Flight Centre - Bad news

kaiserchief13

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 12, 2011
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A long article. Unbelievable they can get away without paying minimum wage, but then bump it up if the employee doesn't meet the target to get enough commission to meet minimum wage for that period. A tactic by Flight Centre to save money but dog their employees.
 

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SonOfScray

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Apr 7, 2002
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I booked some flights with them recently, the girl I was working with quit without notice. I hadn't seen this article, but did converse with the store today to sort out a few things. I'm a little concerned, don't like supporting shitty business and certainly don't like getting ripped off. I will keep a closer eye on things and do my research to keep them honest.
 

Kram

I'll brik u
May 2, 2007
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Was wondering why their share price had been smashed after iirc producing a good annual report a week ago.
 

Peter Sidorkiewicz

Premiership Player
Oct 2, 2004
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I dont know why you would use flight centre when you could do the same thing yourself

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Book now, pay a deposit and the pay the balance later has its advantages compared doing it yourself whereby you have to pay everything up front.

Also some people just cant be arsed doing research, seaching for best flights or accommodation deals.
 

BERT

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Feb 28, 2003
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It depends on who you get. I booked an entire 3week trip to the US with them. I walked into the store and had a budget and dates and the flight centre girl was brilliant. Took nearly 2 hours and it was booked. Her attention to detail and follow ups were first class.

The last time I went in to look for some accommodation and the staff member couldn’t have been less interested. Got hardly any options at ridiculous pricing.
 

Dirty Bird

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Aug 1, 2010
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I dont know why you would use flight centre when you could do the same thing yourself

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If they don't try and fleece you, their market share gives them access to good flight deals. So if they're not trying to rip money off you in this case, flights can be better (did have this when I booked my Russia and Contiki tours in 2011 and 2013 respectively)

You also have the advantage of their access when issues arise on the trip. Ie. You're in Bali or Iceland (or surrounding areas) and a volcano erupts causing flight cancelations and hotels being booked out. They can assist greatly in that and book through their system rather than you on hold for a long long time with airlines, or scrambling for a bed for the night.

And there are unforeseen issues which can arise which theyd get informed of through their 3rd party suppliers which you may not. For example, for my 2014 USA sporting trip I booked everything myself (except my international flights which I got on sale at an expo), I had a hotel in Atlanta booked for Labor Day weekend when I went to watch Boise State vs Ole Miss. The hotel I was with got bought out. I only found out about it 2 weeks before departure as they didn't inform me and I was just going through everything before departure. Followed it up, yep, it was honoured and I found out the hotels new name. An agent would have provided that instantly. Instead I had to waste a little time dealing with it myself and stressing whether my booking still stood as it was different companies etc.

When everything goes right, it doesn't matter whether you booked it yourself or through an agent. But when things go wrong you will be thankful you've got someone.
 

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stmookeyj

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Oct 9, 2002
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Haven't used a Flight Centre since 2008. May have an occasional glance online to see if their overseas flight options work out cheaper than the other sites I look at, but in reality it wasn't a major difference.
 

Howard Littlejohn

Brownlow Medallist
May 30, 2006
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I dont know why you would use flight centre when you could do the same thing yourself

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The only real reasons are for more complex deals.
The booking systems the agents use tend to be able to to deal with flights that the online sites aren't built to handle. It is pretty rare, but an agent might be able to bundle flights to remote locations on one ticket that online sites can't or get discounts on some attractions, tours, etc that aren't going to show up on Expedia or similar. And sometimes they (used to, not sure if it still happens) get the cheap tickets in bulk that are simply not available in other ways.

And for some people, its worth the time to get someone else to put together a package. Some of us enjoy looking at options and taking some time to look into what we might want, and make a lot of it up on the day once we get there. Others see that as time they could be spending on other things.

I haven't used an agent since probably 2000, but I can see why they still suit some people and some circumstances.
 

Peter Sidorkiewicz

Premiership Player
Oct 2, 2004
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So this is why they push the unnecessary captains essentials fees ?
I wouldn't call it unnecessary. More like optional.

In September, I booked 3 flights to Canada(return flight + 1 internal) flying Air Canada to depart in March next year. Price I paid at the time was just under $2,000.

Air Canada are now having a sale whereby the cost of my flights is now $615 cheaper. Flight Centre gave me a voucher difference because I signed up for Captains premium, which cost me $99 and offers price drop protection among other benefits including a $150 accommodation voucher. So all in all I saved $515.

To me the captains premium is a no brainer if you are willing to also make an accommodation booking. The premium doesn't cost anything and instead you're saving $50 because of the accommodation voucher. And that is if your flight cost doesn't decrease.
 
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And_ROOS

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Jul 11, 2005
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I wouldn't call it unnecessary. More like optional.

In September, I booked 3 flights to Canada(return flight + 1 internal) flying Air Canada to depart in March next year. Price I paid at the time was just under $2,000.

Air Canada are now having a sale whereby the cost of my flights is now $615 cheaper. Flight Centre gave me a voucher difference because I signed up for Captains premium, which cost me $99 and offers price drop protection among other benefits including a $150 accommodation voucher. So all in all I saved $515.

To me the captains premium is a no brainer if you are willing to also make an accommodation booking. The premium doesn't cost anything and instead you're saving $50 because of the accommodation voucher. And that is if your flight cost doesn't decrease.
I was working at Flight Centre when they launched the Captains Premium and I legitimately had a hard time selling it initially because it fits into the "too good to be true" basket.

So when I am travelling now, I find the flights I want at the price I want, book it at FC with or without a price beat, add the Caps Premium, and then find the accommodation I want and book that through them either at their price or a price beat.

Flight price goes down? Get a voucher. Get money off my accommodation.

Win/Win.

The only negative is there is a big gulf between the really really good consultants, and the really bad ones.
 

Great8

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Apr 19, 2015
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Always book my own but am lucky enough to have a very close family friend who is a business TA and she gives me her log ins for all her programs which comes in more than handy. She started out with Flight Centre and isn’t too complimentary of them
 

brutus76

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Jul 26, 2016
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Used them for the flight and book my tour (i gave them the tour details).
Captains Premium a no brainer - they booked some of my accomodation.
The rest i did myself as voucher needed to be at one of their "listed hotels" and i mixed nice hotels with cheap ones and home stays
But i did get upgraded to the Washington Hilton free of charge as they made a booking error for my DC leg :)
 

Kram

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May 2, 2007
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Federal Court action will be launched against Australian travel giant Flight Centre today, alleging the systemic underpayment of employees — a claim the company rejects.
Key points:
  • Five current and former employees allegedly $250,000 out of pocket
  • Claim being lodged in court today says minimum wages, penalty and overtime rates, annual leave and leave loading not met
  • Flight Centre refuted the claims saying most staff earned "well above the award" with a combination of commission and "top-up" wages

The claim is being brought on behalf of five current and former employees by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and the union, Together Queensland.
Maurice Blackburn's Employment Law Principal Giri Sivaraman said the company failed to pay minimum wages, penalty and overtime rates, annual leave and leave loading at the correct rate and did not provide the correct rest and meal breaks.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-26/flight-centre-wage-theft-law-suit--underpaying-workers/11047906
 

Dirty Bird

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I moved to Phil Hoffmann here’s in Adelaide a while back.
But a travel agent came very much in handy.

Needed a 5 leg internal south America ticket.

Online economy - $1200
Online business - unable to build (3 flights don’t offer business)
Call LATAM - couldn’t construct it stupidly as they obviously use the online stuff
Get travel agent to build it - Santiago-sao Paulo return business, sao Pauli-iguazu falls-rio de Janeiro-soo Paulo economy. $1600
 

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