Qantas passenger has $50,000 taken from her bank account: 'Torture'

A Sydney woman was left without access to her money on several occasions after a slew of unauthorised double-charges and pending payments with Qantas took more than $50,000 out of her bank account.

In a saga spanning over six to seven months, Carol Johnson first became aware of the unauthorised transactions when her card declined as she was trying to purchase a coffee. The extra charges were made in March this year after Ms Johnson purchased five plane tickets with the airline for $16,357.33.

Looking at her account, she could see 11 double-debited transactions from Qantas ranging from $30 to $1996.92, Ms Johnson told

Carol Johnson smiles as she holds a baby.
Carol Johnson was unable to access her own money on several occasions after unauthorised transactions were made by Qantas. Source: Facebook/Getty

“I was on the phone for days. I was getting up at three or four o’clock in the morning to be put on hold for four to five hours,” she told the publication, describing the experience as “torture”.

“It was like Groundhog Day over and over again. Every single day,” she said. “People say: ‘How can we get stressed and upset about doing that?’ but until it happens to you, you don’t understand that it’s just slow torture and you don’t know if you’re ever going to get an answer.”

The refund took five days, leaving Ms Johnson’s account frozen and unusable for the duration.

Second incident sees $40,000 held for more than a week

Ms Johnson encountered further issues when she had to cancel her trip booked in March and went on to buy two business class tickets to Hawaii in July.

On July 26, she spent $13,431.48 on the airfares, according to, and all seemed well until Qantas informed her the payment had declined and she was at risk of losing the tickets.

While on the phone to the airline, she attempted to pay again with another card – only to be told several days later the payment had failed again.

Using different cards to attempt the payment two more times, Ms Johnson and her family soon had a total of $40,294.44 pending on their accounts.

Finally, after more than a week, one of the payments cleared and the other amounts were returned.

Qantas cabin crew members wear masks as they stand in the aisle of a plane.
Ms Johnson had issues with money being deducted from her account by Qantas on several occasions. Source: Getty

Traveller wakes up to find another $13,000 missing

Just when she thought her worries were over, Ms Johnson said she woke up on September 8 to find yet another unauthorised charge of $13,412.68 on her account, once again rendering her bank account unusable.

"Qantas is going to cause me to have a mental/nervous breakdown," she wrote on Facebook. "I have woken up this morning to find that Qantas has once again, randomly just taken money out of my bank account to the amount of $14,000.

"Qantas has in the last 6 - 7months taken out over $50,000 from bank accounts leaving us on multiple occasions without access to money," she continued. "It then takes weeks and days on the phone and internet trying to get the issue sorted out."

After 12 days, the last of the double charges was returned to her account.

Qantas apologises, offers $2000 voucher

It’s believed the extra transactions stemmed from an external source and Qantas wasn’t the only merchant affected by it.

The airline apologised to Ms Johnson and told they worked with the credit card provider to “resolve the issue and reimburse the customer”.

They also gave Ms Johnson a $2000 Qantas travel voucher as a gesture of goodwill, along with a complimentary flight change request and reimbursement for interest fees.

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