From struggling student to social media crusader (but still a struggling student) in 12 short hours. Such was the journey for Tiger Airways doormat Nathaniel Martin, whose vitriolic response to being shunted from a Hobart to Melbourne flight attracted over 50 000 Facebook likes overnight. Hell hath no fury like a hungry Uni student scorned.

The floor is yours Nathaniel: 

name is Nathaniel Martin, i am a uni student originally from Hobart now
studying at Deakin in Melbourne. I came home for Easter Break. As can
clearly be seen, this photo shows i booked a flight from Hobart to
Melbourne for Sunday April 7th at 8.05pm. As this also shows the booking
date was Monday March 18th. 20 days before the flight. It cost me
$78.45. I arrived at Hobart Airport at
approximately 7pm, still comfortably 20 minutes before the check in
closed for my flight. A approached the gate to purchase extra baggage
(had a bit more to take back) i was informed that 1 piece of 17.3kg
baggage would cost me $120. Was my fault as i purchased the fee without
baggage, but the corresponding price with virgin is $40 so you can make
your own mind up about that value. I then received my boarding pass and
proceeded to gate 2.

I went to board the plane and was informed that you
had oversold my flight (more tickets sold than seats available, which
basically equates to fraud) and that i would have to be ‘offloaded’ and
could not board the plane. The reason given was that ‘i was the last to
check in’, even though i had booked the ticket a month in advance and
was 15 minutes early to check in. I have an 8am class in Melbourne
tomorrow morning and needed to get on the plane tonight. I bolted back
to virgin only to find their last flight had closed. My last option was
jetstar’s last flight at 9.25. The cost of the fare was 296 dollars,
meaning i was now $495.45 out of pocket and im a uni student living in a
different state on a budget of around 9 grand for the year. My parents
had luckily came back to the airport by this stage and chipped in half,
while i threw the 150 dollars cash in my pocket in.

The federal police
officer of 20 years experience helping my family said it was the ‘worst
case of customer service he had ever seen’ and the flight attemdant told
me to ‘get them for every cent’ but to top it all off as i was paying
informed me that it should not have been me that was offloaded off the
flight but the person that booked the ticket last. So it was all for
nothing. After waiting an additional 35 minutes to get my bag back i
finally about to get on jetstar and go to melbourne. I am now 2 hours
late, exhausted, 500 out of pocket and with no cash to get home from the
airport for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING caused by YOUR INCOMPETENCE. Not only do
i want a full refund of the $495.45, a full apology to me and my family
for the unbelievable inconvenience you have caused and an assurance
that you will never deliberately oversell a flight again. I am never
flying with your airline ever again and will tell every living soul what
you have done to me tonight.

Whether or not this will dissuade potential customers from rolling the dice on their next flight is unclear as Tiger’s poor customer service record has been well publicised long before Nathaniel was offered a firm talk to the hand, but we at least hope common sense prevails and a refund is issued and the poor dude can eat this week.       

In a win for the little guy, Tiger made apologised and offered Nathaniel a refund. Nathaniel has since deleted his complaint from Tiger’s Facebook.

Tiger Airways have agreed to refund me the full fare of what
happened last night including the other flight I had to pay for to get
to Melbourne,
” he said in a Facebook post to Tiger Airways. “They have been very good to me in responding to this quickly and rectifying their error.

Picture by William West/Getty Images