'Welcome to Qantas, please hold' - for 15 hrs

Aug 04, 2012, 07:02 IST | Agencies

Passenger kept hanging on by airline's automated telephone queuing system for 15 hours

An Australian man claimed he was put on hold by Qantas Airways for so long he managed to read an entire managerial textbook, with the 15-hour phone call enough time to fly to the United States.

Endless Wait: The businessman was kept on hold from Wednesday evening at 7.22 and finally hung up on Thursday at 11.01 am. He said he waited so long because he didn’t want to lose his spot in the queue. Representation Pic.

Andrew Kahn told Fairfax newspapers he phoned Qantas to confirm plans to travel to New York on Sunday, and was placed in a queue with a recorded message saying someone would be with him as soon as possible. “I wanted to find out what exactly they meant would be as soon as possible,” said Kahn.

After some time had elapsed the Adelaide businessman said he did not want to surrender his place in the queue and left the call rolling while he went onto other things — “surfing the net and working”.

Representation Pic.

“I also managed to read Bazerman & Moore’s seventh edition of Judgment in Managerial Decision Making — more than 200 pages of advanced master’s level reading,” he said.

The call was placed at 7.22 pm on Wednesday evening and Kahn said he finally hung up at 11.01 am on Thursday without speaking to anyone. “I hung up in the end simply because I had had enough,” he said, adding that he would never fly with the airline again.

Qantas declined comment, although it said it had no record of someone being on hold for 15 hours that day and ‘the longest wait time was 17 minutes’. The Australian carrier has endured a turbulent 12 months, with staff strikes prompting it to ground its worldwide fleet for 48 hours last October in a row that badly damaged its reputation.

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