I'm a regular flyer between from Sydney to Brisbane and always try and catch the 6am JQ810 flight. I have noticed that on three random occasions I was unable to use the web check-in service. Specifically the error message is:
"Due to specific seating requirements for your flight Jetstar's mobile and web check-in options are not available at this time. please use a Jetstar check in counter at the airport on the day of your flight departure to finalize your flight check-in process."
Firstly: I don't have ANY specific seating requirements. I just want any seat you give to me.
Secondly: No reason is ever given as to why I am prevented from checking in online. I am not carrying dangerous goods. I don't have check-in luggage and I don't require special boarding arrangements.
Given the 6am flight which I catch every week, online check-in is a big deal for me since traffic around the airport is terrible.
When I call Jetstar to ask why I can't check-in, they just say go there before 30min before departure and use the counter. Otherwise you can pay more money for a seat if you want to check in via the phone. They never tell me the reason why I'm blocked from online check in, but they are very happy to take additional money from me if I want to check in by phone. I find this unacceptable.
If I had known I could not check in online, I would have booked another airline. I take the bus to the airport and the first bus arriving at Sydney Airport is at 5:30am (check in closes at 5:30am). When I get to the airport, they refuse to let me board and charge $50 to change flights. Naturally the Jetstar help desk staff are unsympathetic to your issues.
The main gripe, is that I am never notified early that I would be prevented from online check-in until I actually try to check-in online 48 hours prior to departure. I book flights 4 weeks in advance and its like playing roulette with Jetstar. If you get blocked from online check-in, its basically an excuse for Jetstar to extort more money from you.
I wonder how many other people are being caught by Jetstar's dirty revenue raising tactic when they randomly prevent people from checking-in online for no apparent reason.