Jetstar ruins the
start of our trip and reduces my wife to tears
Friday the 14th March we arrived at Darwin
Airport three hours before the flight to Singapore, then on to Bangkok, was due
We make the trip to Thailand every 8 – 10 weeks, either from
Perth or Darwin depending on where I have been working.
There were three check-in counters open, none of which had
passengers. We approached the closest one, the attendant was having a chit chat
with his friend. After unloading our 40kg of baggage, he said “Oh, next counter
please” pointing to the service desk, and carried on his chit chat. We dragged
the bags to the next counter.
At the service desk, I asked the lady to book the bags
through to Bangkok, so we did not need to go through customs etc in Singapore.
She processed my wife’s documents then started on mine.
After a few moments, she said “Where is your ticket for the onward flight?” I
said, “What do you mean, there is no ongoing flight until I accept another
contract in Australia and return”.
She said “I cannot check you in without an ongoing flight,
that’s all there is to it, the answer is no”
She folded everything
back up and put my passport and ticket back on the top of the counter, looking
behind me for the next passenger.
I said “I have been flying in and out of Thailand like this for over ten years and no one has
ever asked me that question.
She said, Well I don’t know about that. I am not checking
you in without an ongoing flight.”
I was bewildered. I couldn’t understand the rationale for
this, and her attitude was extremely hostile, without cause and becoming more
so. Her body language was equally
aggressive, arms folded, lips pursed and glaring at me.
I remained polite.
Then, out of the blue, she said “Do you have a residence
card for Thailand ? (which doesn’t exist
by the way)
I said I have a long stay visa in my passport which allows
me to come and go as often as I like, and stay for as long as I like. It’s in
the passport I just gave you.
I showed it to her, and
she marched off to see her supervisor. She was back within seconds, not looking
at me, red faced with an even higher appearance of aggression. She slammed the
passport and ticket back on her desk, and without saying a word, issued the
boarding passes and slammed them on to the counter top. I said “So it’s ok now is it?”
She said “Well you didn’t tell me you had that type of visa”
I said “You didn’t ask me, and no one ever has, and you
shouldn’t frighten people like that”
She said, “In future, tell the check in staff you have a
long stay visa”
Then she started on my wife, who is Thai but also has
Now I fully understand the need for people occupying
emergency row seats (which I had paid for) to have a decent command of the
English language, but she had already spoken to my wife asking did she have any
lighters, flammable liquids etc., and she replied appropriately, did she pack
the bag herself etc etc. My wife’s English is not perfect, but it is perfectly
functional for the task in hand. Then she started to quiz her, and told me to
be quiet and not answer any questions. (That’s what she said!!) She clearly had my wife in her sights, after
being humiliated by her inappropriate and incorrect actions towards myself.
By now, my wife was starting to get tearful, and by the time
we left the counter, she was quite distressed.
So thank’s, Jetstar,
for ruining the start of our holiday.
At least we take comfort in the fact that I will never board
a Jetstar or Qantas aircraft again, and I wonder if Qantas have started sacking
the wrong sector of their employees. Your competitors on these routes, in
particular Air Asia, have got you beat on customer service hands down.
Given that we fly from Australia and back at least five
times a year, for the two of us that’s a total of 40 flights, I hope you can
afford to lose business like that. (Two sectors per journey, 10 journeys x 2
passengers = 40).
As we left the counter, it was obvious that she realized that
she had overstepped the mark, and tried to be friendly. Too late, I was already
seething and planning what would be in my letter to her superiors and to anyone
who will listen.