Discount fares frequent flyer catch
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.