This Guy Booked 58 Free Jetstar Flights By Exploiting A Loophole In “Free Return” Promo


A New Zealand man has managed to book 58 free flights by utilizing a loophole in Jetstar’s beloved “return for free” promotion in what can only be described as the ultimate play of the Uno reverse card.

We all know that airlines love to catch you out in the fine print, but lawyer Tyrone Barugh has managed to find away to use that fine print against Jetstar New Zealand in order to save a small fortune on his trans-Tasman flights.

“Jetstar and Qantas are very quick to rely on the fine print rather than talking about fairness when it comes to dealing with customers who have experienced disruption to their travel plans,” he told Stuff NZ.

You see, it’s pretty simple.

Back in March 2020, Tyrone booked a return trip from Auckland to Sydney under Jetstar New Zealand’s return for free promotion, before cancelling the outbound flight (see: the one he paid for) ten minutes later and receiving a flight credit.

He then used the voucher from the first flight to purchase the reverse leg (Sydney to Auckland, return) before — you guessed it — cancelling the outbound flight again.

If he had stopped there, the story wouldn’t be that interesting, but that’s not where it ends. No, no, no, my friends, Tyrone then repeated this a further FIFTY SEVEN TIMES.

He never actually went on any of the flights, presumably because they were booked about a week before both countries slammed closed their borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is now trying to claim a settlement with the airline.

Barugh claims he is entitled to a refund on the taxes associated with the flights (approximately $4,500 AUD) under Jetstar’s own policies, and Australian law (section 10(2) of the Passenger Movement Charge Collection Act, to be precise). Naturally, Jetstar aren’t too chuffed with the whole ordeal.

In its defence statement to the Disputes Tribunal, Jetstar argued that Barugh agreed to its Conditions of Carriage and Fare Rules before purchasing the flights.

“Fuck yeah i did, and what. nothing unlawful about booking 58 separate SYD-AKL $0 flights,” he said on X (formerly Twitter).

“Now asking Jetstar NZ to refund the taxes, but they’re having a sook.”

The case is now before the Disputes Tribunal of New Zealand, with Barugh happy to settle for a $1500AUD flight credit, which he calls a “pretty reasonable settlement offer”.

In an interview with Stuff, Barugh also claims he tried to resolve the situation with Jetstar back in 2022 but was ignored by the airline..

The news comes after Australian Competition and Consumer Commission sued Qantas earlier this month over “ghost flights”, with $20 million in compensation to be awarded between 86,597 customers who were sold tickets on flights that were not intended to take off.