Man left fuming in holiday hell as airline stuff-up costs him $19,000 to get home from dream Eurotrip
| Last updated
An Australian man has been left AUD$19,000 (£10,212, USD$12,884) out of pocket after a Qantas bungle saw him traipse across Europe in order to lock in a flight home.
Andrew and Meagan Lewis had their fancy pants business class flights booked 12 months prior to leaving Australian shores.
However, their heavenly holiday to the Netherlands soon soured, turning to hell only hours before they were set to board.
Speaking to news.com.au, Andrew dubbed the end of their dream trip an 'all-round horrible experience'.
In the hours before their flight home, the Sydney man phoned Qantas after receiving an odd text message in another language.
The text in gobbledegook was irrelevant, but while on the phone Qantas revealed their flight with partner airline Japan Airlines had been delayed.
"We telephoned Qantas and they advised us one of our flights was delayed but the lady also said she’d fixed it all up for us on the computer … and she would send our new ticketed [flights] with the adjustment to make the delayed flight all work in the next two hours," he said.
There was no email from the airline in his inbox by the time the sun rose the next day.
He called again, and after being pinged around the Qantas call centre, he was told his flight would not be happening.
Again, due to delays, which meant the couple would miss their connecting flight from Tokyo to Sydney.
But it was about to get even worse.
"They quickly advised us we could pay for a flight via Frankfurt [in a few days time]," he said.
"So we’d have to get a train from Amsterdam to Frankfurt and then it was going to be with Emirates from Frankfurt to Dubai to Sydney for a total cost of just over 11,485 euros (or AUD$19,000) for the two of us."
The Australian man said he felt strong-armed by the Red Kangaroo as he and his partner had work commitments they needed to be home for.
"We were away for quite a time so we were forced to pay the money to them over the phone," he said.
"There was no solution whatsoever other than to pay them an exorbitant amount of money to get out of there."
Additionally, Qantas refused to refund any of the money he had to fork out to fix their stuff-up, but advised him he'd be refunded the Frequent Flyer used on the trip.
But he and his wife's Frequent Flyer points - an eye watering 358,000 of them - were never refunded.
So, Qantas broke their promise to him with the Sydney man copping zero points for the expensive $19,000 booking which led him to sit on the phone for three frustrating hours while he tried to push the airline to hold up their end of the deal.
"After spending $19,000 I expected a bit better customer service than someone to just ignore refunding the points and not even attributing the points we gained on those next flights," he said.
He revealed the trip would never have happened in the first place if he was unable to use his Frequent Flyer points.
"We wouldn’t have gone on this holiday if we didn’t know these flights were reward flights," he said.
"It was something we wouldn’t have done unless we knew we were going to get these flights at the right price."
Qantas eventually offered him a refund for his out-of-pocket expenses only after members of the press got in touch with the airline about the Lewis family’s travel woes.
They told news.com.au: "Once we became aware that Mr Lewis’ Japan Airlines flight had been delayed and that he required a new flight, we should have contacted Japan Airlines to resolve the booking."
They added in their statement: "We apologise to Mr Lewis for this experience."