Saturday, May 3, 2014

Jetstar: shit flying at speed of a jet

This is a follow-up on my previous post regarding my cancelled flight to share that it just takes 1 occasion of ridiculous flight cancellation and pathetic customer service to make me fall completely out of love with Jetstar/Valuair. I regarded Jetstar/Valuair as the best low-cost carriers previously. For the past 6 over years I am flying with them, I only had 1 occasion when flight was cancelled. This was when the planes for Valuair and Jetstar flights were still different. It was due to some technical issues and I was rescheduled to an afternoon flight on a Jetstar plane which has bigger leg room. Other than that, up to 2 years ago, Jetstar/Valuair was the only low cost carrier which provided free water and bread for the flight. They were not much but they certainly set them apart from other low cost carrier which did not even provide water, or even provided only peanuts as a snack to make people thirsty and purchase drinks.

As I reached my place very late at night, I decided to leave them an enquiry and a demand for compensation via online form. Hmm.. they promised a response within 15 working days! 3 weeks!! I think that is an absolutely ridiculous amount of time. I decided to contact them via their online chat to just at least confirm about the refund so after giving the person all the info required about my bank account etc, I was informed that the refund would be in (again) within 15 working days! Pfft....

Fast forward 2 days later, I received an email to inform me that they could not process my refund because missing bank details.. which was like WTF, I gave whatever info the person asked from me previously. I called the number given and was informed about 2-5 minutes wait for the next available operator. I hung up after 15 minutes listening to their stupid advertisements.. bleah.. I decided to follow up via online chat and it was about 8pm at my time and this was another anger-inducing experience. After waiting about 10 minutes to get someone to chat with me, this bitch got the nerve to "are you there?" me only after 1 MINUTE of not replying to her first sentence. Despite her impatience, during our conversation, many times she "ignored" me for more than 5 minutes. She still had the cheek to give me an excuse that she had to chat with 3 persons at the same time. After wasting 1 bloody hour with this bitch, I was nowhere closer to where I started as the only thing that she could do was to "put in the notes to my case". Wow.. That warranted another complaint submission and this time is pertaining to the customer service.

Finally someone called me on Friday to inform me that the refund had been approved and unfortunately Jetstar could not compensate me. The person told me that once I bought tickets from Jetstar, I agreed to their terms & conditions that they could reschedule or cancel flights at their own discretion. The person clearly did not even read what I typed in the complaint form and she just kept repeating these scripted template. Knowing that it was going to be pointless to even hurl vulgarities at her (since she was just some small fry being asked by their fucked up company to read the scripts), I just hung up on her.. I did not know which is more rude actually..

Seriously, their customer service people only know how to press the hot buttons in the already angry customers. After wasting my time for all the wait, these people still loved to waste time even more with patronising little talk like "How are you?" etc. Oh please.. spare me the formalities I just want my money back. In fact what made me ultimately hang up the latest bitch was her inconsiderate patronising remarks. She could even ask me of flying with them again.. and when I told her off that no way I would ever fly them again after this ridiculous fiasco, she even said that she hoped that I at least enjoyed my earlier flight which was not cancelled. That was the last straw for me.

In the evening, I noticed that the website has a form for travel request expense due to delayed or cancelled flights. As expected, the reply would be no but I just had to share the ridiculous email that I got from their Customer Service Manager. Basically this manager just forwarded me the scripted template answer given to her telephone team. Again everything that she typed was exactly the same as what the previous bitched have told me. This just shows how non-existent Jetstar customer service is! My complaint was not being read properly and important questions were consciously being dodged.

There is no mention on the volcanic activity which was cited as the reason for my cancelled flight. The woman kept blabbering about weather and weather when the weather on 20th April was perfect for flight. I kept asking about which volcano actually affecting Jakarta-Singapore flight on that day. If there is a very serious safety hazard, why were none of Indonesian airports issue travel alerts or close the airports? And lastly, why were other airlines still operate Jakarta-Singapore flights? The reply blaming the weather clearly did not address any of these things. In fact it was obvious that the cancellation was for business decision as the volcano actually affected Perth-Jakarta flight and I suppose their Jakarta-Singapore flight would be half empty without these passengers from Perth.

My concern about last minute notice of cancellation was also ignored. With the earlier Jetstar before mine was also cancelled, clearly there was NO excuse for not able to inform me much much earlier. And this stupid woman is clearly wrong for one thing: none of the Jetstar staff assisted stranded passengers to reach their destinations. The ground staff DID NOT EVEN KNOW why the flight was cancelled (they told us it was technical issues) and NO attempt to arrange for alternative flights etc. They were just distributing refund forms so how on earth was that supposed to help us to reach our destination?

And no, providing me with $70 refund IS NOT a gesture of goodwill. That was the amount that I paid for your cancelled flight so it is my RIGHT to get it back. And your $50 voucher is worthless as what I forked out more than $200+ for my replacement flight. And who will be so stupid to risk another flight cancellation when I used this voucher? Pui..

So for now, bye bye Jetstar for me.. On the bright side, I have to be thankful that I experienced this not when I am travelling for holidays overseas. Imagine the nightmare of missing connecting flights, having to book additional nights in hotel, ruined holiday plans etc.

I just realised that I finally exceeded 50000 views for my blog!! Wow... Haha.. Not something to be proud of since it is very low considering the age of this blog. Lol.. It is still a milestone so to whoever the 50000th visitor is, congratulations ^o^ Unfortunately, I cannot give anything.. and sadly, the post to "commemorate" this occasion is about this bad experience with Jetstar..

To whoever reading this, DO NOT FLY WITH JETSTAR. PERIOD!

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