'I was on hold for seven hours': Customers outraged at wait time when calling Qantas

One caller was on hold for so long he could have flown to Sydney and back
One caller was on hold for so long he could have flown to Sydney and back Photo credit: Newshub/Getty

Following Tuesday's announcement of the trans-Tasman travel bubble, customers are expressing frustrations over efforts to get in touch with Qantas via both their call centre and online.

Posts made by the airline promoting their Tasman services were met with comments from customers or potential customers desperate to talk to airline staff.

"Love the fact you have put flights on to and from NZ , but it doesn't seem you the have capacity to service them," one person said.

"I like everyone else have spent HOURS on hold today with no luck, could you please put a post up letting people know your wait times so your not wasting your customers time."

"G'day Qantas, 3rd phone call and still waiting now at 2 hrs 45 mins in total. Have spent almost 7 hrs trying to speak to anyone to adjust a flight that you guys have cancelled and moved me to fly out the following day. You have asked me to contact the contact centre to make any more changes. This is insanely bad service regardless of border changes," another person posted.

The longest someone reported waiting was almost seven hours - long enough to make a return trip to Sydney.

One customer who contacted Newshub even made the effort to call in the early hours to avoid peak calling times.

His call just before 4pm on Wednesday went unanswered after 2 hours 23 minutes, and his second attempt made before 6am was answered after two hours, however the call disconnected before he was even able to say hello.

"The music is terrible: three songs, one of which is high pitched at times," he added.

He also used the Frequent flyers call back option, where a customer service agent calls you back when they become free, rather than waiting on hold.

On six occasions he was called back within an hour, but would disconnect within moments of him answering.

In a statement, Qantas said their call volumes usually spike when there are sales, special offers, border closures or travel disruptions.

"We are currently experiencing higher than normal call volumes due to recent border closures impacting travel and sale activity driving more customer enquiries," a spokesperson said.

"We prepare for increased call volumes in advance of these activities including additional agents, however multiple events taking place at the same time, including those outside our control, can lead to increased wait times.

"The announcement of Trans-Tasman flights has driven an influx of calls including around quarantine, travel requirements and the different zoned flights."

In an effort to lessen the volume of calls, the airline says anyone with questions about state and Trans-Tasman travel restrictions should contact the relevant government authority.

"We've also had multiple sales and special offers in the market and changes to travel plans following last week's lockdown in Brisbane driving calls to the contact centre."

A spokesperson said Qantas' website has a range of information and options online for customers who prefer not to call our contact centres including the ability to change a booking.

However, not all bookings can be made online.

"Before you say 'just make a booking online', I need to make the booking over the phone to get my discounts for a blind passenger, carer and guide dog. I know what flights I want, I have the codes etc but nobody will answer the phone!!" a person posted on Facebook.

It's not known how many calls Qantas is receiving, but rival airline Air New Zealand told Newshub it had experienced an increase of 6000 calls on Tuesday, receiving around 10,500 calls in one day.

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