Thousands of Aussies were left stranded overseas after dozens of Jetstar flights were delayed and then cancelled due to engineering and maintenance issues, with some people unable to get home for more than a week. As an over-organised control freak, this is actually my nightmare.
The airline cancelled eight return services from Sydney and Melbourne to Bali last week, and that’s on top of flights cancelled from Thailand and Japan, too. It then wasn’t able to offer any alternative flights home to passengers, some of which were left without a way home for up to nine days.
A spokesperson for Jetstar told Guardian Australia that around 4,000 people had their flights to and from Bali cancelled, but “the majority of impacted passengers have now been re-accommodated and our teams are working hard to find the remaining 200 or so impacted passengers an alternative option”.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there were still 180 people waiting on alternative flights.
Jetstar/Qantas cancelling the same international flight 3 days in a row. No warning. No apologies. No compensation. What a fucking joke. Annual leave wasted. Pre-paid accommodation wasted. How are they even allowed to legally operate like this?
— Harry Tucker (@harrytuckerr) September 1, 2022
One Queensland family told The Sydney Morning Herald their flight home from Thailand was cancelled when they arrived at the airport. The earliest flight they could find to get home was on September 12 — nine days after their original flight. Wtf!
“They got to the airport, no notification at all that the flight had been cancelled … no reason as to why the flights had been cancelled,” Michelle, a relative of the family, said.
“They have been over there for five weeks and they want to come home.”
Son booked to fly Melbourne to Denpasar on Thursday Sept 1.
Rebooked for Saturday Sept 3.
At the airport gate for hours. Cancelled.
First available flight Friday Sept 9.
Jetstar. It’s Australian for shit.
Media please cover this shambles.
— Catherine Deveny (@CatherineDeveny) September 3, 2022
A News.com.au journalist was among the throng of Aussies left stranded in Bali due to flight cancellations and she logged the chaos online. It seems Jetstar’s communication of delays and cancellations was practically non-existent.
“The most frustrating thing was that we weren’t told about three of the delays, no information, no updates. Even online, you couldn’t find the information,” a passenger identified as Kylie said.
Another passenger name Pauline told News.com.au she had been trying to fly home from Bali for two days after her grandfather died but her flights were constantly delayed or cancelled.
“We sincerely apologise for the frustration and inconvenience this disruption has caused our customers,” a spokesperson for Jetstar said, per SMH.
“Our teams are working hard to get passengers on their way as soon as possible. We are putting on five special services to bring people home and booking seats on Qantas flights also.”
The good news is Jetstar is offering stranded passengers up to $150 per hotel room and $30 per person for food while they wait for more flights home.
But honestly, that’s the bare minimum considering these people are stranded with no accomodation.