Very long story, but basically Jetstar mucked up the names on our booking, continually lied to us about fixing it or hung up on us to make us go away when we called them, and after hours of pointless phone calls that got us nowhere we gave up on the call centre and went to the airport to sort it out. Here we were told that the man could lose his job for fixing his problem and thus we were forced to buy the $70 seat for a second time, only this time round it cost us $319. I have complained and again been completely ignored. Full story is below.

As part of an overseas holiday me and my partner had booked return tickets from Chch to Auckland. Due to a change of plans I no longer needed the Chch to Auckland flight due to a change of plans but still needed the return flight.

My partner called up to see if it was possible for her sister to use my flight up but me still use the return flight. The girl at the call centre said that this was fine, and charged us a fee accordingly ($50 i think). We also changed our baggance allowance during this call.

When we got the new itenary sent through the baggage had been changed but not the name on the flight. So my partner called back again to rectify this. By this point we were wishing we hadn't bothered and had just booked a separate flight, however as we had paid for the change we wanted them to do it.

She had to explain the story to a different call centre operator. He said that this was a real hassle, and that he could do it only if we did a favour for him. He said "you do something for me, I'll do something for me".. he said that if we booked my partner's sister's return flight with him he would fix the name problem. He implied that he got some kind of reward depending on how many bookings he made. It seems ridiculous that a call centre who are meant to help people rectify problems with existing bookings is encouraged to sell people new flights.

As we were desparate to get it fixed and didn't want to go through the ordeal of calling from scratch and being put on hold we agreed. He explained that he would need to change the whole booking to my partners sister's name then after the initial flight change it back. He stressed he had made a note to remind him to do this, and that we should receive the fixed itenary within a couple of days of the first flight.

We never received the new itenary.

As me and my partner were overseas my this point, her sister had to call to try to get it fixed. She would call up the call centre, wait on hold for usually 10-20 minutes before talking to someone, she would explain the story, the person at the call centre would get confused, ask for the story to be repeated, they would then put her on hold. Usually after about 10 minutes of being on hold again the call would be disconnected (either they must have just been hanging up on her so that they did not have to deal with it, or there was some problem with the phone line cutting out). Either way this meant that she had to start the process from scratch.

After going through this odreal for over an hour she got through to someone who said it was fine and that the corrected itinary would be emailed through within an hour or two. Again no email was ever received. After this happening repeatedly it became clear that this was just another tactic used to get rid of callers that the staff did not know how to deal with.

After a couple of weeks me and my partner returned to Auckland at 11am, with the flight with the wrong name scheduled for 10pm, thus we had 11 hours to try to rectify the problem. We tried calling the call centre again to check what name was on the booking (in case the email just didn't come through). It still had the wrong name on it. We then explained the situation again and the call centre girl said she would try to fix it and put us on hold. After about 10 mins of being on hold the call disconnected - i.e they hung up on us again.

We called back again. Talked to someone else. He was telling us that he was very upset, that we was running round the office trying to fix it, and that he was bending over backwards for us. After probably about an hour of him supposedly running round talking to people about it he eventually told us it is not possible to change the name on a booking after the first flight has taken place. He acknowledged that this was not our fault and that the name shouldn't have been changed in the first place. We then said that this being the case we should be able to cancel the booking and be gifted a new one. GIven that we had already paid for two seats it would not cost the company anything. He said that he could not do this and that instead we should pay for a new seat (at a cost of $300 for a 1.2 hour domestic flight). Of course we refused. He also said that obviously this was very unfair on us and that he would file a report, we asked for this to be emailed to us, to which he agreed. After this he said there was nothing more he could do. We never received any email of a report.

After this we went to the airport to try to sort it out. We had to explain the story from scratch to a man at the services counter. OBviously it is a long story, and part way through he seemed to get distracted and started sorting out baggage for a flight that was about to depart. Eventually we finished the story, he went off to talk to someone, came back and told us that he could not change the name for privacy reasons and if he did he could lose his job. It is important to note that it was my name that the booking was under, it was just that my name wasn't on the seat, so surely I would have thought I would have the authority to change my booking but obviously not according to him. What was even more infuriating was that not one of the people we talked to had made a single not against the file, so he said as far as he was concerned we had never told them there was a problem and no complaint had ever been made. Even the man who was bending over backwards for us, not only did he not write a report about it, he didn't make any record whatsoever of the conversation ever happening.

I was thus left with no way of getting home other than purchasing a new seat on the plane for $319.

Since then I have written to Jetstar explaining the situation and asking to be paid back for being forced to pay twice for the same flight, as well as for wasting hours on my time, my partner's time, and her sister's time. As is usual I have heard nothing back.

It actually appears that their policy with complaints is to either hang up on the person and hope when they call back the person will speak to someone else, or that given the ridiculous wait times to talk to someone at the call centre that the person will give up altogether. If this does not work the backup option is to tell the person the problem will be fixed just to get rid of them and then do nothing.

I have concluded that Jetstar are the worst company on the planet.

New Zealand-Auckland
New Zealand-Christchurch