Qantas accused of 'stealing' $356 after customer's year-long refund battle

Nichola Tranter was wrongly charged after booking flights to LA from Melbourne last year, and claims the airline 'refuses' to refund her.

A frustrated traveller has been caught up in a year-long battle with Qantas after the airline wrongly charged her an additional $356 two months after booking her flights.

Nichola Tranter from Melbourne booked two return trips to Los Angeles in May last year, which cost about $2500, plus frequent flyer points. However, knowing she'd paid in full, she was shocked to discover an additional charge to her credit card in August.

It's understood Nichola had been double-charged the taxes component of the booking. She had already paid the $356 amount, but was later charged again by the airline.

"Qantas, a multi-billion dollar business, has stolen money from hardworking everyday Australians during a cost-of-living crisis. It's just awful," Nichola told Yahoo News Australia.

"They have admitted their fault multiple times, yet they have still not refunded the money they owe me. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve attempted to contact Qantas in the past 12 months".

Qantas customer Nichola Tranter.
Nichola Trancer has been chasing a refund from Qantas for over a year after the airline wrongly double-charged her. Source: Supplied

'Brushed off' after continuous attempts to contact airline

Each time Nichola has attempted to get her money back, she claims she's been "brushed off" and her request to take it further has been "refused" time and time again. On three occasions she's supposedly been told a refund had already been made and to contact her bank, and at one point, she was told no charge was ever made to begin with, despite it appearing on her credit card statement.

"While it may not seem like a lot of money, the sum is not insignificant," she said. "Many Australians are struggling to make ends meet right now, and would not be able to afford $356 being taken without any notice, let alone going without that money for nearly a year".

The usually-loyal Qantas customer said "it's just ridiculous at this point”, saying the battle has been "so frustrating". "It's definitely making me hesitate whether I would actually book with them again".

Qantas flight charges on credit card.
She was charged an additional $356 two months after paying for her flights. Source: Supplied

Qantas agrees to $356 refund

After being contacted by Yahoo, Qantas has agreed to refund the $356 that was incorrectly charged on August 2, 2022, and will follow up with the customer to ensure it's received.

"We sincerely apologise to Ms Tranter for the delay and have contacted her to refund the incorrect charge," a Qantas spokesperson said.

But Nichola says she's "been told that before", so she is not hopeful. "Customer management is just not being met, and from a company like Qantas, you would expect a level of service from them and they're just not giving that," she said.

"You can't run a successful massive business like this, and treat your customers like absolute dirt because it's just ridiculous”.

Qantas plane in sky
In May, it was revealed that Qantas was the most complained about airline in the country. Source: Getty

Qantas 'most complained about airline in Australia'

In May, it was revealed Qantas was the most complained about airline in the country. According to the Airline Customer Advocate (ACA), the number of complaints involving the airline now exceeded levels prior to the pandemic, with over 4,000 of the 6,918 in total relating to Qantas. Though it was deemed just 1,400 of said complaints were "eligible".

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