More than 86,000 Qantas and Jetstar customers are entitled to payments after the airline agreed to a compensation deal over its practice of continuing to sell tickets on cancelled flights.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Qantas reached an agreement on Monday that will see the airline pay compensation on top of any refund or alternative flight customers might have already received.

The payments will range from $225 for domestic or trans-Tasman flights to $450 for other international routes.

They'll total around $20 million and come on top of a penalty for breaching Australian Consumer Law.

The Qantas Customer Remediation Program is now being set up by consultancy firm Deloitte and will launch next month.

Qantas scammers already active

The ACCC is warning consumers to beware of scams, advising it has received reports that people are receiving calls from scammers falsely claiming they can help Qantas customers get their payments.

The ACCC said anyone receiving a call offering to help with a Qantas payment or refund is advised to hang up immediately and report the incident to Scamwatch.

Consumers should only provide any personal information through the official claims portal and not to anyone else.

How to get your payment

Deloitte says impacted customers will be notified via email and SMS from next month.

It will provide instructions on how to lodge a claim via on online portal.

In the meantime, it has invited Qantas customers to register on the site to receive email updates.

The compensation payments will total around $20 million and come on top of a penalty for breaching Australian Consumer Law.

What else is in the settlement deal?

The ACCC is asking the Federal Court to rubber stamp a $100 million fine for Qantas although the customer compensation scheme will go ahead regardless.

The competition watchdog said Qantas has admitted it continued to sell tickets on tens of thousands of flights it had already decided to cancel and cancelled thousands more flights without promptly telling ticketholders.

The ACCC took legal action over cancelled flights in the period from May 2021 to July 2022, but Qantas admitted its misconduct took place over a longer period to August 2023.

Qantas response

Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson said the airline recognised it had let down customers and fell short of its own standards.

“The return to travelling [post-pandemic] was already stressful for many and we did not deliver enough support for customers and did not have the technology and systems in place to support our people,” she said.

Ms Hudson said Qantas has since updated its processes and is investing in new technology to ensure there will be no repeat.

The airline said 94% of affected customers were on domestic or trans-Tasman flights.

If any Qantas or Jetstar customers have since changed their email addresses, Deloitte will provide a separate registration form for customers to update their contact details, also available from next month. 

Payments will not be one-offs and will be assessed on a per flight basis.

Deloitte said it is now working to set up the scheme and advises customers to contact the Qantas Customer Remediation Program rather than the Qantas customer call centre once the program is live.

Image by Marco Lopez on Unsplash

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