15 Hours on Hold With Airline

How long would you wait on hold before hanging up?

ByABC News
August 3, 2012, 7:17 AM

Aug. 3, 2012— -- It's a common occurrence. You call customer service and you're put on hold. "Please hold for the next available representative. Someone will be with your shortly."

How long would it take you to finally hang up? For one Australian man, it was 15 hours, 40 minutes and one second.

The man, identified as Andrew Kahn, called Qantas Airways to confirm his flight from Adelaide, Australia, to New York City, The Telegraph reported. He was put on hold and told a representative would be with him as soon as possible.

"I wanted to find out what exactly they meant would be as soon as possible," he said. "When it got to over two or three hours that was the point where it was like: 'OK let's ride this out'."

He phoned the airline at 7:22 Wednesday evening and finally hung up at 11:01 Thursday morning. During his wait, he surfed the Internet, slept briefly and caught up on some reading. He never did speak to anyone on that call.

A subsequent call was placed and was successful, Kahn told the paper. It was on that call he found out he had not been booked on the flight after all. Kahn said he was told it was because of a code error, and that error that led him to be placed in the hold loop for all that time.

For their part, the airline said it has no record of such a call. In fact, they said, the average hold time during the period Kahn claims he was on hold was under one minute. The longest hold time on record was 17 minutes. But, they told the paper, if Kahn can produce his telephone log, he will be reimbursed for the call. He has also been confirmed on his flight.

Qantas did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.