Jetstar Airways / my nightmare with jetstar
My nightmare with Jetstar – why your readers should be cautious booking with Jetsar
On the 1st of May 2008 I booked two return tickets with Jetstar from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur departing on the 23rd of October 2008 returning 5 days later on the 28th of October for my brother and I.
On the 9th of July I received an email advising me that Jetstar were unable to accommodate my booked service and that they wished to speak with me as soon as possible. I note that whilst Jetstar claim they had tried to contact me prior to this via phone, I have voicemail both at work and on my mobile and, whilst I was in London at the time the email was received, there was no voicemail ever left on either my work or mobile phone.
Following on from the email received on the 9th of July, I had discussions with a sales representative based in Malaysia. After discussing the matter at length with the sales representative, I was told that I could receive a refund which would take 6 weeks to process or alternatively Jetstar would make other travel arrangements for me.
On the 18th of July, Jetstar took it upon themselves to book me tickets without my authority.
On the 22nd of July after numerous conversations with various sales representatives of Jetstar, I informed Jetstar that the tickets they had decided to book me didn’t work as I wouldn’t be able to meet my flights that were already booked from Kuala Lumpur to Penang return. I informed Jetstar that if they were going to book me tickets they may as well book me tickets that worked. I was informed that in order for me to meet my flights that were booked with the two other airlines, my brother and I would be required to take 6 flights. On the way to Kuala Lumpur, we would need to:
o fly from Sydney to Darwin on the 21st of October;
o wait 2.5 hours in Darwin;
o fly from Darwin to Singapore;
o spend 2 nights in Singapore (a total stop over time of 42 hours) of which I have subsequently been informed Jetstar would only pay for one nights accommodation; and
o fly from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and wait 4.5 hours in Kuala Lumpur.
This is in contrast to the original stop over time of 2 hours and 20 minutes in Kuala Lumpur and a total flight time of c.8 hours. Thus turning what was an approximately 8 hour total commute time to Kuala Lumpur into approximately a 57 hour commute time to Kuala Lumpur for a 5 day holiday.
I was also informed that instead of flying directly from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney 2 hours and 15 minutes after my Air Asia flight arrived in Kuala Lumpur I would need to:
o Spend 23 hours and 40 minutes waiting in Kuala Lumpur (accommodation for which I found out subsequently I would have to pay for);
o Fly from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore;
o Spend 27 hours and 15 minutes in Singapore (again, the accommodation for which I subsequently found out I would have to pay for);
o Fly from Singapore to Darwin;
o Wait 4 hours and 25 minutes in Darwin; and
o Fly from Darwin to Sydney.
Thus, Jetstar had changed my return trip from approximately 10 hours and 15 minutes to approximately 63 hours and 30 minutes.
In total Jetstar changed my commuting time from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur return from around 20 hours to 120.5 hours for a five day holiday. I informed Jetstar on numerous occasions that I didn’t think this was acceptable and that it was my intention to take this matter to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.
On the 4th of August I rang Jetstar to ask about the proposed hotel accommodation they were going to provide my brother and I. I was informed that their holiday department would call me back and that this department did not have a phone number so I must wait for them to call me. I followed this up on the 11th of August and was informed that my details had been passed on but they had so many bookings that they were responding to them by date of booking and would come back to me in due course. The following day I received two emails confirming accommodation in Singapore for one night for my brother any I. Following this email I called Jetstar to ask where the confirmations were for the other hotels. I was told that their reservation system was down and I would need to phone back. When I asked if they could phone me back I was informed that they did not have an outbound phone facility. I also enquired whether the voucher was for one room or for two and was told that because it was the same confirmation number it would be for one room. I rang back later that day and was told that the representative would need to leave a note for their holiday staff and they would contact me shortly (I informed the sales representative that I had left a similar message on the 4th of August and that I would appreciate it if they could return my call and also if the sales representative could note my call and request in the file). On the 18th of August I rang Jetstar – and was told that they would need to call me back as they were not able to put me through to the correct department. I informed the sales consultant that I had rung numerous occasions including on the 4th of August and the 11th of August and had still not heard back from Jetstar so I would prefer to be put through to someone that could help me. I was told that this would not be possible and that an urgent request would be put through and I would be contacted shortly.
My phone call was finally returned later that day. When I asked why there was only one night’s accommodation I was told that I only had a one night stop over. When I discussed the dates and explained that I had to meet my pre-booked flights, the representative apologised for getting it wrong and told me that he would talk to his supervisors and come back to me. I also informed him that we would require two hotel rooms per night as were two adult males. The holiday department never rang me back. According to Jetstar’s internal notes, a representative informed me that they were only willing to pay for one nights accommodation despite requiring four nights accommodation. As such, I can only conclude that Jetstar thought it was perfectly reasonable for me to be out of pocket for three nights accommodation as a result of their change and note that I only found this out by reviewing their notes and was never officially informed.
After researching this matter, I discovered that on the 5th of June 2008, Qantas’s CEO, Mr Geoff Dixon made a public announcement stating that Jetstar would withdraw from its Sydney-Kuala Lumpur operation. As such, the cancelling of my holiday route was not due to bad weather, strikes or something outside of Jetstar’s control. Jetstar cancelled the whole route in order to take a more profitable route from Qantas and gave little consideration, given they intended to rely on clause 9.1 (c) of their Conditions of Carriage, to all the travelers who had pre-booked flights, paid Jetstar for those flights and were going to be out of pocket and inconvenienced as a result of Jetstar’s business interests.
Jetstar sold me two return air flights from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur on the 1st of May 2008. 35 days later, Qantas announced that this route would be cancelled and Jetstar was going to redeploy the aircraft that serviced the Sydney Kuala Lumpur route. 34 days after this announcement, (69 days after my ticket was booked and paid for in full) Jetstar informed me that I would not be able to fly on my booked flights. They refuse to provide a refund unless I accept that this is the end of the matter. They have attempted to claim that I have accepted an alternative route, which I deny I ever did, and have stated that if I fail to turn up to the flights they booked, I will forego the flight and will not be entitled to any refund whatsoever.
Accordingly, I believe this is an example of Jetstar abusing its market power and failing to reasonably compensate consumers for its own commercial imperatives. I believe Jetstar’s behaviour, through the imposition of unreasonable terms and non disclosure of crucial conditions to my disadvantage, constitutes unconscionable conduct.
I note that I do not have sufficient annual leave to take a holiday of a longer duration. In addition, Jetstar have refused to offer any compensation for the inconvenience caused by increasing my total travel time for a total 5 day holiday from 16 hours to 120.5 hours.
I refer to recent newspaper articles in relation to V Australia recently cancelling flights. I note that despite V Australia cancelling a number of flights as a result of delays to the delivery of a number of aircraft, amongst various offers made to Virgin Blue’s customers, Virgin Blue offered to provide a “an alternative flight on another airline”. This is in stark contrast to Jetstar cancelling flights for business interests yet refusing to offer flights with other airlines.
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- Jetstar - obtaining money thru deception (allegedly) 
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- Jetstar Airways - disgusting service from customer service
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