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$100m Jetstar COVID flight credits still unclaimed

written by Jake Nelson | August 29, 2023

Jetstar CEO Stephanie Tully speaks at a press conference in May 2023. (Image: Jake Nelson)

Jetstar is holding around $100 million in unused COVID-19 flight credits, a Senate inquiry has revealed.

Speaking before the Senate Select Committee on the Cost of Living on Monday, Jetstar CEO Stephanie Tully (pictured) admitted that the airline still has a substantial amount of unused flight credit over and above the approximately $370 million in credit Qantas holds for its own flights.

“About 50 per cent of that credit [that’s] held by people [is] less than $100. So you can imagine the context of contacting those customers to use that amount,” she said.

Additionally, when pressed, the Qantas executives present admitted that there are also tens of millions of dollars in credit from Qantas overseas bookings that have not been counted in the $370 million figure, though could not give an exact amount.

Tully said that various factors, including changes to customers’ credit card details and complex bookings, had prevented Qantas Group from refunding all of the credits immediately, but said the group intends to have all unused credit returned or used by the December 31 deadline.


“When COVID occurred back in March 2020, a lot of those trips that were put into credit were half-taken trips and the way you price a half-taken trip is a whole trip. The actual amount of the refund is not clear,” she said.

“We had a lot of codeshare flights that were partly Qantas tickets, partly another airline ticket. We had interline tickets, and … over time people’s credit card details change as well. So, we have always given the option for customers to have a refund and … I think, as [Qantas head of corporate affairs Andrew] McGinnes said, $3 billion worth of refunds have happened.

“Our absolute goal is that there’s zero credit left by the end of December. We’ve taken a lot of action over the last three years in communicating and promoting and providing offers to use the credit, and over the next four months, you’ll see us doing a lot of that.”

The news comes as the Flying Kangaroo faces a class-action lawsuit over COVID credits, with a spokesperson for the airline forcefully denying claims of “misleading and deceptive conduct”.

“We have already processed well in excess of $1 billion in refunds from COVID credits for customers who were impacted by lockdowns and border closures. The majority of customers with COVID credits can get a refund and we’ve been running full-page ads and sending emails to encourage customers who want a refund to contact us directly,” the spokesperson said.

“Qantas has one of the most flexible COVID credit policies of any airline, including among our global peers, and we’ve extended the expiry dates three times.

“We’ve made a number of improvements to our systems along the way, including simplifying the process for a refund and making the credits easier to use, and that’s clear from the amount of credit that has already been claimed.”

The national carrier has faced criticism and accusations over the last several years for how it has handled COVID-19 flight credits during and after the pandemic, including a formal complaint to the ACCC about the “many obstacles” customers faced when trying to redeem their credits.

The airline last extended its credit expiry deadline in March after pressure from consumer advocacy group Choice, with credits now available for use until the end of 2023 for flights departing before 31 December 2024.

Additionally, Qantas’s “Find My Credit” tool, launched in June, can track bookings up to three years old that may have changed several times due to the pandemic, and last month it rolled out an ad campaign reminding customers to use their credits.

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Comment (1)

  • Michael Pilling


    It should be dead easy to keep emailing people until they use their credit. This can be simply automated.

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