Oh to spend a summer in Europe. The long walks down narrow streets adorned with fairy lights. The late night shopping, daytime views, not to mention the food. One family was heading home from a two-week holiday in Europe. Their hearts brimming with happiness from making beautiful memories with their 13-month-old baby. Upon checking in, the last thing they expected was for their airline to book their child on a completely different flight to her parents.
Qantas airline error
After two weeks of blissful holiday spent with their 13-month-old baby girl, The Braham family was left with a seriously perplexing problem. They arrived at Rome’s Fiumicino International Airport, ROM and had the intention of checking into their flights for their journey home. However, they soon realized that the airline booked their baby onto a completely different flight to theirs. Not only that but their flight was meant to leave 40 minutes before their 13-month-old’s flight. Stephanie and Andrew Braham were outraged and refused to be separated from their child. “She was on a different flight that departed 40 minutes after ours,” Stephanie told the Business insider interviewer.
When you're stranded in Rome by @Qantas with no clean clothes and nowhere to stay because @Qantas put you on a separate booking from you're parents even though you're only 13 months old. @DailyMailAU @mamamiapodcasts @pedestriandaily pic.twitter.com/ea6qOcOxV2— Andrew Braham (@Andrewsbraham) July 17, 2022
Naturally, they missed their flight. Subsequently, they missed their connecting flight from Amsterdam to Thailand. Which was where the family had planned to spend a night before their last flight home. They spent the next 20 hours trying to book different flights so they could all fly together. Yet, they found it difficult to get the airline to cooperate. “It was so stressful because we didn’t know if we were ever going to get home,” said Stephanie.
“We spent 20 hours 47 minutes and 13 seconds on the phone to Qantas over a 24-hour period before and over 55 separate phone calls before they finally agreed to book us on new flights home,” Stephanie said, exasperated.
Where it went wrong
The original flight that Stephanie had been issued was with British airline, booked through Qantas. They were initially meant to fly to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, BKK. Their tickets were issued, and they started getting excited for their upcoming trip. Not long after, Qantas contacted Stephanie saying there was a slight problem with the connecting flight, so they had been re-booked onto a KLM flight.
Their 13-month-old baby had been booked as a lap infant. This means she would sit on one of their laps during the flight. However, when they arrived at the airport, they found this wasn’t the case. Their baby was booked onto a different flight altogether. Her parent’s flight was full, so they could not add her to the manifest. But, Stephanie and Andrew refused to let their baby be separated from them. They missed their flight and had to spend the next 20 hours correcting the issue.
Qantas airline did not own up to their error. “They said they hadn’t done anything wrong because they did book her a ticket. Initially, they denied any liability. That’s Qantas,” Stephanie told the Today Show.
They finally got lucky with a certain Qantas call center operator. This employee managed to find them a flight where they were all together. The only issue being, that this flight was only in another 12 days. This means that the family are forced into forking out more money for accommodation and food. Not to mention having to take another two weeks off work. Altogether, they were looking at a AU$15,000 loss.
They went public after airline mess up
Those who fly with Qantas frequently may not be surprised at this story. It is not the only headline out there of a similar topic. A different scenario involved a three-year-old boy booked onto another flight from his mom.
Hey @Qantas, are you going to classify me as luggage next? After booking me on a separate international flight home from my parents, anything is possible. @TheTodayShow @karlstefanovic #alanjoyce #holidayhell pic.twitter.com/z9nBojZWMP— Andrew Braham (@Andrewsbraham) July 19, 2022
The Braham family decided to go public about the whole ordeal, which Qantas airline did not expect. On Friday, they made an appearance on the Australian Breakfast show. This then sparked a public apology from their airline itself. After that, they agreed to reimburse the cost of the accommodation for the 12 days they had to wait. Their apology was called “sincere,” and they blamed the mistake on backend administration errors”.
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