Qantas Booked 13-Month-Old Baby on Separate Flight to Parents
- Qantas booked an Australian couple’s 13-month-old baby on a separate flight from Europe to Thailand.
- The pair spent over 20 hours on the phone with Qantas’ help line and had to call them 55 times.
- They have finally managed to book a flight home 12 days after the initial departure flight.
Qantas Airways booked a 13-month-old baby onto 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 an amazing time, until they arrived at Rome-Fiumicino International Airport in Italy.
The flight, which Stephanie said she booked nine months in advance, would connect them from to Amsterdam from Rome, then from Amsterdam to Bangkok, Thailand, where the family wanted to spend a night before heading home to Australia.
The couple said KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which partners with Qantas, informed them at the check-in desk that their baby wasn’t included in their booking on the flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok.
“She was on a different flight that departed 40 minutes after ours,” Stephanie said. The couple sent their flight details to Insider for verification.
“We initially had flights booked through Qantas with British Airways. A couple of months later, I was notified there was an issue in relation to one of the connecting flights and so Qantas rebooked us over the phone with these KLM flights so I think that’s where the error arose,” Stephanie said.
Over 20 hours on the phone
Though their daughter would sit on their laps during the flight, the parents said KLM couldn’t add her because the flight was full. After spending 90 minutes discussing the matter with KLM, the flight departed without them.
The pair said they spoke to Qantas at the airport, but the firm told them it hadn’t done anything wrong and that the error wasn’t 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 pair were on the phone to the airline all night trying to rebook their flight home. They said customer service was a nightmare to get through to because the phone line would cut off and they would have to call again and explain the whole situation repeatedly.
Overall, the couple told Insider they phoned Qantas 55 times and collectively spent 20 hours, 47 minutes, and 13 seconds speaking to customer-service representatives.
More flight trouble the next day
The following morning, Qantas told the parents it had booked them onto an afternoon flight for that day. But the family said they found out at the airport that Qantas hadn’t properly issued the family’s flight tickets. 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 get home,” Stephanie said.
Eventually, an agent phoned them to say the airline had booked them onto the next available flight home on July 26, which was 12 days after they were initially supposed to depart.
Qantas said in a statement to Insider that they “sincerely apologize” to the family, saying it was a “backend administrative error” and that the airline would reimburse them for accommodation. KLM didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment about Stephanie and Andrew’s flight disruption.
Stephanie said Qantas contacted them on Thursday to say it would pay $200 Australian dollars per night.
The couple estimate they spent an additional $15,000 Australian dollars out of pocket because of the extra accommodation, food, travel, and entertainment they’ve had to pay for, as well as the income they’ve lost being off work. “[Qantas] haven’t confirmed whether they’ll compensate us for those financial losses,” Stephanie said.