How a $448 return ticket cost me over $1200 Sydney Queenstown NZ return!

On 26 May 2014, I was booked on flight JQ224 from Queenstown New Zealand to Sydney Australia.
The flight was cancelled due to heavy snowfall at the airport.
Jetstar staff announced the cancellation and gave us an 0800 number to call. They told us to return to our hotels and that they would call us when they knew what was going to happen to get us on another flight. I stayed at the airport and called the number.
I spoke to a Jetstar ( Philippines Manila ) Call Centre female staff who advised that I would not get another flight until Saturday May 31st. 5 days away!! I asked if there was a way Jetstar could get to me to Auckland same day so I could fly to Sydney from there. She said I could fly with the flight scheduled from Queenstown to Auckland the afternoon of Monday 26th but I would have to pay $286.00 NZD for the flight from Auckland to Sydney due out on 27 May 2014.

I decided to do this rather than wait 5 days (with all the expenses) and paid for the flight, on JQ216.
I asked the airport Jetstar staff if they knew when the flight JQ280 due at 3.45pm to Auckland, would depart. They did not even know if it was going at all, and they would tell me when they knew. It got to 1.30pm and they still knew nothing. For some time, there weren’t even any help desk staff at the counter at all (apparently gone to lunch).To their credit they had been helpful, but they were told nothing, so were little help to all the customers now left to sort out their own dilemmas.

Since I had now PAID for the Auckland Sydney flight, I bought a last minute (and the last seat) ticket with Air New Zealand (who were flying already) for over $440 to leave at 2.30pm so I could get to Auckland in time to connect with the new Jetstar flight. By 2pm Jetstar staff at Queenstown still could not tell me the status of any flights. The Manila Call Centre seemed to think the plane for JQ280 was still scheduled, although they didn’t even have the correct date and their knowledge of locations was woeful. They didn’t even know Sydney was not in New Zealand!
I went to Auckland (where I also had expenses to stay in a fairly ordinary motel) and met other passengers who had been told only about 30 minutes prior to departure at 4.30pm that Jetstar would run a flight from Queenstown.

Although other passengers got this flight included in their original fare , I was given the wrong information or none at all, and expected to somehow get to Auckland not even knowing if Jetstar could get me there.
I understand the conditions of carriage by Jetstar but their customer service was so bad even the staff at the airport knew nothing of what would happen in regards to ongoing flights.

In summary...
• Jetstar promised passengers that arrangements would be made to get them to Sydney.
• I was expected to wait 5 days to get to my destination.
• I was expected to pay for the Auckland Sydney flight and yet could not be told by staff if a plane was going from Queenstown to Auckland or not.
• Other passengers who waited till 4pm got the same flight all the way to Sydney without paying extra.
• Jetstar information was useless and inaccurate and was not co-ordinated.
• Staff at the airport could not tell us anything since they had no info themselves.

I have been a frequent flyer for over 20 years with Qantas / Jetstar. I cancelled it this week because of this incident.

The only reason I will ever fly with Qantas to Jetstar again will be because they are the absolute last resort. Air New Zealand proved how efficient and professional they were in this instance, and highlighted how poor Jetstar “customer service” really is .

As a followup today after wasting hours of communication with Jetstar "customer care" and more pestering from me, including making a case with NSW Office of Fair Trading (yet to be resolved), a Jetstar represenattive called me and offered me a $207 voucher for another flight, valid for 6 months. I accepted it since Jetstar said they do not issue refunds (oh really???) , but I will leave the OFT case open as I really wanted a refund, and even the value of the voucher does not come close to covering my losses. And whats more I'll have to fly with Jetstar again, and no doubt will have to pay any shortfall in fares for my desired destination. Why cant they just refund my money?? i guess we will see what the determination of the OFT will be.

Its proven to me how outsourcing of customer support and lack of customer service undermine any percieved cost savings on airline tickets. its taken me 2 weeks to get this far with a lot of effort. Jetstar will not return your calls, or your emails and try and give you some sort of satisfaction by giving you "case numbers" where they are meaningless. I have 3 relating to this one case!!
Jetstar dont care about you.
I cannot see how this airline can continue to treat customers like this and be any sort of success. i am certain one day soon I will see their demise announced, just as many other airlines have done in the past.
Only until they run out of suckers, will they survive if they stay with this business model. I've learnt my lesson.
Shop around , the other airlines are out there looking for your business.

New Zealand-Queenstown


File a complaint on the

File a complaint on the travel expense part of their complaints website, may take a while and probably 15 days to get back to you, may you should be refunded all your costs!

Send them a letter of demand

Send them a letter of demand for all the money you lost and wait for them to reply. Then file a claim in the small claims area for all the money. Don't let them get away with it.

I had a mass muck around as

I had a mass muck around as well with my babies n husband. Is a very long story that is as frustrating as it's.... How ever I did make a complaint and carried on with the complaint until I got a refund of the whole flight from syd to chch. Good luck and proceed to get ur money back.

I also managed to get a full

I also managed to get a full refund ($399) for a flight that Jetstar cancelled on the day of departure. For the first 3 weeks I wasted my time with the customer service number in Manilla and had 3 different case file numbers. They also offered me a voucher for $399 as if they were doing me a huge favour... I told them I didn't want a voucher but a refund, I soon realised there was no way I was going to get anywhere with the "customer service" people so I scoured this website and managed to find the email address to the CEO of Jetstar. I sent him a pretty lengthy email explaining my situation and within a week I had a full refund in my bank account!!

The squeaky wheel gets the

The squeaky wheel gets the oil , I got $800 dollars from them , put in a complant online and just don't give up , good luck :)

To all who have commented, I

To all who have commented, I appreciate all your helpful advice, I am trying all my options now so watch this space...Its been enlightening to read your experiences. Im pretty disgusted that I am seeing the same treatment for other passengers. This is what you call running a business? I'd get the sack if I did this kind of thing in my job!