Jetstar chaos grounds party
By KEN SAPWELL
ELABORATE plans for a buck's party began unravelling into a night of mayhem just minutes after four would-be revellers arrived at Gold Coast Airport for their pre-booked flight to Sydney recently.
The group - booked on a Jetstar flight leaving at 7.45pm on Friday - were initially told that mechanical problems had delayed take-off by two hours.
What followed next was more than 24 hours of chaos as passengers were shuttled between hotels and their homes to eventually catch a Sydney-bound flight from Brisbane the next morning.
But according to Gold Coast bank manager and party organiser Matt Taffe, it was not so much the delays but the callous and off-hand way that Jetstar staff reacted which had passengers fuming.
"The staff treated our concerns and needs with contempt and no empathy and weren't willing to listen to our needs," Mr Taffe said.
"They dismissed our complaints in a rude and belligerent fashion which spoilt our travel experience."
Mr Taffe said unlike other passengers, his group was not put up at a local hotel but was told at 1am to return to their homes when the airline decided to put them on the alternative flight out of Brisbane.
He said they were then forced to catch a cab at 3am to meet other passengers staying at a local Gold Coast hotel, before travelling by bus to Brisbane where they finally boarded their flight at 8.30am.
Mr Taffe said the buck's party he was organising for his wedding in a few weeks time turned out to be somewhat of a fizzer.
"It was a bit different from the usual buck's party in that we had planned to attend the football grand finals and the races on Saturday but after our all-night ordeal people were too tired to attend," he said.
"My fellow travellers were disgruntled with me for booking with Jetstar and our friends in Sydney who had been awaiting our belated arrival were also inconvenienced."
Mr Taffe said one bright spot was the airline's decision to refund him the cost of his ticket after he submitted a three-page complaint, naming staff and giving details of their behaviour.
A Jetstar spokesman described the level of disruption on the Friday as of an "extreme nature" and because of the high volume of passengers they were unable to provide an alternative flight that day.
Mr Taffe, who was a first-time user of the no-frills service, said the refund had helped soften his anger, but would probably not fly their airline again.