but keen for the freebies. I had booked an early morning service from Hobart to Melbourne, at 9:21pm the night prior to travel. At 9:21pm I also received a text that my flight had been cancelled, just as my payment was being processed. Thanks Qantas!

That was slightly amusing, as just a month prior Qantas had agreed to pay $120-million in penalties for selling flights it had already cancelled. At this point, the Red Roo was basically feeding me the complaint.

Crafting The Complaint

In this case, there wasn’t much I could do other than travel with a different airline. While Qantas did offer an alternative, it didn’t get me to Melbourne in time. So I chose to cancel, and received a full refund within a few days.

Next came the complaint, which is pretty easy to submit via the Qantas website (more on that below). Because I’m lazy, I utilised the virtual pen of my AI assistant, which came up with the following;

Qantas Gave Me 8,000 Points For An Email

After some minor adjustments, I fired this off to the Red Roo’s complaints team.

Qantas Almost Comes Through

Qantas contacted me after 7 days, with their own AI-generated email, saying they were “here to help” and committed to getting back to me.

After 14 days, a human reached out to advise I had been gifted 8,000 Qantas Points by way of apology. For reference, an Economy Classic Reward also costs 8,000 Qantas Points (plus taxes) from Hobart to Melbourne, so a cash refund and free flight from one email isn’t too bad.

Qantas Gave Me 8,000 Points For An Email

I had hoped Qantas would explain why my flight was cancelled, or at the bare minimum, apologise that they had clearly cancelled my travel before I booked the flight. But that was not the case.

I received a general response that “bad weather, natural disasters, technical problems and other issues can cause flight delays and cancellations” which is a great way to say something that says nothing. In fact, I don’t believe Qantas looked into my booking at all, as they opened by thanking me for reaching out regarding my flight to Hobart.

Qantas, Please Answer My Question

Naturally, I have since replied hoping to understand exactly when my flight was canceled. If this happened before booking, 8,000 points isn’t enough of an apology. As you might expect, Qantas has failed to reply after a further 18 days (as of 6th July). That is unless you count the ‘don’t worry we definitely have not forgotten about you’ robot emails.

Qantas Gave Me 8,000 Points For An Email

How To Score Qantas Points From A Complaint

If you have a poor experience with Qantas and feel like you deserve to be compensated, especially in the form of Qantas Points, here’s how you can make a complaint;

Step 1: Visit Qantas’ feedback form here.

Step 2: Enter your frequent flyer and contact details.

Step 3: Select your feedback category and progress through the options.

Step 4: Enter your flight details and complaint.

Step 5: Submit the form and wait for Qantas to reply.

You can also use this form for compliments, and if you refer to a specific outstanding staff member, Qantas will generally share that feedback with the staff member.

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Tom Goward

Chief Operating Officer & Aviation Nerd at Flight Hacks

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