26 Nov 2012

Customers still infuriated despite Jetstar backtrack

6:25 pm on 26 November 2012

Jetstar has reversed its decision to cancel a pre-Christmas flight from Melbourne to Auckland but many customers are still out of pocket after having rebooked.

The budget airline had scrapped the flight leaving on 23 December and offered the 80 affected passengers a flight that would not arrive until Boxing Day.

But after a barrage of complaints on Jetstar's Facebook page, the airline reinstated the flight.

One would-be passenger, Aucklander Duncan Robinson, says he was offered two alternative flights - one after Christmas and one a week before.

He says he was forced to ask for a refund and had to spend an extra $500 to rebook with Air New Zealand.

Mr Robinson says he will never fly with the budget airline again.

Hamilton woman Alison Bartley bought Jetstar flights for her daughter and rebooked with Air New Zealand when the flight was cancelled.

"She was really upset; she thought she wasn't going to be able to come home for Christmas. It's not as if she booked late; she booked in September which makes it even worse. That's a real letdown when she booked so early."

Mrs Bartley was already annoyed at the extra $400 cost and says Jetstar's backtrack is even more infuriating.

She says she will never book with Jetstar again.

Jetstar has refused to say why it had cancelled the flight other than to say rescheduling happens from time to time.

Consumer New Zealand chief executive Sue Chetwin says Jetstar is within its rights to make schedule changes, but the move is not a good look.

She thinks Jetstar is scrambling now to avoid a public relations disaster.