A series of cancelled flights, diversions and delays have spurred angry Jetstar passengers to give the airline a drubbing on social media.
As the holiday peak travel season approaches, the airline has been hit by problems. A flight from Sydney to Phuket was diverted to Bangkok on Saturday because of a heavy storm over the Thai holiday island. A day earlier, a Jetstar flight from Adelaide to Bali turned back because of a hydraulic system issue.
In the Phuket case, Jetstar put passengers aboard flight JQ 7072 up for the night in Bangkok but travellers were dissatisfied with the accommodation and disgruntled because the Jetstar flight was the only one diverted by the storm, although other flights were delayed.
Passengers made no secret of their unhappiness, spouting discontent on social media.
Phuket news outlet Phuketwan listed some of their complaints:
“After taking off an hour late, due to them [Jetstar] being unorganised and then not being able to land in Phuket, as there was severe thunderstorms, which had only began 20 mins prior and running very low on fuel, we had to fly to Bangkok.
“Then we were stuck on the plane and then in the airport for about 4 hours in total with them giving us no idea what we were meant to do whilst at the airport waiting for luggage.
“Then got transported to a hotel for the night . . . which was 1 star and was so disgusting that we left . . . Instead of going on the flight Jetstar have provided us the next night at 5pm, which would have lost us another day in Phuket, we have now had to pay to leave now, 6am, with no sleep, to get to Phuket so we can at least enjoy our accommodation and holiday that we have paid for!”
Another flyer wrote: “Jetstar – where close enough is good enough. Thanks for dropping us off at Bangkok… I would have preferred Phuket though as that is where I bought my ticket for.”
Meanwhile flight JQ127 to Bali departed Adelaide Airport about 7pm on Friday, only to turn back an hour later because of an issue with one of the A320’s three hydraulic systems.
Jetstar arranged for the following day’s Qantas and Jetstar flights to Bali to take the passengers booked on the Friday flight. The Aviation Herald said the airline confirmed the problem has been an issue with one of the three hydraulic systems. Although the flight could have continued to Bali, “it was however decided to return to Adelaide due to the better engineering support available”.
The Aviation Herald attracts an aviation-savvy readership and one reader was unconvinced, writing: “The failure of one hydraulic system is no reason to interrupt a flight. Something else may have happened to justify the descend from FL 340 to FL 250 for the rest of the flight.”
Jetstar passengers have also been flaming the airline on social media, alleging that many flights, notably between Perth and Melbourne, have been cancelled over the past four weeks.
Jetstar blames the cancellations on extra engineering requirements, but passengers are not always placated. One said on Facebook she knew of seven unrelated people whose flights had been cancelled at short notice because of “engineering problems”.
Only last week, two Jetstar domestic flights were in the news for carrying more passengers than had been officially listed.
Passengers on a Jetstar flight from Melbourne to Perth on 29 October 2015 were forced to shift to other seats during the trip so their off-balance A321 could land safely. See: Two loading violations by Jetstar under investigation
That incident is now the subject of an Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigation. Jetstar says it has now introduced new procedures so it won’t happen again.
Written by Peter Needham