How to screw over a family trip ?! - ask the experts- Jetstar!

How to screw over a family trip ?! - ask the experts- Jetstar!
Due to industrial strikes scheduled to start 2nd week of December 2019, there was a chance that our pre-booked holiday flights to Phuket, Thailand, could be cancelled so we decided not to take the risk as we were travelling with our two young kids (7 and 5) and we opted to take up the offer to move our flight to 2 days earlier at no additional cost.
If we didn’t opt for the earlier replacement flight, we could look at cancelled flights, which would mean a delayed departure time which would have a domino effect on the rest of our trip and the reservations everywhere else in Thailand.

Travelling earlier meant that our flights were for free but we had to pay for accommodation for the additional 2 nights, 3 days, plus food, travel, long term car park etc. and not to mention finish up work one day earlier also (meaning we lose an extra day of annual leave) just because of Jetstar.

The resort (Movenpick in Phuket) that we were booked into originally, was very expensive per night, approx. $500AUD so we had to look for alternatives, nad travelling so close to Christmas, everything was very pricey, but again we didn’t want this to ruin our holiday so we stayed positive, booked new accommodation and took off for our End of year holiday with positive spirits, hoping that was just a small glitch at the start of our holiday!

Fast forward to the near end of our trip and 1.5 days (Saturday 21st around 12pm local time) before our departure back to Melbourne, Jetstar sends me a lovely (yes pun intended) text saying that our return flights have been delayed by 7 hours. due to ‘engineering requirements’, with no further explanation or email or apology!! What does that even mean?!

So rather than flying out at 9:30pm on Sunday 22nd December, reaching Melbourne at 10am Monday 23rd on a direct flight, we would need to fly at 4:45am on Monday 23rd (HKT local time) from Thailand and arrive in Melbourne the following day, Tuesday 24th.
The 7 hour delay would mean, staying an extra night in our resort costing us an extra THB10,470 = AUD$523 for one additional night. Furthermore, additional payment for our long term car park in Melbourne (which we already forked out at the time of departure anyways), meals, travel and back to work 1 day later!!.
Not to mention the horrendous time we would need to be at the airport with our young kids!! I would need to get my kids up at midnight in order to be at the airport around 1am in the morning, 3 hours before take-off.
What happened to the “Flying with Children Tips 101” that you provided in the in-flight booklet where you specially mention “fly at a time which suits their body clocks”?!
We had booked in our flight times accordingly but your replacement flights didn’t consider that, did it?!?! Perhaps Practise what you preach!! I took a photo of this should you need a refresher of what I am referring to.

Or the alternative replacement flight that Jetstar offered was to fly us earlier. The earlier flight was on Sunday morning 9:45am with a stop via Singapore for almost 12 hour wait time to get back home and not a direct flight as we had originally booked with our young kids. The replacement flight option with an earlier flight also meant we would check out of our resort 1 day earlier from the Movenpick (so again we lose an extra day at the resort, so we forfeit $500AUD per night accommodation) plus our activities that we had planned for the Sunday morning + afternoon and the shows that we were booked into on the Saturday night, all that had to be cancelled.

… So either way we were fucked thanks to Jetstar!

I was so upset I decided to call Jetstar customer service in Thailand on the Saturday 21st afternoon once I saw the text…
I will keep the events of the call short but in a snapshot, I was on the phone for 6 hours, yes 6 hours to Jetstar and the resolution was nothing. Don’t believe me, please check the call recordings!!
From the wait time, to the time I would speak with someone and the extremely frustrating and upsetting fact that the phone disconnected twice and they promised me a call back, but I got no call backs. No I wasn’t calling from a mobile where I had no reception, I called from our resort on the landline.
On the phone for a total of 6 hours, our Saturday night was stuffed up also, we had tickets to the show, plans for dinner out with my kids but everything was ruined!!

After spending 6 hours speaking with Jetstar Customer care in Thailand, the resolution?! . Fk all. They said they couldn’t do anything.

While speaking with customer service looking at what she could offer us, she suggested that I click on the alternative earlier flight option via Singapore “to see what happens?”
What at the hell was going to happen?! Ofcourse, I got booked into the flight!! There was no going back… even after having the call escalated to revert the issue, they couldn’t do anything, not even offer free accommodation in Singapore while I was there for almost 12 hours?! Your online policy talks about “delays and cancellations” and the compensation that one would receive if its overnight. Though it was not 24hours, the delay took us to the next day?! We didn’t even get meal vouchers or anything?!

So after a tedious, draining and emotional 6 hours on the call, what was I to do next? No alternative but to start packing as we were leaving the next morning and I had to check out of my resort at 5:30am (I had to get my kids up at 4:30am that day?!!) to be at the airport on time for our 9:45am flight. By this time, it was already 1am in the morning.. Can you imagine my exhaustion, state of mind and how my kids felt seeing their mum crying because I felt the trip was ruined because I couldn’t do anything further. Please read the letter that my little girl wrote as she could see how upset I was.
We thought that all the issues were behind us once we departed from Thailand, but it wasn’t so simple! When we tried to check-in at Singapore for our flights back to home, Jetstar had no record of us?! We were not booked in with that booking code on any Jetstar flight?! Upset and exhausted after not having slept for almost 24 hours at this point, I saw some people at the Qantas counter and knowing that Jetstar was owned by Qantas and I just asked the guy there to help. He looked up our details on his system to find that we were actually flying back with Qantas not Jetstar! Not only that, Jetstar had failed to check us into the flight. Again after 30-45mins wait, the very helpful man who could see how upset I was at this point, checked us in and did all the necessary paperwork and issued us our new boarding cards. Even though none of this was his fault, he apologiesed for the trouble we had been through over the last 24 hours and mentioned that this was common practice of Jetstar. The “push passengers onto Qantas without notifying the passenger or Qantas”. At this point I just broke down and cried 
Our flight back home via Qantas was wonderful. Perhaps Jetstar can learn a thing or two?!
Never again will I fly Jetstar with my family.

Australia-Melbourne - Tullamarine


How unsurprising

How unsurprising