A flight that should take 50 minutes (Wellington to Auckland) ended up taking a whole day. I checked in with my infant (9mths) and toddler (2 years) at 2.15pm for a 3.15pm flight. The flight was delayed for 1 hour. Then for another hour due to stormy weather in Auckland. However, the weather can't have been too bad as other Air NZ flights were still departing on time. I decided to call it quits and go home as it was getting towards dinner and bedtime for my kids, and asked Jetstar staff to rebook me onto an 8.15am flight the next morning. They pulled our baggage off and rebooked me without me having to pay extra. I also asked for a taxi chit home which they obliged. I felt positive about tomorrow morning.
The next morning we got up at 6am as we needed to leave home by 7 to check-in at 7.15am. I rang the call centre before going to the airport to see if there were any delays on our flight. The call centre said the flight was delayed and would leave at 10.55am. We arrived at the airport at 10am. Our bags were the last bags to be checked through. We got through security and waited to board. Just as we were about to board we were told there would be an hour's delay as the aircraft had an engine fault. We went to get some lunch. We came back through security again, got on board at about 12.15, only to wait another 30 minutes on the ground until they checked everyone was on the flight and ground crew tallied all the information on the computer. My goodness! My little toddler who had been gearing up for this flight since 6.30am the previous day was beside herself. We ended up finally getting to Auckland at around 2pm. So a full 24 hours after first trying to get to Auckland.
On the way home, you would expect that it might go better. A sunny day was forecast across the whole of the North Island. I rang the call centre to see if there were any delays or cancellations. They said no. We got to Auckland 1 hour before our 1.35 flight. They said it would be delayed until 2.05pm. We waited and waited. Again trying to amuse a toddler and look after a baby, we sat in a long corridor, as all the chairs were taken up with people waiting for delayed Jetstar flights. We finally boarded at 2.45pm and again waited on the ground for another 20 minutes until taking off. We arrived in Wellington at 4pm. Another 50 minute flight had become protracted to a whole half day of waiting in airport lounges. I am a normally patient person, and pretty well travelled. I have never felt so angry towards an airline and vow to never fly with Jetstar as long as I can possibly help it.
Things I don't like about Jetstar
They make you check in super -early (1-2 hours before your flight) and cut off baggage earlier than the competition but they have no guilt about making passengers wait with unnecessary delays
They cancel flights if they are not full enough
They don't give infants any baggage allowance (whereas competitors offer infants 20kgs of baggage for free)
They don't give any food or drink at all
They don't have any pillows on board
They generally don't offer any assistance to help when you travel with a baby or toddler
They don't fly in weather conditions that other airlines continue flying in. eg. storms, ash cloud etc.
Their call centre is in the Philippines and struggle to understand a NZ accent
Some of their planes don't have any decent pocket in front so there is nowhere to store water bottles, books or snacks.