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Posted On: 7 July 2020 10:08 am
Updated On: 7 July 2020 10:52 am

Qatar Airways passenger receives approximately $20 million ticket refund by accident

Nabeela
Nabeela
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JessicaTam is an Australian Frequent Flyer forum moderator, and a few days ago, she received approximately $19.6 million ($28 million AUD) as a flight refund from Qatar Airways after her flight from Jakarta to London was cancelled because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, according to Simple Flying.

When JessicaTam discovered the huge amount in her bank account she posted a message on Australian Frequent Flyer:

Hmmm. I notice that today my QR refund has come through to my credit card.

My account is now showing as $28,179,789 available balance. (The refund was less than $3000.)

Can anyone suggest a small country I should purchase?

Qatar Airways passenger receives approximately $20 million ticket refund by accident
Australian Frequent Flyer

The amount she was supposed to receive after the refund was approximately $2,000 ($2,800 AUD), but it seems that during the refund process, the amount was mistakenly quoted in Australian Dollars rather than in the Indonesian Rupiah.

How did a $20 million mistake occur in the first place?

The cost of the ticket from Jakarta to London on a Qatar Airways Flight is around $2,800, and since the flight originated in Indonesia, the fare was paid by JessicaTam in Indonesian Rupiah. The total airfare of $2,800 when converted into Indonesian Rupiah, was IDR28,179,000.

Qatar Airways passenger receives approximately $20 million ticket refund by accident
JessicaTam's ticket (Australian Frequent Flyer)

However, somewhere during the refund process, the refund got mistakenly quoted in Australian Dollars, but for the amount in Indonesian Rupiah. Quite a costly mistake, especially since 1 Australian dollar is worth almost 10,000 Indonesian Rupiah!

Australian Frequent Flyer, who reported on the case, said:

This may seem like a bizarre amount of money to refund when the ticket only cost around $2,800. But the amount wasn’t quite a coincidence. As the first flight on this ticket departed from Indonesia, the fare was originally paid in Indonesian Rupiah. The total airfare, converted into Indonesian Rupiah, was IDR 28,179,000.”

What happened then?

Fortunately, the mistake was noticed by Qatar Airways or the bank and was rectified the next day.

Qatar Airways posted the following statement on its official Twitter page with regards to the overpayment:

After the transaction was reversed, and the amount of $2,800 was credited to her account, JessicaTam posted this message on Australian Frequent Flyer:

"Sad news everyone. My bank has decided to take close on 30 million dollars from my account."