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Long-haul phone-call: Qantas customer put on hold for 15 hours

Long-haul phone-call: Qantas customer put on hold for 15 hours

In the same time you could fly to Los Angeles from Sydney or Melbourne, one man was put on hold by Qantas for a total of 15 hours.

Adelaide businessman Andrew Kahn called Qantas at 7.22pm on Wednesday evening to confirm his trip to New York this coming Sunday.

He hung up at 11.01am Thursday morning, having only heard a recorded message repeated ad nauseam telling him someone would speak with him "as soon as possible", the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

''I wanted to find out what exactly they meant would be as soon as possible. I never got an answer. This is outrageous.," Kahn told the newspaper.

We can't imagine how sore his ear must have been. We hope he got some sleep, stretched his legs, and drank plenty of water. Well, he told SMH he spent that time surfing the net, working and reading a dense 200-page book on managerial decision making. Thrilling stuff.

It doesn't end there. Kahn called Qantas again and finally spoke with a customer service representative who claimed he was not even booked on the flight due to a code error on the ticket. Yep, he's one lucky guy.

The phone rep said they'd never seen the error before, and that is what led to the headache-inducing wait.

"It is just about the worst customer service any customer could ever receive," Kahn commented.

Qantas claims that it has no record of a caller waiting so long, adding that the average wait period is "under a minute", and the longest wait being "17 minutes".

"The passenger's booking had been cancelled due to a system error, but has now been reinstated," a Qantas spokesman told SMH.

''We are looking into how this could have occurred and apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Let's hope the man gets a magic upgrade on his New York long-haul.

Have you had any similar experiences with airline customer service? Share them with us below.

Related slideshow: Kids, drunks and recliners — Things people hate about flying:

User comments
Nothing new to add. No customer service in existence as if it's a government-owned business. Are they owned by the state? Quantas, YOU SUCK!!
Jetstar (Qantas budget airline) need to change their booking policy. They take all your personal details, allocate seats ask if you want to pay for baggage, meals etc, ask for your credit card details and to confirm their terms and conditions then at the end of it all you find out you don't actually have the seats and they tell you to start over. This happened to me and a number of other people during their recent "sale" to Honolulu. Nothing but a waste of time. Jetstar reply "we do not hold seats during the booking process" why not I ask no response from Jetstar would be a pretty simple solution to hold them for 10 mins to enable to you finish entering in all your details.
is this guy serious 1 - 17 min ! yea thats all i have to say ! bye bye all !
I recently booked a flight from Sydney to London over the phone and when my E-ticket arrived 3 days later I saw they had put the wrong return date. I rang Qantas straight away - waited on hold for 1.5 hours, then to be told it was my error and I would have to pay a $300 'service charge' to change it to the date I had asked for. Not happy
I find it complete rubbish that they can say the longest wait is 17minutes, when just the other week - I was on hold to them for a minimum of 30, at which someone finally spoke to me and said I should speak contact webjet. After I got in touch with webjet over the phone, the person dealing with me then was on hold to Qantas waiting for a response from them for another 20. Qantas customer service is terrible. And the only reason I had to call was because a week prior I had sent in a email - with an automatic response that I would hear from them within 48 hours - and 7 days later, still nothing.
Is it possible that this passenger called his 'Travel Agent' instead of Qantas airlines? this does happen often when a booking is done thru an travel agent and a special meal request is not processed or the wrong flight got booked. When there's 3rd party bookings its very easy to blame the airline they are travelling on and not the human that made the error. Also, it does not state on this article which phone nbr he called. Qantas certainly looks like its in a bit of trouble at the moment but it doesn't mean that they are at fault 100% of the time. Some customers travelling on business tend to change their flights over and over again for a few weeks before their trip and by the time they've finally made up their mind, the agent doesn't know whether a seat is held or cancelled. The customers never own up to their own stupidity but blame the airline instead. Obviously he is out to make some mischief for the airline.
Quite honestly I think the guy on hold was an idiot for staying on hold, after half an hour he should of realised maybe they'd forgotten he was there?
How ridiculous !!
My daughter rang me a year or so ago, asking if I could phone Jetstar and confirm her flight. She had received a text from the airline advising her that the flight she was booked on had been cancelled, and asked her to call back to arrange another flight. She held on a mobile for over 4o minutes until she ran out of credit, so she asked me if I could call them on our landline. I did this,,and after waiting 45 minutes for someone to answer, I was told they couldn't help me because I wasn't my daughter. Finally after showing some anger, and telling the sales person that they had caused her to run out of credit and she couldn't call back, I was given details of her new flight, to pass on to her. So there's two calls both well over 17 minutes on hold. Thank goodness Jetstar was paying for the time spent waiting on-line.
Last week my partner and I were travelling with American Airlines from Toronto to Los Angeles on a ticket booked through Qantas. We arrived at the airport and AA would not give my partner his ticket as there was not a receipt number recorded for him. It had been overlooked by Qantas when processing the booking. We called Qantas in Australia and was talking with their representative within a minute and they fixed the problem straight away. We walked back to the checkin counter and he was issued his ticket. There can be issues when travelling but the reason why I like and recommend Qantas is because whenever I need to contact them I have always been able to get through to their staff without long delays and they have always been professional and helpful. They will remain my preferred airline and I believe that they are among the best in the world.

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