I'd hate to be working in the complaints section at JetStar. They would be busier than a dog trying to bury a bone in a marble floor at the moment.
Since taking off on May 25, Qantas Airways' low cost carrier has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Or has it?
The airline, which is attempting to follow the low cost service model used by Ryan Air and Delta, promises to fly passenegers around the country for as little as $29. Cheap. But like all good deals, there is a catch, or in JetStar's case, several catches, all of which have been widely publicised:
You have to check in 30 minutes prior to departure. If you are late, stiff. You will not be able to board the flight and you lose your seat – no refund or free transfer is available and you have to book and pay for a new ticket if you still want to get to your destination
They have a free seating policy. That means no allocated seating; first in, first served.
All other passengers will be given a boarding priority on their boarding pass, this will be based on the time that you checked in.
No unsupervised kids. Passengers have to be able to travel independently.Children requiring supervision will not be regarded as able to travel independently on the basis that they may cause a disruption or endanger themselves or others if travelling unaccompanied.
Oh, and if you live in Melbourne, you might have to use the far flung Avalon Airport out near Geelong.
So, if you can handle all of that, then Jetstar is for you. But , like I said in a previous post, we are slow to catch on to consumer trends in this country, so when people rushed to book the really cheap seats on our Jetstar, they did so without really understanding what they were buying. Let's look at some of the complaints so far:
1. May 27:
Karen Smith reports on Crikey that she tried to book a flight for her 13 year old daughter to fly from Maroochydore to Sydney. But JetStar informed her that they did not have unaccompanied flights for children at all. So she complained to them and her local newspaper.
2. June 2:
Five passengers were left stranded in Hobart because they missed the check in deadline. So they grizzled and complained.
3. June 7:
Angry travellers criticised the discount airline yesterday for its handling of a 4 1/2 hour delay for their flight from Hobart.
4. June 8:
Six passengers were stranded in Melbourne because they missed a check-in time by minutes due toi a delay in buying a pass for the toll road that leads to the airport. Passeneger Stan Bednarek is quoted in the press as being "totally disgusted."
5. June 9:
A British Backpacker misses check-in for her flight from Melbourne because he went to the wrong airport. She too complains.
6. June 23:
Six flights were cancelled after a Boening 717 was grounded with serious damage to its front cabin door following .Victorian travellers who pre-purchased tickets for flights between Avalon Airport and Sydney yesterday were instead forced to fly in and out of Melbourne Airport. Oh, and they all complained about the inconvienience.
So all in all, they aren't really doing anything wrong. They are delivering on what they promise. But all of this publicity isn't helpful, and only prooves that we really do want a Rolls Royce service experience at a Kingswood price (Thanks Trevor)!
Of course all of this is a fantastic for Virgin Blue as disgruntled passengers trudge over from the JetStar counter.
Maybe the people at the JetStar complaints department should change their number to 13 6789