• A couple told Insider Qantas booked their 13-month-old baby on a separate flight from Europe to Thailand.
  • They spent over 20 hours on the phone with Qantas' customer service and had to call them 55 times.
  • They have finally managed to book a flight home, 12 days after the initial departure flight.

Qantas Airways booked a 13-month-old baby onto a separate flight to her parents who were trying to get home to Australia.

After nearly four weeks traveling around Europe, Stephanie and Andrew Braham told Insider they had an amazing time up until the point they arrived at Rome airport, Italy.

The flight, which Stephanie said she booked nine months in advance, was a connecting flight from Rome to Amsterdam, then Amsterdam to Bangkok in Thailand, where the family wanted to spend a night before heading home to Australia.

The couple said KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which partners with Qantas, informed them at the check-in desk that their baby wasn't included in their booking on the flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok.

"She was on a different flight that departed 40 minutes after ours," Stephanie said. The couple sent their flight details to Insider for verification.

"We initially had flights booked through Qantas with British Airways. A couple of months later, I was notified there was an issue in relation to one of the connecting flights and so Qantas rebooked us over the phone with these KLM flights so think that's where the error arose," Stephanie said.

Over 20 hours on the phone

Even though their daughter would sit on their laps during the flight, the parents said KLM couldn't add her because the flight was full. After spending 90 minutes discussing the matter with KLM, the flight departed without them.

The pair said they spoke to Qantas at the airport but it told them it hadn't done anything wrong and the error wasn't the airline's fault. 

Stephanie and Andrew said they left Rome airport six hours after arriving there and headed to a nearby hotel, where they booked a room and immediately contacted Qantas' customer service.

The pair were on the phone to the airline all night trying to rebook a flight home. They said customer service was a nightmare to get through to because the phone line would cut off and they would ring again, having to explain the whole situation again.

Overall, the couple told Insider they phoned Qantas 55 times and collectively spent 20 hours, 47 minutes, and 13 seconds speaking to customer service.

More flight trouble the next day

The following morning, Qantas told the parents it had booked them onto an afternoon flight that day. However, they said they found out at the airport that Qantas hadn't properly issued the family's flight tickets. The couple said they got nowhere with Qantas and asked every airline at the airport to find them a flight back to Australia, but every plane was full.

"It was so stressful because we didn't know if we were ever going to get home," Stephanie said.

Eventually, an agent phoned them to say they were booked on the next available flight home on July 26, which was 12 days after their initial departure date.

Qantas and KLM didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment about Stephanie and Andrew's flight disruption. Qantas said in a statement to Daily Mail Australia that they "sincerely apologize" to the family, saying it was a "backend administrative error" and the airline would reimburse them for accommodation. 

Stephanie said Qantas contacted them on Thursday to say it would pay $200 Australian dollars per night.

The couple estimate they're $15,000 Australian dollars out of pocket because of the extra accommodation, food, travel, and entertainment they've had to pay for, as well as the income they've lost being off work. "[Qantas] haven't confirmed whether they'll compensate us for those financial losses," Stephanie said. 

Read the original article on Business Insider