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Following customer fury, JetStar reinstates pre-Christmas flight

Following public outcry and other round of bad press, Qantas' JetStar subsidiary has decided to reinstated a December 23 flight from Melbourne to Auckland.

Yesterday, the budget airline cancelled the flight. It said 80 affected passengers were offered alternative flights - but some complained they were offered tickets on Boxing Day, or up to a week before Chrismas when they were still at work. Booking tickets on flights with other airlines had cost hundreds more in some cases.

This afternoon, JetStar  communications manager, Phil Boeyen told NBR the airline had "added an extra Melbourne to Auckland flight" on December 23. It could not be called a direct replacement for the cancelled flight because its exact time had yet to be confirmed.

The airline would be attempting to contact the 80 original passengers. Those who had chosen a refund and booked a flight with another airline in the interim had severed their relationship with the original flight, but all affected ticket holders were encouraged to get in touch.

Asked why the original December 23 flight was canceled, Mr Boeyen was unable to give a specific reason beyond "airlines reschedule flights from time to time."

Wellington Solicitor Jordan Williams complained to NBR that JetStar had "tried to censor" a comment, which only appeared some hours later after he complained.

Others have claimed on Twitter that the airnline has removed their comments about the Melbourne-Auckland flight from its Facebook page.

However, at least a couple of robust posts were on show when NBR visited.

"Jetstar, you really have hit an all time low this week ... cancelling flights just prior to Christmas and trying to rebook people on Boxing Day. SHAME ON YOU," posted Michele Cadman.

Ben Dickson offered, "I just want to say you are perhaps the most unethical company I have come across."

The company's Twitter account, JetStar_NZ, has become another magnet for criticism.

It's another example of social media being powerful tool - but not always for the brands that seek to exploit it.

More by Chris Keall

Comments and questions

"I just want to say you are perhaps the most unethical company I have come across."

Obviously, someone who hasn't dealt with United Airlines, American Airlines or other USA-based providers.

Or big tobacco ... or fast-food companies that target toddlers...

I've never had the treatment on US-based airlines like Delta that I have with Qantas/Jetstar. Why the pick on America each time? They are nearly all the same, irrespective of where you live.

Nothing about picking on America. It's simply a reflection of my own experiences, and the myriad stories out there about abysmal service from the US providers.

Anyone who booked from NZ, and acted on the cancellation to re-book more expensively, might well succeed in the Disputes Tribunal.

The moral of the story - dont fly Jetstar ever. This sort of nonsense may wash in the Australian market but not in NZ.

Just tried calling Jetstar. The call centre has no idea about the flight and is trying to tell me that my rebooked flight on Dec 20 from Melbourne to Sydney to Christchurch to Auckland is me 'accepting' the cancelled flight??? Can I please speak to someone who has a clue in this airline and get my Christmas plans back on track????

Well, being one who has suffered from their parent company (I don't think even Qantas really wants to own them now) I'm not surprised with JESTER Airlines in further troubles. What a joke. I have already decided to NEVER fly their owner again, let alone the young incompetent kids.
Are they related to the jokers trying to run a payroll system for NZ teachers?

The more customers complain about unethical or sloppy service, the more chance there is of these companies having to do something about it. Hiding behind an answering service or ignoring phone calls or pleading ignorance has just got to stop, and it is up the customers to become vocal and not put up with this sort of thing - naming and shaming, that's the way to go.

Terrible cr*ppy airline. Pay more on Air NZ every time.

These guys are just such clowns. Why would you fly on this airline ever?

These people moan and complain.. but I guarantee that two months down the track they'll use Jet* again because they don't want to pay for a real airline. People are idiots. This is what keeps Jet* in business or else they wouldn't be making the profit that they constantly do.

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