Let’s discuss :: Jetstar. You love or you hate?
I’m usually fairly quick to defend Jetstar. They’ve been pretty good to me. I never flew Jetstar until I moved to Darwin so thank god I missed those awful early days of unallocated seats. It would have been like a high school nightmare of no-one wanting to sit next to me all over again.
Darwin is at a crossroads between domestic and international routes for Jetstar. Many of the domestic routes from Darwin originate somewhere in Asia and the crews are often the Singapore-based staff. They are always nice, especially when they see people travelling with kids, and the check-in staff at Darwin are lovely, usually sitting me next to an empty seat if it’s available.
Our recent journey from Singapore, in hindsight, can only be described as a comedy of errors on Jetstar’s part.
Now the Mr and I are THOSE PEOPLE. You know :: the ones who elbow their way to the front of the queue because check-in is closing for our flight in a minute’s time. The ones who subsequently get paged because our flight’s boarding is closing and we’re the only ones on the manifest who haven’t materialised in the plane. The ones who do the walk of shame up the aisle and then take 15 minutes to sit down because everyone else has taken up the overhead locker space… (I tell you, it’s a hard act to keep up. Dawdling and wasting time can get a little monotonous and boring but we are dedicated to the cause.)
When we left Singapore to fly back to Darwin, however, we did everything right. We booked a 7.00pm flight to ensure the kids weren’t too out of control. We arrived at the airport a whole two hours (un-HEARD of!) before check-in, and we even had the weight distributed completely evenly between all our bags.
What followed, however, was a farce. First, it took 20 minutes to check in. Then, after we had our boarding passes, the girl at the check-in counter practically whispered that our flight had been cancelled and thus we’d been bumped to the 10.00pm flight. It was like the Mr and I were in a cartoon, so comical were our double takes. Then we went to calm down over a meal. While were eating we discovered we’d been put in the last row (despite paying for our seats to be in the middle of the plane). I took the boarding passes back to get different seats and noticed the words ’24 hour food gallery’ written on the back of one of the passes. Oh, yes, we get a free meal each. Too bad no one told us about it before we spent our own money. Then we go through customs and check our phone – we received the ‘flight cancelled’ message while we were checking in. So handy!
Then departure time for our flight changed on the screen.
And then again – so our departure time read ‘0000’.
This could either mean midnight or ‘who the f*ck knows’, so we went to find a Jetstar rep to check. Could we find one? No. Not anywhere.
Being the good online citizen that I am, I tweeted and instagrammed the experience (thank you Changi Airport for your free WiFi!), and to their credit, the Jetstar tweeter actually responded, apologised and sent me a form to fill out online, then told me to let them know when I’d lodged it so they could follow up. It was nice to know that someone from Jetstar was listening, because no one at the airport was.
So of course, the flight was shit with a baby who wouldn’t sleep, and a prechooler who was sleeping but every time she tried to move had a night terror-like tantrum.
We were supposed to get to Darwin at 1.00am and we got in at 6.30am – got home at 8.00am. The Mr was too tired to go to work that day, and we had to tag team looking after the kids and taking naps to recover, as neither of us got a wink at all.
I finally got around to filling out the customer service form that the Jetstar tweeter send me, and I got a phone call to follow up. After listening to me rant and rave, the girl on the other end apologised and offered $50 vouchers for the Sprog and I as compensation for being mucked around by the check-in staff at Changi. (Mr was on a separate booking as he wanted to earn FF points and get a meal – which of course we didn’t want at 1.30am – so I guess he misses out until he makes his own complaint).
Will I fly Jetstar again? Yes. Because they offer convenient flights and times from Darwin, and honestly this is the first truly bad experience I’ve had with them. But I’ll be flying with a big scowl on my face until they make it up to me.