Jetstar scores another own goal

April 13th, 2011 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

From its first week of operations has managed to time and time again alienate and offend its own customers, and potential customers. I’m not even sure if the problem is fixable – their DNA seems to lack the customer service gene.

Personally I will not fly Jetstar in NZ. If a group in Auckland wants to fly me up to speak to them, I now make it a condition that I not be booked on Jetstar.

Their latest stupidity is in Stuff.

Jetstar’s treatment of two high-profile disabled campaigners has been condemned as unacceptable by Disability Issues Minister Tariana Turia.

Tanya Black and Dan Buckingham ā€“ presenters of TVNZ disability show Attitude ā€“ had been due to fly from Auckland to Wellington yesterday morning but were not allowed on to their aircraft after they were told they each needed to fly with their own caregiver.

After an embarrassing standoff of 20 minutes or more, they ditched Jetstar and bought new tickets to Wellington on Air New Zealand.

Jetstar told The Dominion Post it would be apologising, and refunding their fares. It confirmed part of the airline’s concern was about how they might get to the toilet on the hour-long flight.

They had one “care-giver” between them, which is more than adequate. The chances of them both having to go to the toilet at the same time on a one hour flight is pretty much nil.

I recall when Ansett started up in NZ. They knew they had to gain market share, so they went for superb customer service. Everytime you flew with them, they personally thanked you for supporting their airline. They had the exact attitude an under-dog should have.

Jetstar seems to have developed an attitude normally found reserved for the Belarus Government. They seem to treat customers as a distraction. You can almost imagine they moaning how easy it would be to fly these planes about if there were no passengers to slow things down.

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31 Responses to “Jetstar scores another own goal”

  1. Bobbie black (507 comments) says:

    I thought it was a bit weird that there was an item on TV1 Business Breakfast promoting the airline and a new route and then on Close-up the same day, there was a very prolongued Walrus item seemingly trying to destroy the airline’s credibility.

    OK they did act attrociously and the guy said that about a million times but the Walrus just didn’t seem to want to let it go.

    Coincidence? Or not?

    Maybe something went on behind the scenes that we don’t know about.

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  2. gravedodger (1,575 comments) says:

    When Ansett arrived I was only using Air NZ when forced to and so many of my friends just couldn’t understand that the increasing affordability of flying was down to the competitive actions that the interloper had generated. I was regarded as a traitor by acquaintances flying to the same dest on Air NZ.
    I have not seen JS in the same light and I have so far totally avoided what I see as a bunch of insensitive incompetents running an airline that seems to go out of its way to cause grief.
    Good move David with your ban.

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  3. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    To be fair, after the first few people should have worked out they were sticklers for their stupid rules. Some of the bad PR is simply because people hate them from those first few incidents.

    But on the other hand, they should have worked out after those incidents that they had more to gain by bending and changing their stupid rules. It beggars belief frankly.

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  4. Lazybum (259 comments) says:

    Lower prices = lower service. Get over it, market forces at work. I am happy for $20 airfares to be common if some service levels are lower than competition.
    However, I will fly if the airfare is cheaper than ANZ as service difference = zero for me.
    Go Jetstar, keeping airfares low and honest.

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  5. Rick Rowling (816 comments) says:

    It won’t matter.

    Kiwis buy on price, not quality or value.

    That’s why AMI got so many customers, why there are so many “coupla’ bucks” shops around, and why we put up with tortuous routes through vege sections, oversized meat packs, atrocious queues, less brand choice and packing your own damn groceries at NZ’s cheapest supermarket.

    Tell us something’s cheap, and we’ll buy it and lump the consequences. Again and again.

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  6. Bobbie black (507 comments) says:

    @Rick Rowling, very true.

    Time for JS to start providing cheap bulk milk, butter and cheese items for sale on board their domestic flights.

    OK that IS genius!

    Shit how do I patent it?

    Copyright Bobbie Black April 2011.

    :)

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  7. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    Iā€™m not even sure if the problem is fixable ā€“ their DNA seems to lack the customer service gene.

    That’s because they are an Australian company, Customer Service is non existent in Aus. Even Aussie’s will admit that!

    Jetstar seems to have developed an attitude normally found reserved for the Belarus Government.

    Unfortunate coincidence?

    http://www.news.com.au/world/explosion-minsks-oktyabrskaya-metro-station-kills-11-injures-100/story-e6frfkyi-1226037680425

    I know your digging at the gov, but still…

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  8. Christopher Thomson (377 comments) says:

    When I travel for work I always ask to be booked on Air NZ not JetStar. Why? because I am a shocker for being on time at check-in. I know they adhere to the rules so for my own assurance I don’t fly with them.

    I know the rule and I have made a concious decision how to cope with it. How come these whingers can’t do the same. They broke the rules. Deal with it. Instead they run off and cry about discrimination and how the rules shouldn’t apply to them ’cause they are celebrities.

    Well boo fuckin’ hoo. Grow up and deal with it.

    They seem symptomatic of all the losers in this country that want the world to revolve around them.

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  9. mavxp (483 comments) says:

    Firstly we should acknowledge that Jetstar and Ansett before them provide an important service to all of NZ – competition.

    It is good for our domestic business market, our personal wallets when visiting the relies or friends in another part of NZ, and for tourists who are already shocked at having to pay so much for everything here anyway.

    Try flying somewhere Jetstar doesn’t in NZ – like New Plymouth, Napier-Hastings, Gisborne, Nelson, Dunedin. No competitive airfares from the effective monopoly Air NZ to these regional destinations.

    As for their business model – they are copying Easyjet, Ryan Air et al. which changed travel across Europe from the UK. When I lived there I wouldn’t stoop lower than easyjet, but still got frustrated with bad service, delays, delays, delays. But hey, I kept flying with them because it was a cheaper way to go on holiday than using a national carrier. If people expect good service, go with Air NZ, otherwise, suck it up and accept that paying less gets you less.

    If you want to take the nominal service risk you will fly with them again and again.

    “Yous pays your money yous takes your choice” (sic)

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  10. MarkF (102 comments) says:

    Jetstar is a subsidiary of QANTAS and we all know what that stand for;

    Q uick
    A nd
    N asty
    T ypical
    A ustralian
    S ervice

    What more should we expect?

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  11. Michael (913 comments) says:

    Fond memories of Ansett – I remember booking flights a disabled sports team for a championship down in Christchurch. Nothing was too much trouble, everything went smoothly on the flight down and when the sh*t hit the fan on the way back (the co-pilot damaged the cockpit window after landing) they fell over themselves to take care of us.

    Air New Zealand are better than they used to be, but I still miss that Ansett service.

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  12. artemisia (268 comments) says:

    Reminds me of the UK bus company with the mission statement to run the buses on time. So if they were running late they didn’t stop to pick up passengers.

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  13. hmmokrightitis (1,596 comments) says:

    AirNZ arent a low cost airline, so comparing service isnt relevant between the two. I fly AirNZ at least twice a week, from the provinces to AKL or WNG. Its generally expensive, and often late. But sitting in the Koru Lounge watching grownups fight to join the queues when the pies come out – priceless :) Chose cheap, leave elevated service expectations behind. Pay more, expect more, sometimes a la Air NZ it gets delivered.

    Hey, have to keep the AirNZ clothes horse in suits, right?

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  14. Whafe (650 comments) says:

    Just never fly JetStar unless it is the first flight departing in the morning, otherwise you will be late!

    But agree, cant compare service of JS with AirNZ…

    Mentioned above was JS modelling against SleazyJet / Ryan Air… those 2 airlines leaving Stanstead were far more reliable that BA etc etc…. A shit load better than JetStar…..

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  15. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    What’s with the requirement for a “care-giver” to travel with them?

    It seems outrageous that a mentally-sound adult in a wheel chair is expected to take along a “care-giver” when taking a flight.

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  16. david (2,194 comments) says:

    Full Service and budget prices are simply not compatible. The two precious wheelchair bound complainants claimed repeatedly that they did not require assistance, that they “self-transferred” to aisle-width wheelchairs and “self-transferred” to their seats.
    What they would not acknowledge was that the airline had to supply someone to bring the aisle-width wheelchairs to the boarding gate, take away the full-size wheelchairs for stowage, remove the aisle chairs after the passengers were seated and repeat the process in reverse at the other end. All this without pre-warning the airline that EXTRA ASSISTANCE WAS REQUIRED. They were clearly not self-managing.

    Might it have had something to do with an attempt to get some publicity for the cause they were travelling to support? co-incidence? …. I don’t think so.

    To take it from bad to worse as an example of journalistic dishonesty, the walrus tried to say that itr was soooo much worse because these two were travelling to Wellington to discuss disabled access issues with gummint.

    Does he advise airlines who he is on his way to meet and the subject of his planned discussions before he gets on a plane? And if he did what would I expect him to be told? “who gives a flying f**k, just pay for your seat and get on the bloody plane”

    I’m no fan for Jetstar but in this case it is an OTT beat-up.

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  17. Bobbie black (507 comments) says:

    If it was Air New Zealand it would be that crazy guy (famous gay aerobics instructor) saying, if you are disabled, get over it!!! Be John Locke off of LOST and stand up OUT OF THAT CHAIR cause the NEW ZEALAND ISLES welcome miracles!! Just like in the famous series!!

    Even when we crash!

    I am definitely flying Air New Zealand next time.

    :)

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  18. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    I saw the Jetstar CEO on closeup – but , i still don’t get it.

    He stated that Jetstar policy is that a disabled person must have a caregiver and according to this the staff followed the correct policy by bumping these 2 from the flight.

    Yet, at the same time, he said they made a mistake.

    I thought the CEO was contradicting himself , (when he wasn’t spewing marketing blurb ).

    Did anyone think the same as me?

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  19. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    david @ 10:20am – The Airline knew they were wrong to have adopted such an outrageous approach. The story on Stuff includes this:

    The pair told The Dominion Post the airline eventually said it would let them fly only if they agreed not to go to the media, but they felt dehumanised, humiliated and frustrated, and decided to fly with Air New Zealand.

    The measure of any company is how it treats it customers, regardless of their circumstances. It is nonsense David to describe the airline as being required to provide “extra assistance”, it was straight-forward “assistance”. Does Jetsar have a guide book that tells staff how much assistance they can provide – can they assist a mother with babies? and then only babies up to a certain weight? Can it assist the elderly into their seats, but only if they are over 70 years?

    david – you will sing a different tune when its your turn to be disabled and you need assistance..

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  20. MikeE (439 comments) says:

    Wouldn’t hold your breath, I was on the first jetstar fail flight – and am still yet to recieve what was promised by David Kockzar over the phone from Shitstar.

    Wouldn’t fly with them now if you paid me to.

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  21. KH (695 comments) says:

    David Farrar – once upon a time Jetstar did not treat you as a beltway insider knows they should be treated. Get over it. It was once a long time ago.

    [DPF: Don’t be a fuckwit. I’ve only flown them once in NZ and the flight was okay. My disdain for them is based on the multiple complaints from friends and stories in the media.

    Incidentially you are showing a habit of trying to turn issues into personal sneering at me. You can fuck off if you keep that up]

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  22. starboard (2,563 comments) says:

    Jetstar rock. 40 buck flights to Auckland ! 29 buck flights to Queenstown ! If Jetstar disappeared tomorrow the moaners and whingers would then be blowin on how expensive those same tickets had become. Air NZ suck I would rather walk. Wheelchair blowhards…get over yourselves.

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  23. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    starboard arrives to deliver his daily dose of charm and eloquence.

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  24. starboard (2,563 comments) says:

    stop stalking me Rod..are you gay?

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  25. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    No, but thanks for caring.

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  26. Dazzaman (1,082 comments) says:

    Lower prices = lower service.

    Yes, but lower service should still be good regardless of the price.

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  27. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Lower prices = lower service. Get over it, market forces at work. I am happy for $20 airfares to be common if some service levels are lower than competition.
    However, I will fly if the airfare is cheaper than ANZ as service difference = zero for me.
    Go Jetstar, keeping airfares low and honest.

    Paying an airfare implies that you actually get to fly. On a plane. To your desired destination.

    Hell, if I could fly with cattle in a Hercules, I would, as long as it was cheaper. But usually when you pay for a flight, you expect to be able to fly somewhere, no matter what the quality of the flight might be. Jetstar fail to meet that standard.

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  28. dion (95 comments) says:

    > Paying an airfare implies that you actually get to fly. On a plane. To your desired destination.

    Actually, if you read the terms & conditions you’ll find they don’t even guarantee that :)

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  29. Johnboy (17,015 comments) says:

    Could be worse. We might get Ryanair here. They will want the cripples to stand.

    Down the back of course. :)

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  30. mattyroo (1,030 comments) says:

    MarkF,

    That’s a new one for me… Knowing a few Qantas girls in the past, I always thought it was:

    Q uick
    A nd
    N asty
    T rashy
    A ustralian
    S luts

    It has always been the best airline for picking up the trolley dolly’s in business class…..

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  31. LeftPilot (60 comments) says:

    Lower prices with JetStar = lower levels of safety. JetStar are more than an abomination, they are almost everything that is wrong with the aviation industry currently. Sadly it won’t be until there are 3 hull losses (they’ve come close, bloody close so far) and then there’ll be the public outcry and hand wringing.

    But by all means in the meantime lap up that $40 flight.

    To everyone out there who refuses to fly JetStar bravo, Darwin’s theory of evolution at work.

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