A fed-up passenger who had to make 30 calls to fix a booking blunder says he will never fly Qantas again after the airline then slugged him with a $718 mystery charge.
Robert Manning, 55, spent more than nine hours on the phone with the carrier after he tried to book a return flight from Sydney to Adelaide for his wife and son on August 28 with leftover credit from a cancelation.
The simple domestic leg quickly turned into a two-week long nightmare when the booking system refused to accept the retired telecommunications executive’s purchase.
Qantas would not give him credit for his son’s ticket claiming he had taken the flight that never left.
‘They said the system had your son as flying,’ Mr Manning told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I said unless he is Superman he didn’t fly anywhere.’
Robert Manning, 55 (pictured with wife), spent more than nine hours on the phone with the carrier after after he tried to book a return flight from Sydney to Adelaide his wife and son on August 28 with leftover credit from a cancelation.
A fed-up passenger who had to make 30 calls to fix a booking blunder has lashed out at Qantas after the airline then slugged him with a $718 mystery charge. Pictured: Qantas staff pictured
‘I just wanted what I had paid for already.
‘I was prepared to pay a little bit of difference because fuel prices had gone up.
But five days and multiple phone calls later the issue was still not resolved.
He was shuffled back and forth from Qantas customer service representatives to the airline’s Facebook Messenger system until finally the cost discrepancy was supposedly resolved on September 2.
But shortly after he noticed two unexplained charges on his bank statement for $115.44 and $603.38, adding up to $718.82.
‘With a debit card you shouldn’t be able to put a charge against because it is not an arbitrary credit limit – it’s real money,’ he said.
Two unexplained charges on his bank statement for $115.44 and $603.38, adding up to $718.82.
Robert Manning says he will never fly Qantas again after a nightmare experience with the airline
‘My wife went shopping and they said ‘your card’s been declined’.
‘So, she had to go into our savings account and bring the money back over.
‘What gives Qantas the right to do that?
‘What if we lived week-to-week and we had to buy the groceries or pay the kid’s doctor bill or whatever and a hold was put on there by mistake.
‘Theoretically, it should have been blocked.’
Mr Manning thinks because it was a major corporation such as Qantas his bank ANZ just accepted the charges.
It took a week of further phone calls to both the airline and the bank to get the money back.
During the long hours he spent of the phone with Qantas representatives Mr Manning said he got frustrated but managed not to lose his cool.
Mr Manning has flown on hundreds of flights and estimates he has spent millions for himself and staff with the iconic Aussie airline
Something that helped put the frustrating ordeal into perspective was his recent battle with liver failure at the end of last year that left him in a coma.
‘One woman in a Qantas centre said ‘I can’t hold here forever’ and I said ‘I can and you can’t hang up on me until I decide the call’s over’,’ Mr Manning said.
‘She said ‘do you think you’ve got the patience?’ and I said ‘I’ve been in a coma for two weeks this is a walk in the park’.
Mr Manning has flown on hundreds of flights and estimates he has spent millions for himself and staff with the iconic Aussie airline.
However lifetime Silver Member says he will ‘never fly with the airline again’ and has already cancelled a $3500 ticket to the US on October 15.
He says the airline has become so big they’ve ‘lost the spirit’ of what they once were.
A spokesperson for Qantas told news.com.au the airline has since reached out and apologised to Mr Manning.
‘This was an error made by an operator during a complex booking process and we are investigating what went wrong and how we can make sure it doesn’t happen again,’ they said.
‘The charge was an authorisation only, not a payment, and we contacted Robert’s bank to release the funds back to his account as soon as possible. The funds have now been returned.’
But Mr Manning denies Qantas ever actually apologised to him by phone as they claimed both to news.com.au and in an email.