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Woman who accidentally paid nearly $40,000 for flight describes ‘slow torture’ of ordeal

Woman who accidentally paid nearly $40,000 for flight describes ‘slow torture’ of ordeal

What a total nightmare

An Australian woman who accidentally paid more than $40,000 for a flight says she has been going through months of 'slow torture' to try and get her money back.

Carol Johnson from Sydney didn't realise anything had gone wrong with her holiday booking until her card declined a few days later while buying a coffee.

After what should have been a simple transaction with Aussie airline Qantas, Carol saw her bank account get charged with multiple double-debit transactions.

For months, Carol tried to reverse the mess and get her money back, which she described as 'slow torture.'

Sydney woman Carol has had some issues with Qantas airline.

It all started back in March of this year when Carol booked five flights with Qantas at a total cost of $16,357 (£9,287).

But two days later, her bank account had been double-debited 11 transactions at different amounts ranging from $30 (£17) to $1,996 (£1,133), all in all coming to $6,363 (£3,612).

Two days later, her account was charged another $9993 (£5,674), leaving her $16,357 (£9,287) out of pocket.

According to, it was five days before the double debit was reversed.

For those five days, Carol's family's everyday account was frozen, leaving them unable to reach their funds.

After the 'stress-inducing' ordeal, Carol wound up cancelling her holiday plans. But this wasn't the end of her worries.

Carol's has been double debited and overcharged multiple times.
ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

In July, Carol tried to book a new holiday to Honolulu, Hawaii, and paid $13,431 (£7626) for two business class tickets.

Nine days after buying the tickets, Carol was contacted by Qantas and told that her payment had been declined and that she'd have to pay again if she wanted to keep the tickets she had booked.

While on the phone to a member of staff, Carol paid for the tickets again with her husband's card, and the payment was processed.

But, days later, the same thing happened and Carol was told that the payment had been declined.

Carol tried using two more accounts to pay for the tickets.

During this ordeal, there was a point where poor Carol had three different transactions pending, totalling at a whopping $40,394 (£22,935).

“If the same thing had happened to my son, they would not have survived. They would have been in such big strife," said the mum.

"Luckily we had money and we would have got our money back eventually, but it was stressful."

Eventually, in August, one of the transactions cleared and, seven or eight days later, the remaining funds were sent back to Carol's accounts.

And, just when you think it's over, the nightmare continues.

At one point, Carol was out of pocket by $40,000.
ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

When her Hawaii flights were finally ready to go, Carol was horrified to learn that her account had double-debited once more in September - this time costing her $13,412 (£7615).

"It happened out of nowhere", she said. "I woke up and our account was overdrawn by $13,000."

Carol got in touch with Qantas as soon as she noticed the error, but they still haven't been able to explain why it happened.

Thankfully, now Carol has gotten all of her money back from the airline, who have offered her a $2,000 (£1,136) travel voucher as a gesture of 'goodwill' - though she's now fighting for an upgrade to their Gold Status Frequent Flyer Programme.

UNILAD has reached out to Qantas for a comment.

Featured Image Credit: @caroljohnson08/Twitter/Shutterstock

Topics: News, Australia, Money