, there is a very strict policy for staff travel.
All staff purchase tickets at the ID90 rate (90% off) and pay taxes (to NZ
, the taxes equal the ticket cost). As well, the Australian Government has a Fringe Benefits tax on all staff travel tickets, which the business must pay.
Every employee has an onload category and an upgrade ability.
Domestic travel can be made in Business class for all employees.
For international travel, positional status and/or over 7 years of service denote ability to purchase a higher value J/C fare, and managerial status allows for purchasing a P/C fare.
There are no indiscriminate upgrades thrown around. If you are entitled to a class upgrade, you must purchase it and have the correct ticket. If you are entitled to J/C or P/C but choose to purchase only a Y/C ticket, then that is where you will travel.
Staff Travel is a cost to the business, so QF
manages it very carefully - thus the reason for upgrading a loyal customer to at least open a seat for a Y ticketed non-rev.
Cabin crew are not authorised to upgrade in flight - all seating is done by the ground staff. Only in critical situations of service recovery, such as a medical problem, will the Aircraft Manager upgrade a passenger (and generally the highest tier of frequent flyer to free up seats). Reports must be written to validate the upgrade. Jobs have been lost for ignoring this policy.
So for other airline staff on QANTAS (as happens for QANTAS staff on other airlines) the expectation should be for the seat in economy at a greatly discounted rate. Miracles occasionally occur!!