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20 days ago
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PSA: Jetstar is dodgy AF : Our flight out of Queenstown (to Auckland) was delayed because of 'engineering requirements' yesterday. 10 minutes after the delayed departure time, we're being told that it will be a few more minutes because of staffing issues. Then after another 10 minutes, the flight is cancelled. From here, things just go downhill. The staff have no idea how to manage the situation, a cluster forms around the check-in counter, no one sets up or enforces a cue. One staff member is going around talking to small groups telling them that they are waiting for information about a replacement flight and that they should stand aside and wait for a general announcement. There is no general announcement forthcoming. Instead those who persist and stand at the counter are dealt with in no particular order. We got an email telling us to book a new flight to replace the cancelled flight 'at no additional cost' but when we did this, the staff tried to tell us that we would have to pay the difference between the new booking and the old one, which was huge. We had to fight to get the replacement flight refunded... Because there are no flights available that day, we are told that accommodation will be arranged for us, but this is dealt with in the same haphazard way as the flight arrangements. The first 10 or 15 people get rooms and the rest of us are told that the airline's travel agent is still looking for rooms. We are told that we can book our own room and that we will be reimbursed up to $150... In Queenstown on a Friday night. Many of us are at the airport hoping that accommodation comes through up until the airport closes, at 10pm, 6 hours after the cancellation. It never does. A quick search of news stories this year reveals that this is not an isolated incident. Our little cancellation won't make the news. Jetstar's reply to media inquiries associated with previous cancellations suggests that this is part of their business model. For example, when 5 flights out of Sydney got cancelled on the same day, they said '5 out of 400 daily flights is not bad.' They are running with such narrow buffers that the slightest disruption can result in cancellations and possibly worse, but apparently this is part of the calculation. Naturally, the time wastage and stress imposed on inconvenienced passengers is not part of the equation. I get that is a budget airline, but I thought that this meant no in-flight meals and charges for any extra baggage. Apparently it also means exposure to a very high risk of cancellations and the resulting chaos that is Jetstar's customer service. TLDR: flight cancelled, customer service is abysmal, this is not a unique incident but part of jetstar's business model, buyer beware - Full Article

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