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Jetstar Airways / my nightmare with jetstar

1 United States Review updated:

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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  • Br
      20th of Oct, 2008
    +1 Votes

    great article justin! slippery little suckers...

  • De
      20th of Oct, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Jetstar are a bunch of cowboys, with no respect for the passengers. They have canceled 3 of my flights within Australia by giving no more than 3 hour notice before the scheduled departure. I have no idea how they could win any of the awards that they advertise on TV.

  • Bo
      20th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Flights or Schedules May Change or be CancelledThe airline does not guarantee it will be able to carry you and your Baggage in accordance with the date and time of the flights specified. Schedules may change and flights may be delayed or cancelled for a range of reasons including but not limited to bad weather, air traffic control delays, strikes, technical disruptions, network changes and late inbound aircraft. Flight times do not form part of your contract of carriage with us. Please ensure accurate passenger details are provided in step 3 of the booking process so any changes can be notified. To the extent permitted by law, the airline excludes liability for any costs, expenses, losses or damages incurred by the Passenger as a result of failure to meet a schedule.

  • Ju
      20th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Sure, under Jetstar's condition of carriage they can do this. But we must ask whether the vibe is right?

    Jetstar cancelled the whole route because they wanted to take a more profitable route from Qantas (as per the Qantas announcement made on 5 June. This is in stark contrast to V Australia which offered to fly passengers with other airlines in addition to other options.


    Passengers get new flights after Virgin delays
    Matt O'Sullivan
    October 3, 2008
    VIRGIN BLUE has been forced to reschedule
    thousands of passengers booked over the Christmas-New Year period after it delayed the
    launch of its long-haul carrier, V Australia, by three months.
    As foreshadowed in the Herald last week, V Australia's plans to begin flying between Sydney
    and Los Angeles on December 15 have been postponed until February 28 because of likely
    delays to the delivery of its first three aircraft due to a strike in the US.
    It is also a setback for the NSW Government, which had lauded Virgin's decision to make
    Sydney its international hub, saying it would attract thousands of American tourists and create
    1000 jobs.
    Virgin Blue yesterday blamed the delay on a month-long strike by machinists at Boeing's
    factories near Seattle.
    The aircraft manufacturer is still unable to predict when the strike will end and cannot
    guarantee the delivery date of Virgin's first three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
    Virgin Blue said it was contacting passengers booked to travel between December 15 and
    January 16 to offer alternative arrangements. It has also suspended advance ticket sales for
    travel between mid-December and February 28, in case the Boeing strike is prolonged.
    A spokeswoman said it would "not be leaving anyone in the lurch" and was "emailing and/or
    phoning all passengers booked to fly up to 28 February". She would not reveal how many
    passengers were affected, other than to say it was "many thousands".
    Virgin Blue's launch of its domestic services was delayed by a month in 2000, forcing it to
    refund thousands of passengers.
    The airline is expected to demand compensation from Boeing, but said the "impact of the
    serious delay" would be taken up with the aircraft manufacturer at a later date.
    The carrier has offered passengers who were scheduled to fly between December 15 and
    January 16 a full refund or an alternative flight on another airline. It has also offered
    passengers who change their flights to those from March 1 a $200 voucher for travel within
    Australia on Virgin Blue.
    The delays to the launch are expected to blow out Virgin's $70 million budget for V Australia.
    "Certainly it is going to cost them, not only in terms of money but in terms of customer
    sentiment, " said an analyst at Shaw Stockbroking, Brent Mitchell. "In some ways [the Boeing
    strike] might be a godsend for them in that it gives them extra time [to launch V Australia]."
    Virgin Blue's chief executive, Brett Godfrey, last month said V Australia did not expect to
    receive its air operator's certificate until early December - just days before it was due to begin
    Page 1 Passengers get new flights after Virgin delays - News - Travel - of 2 3/10/2008
    Australia's second-largest airline is already grappling with the high price of jet fuel and an
    economic slowdown. Last month its announced a 55 per cent fall in full-year profits to $98
    V Australia sold out a promotional $999 return offering from Sydney to LA within hours of its
    public launch in April but as of last week it had yet to fill the rest of the seats on its first flight.
    The carrier had planned for V Australia to offer 10 flights a week on the US route, compared
    with Qantas's 51 and United Airlines's 14. 3/10/2008

  • Pe
      1st of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    Another unhappy Jetstar customer -

    On the morning of the 18th October 2008 I flew from Brisbane to Cairns on Qantas flight QF798. I checked in 1 x suitcase and 1 x set of golf clubs.

    In the afternoon of the 20th of October 2008 I arrived at the Cairns Jetstar check-in counter with my suitcase and golf clubs for my return trip to Brisbane on JQ939. After placing both items on the weighing station I was informed that I was 16kgs over the allowable limit, and that I was going to be charged at a rate of $10 per kilo. That’s $160 to bring my golf clubs back from my short trip, the game of golf only cost me $99!

    I was NOT charged by Qantas on the way up, yet I get slugged $160 on my return trip. It would have been cheaper to book a new flight with Virgin. I have never been charged by Jetstar before to take my golf clubs with me, and I have certainly never been charged by Qantas or Virgin.

    I asked the woman behind the counter if there was anything that could be done for me, maybe waiving the fee for this one off occasion, or even offering me a discounted rate. I asked her what my options were, her reply “you can leave your clubs behind” what a stupid thing to say, oh ok, so I can leave them at your house and I’ll pick them up next time I’m in town? Get real!

    She was not forthcoming or helpful on any of these requests, her (Jestar’s) ‘take it or leave’ it attitude it appalling. No compassion, no caring, not even a glimmer of someone trying to help.

    I know what you are going to say “different airlines have different policies” and “it’s all in our terms and conditions”, well I can tell you; if that’s the line you want to draw in the sand I’m never going to fly Jetstar again!

    One last thing, let me give an insight into Virgin Blue’s customer service, they do everything they possibly can to help you, if you arrive 20min before your flight they do everything possible to get you on-board, if you luggage is slightly over they don’t worry about it, if you are transporting sporting goods they don’t charge you. So maybe, just maybe you could take a leaf of Virgin’s book and build on your ice cold customer relations because at the moment it stinks, it absolutely stinks!

  • Ju
      3rd of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes


    I think you have summed up Jetstar's attitude very well - "take it or leave it".

    In actual fact the sales representative that came the to the Consumer, Trader and Tenacy Tribunal even made this very comment when I was arguing that Jetstar undertook unconscionable conduct.

    SHAME on you Jetsar! When will you learn that you need customers to be successful? Your approach to your customers is atrocious and whilst you may think you can continue in this fashion, you can not!

    I know I won't fly with Jetstar again - pay a little extra for piece of mind!

  • Sa
      6th of Nov, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Damn. I am facing the same issue with the flights from KL to Sydney and the Customer Service was not helpful at all. They are having a campaign I luv Jetstar or something - it shud be I Bloody Hate Jetstar instead.

  • Ds
      26th of Nov, 2008
    +1 Votes

    In case you are thinking about flying JetStar, think again. The JetStar check-in counter enforces non-existent immigration policies. They very often refuse to issue boarding passes to passengers who do not have a return ticket or sufficient funds (the amount is determined at their discretion), even when their are no such immigration requirements at the destination. It is very unpleasant to be treated like a criminal at airport check-in. This allows JetStar can sell a few more tickets, and not be bothered about true immigration policy. Avoid JetStar!

  • Lb
      6th of Dec, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Wow! I wish i had know this! I just had a similar nightmare today with Jetstar!

    Just like you i had not been contacted - they told me that this was because i live in the US and their call center was in Australia and they quote "did not want to wake me up in the middle of the night".

    They stopped flying from Honolulu to Sydney on Friday's and so just moved me to Saturday without letting me know.

    I am now out of pocket $200USD as i have had to find a hotel to stay in at the airport! I now have 2 days in an airport hotel...This is the LAST TIME i will fly Jetstar!

  • Ke
      27th of Jan, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Flight out of Gold Coast on Jan 17, told their was a delay of 1/2 hour, 20 minutes told to board then left on plane for another 1 hr 15 . person over from me asked Hostess for a reason and if he could ring because we were going to be so late into Melbourne. Hostess gave him the greatest verble tong lashing Ive heard our seen in years. Guy 2 seats down told her to calm down and then he coped it Then they started to count the number of passangers took 12 goes to get it right no more Jetstar for me . Keith.

  • Cn
      6th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I will "never" fly Jetstar again!! I will no doubt pay a slightly higher price on any other airline. I live in Sydney and flew to New Zealand. First off I am 5'10" tall which is not that big and my knees had barley any room so I can imagine a taller person. The seat would only recline about 2 inches. Every single thing on the pane you have to pay for even COFFEE!!! We where delayed about 40 minutes sitting in the plane for some baggage delay...Do these guys have there stuff together?? I am sitting at the airport right now in Christchurch to go back to Sydney and I switched to New Zealand air to go back. As I sit here there is 2 delays of over an hour on 2 other flights...I am sooo happy I changed flights but the people here are pretty upset. It is only a matter of time before this airline goes under. What a sham lie on the TV about all this great service!!! Either retrain everyone involved or pay them better and get better quality of help. You guys get an big "F" from me!!

  • Ch
      18th of Feb, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I had no problems with Jetstar fliights per se, but to cancel a flight, my god...

    I booked a flight from Singpaore to Macau which I unfortunately had to cancelled. No big deal I thought, the ticket was refundable and my company would reimburse me for the $100 cancellation / handling fee.

    As a budget airline, I accept that it may take them "3" months to process the refund (2 weeks to go, I am not holding my breath), but it was a complete nightmare trying to get an invoice for the $100 cancellation / handling fee.

    To get the invoice I had to call their hotline - at least 20 minutes wait every time - again I accept this as that's where my cheap ticket comes from (service that is not comparable to a full service carrier).

    HOWEVER, which I could not accept is that after three attempts and more than 90 minutes waiting on the phone, THEY HAVE STILL TO SEND ME THE INVOICE! The call centre operator every time says they will fax it, they will send it by email, they check my email address, AND STILL NOTHING!

    Low cost airline with service that is not comparable to full service carrier, with more hidden charges are things that I can accept - BUT SHEER UNPROFESSIONALISM AND COMMPLETE LACK OF SERVICE IS NOT.

  • Gu
      31st of May, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Jetstar is terrible. I live in Darwin and have to travel to Asia for work. I have made two trips through Singapore this year. Both times the flights were late in each direction. Something to do with flight manifests and flight plans. On one flight they said the flight plan had changed and they didn't have the paperwork. Aren't these things supposed to be a little ahead of time.

    The planes smell badly. Especially in the tropical zones. They don't cool them enough. My theory is that they don't want to be asked for blankets.

    They also play terrible music, in an attempt to be "contemporary" but it only presents a theme of complete boganism.

    Everything about this airline is terrible. It is cheap and nasty. If I had a choice, I would never, ever fly them again.

  • Se
      2nd of Jun, 2009
    +1 Votes

    JetStar Very bad Customer Service...
    I travelled with a friend from Perth - Adelaide on 29/05/2009 and returned on 1/06/09.
    We had two hand carry baggage which were weighed and checked by Jetstar staff at the check in counter. There were no complaints. At the boarding counter a cabin crew by the name Didler refused to allow us with a bag saying it was big. I was unhappy because;
    1. He was rude and didn't bpther to inquire/ check the size or suggest with an alternate solution. Left us helpless
    2. Didn't even look at our face to explain. All he said, " This bag is not going in my flight, that's my final call!!!" What the????
    3. Why we were not told during baggage check in??? Why my bag wasn't checked for the limit size before rejected into the plane???
    4. No help provided.
    I had to work my way by asking another staffs help and he suggested to put in luggage. If that was so simple why so much fuss and I don't deserve to be treated that way!!!

    In the plane, i did complaint to the cabin crew manager, I was expecting an apology for the cabin crew for being rude but all I got was, he turned away his face and didn't even greet us when leaving the plane,
    What sort of attitude is this?? Why need cabin crews if they're helpless. Do we need to be treated this way to travel on a budget airline?? I travel quite frequently (more than 8times a year, at least) and had never experienced such bad service!!! I rather pay more n fly with Virgin/ Airasia.. Better service

  • Ga
      15th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes
    Jetstar Airways - Disrupted my whole flight to sydney
    New Zealand

    My flight from queenstown to christchurch was due to weather conditions i was then stuck on a bus for seven hours to christchurch and was told nothing could be done for me i missed my international flight to Sydney so left with no where to stay and staff shaking there head there is nothing we can do for you so i hope jetstar are going to pick up the my hotel bill at sudima hotel.

  • Gl
      2nd of Aug, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I was a passenger booked on Jetstar flight JQ818 on 31st July. This flight was cancelled without any notification of passengers booked online. 15 minutes after the schedule time of departure, equiries were made regarding the flight - there was no notification or indication on the flight departure board of this cancellation. After equiries, an announcement was made that the flight had been cancelled - report back to the check-in counter. 50-60 people invaded the attendant at the check-in desk, annoyed at such a plight. There was no PR involved, and this became a terrible situation. No apology from the company, and no offer of compensation. My sympathy went to the girls who were on the check-in desk.
    Personnel, after a long wait we were issued with a flight at various times with Qantas to our destination.
    Because of this, I personally lost a contract, and other passengers also had important dates.
    Why were we not contacted, and why wasn't the cancellation announced, Or why wasn't this identified on the departure board.
    I have heard they have a rite to cancel flights, but they also have a rite to advise their passengers.

  • Cr
      9th of Sep, 2009
    +3 Votes

    Hey guys just went thru a similar situation but my girl was told the flight had closed mind u they had started checking her in but with bad attitude, then saying we were late(video footage from airport security has us in line then at the counter in plenty off time) then when that didnt work they tried to blame it on the luggage i was prepared to off load her case and take it home and return it to her on my trip to see her in a couple of weeks, but bang no flight. we are sure it was because we had a homophobic jetstar attendant who gave us a filthy look when my girl gave me a kiss on the cheek while waiting to be called up...and guess what we had to go see the supervisor he wouldn't come to us then i went to see him and got trashed out again by another jetstar staff whilst the supervisor had his ears [censored]ed listening to the argument from behind the glass then the counter then decides to roll up to international and still does nothing except make one comment, , yes you guessed it trying to stick up for his staff member saying she didn't say my partner would need to go on a later flight that night cause he knew damn well their was no flight that night but obviously she didn't...My hearing and my memory is very good jetstar just hope none of your staff ever have to get a loved one home to have a blood transfusion to keep them alive...just for the ones that are enjoying this here is the topping of the whole saga the flight was due to take off at 5.50pm guess what time the last family left the counter to board the plane now they still have to go thru customs yet here it is are you ready official time via airport security that was 5.42pm hurry you only have 8 minutes and the flight is leaving come on give us a break JETSAR...

  • Ki
      9th of Sep, 2009
    +3 Votes

    I have been flying across 'the ditch' (NZ - Australia) for some 30+ yrs and Jetstar have to be THEE most unreliable, incompetent, untrustworthy airline of ALL TIMES!!!
    The complaints board says it all, over & over & over.
    Up your game Jetstar or before long there will be NO Jetstar to complain about!!!

  • Ba
      11th of Nov, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I had booked a plane ticket with Jetstar, found out i booked a ticket for my wife under my name, ( oversight on my behalf), tried to change it before i left for our honeymoon, and found out on the day of my wife'S return trip that the change of name had not gone through.
    They (jetstar) informed me that the change of name had not gone through and that it was too late too change the booking, i replied with it was a simple change of a data entry, they proceeded to inform me that they were not able to change the name on the ticket, and i would have to forgo my seat and buy another ticket at twice the price.
    I was not very happy about this and asked to speek to someone who could fix this, they informed me there was no one too speak too.
    This i thought was un-acceptable, but was told nothing could be done.
    At the end of it i had too pay the over inflated price of a seat i had already paid for, this cost me 3 times the price of the original fare.
    In my opion jetstar extorted money from me as they had me over a barrell, and they knew there was nothing i could do as i had to get my wife back to go to Melbourne for work.
    This i find un-acceptable and will never fly with Jetstar ever again as i find them extortionists.

  • St
      13th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    Jetstar sucks all together... poor customer service with pathetic excuses when it the wrong... Jetstar sucks

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