A YOUNG boy was left devastated after he was banned from boarding his flight due to making an easy mistake.
Charlie Read, 12, was travelling with Qantas from Auckland to see his dad in Thailand, the first time he was seeing him in nine months.
His mum, Clare Mooney, said they paid extra as he was an unaccompanied minor, so would need to be looked after on the flight.
However, after they arrived at the airport early in the morning, they said they ran into a number of problems.
The airline said her son couldn’t board because the flight was a codeshare with Emirates – meaning the flight from Auckland to Sydney was Qantas but the second flight from Sydney to Bangkok was Emirates.
This meant that they hadn’t booked him as having extra support on the second flight, and therefore wouldn’t be allowed to board.
Her son and his dad were both left in tears after staff said they were unable to do anything.
His mum told the New Zealand Herald: “My son was distraught and was upset he wasn’t going to be able to see his dad.
“I was standing there feeling helpless after being treated like I had done something wrong.”
She added that they even tried to get him on the flight as an adult fare instead, but crew said this is only allowed for passengers over 15.
Dad Andrew Read said they had to spend another $5,000 (Â£2,526) for alternative flights, instead flying with Malaysian Airlines.
He slammed the airlines as having “no empathy or humanity,” adding: “They should be better equipped to cater for the grey areas, especially where they have made the error and caused stress and drama for a father and son trying to stay connected post-Covid.”
A Qantas spokesperson said they apologised to the family as the advice they were given was incorrect, and they would be refunding them.
They added: “Passengers can only make use of the unaccompanied minor service if they are booked on a Qantas flight with a Qantas flight number.
“They should not have been advised that they would be able to use the unaccompanied minor service after they’d made their booking.”
Codeshare flights are when two airlines make an agreement to sell tickets for the same flights.
For example, British Airways codeshares with a number of international airlines including American Airlines, Qantas and Aer Lingus.
And Virgin Atlantic codeshares with Air France, Delta and KLM.
Here is how you can tell if you are on a codeshare flight from your boarding pass.
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