Dis­count fares fre­quent flyer catch

Broome Advertiser - - News - Glenn Cord­ing­ley

Qan­tas has put a con­di­tion on its re­duced fares trial in Broome and five other WA re­gions but it will not cost cus­tomers.

Book­ings for the res­i­dent-only dis­counts start this month but cus­tomers need to be Qan­tas Fre­quent Flyer mem­bers be­fore seats can be re­served.

Qan­tas said sign­ing up to the pro­gram would give cus­tomers a sim­pli­fied way to book the spe­cial fares be­cause it au­to­mat­i­cally linked their book­ing to where they lived.

As a ges­ture of good­will, the com­pany has waived the $89.50 join­ing fee avail­able on­line at qan­tas.com/free­join.

The dis­count scheme was an­nounced last month in the wake of con­cerns from re­gional com­mu­ni­ties about the cost of air travel.

Peo­ple liv­ing in Broome, Kal­go­or­lie, Kar­ratha, New­man, Parabur­doo or Port Hed­land will have ac­cess to fare re­duc­tions of up to 30 per­cent on the Qan­tas con­trolled com­po­nent of re­turn fares, ex­clud­ing taxes, se­cu­rity and air­port charges for per­sonal travel be­tween their lo­cal air­port and Perth. The dis­counts can be ac­cessed through lo­cal travel agents in each re­gion or on­line via a ded­i­cated web­site link that will be pro­vided when it is launched on Novem­ber 14.

Fares may be used only for per­sonal travel.

The dis­count would be avail­able on all econ­omy classes ex­cept for sale fares, for pur­chase up to and in­clud­ing the day of travel.

El­i­gi­ble res­i­dents would need to book a re­turn flight on Qan­tas or Qan­tasLink ser­vices to Perth from the air­port clos­est to their res­i­den­tial ad­dress to ac­cess the dis­counted fares, which would be limited to four re­turn flights per year per res­i­dent. The trial takes in book­ings for 12 months af­ter which Qan­tas would re­view up­take and rev­enue im­pact.

Reg­u­lar sales pro­vid­ing lower fares for all cus­tomers want­ing to travel to and within WA would con­tinue to be of­fered.

Qan­tas do­mes­tic chief ex­ec­u­tive Andrew David said the air­line had lis­tened to res­i­dents in re­gional com­mu­ni­ties around WA and un­der­stood con­cerns on the cost of travel.

“The re­al­ity is that the per kilo­me­tre cost on a small air­craft is sig­nif­i­cantly higher than a larger air­craft that op­er­ates be­tween ma­jor cities, be­cause the costs are di­vided by a much higher num­ber of pas­sen­gers,” he said.

“These re­gional routes don’t have the lev­els of de­mand needed to sus­tain a much larger air­craft and we want to main­tain the fre­quency of ser­vices.

“Re­gard­less of the rea­sons, we know the higher rel­a­tive costs can be frus­trat­ing for res­i­dents when they need to travel, es­pe­cially at short no­tice.”

Mr David said pro­vid­ing a dis­count for res­i­dents would help off­set some of the forces that can push fares on some flights to un­af­ford­able lev­els.

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