<p>Qantas online glitch put legroom at a premium</p>

Qantas online glitch put legroom at a premium

Comedian charged £560m for extra legroom on flight

‘People were asking if I was buying the airline,’ says Dave O’Neil

Helen Coffey@LenniCoffey
Monday 19 April 2021 11:29
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An Australian comedian was surprised to find that his request for extra legroom on a flight came with a billion-dollar price tag.

Dave O'Neil was due to fly to Perth with Qantas after doing a set of shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

But when he decided to treat himself to more legroom via the Qantas app, he was surprised to be quoted a price of A$988m (£560m).

“Hey Qantas, all I wanted was extra legroom on my flight to Perth, very happy to pay for it but this seems a bit expensive,” he tweeted on 18 April.

“I just got on the app and went for extra legroom,” O'Neil said. “I'm a big man and nothing infuriates me more when I walk down the aisle and see a Grant Denyer sitting in the extra legroom seats.”

Despite closing the app and refreshing it the astronomical price remained.

It was clearly a glitch in the system – O’Neil took the plunge and booked the legroom anyway, and was charged the normal rate of A$70 (£40).

His followers on social media got a kick out of the error: “It was hilarious, people were asking if I was buying the airline,“ he said.

Qantas said it is investigating what caused the glitch.

”While we know that customers really value extra leg room, the price displayed was definitely a bit of a stretch,” a spokesperson told traveller.co.au.

It’s not the first time an airline has been plagued by a technical problem – though in some cases it can end up costing them thousands of pounds.

In 2019, Cathay Pacific announced it would honour first-class airfares sold at economy-class prices, after a handful of lucky passengers booked tickets for a fraction of the normal price.

Tickets worth up to £15,000 from Vietnam to New York were sold for just £1,300, which worked out at £0.15 per mile. The typical rate is £1.66 per mile.

A technical glitch saw several thousand first-class and business-class tickets sold for economy-class prices on the airline's website on 1 January.

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