I was delayed/denied boarding and stuck in Sydney for almost 35 hours while coming back to London from Sydney on January 21, 2018, with my family: my husband, daughter and son.
Qantas booked our return flight with Emirates. My son, who was an infant while traveling to Sydney, turned two while we were in Australia. While coming back, Emirates refused to allow him on board because he was not an infant anymore and asked me to contact Qantas to buy a child ticket, which was a shock to me as I was not in position to afford additional child ticket costs, when I have already bought a return ticket for the whole family in advance.
I called Qantas customer care, who tried to explain to Emirates staff to allow my son to board, which they refused. Once it was refused by Emirates staff, I was asked by Qantas staff to buy a child ticket, costing me around $1,155 AUD. This was clearly unacceptable for me and I was not able to afford it at the end of my holiday.
I was on call with “Ayanda” for over two and a half hours from airport and had to beg her to help me. I requested her to move me to a Qantas flight so I do not have to pay for a child ticket. She told me I would have to pay penalty charges and fare difference if she moved us to Qantas. I asked her to find out the cost for me. After a very long hold I was given £375 for the whole family change.
I agreed as I had to be in London ASAP because of my job and very important meetings scheduled on Monday. She asked Emirates staff to open our ticket so she could reissue it, which Emirates staff did and showed me that it was open. However she was not able to reissue tickets for the 16:55 flight from Sydney to London on 21/01/2018.
I was on hold for a very long time and she told me I need to go back to the agent, which was “yatra.com” from India, and ask them to reissue tickets. When we called yatra.com at 6:00 am IST, as soon as their call center opened, they told me Qantas needed to reissue it and they had nothing to do with it.
I called again Qantas customer service and spoke to “Tanisha”, who took all the details about my situation and told me she would call me back. She also gave me a quotation that to change my family ticket to Qantas it would cost me £300 for just penalty and fare difference for each family member. Which was coming to around £450 (not exact for I think this is what she mentioned) and I told her Ayanda in the morning gave me quote for £375, which she said she needs to investigate and double check and she would call me in 1 hour.
I got a call from “Ayanda” after 2 hours, trying to convince me that I didn’t give her enough information and I needed to pay £600 each for penalty on my and my daughter's ticket, as it was marked no show and our ticket was not on hold, as she just put my husband and my son’s ticket on hold. She tried her best to convince me it was my fault. She never asked me for any information she got all the information from Emirates staff (please refer to call recording) when she was talking to them.
Even Emirates staff told her 3 Parekh and 1 Joshi traveling in front of me and I was never asked any details related to my ticket in my initial call with Ayanda. This was very stressful for me as I was in an even more difficult situation, thinking I would end up paying over £1,500 to go back to London.
In the end when I refused to agree she wasn't given enough information about how we were traveling as a family, she told me she would book me for the 9:45pm flight. I checked, and it involved Emirates and told her that would be an issue. She booked me for the next day's 16:55 flight to LHR and I had to pay an additional £115 so I could fly back to London. I spoke to Qantas various times and was on call for over 6 hours. This was a very stressful time for my whole family and specially this 35-hour delay with my kids was very stressful.
Why did Qantas accept my booking? I did make a booking with my son’s DOB and never wanted to end up in this situation. This was clear miscommunication between Qantas and Emirates, and I lost 35 hours. My whole family was put under tremendous stress. Qantas customer service took very long to make the correct decision. They also tried to prove me wrong. It was not my fault and I had to pay extra so I could fly back. Why did I have to pay an extra £115? It was never explained to me what it was for. I don’t know whose fault was it the way my ticket was booked but certainly it was not my fault. As my son still traveled with Qantas as an infant and there is nothing on Qantas website about this, however when I checked after all this issues it is clearly written on Emirates website.
So far Qantas has refused to pay me for full cost of my accommodation, taxi or refund what I paid extra for my return flight from SYD to LHR, and 200 AUD for accommodation and 200 AUD towards extra cost. Loss of income and compensation is denied for all the stress they have caused to my family.