Aussie Carrier Out After Curfew
Qantas' upstart low-cost carrier, Jetstar, is having a difficult
teething period. Months after a Jetstar jet broke down at Honolulu
Airport stranding about 300 Australian passengers for
two days, another group of passengers was stranded in Australia
when a Jetstar flight arrived at Sydney Airport after the airport's
11 pm curfew.
The Jetstar flight was turned away from the Sydney Airport
Sunday night because it arrived at the gate shortly after the
official curfew. The flight was then redirected to Avalon Airport
in Melbourne where passengers were put up for the night and
returned to Sydney Monday morning.
But still another group of passengers were left fuming at the
gate. The special flight from Melbourne meant another Jetstar
flight, JQ482, Melbourne to Hamilton Island, had to be cancelled.
They were offered $8 food vouchers as compensation.
Passenger Terry Bec, from Wollongong, attempting to begin a
week-long vacation with his wife and children, said he was "pissed
off" at the cancellation as the family was forced to spend six
hours at Sydney Airport waiting for the afternoon flight, according
to The Sydney Morning Herald.
"Never, ever again," Bec said, adding that two of the airline's
staff had told him they didn't fly with their own company.
Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway said that when it became
apparent JQ482 would have to be cancelled, the company tried to
contact all the booked passengers and about two-thirds of received
the information, he said.
Jetstar then diverted a flight from Melbourne to Hamilton Island
to pick up 65 of the 130 Sydney to Hamilton passengers; meaning yet
a third flight was affected by the curfew blunder.
The remaining passengers had to wait about six hours at the Sydney
Airport until the afternoon flight arrived.
Kate Arnott, a journalist from Melbourne, said she and her
boyfriend arrived at the airport at 6:00 am, only to be told an
hour later their flight had been cancelled.
She said she requested cab fare to home to wait, but the company
instead offered the $8 meal voucher as compensation -- an offer
Arnott said made her feel "ripped off."
"Last night and this morning's cancellations, delays and
reroutings had no relationship to the Honolulu incident," Westaway
Westaway believed a request for a cab fare was
"We did everything we could from a
customer service perspective. We initiated call-outs yesterday
evening. We diverted a Melbourne aircraft bound for Hamilton Island
into Sydney, he said.
"I think that's excellent customer service, given the fact that
we were denied getting an aircraft into Sydney Airport given the
About 300 Australians were left at Honolulu airport for two days
this weekend when a Jetstar flight was grounded Friday morning with
electronic issues. Those passengers were subsequently changed to a
Saturday flight. Then that A330 and its 200 passengers were
grounded due to a fuel gauge fault.
Passenger Braham Shnider has sworn off the airline for good. "I
certainly wouldn't fly with them again," he said.
Westaway said, "The airline rejects accusations that we haven't
sought to get the problem rectified as quickly as possible."
"We used other airlines to move customers and people have got to
understand that there are not myriads of services between Honolulu
and Australia each and every day.
"We think we have done a pretty good job in difficult
circumstances," he told Australia's Nine Network. "We think people
will continue to fly with us."