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Jetstar JQ 29/30 MEL-BKK-MEL 21/1 Diversion/Delay

Jetstar JQ 29/30 MEL-BKK-MEL 21/1 Diversion/Delay

Old Jan 22, 20, 2:02 pm
  #1  
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Jetstar JQ 29/30 MEL-BKK-MEL 21/1 Diversion/Delay

JQ 29 returned to MEL due to some unspecified technical issue ( departed approx 1440, returned to MEL at 1708). Consequently rescheduled for 1930 departure ( same or different plane is unknown) and arrival at BKK at around 0200 local time. Eventual actual departure ex BKK was 0352 local , ie 6.5 hour delay and actual arrival in MEL at 1600 local ( 5.5 hour delay)
The arrangements covering the delay ex BKK were beyond shambolic ( no surprise there, given JQ’s track record). An email and SMS were sent at close to 1400 BKK time ( ie hours after it was known that the inbound plane was returning to MEL ( and in fact had landed at MEL). By that time many passengers had checked out of accommodation, and probably had limited access to email.
The note from Jetstar advised new departure time of 0210 ( and that checkin would close at 0110). Needless to say, checkin barely opened at 0100, and prior to that there were many confused, dazed-looking passengers trying to find the JQ desk in row D ( it goes without saying, no one from Jetstar in attendance, no signage indicated the further delay). Some of the passengers, including elderly or with children, had been airside at BKK for 7 hours , with limited seating, F&B ( particularly for those with little familiarity with the airport, and in any case difficult with luggage)
The checkin queues took well over an hour to clear, and with a further delay in immigration, many of the passengers were unable to use the ( pathetically inadequate) 300 Baht food drink voucher.
No one complains about delays for technical issues ( or weather or medical emergency). However, I strongly resent it when the spinmeisters try to explain away the experience, couching it in terms of “this was for your safety” as if that somehow justifies the utterly incompetent management of the delay from a customer perspective.
I felt sorry for those passengers for whom this might have been their first experience of the Jetstar ‘magic’, and particularly for those who are inexperienced travelers and found the experience distressing.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 2:55 pm
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og
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That’s a hell of a lot better than cancellation. Not bad given a 5.5 hr delay on arrival. Could have been much worse. But yes, the “it’s for your safety” grinds after a while. At least BKK has plenty of food options both airside and landside.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 4:18 pm
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From timings, it seems that the airline sent out notification of delay within an hour of the aeroplane arriving back in Melbourne. That does not seem unreasonable ( there is a 4 hour time difference between Melbourne and Bangkok )

The airline seems to have sent out notification 5.5 hours before scheduled departure, so it seems unlikely to me that people originating in Bangkok will have already headed to the airport at this point. For those flying in on other flights , there isn't really much that can be done to stop them getting to airport early, though there are facilities airside , such as an airside hotel, which those already airside could have potentially used ( and got reimbursed from insurance )

That the flight ended up 2 hours later than the time scheduled is not particularly great and seems that would have been good to send an update to passengers

Unfortunately, unlike the EU, Thailand doesnt ( to the best of my knowledge ) have any regulation regarding food etc and THB300 is rather low, however most comprehensive travel insurances have provision to cover such things when there is a delay to the departure of the flight.

For those without insurance, then they had chosen to self insure and may have had a time where they lost by not taking it
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Old Jan 22, 20, 5:07 pm
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@ OG and Dave Noble

Points taken. It would have been better for Jetstar to send an updated checkin time , via text and/or email. Instead they left passengers to believe that the originally notified checkin time ( closing at 0110 local for a 0210 departure) still applied, even though the airline knew there was zero chance of that happening. It would have been better to have a staff member present and/or to provide signage. For some reason they didn’t , maybe the airport can’t facilitate such arrangements. But Jetstar’s misleading and inadequate communication left some vulnerable passengers confused and upset.
The flight arrived in Melbourne 5,5 hours behind schedule ( luggage took 50 minutes to clear after that, at the quietest time of the day)
JQ29/30 have very poor reliability performance ( ...but I factor that in as a consideration when taking the chance on a ticket...)
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Old Jan 22, 20, 5:50 pm
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Did the huge departure board in the check-in area show the updated flight departure status?
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Old Jan 22, 20, 7:32 pm
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Originally Posted by og View Post
Did the huge departure board in the check-in area show the updated flight departure status?
Yes, it had it as Delayed ETD 0210, then later changed to 0345. I didn’t get to the airport until about 0030, ie until I had a clear understanding that it was in fact coming ( as I’d seen delayed, diverted, cancelled on some of the flight status sites).
I agree that a delay is preferable to a cancellation but just wish Jetstar was a bit better about dealing with them. This is the 3rd six hour delay I’ve had on this sector; at least on previous occasions it was after checkin/immigration , with consequent greater comfort for passengers ( although once we got kicked out of the Qantas lounge, as it was, at “closing time” and shunted off to a fast food joint).
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Old Jan 22, 20, 7:55 pm
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Originally Posted by paolo64 View Post
Yes, it had it as Delayed ETD 0210, then later changed to 0345. I didn’t get to the airport until about 0030, ie until I had a clear understanding that it was in fact coming ( as I’d seen delayed, diverted, cancelled on some of the flight status sites).
I agree that a delay is preferable to a cancellation but just wish Jetstar was a bit better about dealing with them. This is the 3rd six hour delay I’ve had on this sector; at least on previous occasions it was after checkin/immigration , with consequent greater comfort for passengers ( although once we got kicked out of the Qantas lounge, as it was, at “closing time” and shunted off to a fast food joint).
From what you describe, this seems not much differemt to how other airlines would handle it and better than how some airlines handle delays

You received an SMS and email once an idea of departure time was known so were able to delay arrival at airport. It didn't require checking flight status sites in order to know that there was a delay

If you didnt get to airport until 00:30, you only had about 3 hours between arrival at airport and departure. That has to be better than 6 hours at the airport
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Old Jan 22, 20, 8:17 pm
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Think fair enough for Jetstar to wait until the plane was on the ground and they could determine if the issue was a quick fix, and/or whether they had replacement crew etc before sending out the initial delay email. And suspect most FSC would be no different.

Agree they should have sent another one once it was further delayed.

Why weren't people able to utilise the vouchers?
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Old Jan 22, 20, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
From what you describe, this seems not much differemt to how other airlines would handle it and better than how some airlines handle delays

You received an SMS and email once an idea of departure time was known so were able to delay arrival at airport. It didn't require checking flight status sites in order to know that there was a delay

If you didnt get to airport until 00:30, you only had about 3 hours between arrival at airport and departure. That has to be better than 6 hours at the airport
I’m not complaining for myself: I choose to fly on Jetstar with ‘buyer beware’ and ‘ you get what you pay for’ front and centre in the decision to book. On the other hand, for infrequent travelers, and those less well informed about Jetstar’s shortcomings, this was not a good experience: up to 7 or 8 hours airside at BKK, with no information from the airline other than an incorrect checkin time, no staff to assist/provide advice, no signage ( other than the departure board directing them to Row D, at which there was no sign of Jetstar). Add to that: BKK looked like the waiting room of a hospital...literally every second person was wearing some variation of a surgical mask, presumably in response to a combination of the coronavirus and Bangkok’s current air quality issues. So there was some frustration and a bit of distress; it would have been lessened had Jetstar bothered to send an updated text/email, and /or had someone on the ground. I didn’t expect it as I know them to be a serial offender when it comes to such matters.
It was interesting to note that Jetstar offered access to the Air France Salon ( “ based on your ticket”, the guy said, so I must have bought a more expensive fare class ‘bundle’). I didn’t have time to go but know the lounge from Sky Team travel, and it’s infinitely superior to Louis’ Tavern, previously used by JQ. I wonder if it’s a permanent change.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 8:31 pm
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Originally Posted by moa999 View Post
Think fair enough for Jetstar to wait until the plane was on the ground and they could determine if the issue was a quick fix, and/or whether they had replacement crew etc before sending out the initial delay email. And suspect most FSC would be no different.

Agree they should have sent another one once it was further delayed.

Why weren't people able to utilise the vouchers?
I think it was a replacement aircraft, rather than the one that had to return to Melbourne ( but I’m not certain; if it’s the case then they knew exactlly when it would be arriving BKK).
Regarding the voucher...the checkin queue took well over an hour ( 2 staff working, then increased to 3...I guess many people had connection issues); also, immigration took 45 minutes, coinciding with a whole string of LCC departures to India, China, Korea.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 10:29 pm
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Originally Posted by paolo64 View Post
I’m not complaining for myself: I choose to fly on Jetstar with ‘buyer beware’ and ‘ you get what you pay for’ front and centre in the decision to book. On the other hand, for infrequent travelers, and those less well informed about Jetstar’s shortcomings, this was not a good experience: up to 7 or 8 hours airside at BKK, with no information from the airline other than an incorrect checkin time, no staff to assist/provide advice, no signage ( other than the departure board directing them to Row D, at which there was no sign of Jetstar). Add to that: BKK looked like the waiting room of a hospital...literally every second person was wearing some variation of a surgical mask, presumably in response to a combination of the coronavirus and Bangkok’s current air quality issues. So there was some frustration and a bit of distress; it would have been lessened had Jetstar bothered to send an updated text/email, and /or had someone on the ground. I didn’t expect it as I know them to be a serial offender when it comes to such matters.
.
Spending 7 hours airside suggests to me that these people must have come in on another flight and were continuing on Jetstar and this situation would be the same regardless of which airline it occurred on

If there are people that ignored messages / didn't provide contact info and still arrived at airport and waited landside for 7-8 hours, well they would have done that regardless of airline

You have confirmed that jetstar provided information about the delay 5.5 hours before the flight by email and by text message.

Seriously, what makes Jetstar's handling of a delay any worse than any other airline - excepting not having a checkin desk open at midnight based on 2 hours before informed departure?

Did the big display board indicate that checkin was not yet open? it seems that the new departure time was only confirmed after midnight, so a bit late to provide any benefit with text message/email
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Old Jan 23, 20, 1:52 am
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Respectfully, I can’t agree.
The email sent by Jetstar ( 1756 Melbourne, 1356 Bangkok times) , and appearing in my email with the heading Flight Cancellation Notification ( although the content referred to delay), advising of the revised departure time of 0210 (BKK) was sent very soon after the diverted plane had returned to MEL. Either they had an overly optimistic view of how quickly this plane could be ‘fixed’, or they happened to have a spare 787 in close proximity...in order to make that time frame work. I assume the aircraft on the sectors was a replacement, as the captain made an announcement referring to the delay being a consequence of technical issues on the “original plane”
Once the actual time of departure ex MeL of that replacement plane was known ( 2146 MEL, 1746 BKK) how onerous would have been to send another text, saying , effectively, new ETD is 0345, checkin will open at 0045. Such an approach would be consistent with Jetstar’s 10 Point Customer Guarantee ( we undertake to keep you informed about any changes in delays and to make regular announcements), as well as the content of the email (“ we’ll do everything we can to make this as smooth as possible”...in fact they did absolutely nothing).
I agree that an extra notification with a revised, more realistic departure time might not have made an appreciable difference to many people, but it might have stopped people wandering aimlessly around BKK for hours ( ie, if they know the actual time checkin will open rather than the wrong advice about checkin closing).
It would have been simple for Jetstar to lessen the miserable experience : actually deliver on the promises made in the Customer Guarantee, keep customers informed with ACCURATE information, assign sufficient staff to deal with the volume of passengers ( 350 in this case), have someone designated to deal with connection issues. It’s not rocket science/brain surgery...and of course the passengers will still be grumpy.
But Jetstar NEVER gets any of these things right ( reflected in the fact that when I deal with QANTAS staff in relation to Jetstar ‘issues’, there’s inevitably rolled eyes/raised eyebrows/knowing looks/ sympathetic ears).
I had a quick look at Skytrax(..for what it’s worth..) to see if anyone ‘gave them a serve’ over this issue ( they haven’t), but had a giggle over the fact that their ‘recommended’ rate is 3% of the last 100 comments.
It’s far from a bad airline..but this time, IMO, they could/should have done much better.
Perhaps someone confused estimated departure time with arrival time, because the ARR in BKK was actually 0210.
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Spending 7 hours airside suggests to me that these people must have come in on another flight and were continuing on Jetstar and this situation would be the same regardless of which airline it occurred on

If there are people that ignored messages / didn't provide contact info and still arrived at airport and waited landside for 7-8 hours, well they would have done that regardless of airline

You have confirmed that jetstar provided information about the delay 5.5 hours before the flight by email and by text message.

Seriously, what makes Jetstar's handling of a delay any worse than any other airline - excepting not having a checkin desk open at midnight based on 2 hours before informed departure?

Did the big display board indicate that checkin was not yet open? it seems that the new departure time was only confirmed after midnight, so a bit late to provide any benefit with text message/email
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Old Jan 23, 20, 3:30 am
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Originally Posted by paolo64 View Post
Respectfully, I can’t agree.
The email sent by Jetstar ( 1756 Melbourne, 1356 Bangkok times) , and appearing in my email with the heading Flight Cancellation Notification ( although the content referred to delay), advising of the revised departure time of 0210 (BKK) was sent very soon ..........................
It's all about communication with the customer (not "guest"). Not one of JQ's strong points. I've also learnt this one.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 6:09 am
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The handling of the delay is not the best, granted. But a couple of things to consider... many flying Jetstar would have had to have left their hotel regardless of the delay... budget travellers often don't want to pay for an extra night and will check-out at 12 or 1 pm from their hotel, even for an evening departure as late as 11pm (common for the red-eyes from Bali for example). So for a 9.25pm scheduled departure, I doubt whether the notification would in fact have prompted them to fork out for an extra night's accommodation.

For those caught at the airport... again, not so great. I get it. It's totally boring. But the 'elderly and frail' line probably doesn't wash so well. If you are fit and well enough to be holidaying in Bangkok you're probably well enough to source a meal, or a bottle of water on your own accord. There is also a short-term hotel in the basement, pretty cheap, where pax could have booked a room for a coupe of hours.

And seriously... with all Thailand has to offer, especially Bangkok... 'dazed and confused' might apply to a night in Sukhumvit or Silom... not a couple of hours at the airport!

All that aside... I understand the frustration, lack of information, apparent lack of action and perhaps indifference by the airline. All those things make for a stressful journey and people understandably want answers.
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Old Jan 25, 20, 1:00 am
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300bhat for food isn’t too bad being around 15AUD, I was recently given 8NZD in bussiness class on VA in AKL for an 4hr delay.
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