Jetstar

March 5th, 2011 at 12:27 pm by David Farrar

Another day, and another story about Jetstar.

must have the worst corporate reputation or brand of any major company in NZ, because time and time again they treat their custimers like shit. They did it in their first week of operations, and have kept it up since.

It would be great to have decent competition in NZ, but I refuse to fly Jetstar in NZ. Their service is bad enough, but it is their attitude that really appals me.

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38 Responses to “Jetstar”

  1. jims_whare (398 comments) says:

    They are a bunch of nitwits. Obviously they have policy that their staff have to enforce that pretty much refuses flexibility/refunds for anyone/everyone. Also at the top of the heap they have PR people trying to make the company look good in the public’s eye.

    So we end up in the ridiculous situation where customers ring up the call centre and get told, no piss off.
    The same customers then moan (and rightly so) to the media.
    Once their situation gets publicized the PR folk jump on board and make sure the right things gets done (belatedly)

    So Jetsar ends up getting bad publicity AND losing their $$$ which their policy is supposedly there to guard against.

    They lose out both ways – Equals dumb dumb and dumber.

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  2. Sean (299 comments) says:

    Airlines are not insurers to the public for anything that goes wrong in the world and which results in a need to change flights. Why do people expect this from an airline, especially one that markets itself as a low cost carrier? Bookings are made by people such as these solely because it offered the lowest fares. It does so by cutting a lot of costs from the operation, including the reservation and ticketing functions that network carriers have. Low cost carriers don’t need such a large function because they sell tickets that are point to point and most importantly marketed as non changeable and non refundable. People buy tickets with this knowledge – they cannot do otherwise, because consumer protection legislation requires that this information is read and understood before a ticket may be purchased.

    Two words: travel insurance.

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  3. dimmocrazy (286 comments) says:

    @Sean: while you are right in theory about travel insurance, that in itself has absolutely nothing to do with customer service.
    From experience I can tell that Jetstar has no clue whatsoever in that (customer service) department. It almost appears if they go out of their way to hire the nastiest, lazy and arrogant staff, who they then employ in a system of corporate rules that resemble the inner workings of a gulag or concentration camp. The end result is a shockingly substandard level of service that is destined to eventually erode everything the marketing and PR departments may spin together. This outfit is doomed and should be avoided like the plague!!

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  4. Southern Raider (1,583 comments) says:

    Totally agree. They always seem to be disorganised at the counter/check in, kiosks never seem to work so you have to line up and they never seem to run on time.

    I think I ended up paying more once to check in a bag than what the flight cost.

    Also at Auckland the security situation is a joke. Quite often the queue starts at the bottom of the elevator or stairs.

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  5. mattyroo (975 comments) says:

    In my opinion, the worst thing with them is; They do not honour Qantas Frequent Flyer Program status travellers, despite being owned by Qantas.

    As a Qantas Platinum Frequent Flyer, I could avoid all the queues of the unwashed, if they recognised my status and therefore shortened my time at the airport and also allowing me to access the Qantas lounge. However they don’t, so this is another of the reasons that I do not fly them.

    Because of this policy, there will be many business travellers who do not fly Jetstar, the same travellers who do not worry about cost, just service and efficiency of.

    As a AirNZ Gold Elite, I therefore do all my NZ domestic travel with them. It’s the little things like this that ensure repeat business – As the old saying goes; Penny wise, Pound foolish.

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  6. Komata (1,110 comments) says:

    FWIW

    I had a conversation recently with a Travel Agent relating to travel to Australia. In the course of this, Jetstar came up as a possible option he said that there was no way that he could recommend them to me as a carrier ‘because they have ‘certain issues’ and a poor reputation within the (travel) industry’

    Make of that what you will.

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  7. northern (44 comments) says:

    I too was screwed by Jetstar (meeting in CHC cancelled after the earthquake) so of course I agree with others annoyed at them. As DPF said, they’re no real competition for Air NZ. But here’s another gripe: if you call them and (inevitably) have to wait for an operator, you don’t have just the usual awful muzak to put up with: Jetstar runs continual self-serving advertising which you have to listen to in case it’s actually the operator! In other ways our Ozzie mates might have helped out a lot over the earthquake, but this Ozzie outfit is profiting from our tragedy. Shame on them!

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  8. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Low Cost Airlines have loads of issues. Some of their policies seem harsh. At the end of the day it is stuff like cancelling flights because they haven’t sold enough tickets on that plane that are the worst features. Air New Zealand have a great culture, and very good service standards, but competition is needed to keep them honest.

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  9. orewa1 (428 comments) says:

    Sadly Jetstar is a subsidiary of Qantas, an airline that 5 years ago gave Air NZ a real run for its money in the classy airline stakes. Since then, Qantas too has totally lost the plot. Many Aussies are seriously embarrassed by their airlines.

    For all the occasional bad press that Air NZ gets, it is a class act. We are very fortunate to have a national airline which is genuinely world class by every possible measure.

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  10. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Two words: travel insurance

    Sean,

    Two words: force majeure

    Travel insurance may not cover a change of travels plans resulting from an “act of God”.

    Example 1: http://sctinz.custhelp.com/ci/fattach/get/55//session/L2F2LzEvc2lkL2JpNjFFN29r

    On the FAQs for Southern Cross Travel Insurance it would seem that you are only covered if you were going to DEPART from ChCh airport.

    So the kids in DPF’s referenced article would not have had cover.

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  11. Sean (299 comments) says:

    @ bhudson

    Well if travel insurance won’t cover a force majeure episode, then why would you expect the airline to do so? Its not an inurance company at all.

    It comes down to whether the airline would be prepared to do this on an ex gratia basis. Some would, some wouldn’t. I agree with the commentators here that Jet* falls into the latter category; which begs the question, why fly with them in the first place?

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  12. starboard (2,475 comments) says:

    Have flown Jetstar many many times , domestic and international and Ive never had a problem. I dont expect too much from them. My flights have always been ontime and Ive never had one cancel on me. Sure they made giant fuckups in their first month of doing business here but thats history.
    For the first time in along time we have a choice…and a cheap one at that. We need them here to keep Air NZ in check.

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  13. dime (9,430 comments) says:

    they are just crap. i fly with them occasionally cause i always book last minute. eg 2 weeks ago a wgtn to akl flight was 100 bucks on jetstar and 300 on air nz… so i flew one star.

    their only saving grace – the waitresses are way hotter than the fat/old air nz things

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  14. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Well if travel insurance won’t cover a force majeure episode, then why would you expect the airline to do so?

    In short, I don’t.

    Jetstar management has chosen to accept the risk that a ‘by the book’ stance won’t impact their future earnings and profitability (their current quarter will look pretty good it would seem – with planes with fully paid up fares not having to take off.)

    Another airline has chosen to take a different approach. They are making decisions that look like they are being compassionate and reasonable. Ultimately, passenger numbers and profitability figures on the domestic routes over the coming quarters will determine which was the better decision.

    My comment on travel insurance was solely to point out that that insurance was not an option people could have taken to mitigate this particular risk.

    My 5c worth is that Air NZ’s position will prove to be the better commercial decision (not that we are likely to see figures that prove it.) This is NZ and, barring financial necessity, people will very likely take into account Jetstar’s behaviour when buying tickets. (Now, if they were a Ryan Air offering 3 quid fares then it might well be a different outcome, but from what I have seen, they are nowhere near that sort of a discount airline.)

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  15. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    @starboard 4:42pm

    For the first time ever here, I think, I agree with you. I’ve frequently flown Jetstar, haven’t noticed delays to be any worse than those on Air NZ, and I have always been treated with respect by the staff.

    [Now, who would have thought that - a Green supporting competition, and against a majority state-owned corporation at that?]

    Truth is, I fly with whatever option gives me the best deal as long as I can get where I want when I want. And, yes – before someone asks – I do use their carbon offset payments options, even though I have some doubts about whether they effectively offset the CO2 emissions arising from flying.

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  16. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    I won’t use Jet Star. I booked with them fairly early on in there history of flying here and told the person taking the booking I had a dog ( large labrador ) wasn’t an issue. It became one at check in, fortunatly I had a house sitter while I was away and the dog was able to head back to my place.

    Air New Zealand are fantastic in most areas but at Christmas I did have a slight problem with a Chinese woman on the ground staff. My dog had a brand new crate fully complient with what ever it is you have to comply with. To my astonishment she wanted to put ties on the gate of the dog crate in case its closing mechanism failed. I tried to eplain to her that there was nothing for the tie to tie to. The crate is solid plastic with no holes to tie the gate to. After 15 minutes of stressful calls to a supervisor who was also Chinese it was discovered that they had no ties on hand. Fortunatly at this point a cargo loading guy decided to figure out what the hold up was. He grabed some tape wrapped it around the crate and explained it was fine now.

    Actually it wasn’t and my lass then decided to make a realy good job of tapping up the crate a further 5 times around. I wanted to try and explain 26 Kg’s of dog wasn’t going to have to many problems with tape if the lock failed but decided to STFU instead. Ths took a futher 5 minutes and the dog I held up a lot of people.

    I think it is great that Air NZ is bringing in Honk Kong based ( at a guess ) staff, but they need to be deployed with Kiwi’s. The guy who solved the problem was the young Maori guy mid twentys at a guess who loaded cargo. He caught my eye and lifted his eyebrows. He was saying “sorry mate ” and also ” I have to live with this “. All I could do was say thanks mate.

    I have discussed this with a few people and the consensus has been that the Chinese ground staff lack initiative something I have witnessed at Hong Kong on several occasions as well. Easy fix, Air NZ deploy your overseas staff with kiwis and you have Chinese speakers who will solve problems in seconds.

    Incidently I note you haven’t politicised this debate so I will. I think that selling off some shares in Air New Zealand is a great idea sure the government will remain the majority investor and that makes it a great safe investment for Kiwis. This is a good idea and that the left objects to it is beyond me. Cactus gave me a boot a few weeks back saying I was actually centre right I am not but it is very hard to be centre left at the moment.

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  17. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    toad said “I have some doubts about whether they effectively offset the CO2 emissions arising from flying.”

    …but the Greens still fly anyway. Am I surprised?

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  18. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    @ Rodders 5:41 pm

    …but the Greens still fly anyway. Am I surprised?

    FFS, do you expect Greens (or environmentalists generally) to never fly anywhere. Air travel is a normal part of life and work. As is driving a car or even catching a train.

    Life is impossible without carbon emissions – the clever idea is to minimise them as much as possible, an to offset them by contributing to things like afforestation that are carbon sinks.

    Of course I fly for my work, and occasionally for a holiday. You seem to expect Greens to take a fundamentalist point of view. We are actually (mostly) very pragmatic people, and I suspect if you ran into me in the pub I would not be that scary at all and we would have a good conversation and appreciate each others views much better.

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  19. Viking2 (11,128 comments) says:

    Heresy from Toad. hahahaha

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  20. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    I had a bit of a chuckle too :)

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  21. Viking2 (11,128 comments) says:

    Some humor

    Getting a hairdryer through Aussie customs….

    A distinguished young Cactus Kate on a flight from New Zealand asked the Priest

    beside her, ‘Father, may I ask a favour?’…’Of course, child. What

    may I do for you?’

    ‘Well, I bought an expensive woman’s electronic hair dryer for my

    mother’s birthday that is unopened and well over the Customs limits,

    and I’m afraid they’ll confiscate it. Is there any way you could carry

    it through customs for me? Under …your robes perhaps?’

    ‘I would love to help you, dear, but I must warn you: I will not lie.’

    ‘With your honest face, Father, no one will question you.’

    When they got to Customs, she let the priest go ahead of her.

    The official asked, ‘Father, do you have anything to declare?’

    ‘From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to declare..’

    The official thought this answer strange, so asked, ‘And what do you

    have to declare from your waist to the floor?’

    ‘I have a marvelous instrument designed to be used on a woman, but

    which is, to date, unused.’

    Roaring with laughter, the official said, ‘Go ahead, Father. Next!’

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  22. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    :D

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  23. Komata (1,110 comments) says:

    Toad:

    Re the following comment: ‘You seem to expect Greens to take a fundamentalist point of view. We are actually (mostly) very pragmatic people, ‘

    Sorry old chap. but having read your numerous postings over time, in defence of ‘The (evidently sacred) Planet’ and ‘Things Environmentally Green’ and your diatribes against air travel, I’m calling you a HYPOCRITE, and no, you and yours in the green ‘movement’ are very definitely NOT ‘Pragmatic people – the “Eighty One Points of Policy’ see to that.

    You’ve just shot yourself in the foot (an ‘own goal’ of you like) and your credibility on things environmental is now zero, so perhaps it’s about time you dropped the facade and admitted that your much hyped ‘New Zealand Green Party environmetnal policies’ are merely a smokescreen and that at heart you are a closet socialist – perhaps even a closet communist, and that all you really want is to controll everyone else on the planet.

    Come on – don’t be shy – the forum won’t bite (much)

    I dare you . . .

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  24. dime (9,430 comments) says:

    of course toad flies. he is part of the green elite. he would like to make it so you plebs cant fly… or own cars.. but toad has important shit to do. you just arent smart enough to understand.

    just relax, live like a caveman and toad will look after everything.

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  25. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    (Now, if they were a Ryan Air offering 3 quid fares then it might well be a different outcome, but from what I have seen, they are nowhere near that sort of a discount airline.)

    Hmmm. Ryanair charge sick squid for a credit card payment last time I check. The monetise EVERYTHING. The Final Price by the time you get to your destination, and then get back to wherever you want to isn’t actually cheap. Very clever, and efficient.

    My issue with them is the seat space, but the good news though is the fact that the fleet of planes is so very new. They are low emitters of something or other.

    TOAD is so busted!! Hahahahah. Live like the Amish and assuage your Guilt.
    Watermelons. Cute enough to rebrand hard line Communism and central control under the guise of Environmental Concerns.
    Still Orwellian, and really scary. Still want to limit our shower pressure and happy with the way youth respond to a lack of discipline at home and school. 14 year olds battering Scottish Girls and using a Machete on Cops etc. What a result!

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  26. Crusader (279 comments) says:

    @ toad

    FFS, do you expect Greens (or environmentalists generally) to never fly anywhere. Air travel is a normal part of life and work. As is driving a car or even catching a train. Life is impossible without carbon emissions –

    You mean MODERN life is impossible without carbon emissions. That’s life with science, medical treatment, air travel, cars, electricity, computers, and the freedom to travel, meet people and post nonsense on the web.
    You could go back to subsistence farming or hunter/gathering if you want, and reduce your CO2 emissions to your exhalations + farts. But you don’t want to, do you?

    You seem to expect Greens to take a fundamentalist point of view.

    You can take any point of view you like. Until you start telling other people what they ought to do with such a high and mighty moral drive. Then I expect you to be the living unblemished epitome of that viewpoint. Drop the moralising and I might even have a beer with you. (Carbonated of course.) ;)

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  27. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    @Komata (7:08 pm

    Sorry old chap. but having read your numerous postings over time, in defence of ‘The (evidently sacred) Planet’ and ‘Things Environmentally Green’ and your diatribes against air travel,

    Here’s a challenge. Try to find any diatribe from me, here or anywhere else, against air travel?

    You won’t, because I have never done it. Yes, I might have said a few uncomplimentary things about Rodney Hide, Chris Carter and Roger Douglas’ excessive air travel on Parliamentary perks, but that is a different issue.

    All I have ever said about air travel is it is always worth looking at IT options such as email, Skype, teleconferences, videoconferences that don’t a carbon emission impact before determining if air travel is essential for business.

    And as for holidays overseas, I’ve never advocated anything more restrictive than what I do – once a year, and usually (but not always) not far beyond the Pacific rim.

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  28. peterwn (3,160 comments) says:

    Guy Fawkes – Qantas NZ (before it became Jetstar) also cancelled flights when there were insufficient bookings. I got a txt at 10pm one evening saying my flight was cancelled and to ring the call centre and the recorded message said there was a long queue. I think they reviewed flights early evening then contacted Air NZ to see how much they would charge Qantas to carry the passengers if Qantas cancelled. I suspect Air NZ offered a rock bottom price just to get their bums on Air NZ seats and experience Air NZ service.

    Their stunt would have worked a lot better if they txt’d the NZ flight number and time.

    In my case, I internet re-booked with Air NZ, checked in with them then raised merry hell at the Qantas counter and got nowhere – i was fuming. I went to the gate and got paged by Air NZ. Air NZ said that Qantas had picked up the tab for my seat and refunded what I paid Air NZ. So it seemed Qantas got Air NZ to sort out their balls-ups.

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  29. Brabus (31 comments) says:

    Unfortunately I am forced to fly this airline due to company policy. I fly a return journey domestically once per week.

    To be fair they can now get me to my destination on time, and this is a huge improvement. However they still retain a detachment from their customers that is incompatible with their marketing. Cheap fairs are not the beginning at all, in fact they are the only thing, you get what you pay for.

    People should not think that the regular rules with regards to customer service and decency apply. They are budget in every sense of the word, that is why you can fly cheaper.

    Now if you value your time or the service you receive then pay a little more to fly Air NZ if not then take your chances on Jet Star.

    My advice, as a regular traveler, would be to avoid Jet Star if possible but don’t moan when you go for the cheap fare but don’t recieve the premium service.

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  30. Brabus (31 comments) says:

    peterwn (1,173) Says:
    March 5th, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Qantas are a joke, they have made me late on more occusasions than I wish to remember*. They should no longer be considered a premium airline

    1 in 15 filghts on time

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  31. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (762 comments) says:

    A lot of the complaints from people when Jetstar started were from people who did not check-in on time. Jetstar seem to have the same staff checking-in that end up on your plane. I guess thats part of how they save their money to have cheap prices. If you can’t get yourself checked-in on time, tough shit.

    As for the current case, when you buy cheap tickets it costs to transfer them. People know this when they buy the tickets, then expect someone else to cover their cost when something goes wrong. It’s a gamble

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  32. TomYum (26 comments) says:

    I was left stranded in Danang (Vietnam) by Jetstar, absolutely shocking communication after a 99% “operational” cancellation ie not enough seats sold. Pretty much entire flight was adopted by Vietnam Air, wonderful service, in the end got to Hanoi only a little bit late. No thanks to Jetstar. My recommendation, based on experience, to anyone in Vietnam, ignore the prices : Vietnam Air >>(bigtime)>>>>> Jetstar.

    Edit: to be fair, the locals were implementing Aussie policies

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  33. Cactus Kate (545 comments) says:

    that’s a terrible joke Viking2

    “Cactus Kate on a flight from New Zealand asked the Priest”

    - ergh my mother lives in NZ so why would I be flying from NZ with a hairdryer for her?
    - why would I buy her an electronic hair dryer when I don’t even have one myself? Wet hair rocks.

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  34. lprent (102 comments) says:

    I don’t fly much these days (that is what the net is for). But Lyn has extensively within NZ whilst promoting her documentary over the last year and because her family are largely in the south island.

    She shares Davids aversion to Jetstar and simply won’t fly them because of crap service and the regular screw ups to her travel plans. I found this out when heading off to Xmas in Christchurch last year when I was trying to book flights. Jetstar were cheaper and had seats available at better times. After some interesting polemical discussion, we flew Air NZ

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  35. Barnsley Bill (975 comments) says:

    It is the insolent attitude that quickly escalates to aggressive rudeness by ALL check in staff that is the worst feature. My EA always organizes a printed boarding pass for me and I understand that you need to leave plenty of time to clear the security ( which is manned exclusively by sleepy acres home for the elderly and bewildered).
    The evacuation levels of hand luggage that most of the drones fly with is irritating but hey. IT IS CHEAP.
    However, two months ago I had no boarding pass and had to check in.
    Since that day all my travel and that of most of my colleagues is now only undertaken if we can get on air NZ.
    They will never get another dollar out of me.

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  36. Sean (299 comments) says:

    @ toad

    You have a choice. You could take a train or a bus between e.g., Auckland and Wellington or between most intermediate points.

    You chose to fly.

    Then you complain that the airline isn’t doing enough to offset the emissions that you contributed to.

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  37. wat dabney (3,671 comments) says:

    toad,

    For the first time ever here, I think, I agree with you.

    Why do you come here?

    The reason, we all know, is because the Green Party so tightly controls and censors comments on its own blog; merely giving the pretence of open discussion (a trick they learned from realclimate, perhaps). Anything approaching real debate is suppressed, so you end up coming here. What a sad political party (the same one, remember, which criminalised free speech in New Zealand.)

    So the question, every time, is why does the Green Party censor its blog so obsessively? Why is it so afraid of free speech? And why should anyone trust a party which practises such Gaddafi-style media control?

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  38. KH (687 comments) says:

    Get over yourself. You once got unhappy with Jetstar because they did exactly what they told you they would. Time to let it go David. Or are you as a semi politician (or once worked for one) still regarding yourself as having a divine right.

    [DPF: First of all I have no idea what you are on about. My problems with Jetstar are not personal. My antipathy towards them is based on the dozens of horror stories I have had relayed to me from those who have flied with them. Their problem is attitude, and until they fix it they will struggle.]

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