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Jetstar: an experience

Jeststar cost my family $3000, but seem to have come good in the end.

We were booked to fly from Perth to Singapore at 6pm on 6th March 2015. At about 1am on the day of the flight Jetstar sent a text message to my daughter, who had arranged the booking. She phoned Jetstar and was told that our flight would not leave Perth until 11:45pm. The flight actually left at 6:30 pm, so we missed it and had to pay another $3000 to book an alternative flight (at 11:45pm) for our party of six – two adults, two seniors and two children aged two and four.

Written 2015/05/18, modified 2015/06/17 – ©
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com

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Some detail, not flattering to Jetstar

From what Jetstar told my daughter, we believed that our flight had been delayed about six hours. So we arranged to have a barbeque with friends in the afternoon. At around 5.30pm Jetstar phoned my daughter to tell her that we should have been at the airport by then, as our flight was to leave at 6.30pm. As the reader can imagine, this came as a shock. There was no way that we could get from where we were to the airport, through baggage drop and security and to the departure lounge in an hour, but we tried.

At the airport and having missed the flight my daughter again phoned Jetstar. We were told to leave the Perth International Airport (PIA) and go to the Perth Domestic Airport (PDA) because we could get an alternative flight from there. While this made little sense to us we did so; it involved about a half-hour drive. Once at the PDA we found that no Jetstar staff were present. My daughter rang Jetstar again. After several more confusing discussions she was eventually told that we would have to pay $3000 for an alternative booking and we could contact Jetstar Customer Care later and arrange compensation. So we paid the $3000 and got on the 11.45pm flight from the PIA.

The fight for fair compensation

My daughter made an official complaint to Jetstar on our return from Singapore. She received the first response from Jetstar on 20th March:
"Thank you for contacting Jetstar. I understand that you're unhappy about the changes we've made to your Perth to Singapore flight times."
It went on in a similar way, apologising for 'sometimes necessary' changes in flight times, but offering nothing in compensation for the lost $3000.

As my daughter is a busy mother in part time employment I took over the negotiation with Jetstar. On April 9th I sent an email to Jetstar pointing out that we had missed our flight due to wrong information provided by them, asking for a full refund and for a copy of the recording of the telephone conversation (my daughter had been told by Jetstar that they record all such telephone calls).

I will not bore the reader with all the details from there except to give the main points:

  1. As of the time of writing (May 17th) Jetstar have neither refunded our $3000, provided a copy of the recording, or given any other relevant response at all. (They did eventually, see Outcome, below.)
  2. I have complained twice to the Airline Customer Advocate (ACA). There first response (28th April) simply said that I had to wait longer for Jetstar to respond. After waiting the stated time I complained again to ACA. At the time of writing I have not received a response from ACA from my second complaint. (For all I know, the ACA did nothing more than pass my complaint on to Jetstar.)
  3. I have complained to my local federal member of parliament who has been in contact with the ACA.
  4. I have contacted Choice, the Australian Consumers Association, who have taken an interest in the case.
  5. I have posted on Jetstar's Facebook page many times.
  6. I wrote this Net page and informed Jetstar of its presence.


Jetstar have provided a full refund of the amount of the second booking plus given a $100 good-will voucher. It is a pitty that it took three months and a lot of work to get it.