Revealed: The best time to call your airline

woman in call centre speaking on headset

What is the longest you have spent on hold while trying to make a phone call to an airline?

There was a famous incident where a man spent 15 hours on hold, while trying to call Qantas, but that is bordering on insane.

However, with a lot of bookings made online, speaking to a person on the phone can take some time.

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Fortunately, consumer group CHOICE put in the hard yards to find the best time to place a call to spend the least time possible waiting.

CHOICE called Qantas and Virgin four times a day over nine days to find the best times to call each airline, explained consumer advocate Alison Elliott.

“Having plans cancelled or changed can be stressful enough,” Ms Elliott said.

“Our mystery shop shows that some times are worse than others to call. If you can, try calling earlier in the day or the weekend.”

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CHOICE found the average wait time for Qantas was 39 minutes 37 seconds (and more than 50 minutes if you call after midday) and for Virgin it was seven minutes and two seconds. 

“In a survey earlier this year, many people told us they were waiting several hours on hold when calling their airline throughout the pandemic,” Ms Elliott said.

“While our mystery shop indicates shorter call wait times than that, the time airlines are expecting some customers to wait on hold is still too long.”

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“If you’re calling Qantas, make sure you call on the weekend,” Ms Elliott said. “For Virgin, most days are fine but avoid Mondays.

“We also found that the earlier in the day you call the better, particularly with Qantas.

“CHOICE continues to advocate for minimum customer service standards across airlines and other sectors through a mandatory industry code.

“Given travel plans will continue to face uncertainty, a code would set an important benchmark of expected customer service that would help improve the experience of all travellers.”

What is the longest you have spent on hold to an airline? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Ben Hocking

Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.

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