An Australian woman received $20 million from the airline.
Qatar Airways reportedly sent $20 million to an Australian woman in the form of a flight refund.
JessicaTam, a Frequent Flyer forum moderator, shared the story online that she purchased a Qatar Airways Business class flights from Jakarta to London.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the flight was cancelled and a refund was processed.
However, the refund was calculated in Indonesian Rupiah, before being sent in Australian dollars – 1 AUD equals 10,000 IDR.
“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,” JessicaTam said.
That means JessicaTam woke up one morning and found her credit card balance to be $28 million AUD in credit.
“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?” she asked.
According to reports, the credit card company corrected the mistake the very next day and sent the funds back to the airline.
It is unclear if Qatar Airways compensated the woman for the inconvenience.
This is not the first time an airline has made a costly currency conversion mistake.
In 2015, a United Airlines First Class error fare was pricing $4000 roundtrip tickets for only $79.
United blamed the error on a third-party software vendor who mistakenly input the wrong Danish Kroner to British Pound currency exchange rate.