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Qantas responds to booking 'error' costing woman an extra $1500

An online glitch meant Jocelyn Kellam had to phone to the airline to book her flights, but she didn't know that'd cost her a lot more for the exact same flight.

Qantas admits to accidentally charging a customer an extra $1500 after constant technical errors meant the Sydney woman couldn't complete her flight booking online.

Jocelyn Kellam told Yahoo News Australia she was "feeling cheated" by the airline after attempting to book her flights from Sydney to London via the Qantas website last month, but when she was unable to checkout with her selected flights, she was forced to call the airline and book instead.

However, the same seat on the same flight on the same day in September was going to cost the 60-year-old an additional $1500, she was told by an airline booking agent. A price the frequent traveller had no choice but to pay.

"I tried to book online for about a week and it always showed me a fare for $3491," she explained. "But whenever I went to check out, it wouldn't let me. I received an error message every time.

"So finally I rang up the frequent flyer desk and asked for a consultant who confirmed the same seat was still available, but not at the website price."

Qantas customer Jocelyn Kellam (left) Qantas website booking error (right)
Qantas customer Jocelyn Kellam had been trying to book flights online for a week but continued getting the same error message. Source: Supplied

Customer told flights 'cost more' with phone bookings

Jocelyn was charged $5034.52 for a return flight to London from Sydney with an additional flight to Thessaloniki from London, instead of the $3491 the 60-year-old could see online in front of her — more than a $1500 difference.

Jocelyn claims she was told by the booking agent that booking over the phone "will always cost you more". But the loyal Qantas customer pushed for the cheaper online price.

"At the time, Qantas was advertising, 'if you can find a better price on someone else's website, we'll match it' but I just wanted them to match their own website," she said. "I'm not a pushover."

Qantas airfare price booking online.
The price she was getting online (left) was simnifically less than the price she was told over the phone (right) and was made to pay. Source: Supplied

Not getting anywhere, Jocelyn committed to the booking over the phone at the inflated price as she'd agreed to meet a friend who was flying the same day, so she needed that flight. But after doing so, the Sydney woman attempted to contact the airline by email on multiple occasions to complain but was barely getting a response, she claims.

Qantas responds to online booking blunder

After being contacted by Yahoo, the company admitted there was an error with their online system and that Jocelyn had indeed been overcharged — a mistake made by the booking agent over the phone.

Qantas plane at airport on tarmac.
The airline has admitted it was a mistake and has now honoured the original online price. Source: Getty

Qantas said a team member would contact Jocelyn and refund her the difference, honouring the price she was seeing online.

The ordeal frustrated Jocelyn who said, "if they're prepared to do that to me, what are they doing to other people?". She said it was "misleading and deceptive" and not everyone would complain.

Despite now being reimbursed the difference and awarded 100,000 frequent flyer points for the trouble, the traveller said the airline has been "unfair" to many customers.

Just last week, an Aussie dad told Yahoo how he was left almost $9000 out of pocket because of a similar online blunder.

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