Well, we hadn’t been very impressed with the Jetstar booking process, but in spite of that we went though the same process again to book the relative’s return flight to Sydney. The fare was very acceptable, and the timings suited, and we pre-booked parking at the airport and sorted out meet-&-greet arrangement at the destination.
But then – less than 18 hours before departure, an email from Jetstar (and, true, a text message as well): the flight’s been cancelled. Please select an earlier flight on-line that you’d like to travel on. To say that we were unhappy would be an understatement.
We got on to the phone help line , and after stating “cancelled flight” as suggested in the email to get “priority” in the queue, managed after waiting a mere 8 minutes or so to speak to a real person (it sounded as though it was an overseas call centre), who politely transferred the booking to a later flight – not as convenient as the original time, but less unacceptable than the earlier times that had been suggested in the email. I guess only earlier flights were offered in the email as the airline was trying to shift people to earlier flights if it could, so that availability on later flights could be saved for passengers who missed the emails and text messages and turned up for the cancelled flight.
I suppose all airlines cancel flights at times, and I see that for July 2016, Jetstar’s cancellation rate at 1.9%, while not as good as Qantas at 1.8% or Tiger’s at 0.5%, was a lot better than Virgin’s at 3.1%. So perhaps we were a little unlucky – but nevertheless, it hasn’t improved our perception of Jetstar! At least the re-scheduled flight departed on time, notwithstanding Jetstar’s ranking in July in this respect being a lot lower than all its competitors.