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.

closed as off-topic by jcaron, Newton, user67108, Ali Awan, Itai Apr 30 '18 at 14:11

  • This question does not appear to be about traveling within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's just a rant. – jcaron Apr 30 '18 at 12:08
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    The only question you've asked is "why did Qantas accept my booking"; is that in fact what you want to know? – phoog Apr 30 '18 at 12:15
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    Didn't you have travel insurance ? Make a claim ? It is a rant because you are going on and on. Put the relevant points of your query and remove the extraneous parts to be able to get an answer. Nobody will go through the whole rant to try and understand your query. – DumbCoder Apr 30 '18 at 12:36
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    @DumbCoder: I doubt travel insurance would cover something like this. Travel insurance is typically tied to a fairly narrow definition of "qualifying events" – Hilmar Apr 30 '18 at 13:30
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    I'm sorry that your son's second birthday came as such a surprise. – Andrew Lazarus Apr 30 '18 at 18:30

Sorry for your troubles but most of this unfortunately your own fault.

The FAA clearly states that any person past their second birthday must be in their own seat: http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgFAR.nsf/0/2CE6D9B34E1C56578625708A00720A50?OpenDocument

Emirates could not allow you to board without a seat for your child, so they did what they had to.

When you booked with Qantas you agreed to the rules and conditions of the booking, which in all likelihood would clearly state that your child needs to be below 2 years of age to qualify as a lap child. You agreed to this.

First and foremost, it's your job to make sure you are complying with all required rules and regulations (such as visa, entry requirement, etc). You knew that your child would turn two before the return flight, but you didn't check with the airlines or did a quick Google search which would have showed immediately that this can't work.

I'm afraid you don't have many options here other then "painful lesson learned".

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    While this may be sort of correct, I don't think that the FAA is the obvious authority to point to for regulations applying to a UAE airliner flying from Sydney to Dubai. – MJeffryes Apr 30 '18 at 13:55
  • The FAA is irrelevant: the asker's flight wasn't via the US and wasn't on a US carrier. – David Richerby Sep 23 '18 at 21:44