I always fly Jetstar if I can't get a Qantas flight, clearly though the brand loyalty is not reciprocated with this mob of thieves! Nor by Qantas.
What happened: booked flights to Sunshine Coast but I stuffed up the date and time (my fault definitely - and that small review panel of your flight details before you hit submit payment is so small I didn't even know it existed until I was kindly told about it by the customer service rep - anither strategy to earn more money from customers in their human error!) Anyway, after realising my mistake (on same day of the flights being purchased) I called to rectify. I expected an admin processing change fee and of course any fare difference, but didn't expect to be royally ripped off. They were still selling fares at the same price as I purchased them, but somehow came to the conclusion that to change them would cost me $254 ( I assume the $50 change fee per ticket X 2 was inclusive of this sum) so my question is why the extra $154 dollars for fares that are still selling at the originally purchased price? They're not losing money in a new fare and I was happy to pay any admin costs to process this.
So to no avail of reasoning with the customer service folk I refused to pay, my only option then was to submit a complaint form which I did. I received a response to the effect bad luck you read the T&C and we're a budget airline. I am now left confused as to what this reasoning has to do with the margin in fare difference, given the current fare selling price is the same. Anyway I've responded giving them two days to be reasonable about the fare difference and that if we can't reach some sort of agreement I'm lodging with VCAT, it'll cost me - but frankly the price to pay for lack of commonsense and blatant financial mis-treatment of their customers...who were only more then willing to cover the change and any difference in fare (reasonable) is worth it. Hopefully if enough customers start to do the same it'll change their practice of ripping their customers off, my change request was at no expense to them making money and that is the point. Further more, what kind of excuse is that being a budget operating airline - when in Australia all airlines budget or otherwise (whoever they are) are similarly competitive in price (if you plan and book in advance provided they have a service route.) Their last minute bookings certainly don't come with a 'budget' price tag nor on routes where there is no real competition.
As for Qantas, I am not going to fly with them anymore either because they are affiliated with the airline and obviously turn a blind eye to this practice, and hide behind the line that they are not the same company - although that doesn't stop them re-routing you on one of their flights either! Hmmm so they are the same company when it suites.
Vote with your pocket and go Virgin if you can. You'll be a lot better off, and from what I've read they treat customers as customers.