Today’s Jetstar story

March 1st, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Kay Blundell at Stuff reports:

refused to shift a booking for the mother of shark victim Adam Strange to fly to Auckland after his death.

Jeanette Strange, of Paraparaumu, had already booked return flights from Wellington to visit her son next week.

But after police broke the news to her on Wednesday of her son’s death at Muriwai Beach, her sister rang Jetstar to transfer the booking, telling the airline about the horrific reasons for the change.

“They put me on hold for 10 minutes to talk to a supervisor, then said they were very sorry but could not transfer the booking. She would have to pay $321 for a new ticket,” sister Kay Cresswell said yesterday.

I really don’t know what is wrong with the management of Jetstar. Some of the issues with their service are hard to fix, such as the lack of backup capacity. That is a consequence of being budget. Fair enough.

But not having a system in place where someone can have delegated authority to make decisions that are no brainers will just keep on resulting in these horror stories.

She then contacted Air New Zealand, and was told there were two seats left on a flight to Auckland.

When they arrived at Wellington Airport the flight was full, but police had already notified the airline of their arrival, and it gave Mrs Strange a discounted seat.

She was escorted to the Koru lounge, given refreshments, a diabetic food package for the flight, and was escorted to the plane.

A nice contrast.

Tags:

32 Responses to “Today’s Jetstar story”

  1. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    The media will keep spinning these stories until JetStar gives in on one exceptional case. Then they’ll continue until someone who’s missing their sick kitten will be accommodated.

    I’m glad AirNZ did what they did. Good on them. But the continuous beatup on JetStar when EVERYBODY knows the rules is more than a little pitiful.

    Disclosure: I never fly JetStar!

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. edhunter (538 comments) says:

    While not exactly a champion for JetStar I feel they are often on a hiding to nothing with some of the stories DPF & the MSM run on them. Not in this case, they deserve and have almost gone out of their way to earn the negative press on this one.
    I do fly JetStar.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Steve (North Shore) (4,547 comments) says:

    You got it KK.

    If Jetstar caves then all of the dysfunction bleeding heart bludgers will be on the bandwagon in a lightening flash. Nice that Air NZ can afford to do what they did though

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    As usual, mercy for no one on this blog

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. b1gdaddynz (279 comments) says:

    Sometimes you need to be able to look at the big picture for writing off $350 (which given she had already paid for a ticket is minimal) they could have gotten thousands of dollars’ worth of free positive advertising; instead they get deserved negative press. I understand that the initial call taker might not have the delegated authority to make the call but surely they have team leaders who can make “no brainer” decisions like this one. How hard is it to say “Sorry I am not authorised to make that call but I’ll put you through to my team leader”?!? We know Jetstar is a budget airline but this really has nothing to do with this issue!

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Lloyd (125 comments) says:

    I know the family and I knew Adam. “dysfunction bleeding heart bludgers” does not describe the family at all.
    Compassion on the part of Jetstar would not open the floodgates; it would merely show that they are human.
    Adam Strange was an exceptional documentary maker and a hell of a nice guy. R.I.P.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Jetstar really aren’t that bad. I’ve only had one run in with them, and that was while waiting for an overnight flight from Perth to Coolangatta (ie further than a trans-Tasman flight).
    I’d paid the extra $10 to get a window “A” seat, with the intention of sleeping on the way back to Gold Coast. The gate staff called me up about half an hour before boarding and told me there had been a seat change, and of course I was suspicious. They’d changed me to a “E” seat, in between two people, and I was told there was nothing they could do because I had been seated next to unaccompanied minors and the plane was full. Being that it was already past my bedtime, of course I arced up, and they knew in no uncertain terms what I thought about that. I told them to move someone else who had a window seat who hadn’t paid extra to book a seat, give me their seat, and say tough luck to them. Anyway, long story short, the gate staff pulled a rabbit out of their arse and I ended up with the “only spare seat in the plane” at 2A. So I got the extra leg room too. When they gave me the boarding pass, they fully expected thanks, but I just said “well you should have done that to start with.”

    Contrast that to when it happened on Virgin – “We’ve had a seat change, here’s your new seat” and it was an upgrade to the front of the plane, without having to argue.

    Oh yeah, and you only remember the bad and really good incidents (not the average ones) and form your opinion based on those flights. Both of those were memorable, and thus have helped to shape my perception of both airlines.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. slightlyrighty (2,471 comments) says:

    Sure, we can all wax lyrical about the difference in corporate culture and it’s ultimate effect on the line, but how much profit did Air NZ make last year?

    Is a customer focus worth the investment? The bottom line would suggest so. Having said that, I have flown jetstar. I will do so in the future if the price is worth it.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    BTW – the above incident won’t stop me flying Jetstar if the price is right. They still got me from Perth to Coolangatta in a window seat. But all other things being equal (or even for $10-20 more) I will fly Virgin over Jetstar every time.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Peter (1,699 comments) says:

    Jetstar sell on price.

    These stories about service will not negatively effect them, because people who fly Jetstar buy on price. There have been countless stories about Jetstar’s service levels – and those of budget airlines in the UK – but you know what? People keep flying them. Why? Because they’re cheap.

    These stories simply remind people of the Jetsar brand and the fact they are cheap. Jetstar. Cheap. Jetstar. Cheap. Not great service, but Jetstar. Cheap. Free brand advertising.

    PS: I don’t fly Jetstar, or any economy airline because I value service. Anyone who flies Jetstar knows the deal. Or should by now.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Bingo99 (88 comments) says:

    I think the beatup on Jetstar is entirely warranted.

    The airline has chosen to outsource its call centre functions to the Philippines. As with most outsourced call centres, there is a script and it is followed to the tee, and in some countries there is a cultural element that creeps in whereby deviation from that script is to be avoided. Discretionary decisions are subsequently eliminated from the call centre staff’s role, compounded by the fact that there is no local knowledge of the situation.

    Like the limited number of available aircraft, and fleet rotation across the Tasman, which lead to significant delays and cancellations, this is a management decision and they suffer the consequences of this. So yes, Jetstar should be held to account for stupid decisions arising from their strategy.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Peter (1,699 comments) says:

    It won’t affect Jetstar.

    There have been countless poor service stories and yet this woman, and many others, still booked. And many more people will book today. And tomorrow. And so on, and so on.

    People will likely stop flying them only if the prices rise to match competitors.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Lance (2,635 comments) says:

    There should be some tick box or something.

    “If there is a flight cancellation we will probably not be able to give you another seat till the next day, if you are lucky. So be prepared to either fork out $400 ea for a last minute seat on Air NZ or hunker down on the comfortable airport seats for the night.

    Then nobody could say they weren’t fore-warned.

    Oh BTW that happened to us twice, on the same fucking journey.

    Travelling Jetstar is a roll of the dice.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. paul henry (49 comments) says:

    Jetstar is not cheaper when you factor in the extra stress of check-in (can’t be even a millisecond late) and the sickening garish orange decor.

    Would you ride in a pen on a cattle truck from Hamilton to Rotorua if it was $20 cheaper than taking a bus? No you wouldn’t because it would cost you more than that to recover.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Peter (1,699 comments) says:

    Would you ride in a pen on a cattle truck from Hamilton to Rotorua if it was $20 cheaper than taking a bus?

    Seems many Kiwis do just that i.e. go on the face price of a travel ticket.

    Strange, but there it is.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Steve (North Shore) (4,547 comments) says:

    Lloyd,
    “dysfunction bleeding heart bludgers” refers to those who would abuse the priviledge if Jetstar went all soft. Human nature.
    It certainly was not directed at Adam Strange or any of his family – you know that.

    RIP Adam Strange

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Steve (North Shore) (4,547 comments) says:

    con’t – edit got me.
    The beatup of Jetstar is warranted, as is my defence. Jetstar did not make $100M profit and never will. If the bludgers climb on a Jetstar free for all, then Jetstar will fold. Then you will pay big time

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Komata (1,178 comments) says:

    FWIW:

    Having flown internationally on ANZ, Virgin and Jetstar, I have to say that IMHO, Jetstar does seem to be the least co-operative and customer-orientated: check-in counters opening late, stolid and sullen staff, chronic incosistencies (seemingly based upon personal whim), and an unbending attitude as reflected in the Stuff article. Curiously, of these three trans-Tasman airlines I have found ANZ to be the one carrier with a ‘cattle class’ – cram-em-in mentality; a flight to Melbourne with Chinese nationals of all ages comprising 90% of the passengers was a revelation. Conversely, Virgin staff at all levels (on both sides of the Tasman) have always come across as being both professional and actually interested in what they were doing and with whom they were in contact.

    As I said, FWIW.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Bingo99 (88 comments) says:

    @Peter: a simplistic view of Jetstar (and business) indeed.

    Jetstar have consistently lower fares than Air NZ, not because they want to but because the market wont allow them to raise their prices to match Air NZ. Why? Because passengers make a trade off between price, reliability and customer service. And passengers know that Jetstar is still unable to deliver sufficient reliability and service to warrant higher fares.

    So Jetstar does lose out, with lower yields and lower revenues than otherwise would be the case if they just got their act together.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    Wait. So the woman booked budget tickets on an airline which are clearly marked as not transferable, and then expects everyone to fall over and give free tickets because of personal circumstance? Since when did Jetstar become a charity?
    AirNewZealand jumps in for the free publicity, fair enough thats their call.

    For all the haters out there. Remove the fact that her son has just passed away in a terrible accident. Look at the facts. This is a b******t media beat up. Get over it

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Elaycee (4,375 comments) says:

    Jetstar is an embarrassment. They have become the Chernobyl of air travel. This is just another item in a long list of monumental cock-ups….

    Unbelievable: The mother already had a ticket for another flight. Because of the death of her son, she wanted to travel earlier and yet Jetstar said….. nah – it’ll cost you another ticket! FFS!

    Jetstar deserves every bit of crap they’re getting.

    Totally. Self. Inflicted.

    Disclosure: I’d sooner fly Garuda / Aeroflot / hot air balloon / take a train / or get a bus, than fly Jetstar. They wouldn’t know the meaning of customer service if it bit them in the bum.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Northland Wahine (667 comments) says:

    I think Jet Star handled this really bad to say the least… Especially the media attention surrounding Adam Strange’s death. However, should jet star waive all transfer fees due to the death of a family member? Tough call…

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Sean (300 comments) says:

    As pointed out, the call centre staff have little authority in such a case. It might interest people to know that, according to the US Air Transport Association, on average airlines make USD0.21 per customer;that’s twenty-one cents (http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/airlines-making-21-cents-per-passenger/story-e6frfq80-1226587502849). Its a volume business, especially with low cost carriers.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Jimmy Smits (246 comments) says:

    krazykiwi (8,883) Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 11:05 am
    But the continuous beatup on JetStar when EVERYBODY knows the rules is more than a little pitiful.

    The most ironic thing is that you have mentioned on this blog in the past that you are Christian, yet you act nothing like Christ and more like the Pharisees who were obsessed with rules and not showing any compassion.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Nookin (3,282 comments) says:

    It’s an interesting debate, isn’t it? As I understand it, the issue is not whether Jetstar would transfer the flight, the issue is whether it would make a spot decision not to charge its usual fee. Jetstar was quite happy to change the flights and get her to Auckland.

    I had always been under the impression that airlines are quite happy to consider applications for rebates or concessions after the event when they can see an appropriately documented presentation. I can understand that some airlines my well be reluctant to make spot of decisions on the basis of telephone calls.

    The problem in making comparisons with Air New Zealand is that we do not know what Air New Zealand would have charged for the original flights and what they actually charged as a discounted fare. It may even be that the discounted fare exceeded the Jetstar fair.

    The philosophical argument is that if there is a transactional cost as a result of this tragedy, who bears that cost? Should it be Jetstar? If there is some form of moral obligation on Jetstar to meet the costs associated with travel when there is loss of life, do we start having an argument over whether funeral directors should be making concessions in the case of accidental deaths? What is the difference between Jetstar in this case and a funeral director?

    Isn’t it just possible that Air New Zealand is being a little opportunistic about all this?

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. KevinH (1,219 comments) says:

    From a customer service perspective you would have to say that Jetstar were a pack of fools to let this story get out into mainstream media, it’s a monumental PR blunder and someone should get their ass kicked hard.
    From experience in the Travel Industry, there are always exceptions to the rule, changing schedules at short notice because of accident or emergency is not unusual or difficult.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Belinda (141 comments) says:

    I’m flying jetstar for the first time next week.
    Stuffed if I know how they make money, my $40 Queenstown to Wellington flight has now changed to Queenstown to Auckland
    and then another flight to Wellington.
    It is going to take longer to get to Wellington than a return trip to Australia if I include stopover time.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Peter (1,699 comments) says:

    Jetstar have consistently lower fares than Air NZ, not because they want to but because the market wont allow them to raise their prices to match Air NZ. Why? Because passengers make a trade off between price, reliability and customer service. And passengers know that Jetstar is still unable to deliver sufficient reliability and service to warrant higher fares.

    That isn’t correct.

    The model appears to be the same as the model run by cut-rate airlines in Europe. They drive down costs by cutting service levels and pass on those savings to customers in order to be competitive.

    Such airlines are the Warehouse of the skies. “Everyone gets a bargain”. They didn’t say everyone gets great service.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Theres true comp[assion….and then theres getting taken for a sucker. Sadly in NZ too much of the latter has caused the former to become rarer…it can be too costly.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Daniel Silva (10 comments) says:

    “I really don’t know what is wrong with the management of Jetstar”

    I have some experience in dealing with New Zealand branches of Australian companies. In any large Australian company, there are a number of morons who somehow made it to the ranks of senior management. The only thing you can do with them is to pack them off to run the New Zealand branch.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. MT_Tinman (3,136 comments) says:

    It wasn’t Jetstar’s kin, it wasn’t even Jetstar’s shark.

    Why the hell should Jetstar’s shareholders have to bear the cost?

    Is communism that entrenched within NZ?

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Kacang (36 comments) says:

    Yes, wasn’t it nice of Air New Zealand to give her a discount and cheap stuff. Who owns Air New Zealand anyway? Oh, yes, us taxpayers.

    It must give their senior staff a warm fuzzy feeling spending someone else’s money doing charitable works.
    Now, if the story was: “Air New Zealand managers dip into their own pockets to …..” I would be more impressed.

    And, no, this isn’t about the poor distraught woman who had lost her husband, it’s about being free with other people’s money, and beating up on a commercial enterprise v a bloated airline that had to be bailed out by us taxpayers when it went bust a few years back.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.