Why I'll never fly with Jetstar again
IF YOU'VE ever been dumped by text message then you might understand the pain of flying with Australia's best low cost airline, Jetstar.
Friday evening my bags were packed, my shoes were tied and I was ready to spend a weekend in Sydney with my girlfriend, who I hadn't seen in two months, when I heard the news.
"Due to crewing requirements your flight JQ791 18/11/2016 from Sunshine Coast to Sydney has been cancelled."
That text message came through just over an hour before the flight was due to leave.
Heartache and despair ensued as the mad scramble for Saturday morning flights begun.
"Error: all seats on this flight have sold out," a message on my computer said.
Eventually I was placed on the 12.35pm flight the next day by a Jetstar employee.
Just hours before the flight I realised I hadn't received any confirmation of the changes or a new itinerary.
So I called Jetstar to find out my booking, which never completed, had in fact gone through for the 10.35am flight and the Jetstar employee had also placed me on the 12.35pm flight.
After receiving a "warning" from the Jetstar phone operator for swearing, I raced to the airport to see if I could make the 10.35am flight and save two hours of my already tarnished weekend.
I called ahead multiple times thinking I could tell them I was coming and see if they could hold my flight a few minutes.
I arrived at 10.30am to hear "final call" over the PA and see three Jetstar employees at the counter who couldn't answer the phone.
They told me it would hold up the flight by 20 minutes to get me on-board the outgoing 10.35 flight, which would be an "inconvenience", despite my 16-hour hold up.
After a receiving my second warning for swearing they checked me into the 12.35pm flight which was eventually delayed by a further hour.
Jetstar has told me since that the captain became unwell during his shift and was unable to go on.
"We always have pilots on standby, however the short delay to replace the Captain meant that Sydney Airport's 11pm curfew prevented the flight from operating that night," a Jetstar spokeswoman said.
"Cancellations of this nature are rare, and we apologise to our customers for the disruption before they continued their journey Sydney the following day."
Jetstar has agreed to refund the total amount for the 10.35am flight and give me a $50 voucher for the cancellation and delay.
I still feel a $50 voucher is more like a kick in the guts than compensation for losing an entire day of my weekend.
The whole experience was so bitter that I can't foresee a situation where I would fly with Jetstar ever again.