Qantas has been ordered to pay two passengers just over $4,000 in compensation for “very poor service” after the couple were forced to pay for their flights three times.
Nikki Bohlmann and Leesa Jackson paid NZ$7,246 (A$6,700) for premium economy return flights to South Africa in May 2022, the NZ Herald reports. However, the airline failed to issue the tickets due to a system error.
When the pair tried to rebook the flights, Qantas informed them a second system system error had prevented their payment from going through. Their third attempt was somewhat successful — the money was received but Nikki and Leesa were issued the wrong return date.
To add insult to injury, the airline told them they would have to pay at least another A$150 to change the return flight, forcing them to extend their trip by three days, the NZ Herald reports.
Qantas passengers return home without luggage
Nikki and Leesa claim they spent more than 14 hours on the phone trying to fix the date mistake, but did eventually go on the trip — only to return home to Auckland to find their luggage missing. It eventually arrived five days later.
Four months later the pair were refunded for the previous flights they paid for but were not issued.
Frustrated by the experience, Nikki and Leesa recently took Qantas to Civil Court, requesting NZ$18,000 (A$16,674) for loss of income and expenses incurred. “We were not treated like humans at all, we were just a number. [It was] absolutely impossible to sort anything out, we couldn’t speak to anybody,” Nikki told NZME.
Qantas ordered to pay $4,000 in compensation
The couple claimed the additional three days off work cost them a combined income of more than $22,000 (A$20,300).
However, judicial officer Elizabeth Paton-Simpson doubted this in her decision. “Both are essentially self-employed and are likely to have had ways of making up three days’ earnings if they wished,” the court record states, the NZ Herald reports.
Paton-Simpson ultimately ruled that the passengers were “majorly inconvenienced by the airline’s poor service”, and — despite their admittance of fault — ordered Qantas to pay NZ$4,426 (A$4,099). “I consider the standard of service offered in the booking process very poor in multiple respects,” she said.
In a statement issued to the NZ Herald, Qantas said they had paid Nikki and Leesa the set amount and apologised for the “frustrating” experience that was “not up to standards”.
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