- Qantas booked an Australian couple’s 13-month-old baby on a separate flight from Europe to Thailand.
- The couple spent over 20 hours on the phone with the Qantas helpline and had to call them 55 times.
- They were finally able to book a flight home 12 days after the original departure flight.
Qantas Airways booked a 13-month-old baby on a separate flight to her parents, who were trying to get home to Australia.
After nearly four weeks of traveling around Europe, Stephanie and Andrew Braham told Insider they had a great time arriving at Rome Fiumicino International Airport in Italy.
The flight, which Stephanie said she booked nine months in advance, will connect them from Rome to Amsterdam, then from Amsterdam to Bangkok, Thailand, where the family wants to spend a night before returning to Australia.
The couple said KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which partners with Qantas, informed them at the check-in counter that their baby was not included in their flight booking from Amsterdam to Bangkok.
“She was on another flight that left 40 minutes after ours,” Stephanie said. The couple sent their flight details to Insider for review.
“Initially we had flights booked through Qantas with British Airways. A few months later I was notified that there was a problem with one of the connecting flights and Qantas rebooked us over the phone on those KLM flights, so I think that’s where the error came in,” Stephanie said.
Over 20 hours on the phone
Although their daughter was sitting on their laps during the flight, the parents said KLM could not add her because the flight was full. After spending 90 minutes discussing the matter with KLM, the flight took off without them.
The pair said they spoke to Qantas at the airport, but the company told them it had done nothing wrong and that the mistake was not the airline’s fault.
Stephanie and Andrew said they left Rome airport six hours after arriving there and headed to a nearby hotel where they booked a room and immediately contacted Qantas customer service.
The two were on the phone with the airline all night trying to rebook their flight home. They said customer service was a nightmare to contact because the phone line would hang up and they would have to call back and explain the whole situation multiple times.
In total, the couple told Insider they called Qantas 55 times and spent a total of 20 hours, 47 minutes and 13 seconds talking to customer service representatives.
More problems with the flight the next day
The next morning, Qantas told the parents it had booked them on an afternoon flight for that day. But the family said they found out at the airport that Qantas had not issued the family’s plane tickets correctly. The couple said they got nowhere with Qantas and asked every airline at the airport to find them a flight back to Australia, but every plane was full.
“It was so stressful because we didn’t know if we were ever going to come home,” Stephanie said.
Eventually an agent called to say the airline had booked them on the next available flight home on July 26, which was 12 days after they were originally scheduled to leave.
Qantas said in a statement to Insider that it “sincerely apologizes” to the family, saying it was a “back-end administrative error” and that the airline would reimburse them for their accommodation. KLM did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on the disruption of Stephanie and Andrew’s flight.
Stephanie said Qantas contacted them on Thursday to say it would pay A$200 per night.
The couple estimate they spent an extra A$15,000 out of pocket because of the extra accommodation, food, travel and entertainment they had to pay for, as well as the income they lost because they were out of work. “[Qantas] they have not confirmed whether they will compensate us for these financial losses,” Stephanie said.