Back in July of last year Qantas added chauffeur service for first and business class passengers traveling on flights of over 12 hours. This was seemingly due to Qantas’ joint venture with Emirates, so was added as a way to provide a more consistent experience for customers across airlines.
In June of this year Qantas eliminated chauffeur service on their US routes due to their dire financial situation. At that point the chauffeur offering was limited to the longhaul route overlap they have with Emirates, between London and Melbourne/Sydney via Dubai.
That meant only the following Qantas flights were eligible for chauffeur service:
However, it looks like the chauffeur service benefit has gotten even stingier, or I suppose more accurately they are actually enforcing the terms.
The terms of Qantas’ chauffeur drive read in part as follows (bolding mine):
Chauffeur Drive is only available in selected locations to customers holding tickets with confirmed reservations in First or Business on eligible Qantas or Emirates operated flights. Reservations for Chauffeur Drive through Qantas can only be made for flights booked as part of a Qantas ticket (starting with ticket number 081), at destinations where the Chauffer Drive service is offered. Passengers travelling on Emirates tickets (starting with ticket number 176) should make reservations through Emirates.
All along the terms have technically stated your ticket needs to be issued by Qantas in order to qualify, though in practice even tickets issued by partner airlines (including partner award tickets) have qualified. For example, I have a US Airways award ticket to Melbourne via London and Dubai next year, and up until recently have been able to book a chauffeur online.
However, it seems that they’re now actually enforcing the terms, and if you’re on a ticket issued by a partner airline are no longer eligible for chauffeur drive. Now when I pull up my reservation on Qantas’ website, I receive a message saying “Sorry, you are not eligible to book a transfer to/from the airport” when trying to book chauffeur drive.
While it’s unfortunate, we certainly can’t blame them for enforcing the rules. Oh well, guess I should have booked my chauffeur drive earlier!
(Tip of the hat to Jerry)