Dishonest staff handling our flight cancellation

This is a serious complaint case as our flight cancellation was not handled appropriately by Jetstar. Firstly, flight cancellation was informed via email and sms on 7 Sep 19 less than 24h prior to initial scheduled flight time so we were given very little time to react. Upon realisation the next morning (day of the flight on 8 Sep 19), we clicked into the link provided and realised that there were no flight replacement options available. The only option we were provided with through the link is cancellation and reimbursement. We called the customer service line and were told that the next available flight from Singapore to Melbourne was 9.10pm via Qantas on 9 Sep 19 and it involves transfer at Sydney with waiting time of 5.5h. This means that it is a delay of 1.5 days which involves hotel and car rental expenses, as well as, shortening of our trip which has a huge impact on our itinerary. Apart from the anxiety and frustration of this last minute change, we paid for a direct flight from Singapore to Melbourne but was not given a replacement flight of equivalent value. A total of 5 calls were made to the Jetstar customer service hotline and we have raised relevant questions such as whether they can arrange an earlier flight with their partner airlines but were told that there were no more seats for earlier flights. As the loss would be substantial considering that we have already scheduled leaves and made payments for all bookings, we went to search for our own flights and were shocked to see that there was an available direct flight via Emirates and Qantas on 8 Sep 19 at 3.35pm. Feeling cheated and treated unfairly by Jetstar, we raised this to them but were told that they were unable to access their partner airlines websites and not allowed to assist to call to make arrangement for us to board this 3.35pm flight. Despite finding this policy ridiculous, we had very little time for argument as we had to make a quick decision to waste no time further by going ahead to book our own replacement flight, hurry off to the airport and handle this again with Jetstar when we are back from the trip. To our disgust, during our check in, we found out both from Emirates counter staffs and some clients with the same flight cancellation as us been given the 3.35pm Emirates flight replacement at no additional cost and the reasons they gave to Jetstar were similar to ours that the plans had been made and cannot be changed. They also paid promotional airfare for the Jetstar flight but their cases were treated totally differently from ours. Having spoken to them, we learned that Jetstar also told them that the next available flight was 9.10pm via Qantas on 9 Sep 19 with transfer stop at Sydney but they were eventually given the 3.15pm Emirates direct flight from Singapore to Melbourne at no additional cost after explanation that the plans cannot be changed as the leaves were already scheduled, car rental and accomodation had also been paid for. In addition, despite Jetstar customer service insisting that the Emirates flight was full, we saw that there were many empty seats on the plane. Jetstar customer service was clearly lying to us and this should be looked into very seriously. Even if there were limited seats open to clients with flight cancellations, we cannot accept that anything else can be more important than treating customers fairly with integrity. By practice of this belief, customers who were impacted by this flight cancellation should be given priority to board the 3.35pm Emirates flight so as to minimise their trip disruption. This totally ruined our mood and our impression of Jetstar, as well as, their airline partners. A holiday was supposed to be relaxing but it turned out to be one full of frustration and anxiety. We were terribly upset that we overpaid for our trip unnecessarily and were left on our own to sort out a flight cancellation which was undeniably not our fault. We expect a prompt and reasonable response to our plight resulting from mishandling of our flight cancellation.However, instead of replying to our complaint email, they sent a notification to close our case. Once again, we called the customer service and requested the case be opened under the same ID and escalated up. We reconfirmed with her that she can see our email response and was told that she cannot access email communciation thread at her end. This sounded totally unbelievable and ridiculous as if it was all together another lie just like how they scammed us that the earlier Emirates flight was fully booked and they are not allowed to contact their airline partner to assist us even though we told them explicitly that there were available seats on Emirates website and we could book the flight. Due to this mishandling of case, our expense for initial and replacement flight turned out to be twice the amount of what we paid for. To Jetstar customer service, please treat your customers with respect and integrity! We expect a prompt and reasonable response to our case.

Australia-Melbourne - Tullamarine