Qantas Frequent Flyer “rewards” are a joke

24 05 2006

I've been invited to speak at a conference in Sydney at the end of October. I booked the flights on the weekend, and, as I'm a Gold Qantas Frequent Flyer member and a Life Member of the Qantas Club, I knew I could request an upgrade a lot earlier than others can. And, according to their marketing 'spin', that I would have preference over other QFF members. Crap!

I have at least one upgrade certificate left (from when they had those) and some 400K QFF points. But do you think I can get an upgrade? No way! I called Qantas and requested a points/certificate upgrade on one or both legs of the trip. "Sorry, there are no Business Class seats available for upgrade at this time." So I asked whether that was because all the seats were sold (some 5 months out – unlikely), or because they hadn't released seats for QFF members yet. "Sorry, you'll have to call back closer to the time of departure." So then I asked if I could be put on a waiting list for when seats are released. "Sorry, we don't waitlist points upgrades; you'll have to call back closer to the time of departure." No reason, no explanation, no waitlist. Meantime, I have 400,000+ points I can't use.

And while I'm on about Qantas and the Frequent Flyer points thing… The fine print always says that Qantas "may have blackout periods" for QFF award flights with points. Yeah right. For the past few years they've had a blanket blackout period for ALL flights from Australia to the US taken between December 1 and February 1. Too bad if you're a teacher or in some other occupation that forces you to take your holidays over the Christmas break – you can NEVER go to the US on points between those dates. That sucks.

Hurts like hell

24 05 2006

The general malaise I was feeling on Sunday – and that I attributed to the return of the cold – blew out to pain in the jaw area on Monday and a call to the dentist to see if I could get in. Nothing available that suited us both until June, so I thought I’d see if it was all just related to the cold and would go away by itself. By Tuesday the general jaw pain had centralised to a particular tooth and was overwhelming.

Another call to the dentist to fit in an urgent case (I didn’t care what time at that stage!) and I went in yesterday afternoon to find out that I had an abscess that had to be killed with antiobiotics first and then would require root canal treatment! But first the pain killers…

I called in to the pharmacist on the way home and got the prescription filled for the pain killers and the antibiotics, and took both as soon as I got home. We were going to have steak for tea, but that changed quickly as I couldn’t eat anything, let alone a steak! Besides, about 10 minutes after taking the pain killers my limbs were feeling floppy and I was feeling light-headed. Once I lay down I felt like I couldn’t lift my limbs at all – I’m glad I didn’t take these before driving or ‘operating machinery’. They didn’t make me feel particularly drowsy, but I was sure woozy. Despite taking two, the pain didn’t really start subsiding for a couple of hours. I took another one before going to sleep so I had an OK night.

This morning I took another one and got the wooziness back again, so no work for me today. There’s no way I could safely drive a car! That first pain killer from early this morning is now wearing off, so I’ve just taken another one. I wonder what the reaction will be this time… The dentist said that the antibiotics may take ‘a day or two’ to kick in, so it looks like I’ll be on the pain killers for a couple of days. I hope I’ll be OK to go in to work tomorrow.