Jetstar

October 28th, 2010 at 12:54 pm by David Farrar

I have a policy that I will not fly in NZ, based on reports of their delays and service. In fact my policy now even applies to when someone else is paying for the travel – if they really want me to attend their conference etc, then a non airline mist be found.

Incidentially I have used them in Australia, where they have been good, It is just their NZ operations which seems to be so bad.

Whale blogs his experience at giving them a try. He has learnt the hard way.

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32 Responses to “Jetstar”

  1. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Heh, at least he didn’t receive the Ian Stables treatment.

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  2. Angus (536 comments) says:

    If you check in at the airport 20 minutes before takeoff on a security checked flight, don’t expect any airline to show you any mercy.

    [DPF: On the contrary Air NZ have shown flexibility to me on some occasions - esp if I have no checked in luggage]

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  3. AndrewE (24 comments) says:

    I flew with them on Thursday and they were 3 hours late with no apology.

    Last time I fly with them as well.

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  4. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    I made the mistake of turning up to the airport for a flight from Wellington to Chch with an extra bag I didn’t book when I purchased my ticket. No worries, I thought, how much could it be.

    Well the answer, for a single 10-12kg bag to be checked in on the day of the flight, is $80. I thought she said $18. Nope. $80.

    I nearly zinged the Jetstar person with “This is why no one likes Jetstar.”

    Ok it was only $80 and everything else about the flight was ok. But I still to this day feel ripped off and have a genuine disregard for the airline. I would fly it again, but not if Air NZ was within $10.

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  5. Lance (2,655 comments) says:

    Yes my experiences were similar, late with no explanation and loads of patronising – they couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery.

    The trouble was on those occasions I had no choice as it was last minute travel and the only seats were on Jetstar.

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  6. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    I go Air NZ wherever possible. The service is consistently excellent and above and seldom below good.

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  7. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    It was my fault the lateness the first time around…well actually if there must be fault it has to be Transit who turned a 15 minute drive from Manukau to the Airport into a 1 hour marathon. Having every know way tot he airport clogged with closed exits and road works. As I point out int he comments, I don’t make it a habit to be late for anything, let alone flights. Ask anyone who has travelled with me and I am severely anal about getting there early.

    What is galling is the extremely rude staff.

    And when they delay a flight for no reason whatsoever there is no ability to stiff them with a late fee either.

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  8. Tom Gould (141 comments) says:

    Cameron should have mentioned at check in that he is a sickness beneficiary and can’t wait in line too long before needing to apply for a hand out. Might have helped?

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  9. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    Tom Gould = Andrew Williams

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  10. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    Anybody else have a clue what the Jetstar billboard that says “Now you have a choice, so use it. Or don’t. And don’t. It’s up to you.” Or something. It’s just never made sense to me but comes across as patronising.

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  11. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    At least they didn’t
    a) assault him
    b) set the cops onto him

    so their customer service must have improved somewhat :-P

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  12. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    Geez Tom, you’re a spiteful little bloke aint ya!

    I fly Air NZ 90% of the time. The only way I go jetstar is if the savings are big. Last jetstar flight was Wellington – AKL. Jetstar cost me $105. Air NZ was $320 (I booked the day before). For that sorta money, I take the risk.

    That dirty socialist air bus they fly is also quite comfy

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  13. Tom Gould (141 comments) says:

    Dime, these guys can sure dish it out, and to their credit, they can take it too. Nothing wrong with a little revealing humour, especially when directed at the powerful.

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  14. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    Peculiar. I usually use Jetstar when heading down to Wellington, especially when it’s relatively short notice. And I’ve never had a delay or any problems. (No checked luggage) I guess for every ten tales of woe there will be one of joy?

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  15. starboard (2,537 comments) says:

    I also travel j’star and have no problems. Their rules are quite tight re lateness extra baggage etc…but ya told about ‘em so hard luck. I have travelled as far as Bangkok on them and for the price, cant fault them.

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  16. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Angus says:

    If you check in at the airport 20 minutes before takeoff on a security checked flight…

    On a domestic flight?! Yet more nannyism masquerading as concern about our safety. Didn’t some mad woman run amok, armed with (IIRC) a knife on a domestic flight not so long ago? Fat lot of good all the security procedures were then.

    You used to be able to arrive 20 minutes before takeoff (provided you had only hand luggage of course) and they’d be happy to seat you. What’s changed? The perception of risk amongst some of the public, which opened the way for a raft of intrusive and busybody laws and regulations which sees thousands of people waste thousands of person-hours every day (of course DPF and his privileged mates get to spend it in the Koru Lounge, where at least they can keep working :-P )

    If we were less like sheep and all arrived 20 – 30 minutes before takeoff, forcing them to accomodate us or fly an empty plane, this nonsense might stop.

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  17. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    Re airport security. recently flew CHCH to Napier return. couldn’t have got my meds through CHCH but on leaving Napier could have had a machine pistol in my belt. Makes it all a bit farcical doesn’t it., suppose they assume those leaving Napier are a little different and of course a lot safer to fly with.

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  18. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    On a domestic flight?! Yet more nannyism masquerading as concern about our safety.

    Don’t be a dick, you know full well why there are security checks on jet flights. Something about international standards since 9/11, luggage transfers from connecting flights, etc etc.

    Didn’t some mad woman run amok, armed with (IIRC) a knife on a domestic flight not so long ago? Fat lot of good all the security procedures were then.

    Anyone who flies domestically more than once or twice per decade will have noticed that they only have the security checks on the flights operated by jets (B737 / A320 and upwards)… as you can’t knock over much of a building with a light turboprop aircraft…

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  19. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    I swore I would never fly Jetstar, but the $19 offer ($29 with bag) a few months back was just too tempting. I am flying in December and have decent time latitude either way. I will not be playing chicken with the checkin time however. One flight has already been slightly re-scheduled.

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  20. LeftPilot (61 comments) says:

    The check-in cut-off is not really about allowing time for security, it actually takes a bit of time to get a 75 ton amalgamation of aluminium, plastic and sundry other materials ready for safe flight. Sadly the general public have little comprehension of that and I guess it is the airlines fault for not educating their customers.

    The difference is airlines like Air NZ seem to think about making lifetime customers whereas dangerous operators like JetStar could really care less as long as they pack enough dopes in the tube.

    I have only flown on them when booked by my employer on JetStar Asia. Would NEVER willingly book them; they are an accident waiting to happen quite apart from their poor customer service.

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  21. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Snarky today, RRM. A hot water bottle and a cup of chamomile tea might help with the cramps.

    Don’t be a dick, you know full well why there are security checks on jet flights. Something about international standards since 9/11, luggage transfers from connecting flights, etc etc.

    If I fly from Palmerston North to Auckland with my bags packed full of C4 (or the carcasses of all the road kill I’ve collected that week) my bags still go through security procedures before boarding an international connecting flight, at which time the offending material can be detected. There’s no reason to make me spend hours and hours sitting in Palmerston North – that’s just cruel and inhumane.

    Sure if we’re flying into a country that has certain regulations about baggage etc then we must comply. And I suppose the miniscule chance of there being a terrorist on board might justify the fuss, though I don’t believe it does. There’s no need to search 60 year old NZ women going on holiday to the Gold Coast because we have to search randomly so as not to offend sensibilities. The presence of NZ grandmas on international terrorist lists is pretty low, I understand.

    But if we’ve given up our sovereignty to the extent that international bodies are imposing standards on our domestic travel, I have a problem with that.

    you can’t knock over much of a building with a light turboprop aircraft

    Yeah, and a Boeing 707 does a lot less damage than a Boeing 767. So maybe we should only target 767 passengers.

    Alternatively, on 18 April 2002, in Milan Italy a light plane hit a building at 5.50pm when most people had left. It still killed 3 (including the pilot) and injured 60. They think that was an accident, but it still shows the potential damage and loss of life. Imagine if it had happened when most people were at work. So maybe we should delay the thousands of people who board light planes every day around the world.

    And buses! Terrorists have been known to seize buses and hold passengers hostage. Let’s delay everyone getting on a bus… but should that only apply to long distance travel? They might pull something while I’m on the way to the shops, so I’d better be searched each time I get on…

    Clearly you’re prepared to sell our liberty at a much lower price than am I.

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  22. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    LeftPilot says:

    The check-in cut-off is not really about allowing time for security, it actually takes a bit of time to get a 75 ton amalgamation of aluminium, plastic and sundry other materials ready for safe flight.

    I understand that (a good friend is a pilot who’s flown for Air NZ, then went to work in Abu Dhabi). But what I don’t get (and he’s never adequately explained) is why we have to wait while they do it!? The preparation time would explain the turn-around between flights. It doesn’t explain the interminable wait to which passengers are subjected… we’re not components of the plane.

    Okay if we’re trailing a ton of bags those need to be checked, safely stowed and so on (though the damaged luggage I’ve received is a story in itself…)

    But if it’s just me and a carry-on bag, what benefit does the airline get from me sitting at the airport drinking bad coffee and reading bad James Mitchener novels till I’m so frustrated I’d consider hijacking the damned thing myself just to get it to take off?!

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  23. LeftPilot (61 comments) says:

    “But what I don’t get (and he’s never adequately explained) is why we have to wait while they do it!?”

    “An aeroplane is not ready to fly until the weight of the paperwork exceeds the take-off weight” or some-such thing along those lines.

    Seriously though the goal in aviation is to work to very accurate assumptions (an oxymoron of sorts?). The flight computers need to be loaded with the exact calculated weight so that the speeds at which the aircraft will abort with runway remaining, take-off, climb, cruise, descend, approach and touch-down at can all be determined to within a knot.

    Last minute changes have the potential to introduce errors as the crew at this time will also be talking to air traffic control for start and flight clearances and briefing the taxi route and take-off and any peculiarities of the day. There are numerous other factors, aside from the actual weight of the aircraft the loading of baggage, cargo and passengers needs to be correctly distributed and all this documentation can only be issued once check-in is closed.

    I hope I’ve been able to explain it somewhat but it boils down to needing a period between closing check-in and closing the aircraft doors so that the pilots can safely and accurately program the aircraft and avoid striking the tail on the runway or aborting at a speed that would lead to a runway over-run. Avoiding as best as possible the crash-burn-die scenarios.

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  24. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    ^^^ What, there’s no pull back on the stick a little and see whether she wants to lift yet?

    Interesting, I watch the little jets blasting off out of Wellington at lunchtime quite frequently, and to the layman observer it seems like you have such massive horsepower that it just goes up, about the same, every time.

    So do you really rotate and lift off at exactly the speed the computer tells you every single time, or are you so busy trying to keep it straight that you usually just aim for some sort of happy average (like 250km/h or whatever?)

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  25. LeftPilot (61 comments) says:

    Yeah V1 is an exact speed at which you are committed and would continue to accelerate at take-off if for instance and engine failed. Vr is an exact speed at which you pull the yoke or sidestick back to a specified angle and wait for the main wheels to detach from the runway and then you pitch to the initial climb angle and pass V2 which is the take-off safety speed and continue climbing at at a climb speed which will be below 250 knots until you are past 10,000 feet unless air traffic control clear you to accelerate prior to passing 10,000 feet.

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  26. starboard (2,537 comments) says:

    LeftPilot , a question please. When you pull back on the yoke…or sidestick…what causes the aircraft to lift? ..whats the yoke connected to to make sure the nose lifts?

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  27. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    LeftPilot explains:

    The flight computers need to be loaded with the exact calculated weight so that the speeds at which the aircraft will abort with runway remaining, take-off, climb, cruise, descend, approach and touch-down at can all be determined to within a knot.

    But hold on, if they’re calculating my weight when I check in, they’re rather shooting themselves in the foot because all I’ve got to do while I wait for ages is eat donuts and drink bad coffee, and perhaps buy an airport book that’s made out of an entire rainforest. Thus I probably carry on an extra 10kg by the time I cross the airbridge.

    Thanks for the explanation, though I’m still not sure why it all takes quite so long. And anyway, my argument is with all the “security” related delays, like pulling some granny out of line because she has her knitting needles in her bag, or indeed making a fuss about searching etc on any domestic flight.

    Now, since it’s become flight school in here… just how do they manage to mangle your bags so effectively? Is there actually a car crusher in the hold or something? :-D

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  28. LeftPilot (61 comments) says:

    Yeah sorry we don’t want this to turn into flight school eh. But Rex they need to be able to have some certainty about numbers so it’s not about persecuting the individual but a line has to be drawn somewhere so earlier in the peace they can have a firm idea about the configuration of the aircraft.

    But I totally hear you on the security schmozzle, much of the reason why I have no desire to ever set foot in the USA.

    Starboard, the yoke/sidestick are actuating the elevator which is the flying surface at the back of the aircraft. This controls the up/down motion of the aircraft when the main wings are generating enough lift to support the weight of the aircraft.

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  29. B A Waugh (100 comments) says:

    You complain of twenty minute cut of times.
    You fly Ryanair it is 40 minutes. And they do not care if you turn up late – buy a new ticket. And that is for all flights regardless of it being domestic or international.

    You complain of luggage restrictions
    You fly Ryanair you pay for your bags and you check in online or pay about €40 to get your bording pass at the airport.

    You moan about Jetstar
    People moan about Ryanair and yet they do very well because if you do not follow the rules you agreed to you when you paid for the ticket you do not fly.

    I can not comment on their keeping to schedule, but on Ryanair they keep to time very well and they are quite low cost.

    New Zealand needs a low cost airline, otherwise think of the fairs you would pay on Air New Zealand.

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  30. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    Ryanair is not even that much cheaper for the times people want to fly.

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  31. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    Last time I flew Jetstar they printed the wrong gate number on the boarding pass. Luckily I knew that was the Air NZ side of the airport and didn’t bother waiting there and made my way to the usual Jetstar gate.

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  32. mattyroo (1,028 comments) says:

    Angus said:

    If you check in at the airport 20 minutes before takeoff on a security checked flight, don’t expect any airline to show you any mercy

    What a load of tripe Angus. As recently as Monday morinng I checked in for an international flight with AirNZ well after the flight was closed, <15 mins before boarding. I regularly do this and never hold the airline up. Both Singapore and AirNZ will do this – especially for status customers. However, being a Platinum member with Qantas gets no such advantage with Qantas owned Jetstar. I have flown them once and will never ever fly them again – no matter what.

    A few years ago I left my passport at home, not realising until I was at the airport – I told the check-in staff and told them I'll be back….. I won't say how quickly I got from Akl airport to Remuera and back, but AirNZ held off closing the flight until I was back. I made the flight as the door was closing, this was a LA flight too, therefore even more difficult for the airline to hold.

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