Jetstar has scrambled together an "ad-hoc" flight to get New
Zealanders home for the festive season, amidst a flood of
negative publicity after the budget airline cancelled
pre-Christmas flights without explanation.
Many New Zealanders living in Melbourne had their Christmas
plans thrown into turmoil after their flights, many of which
were booked earlier this year, were re-scheduled.
Some travellers were offered alternative flights on Boxing
A Jetstar spokesman said an extra flight had now been added
on December 23 to get those affected to where they needed to
About 80 people had been affected, he said.
"We're getting in touch with everybody and getting them back
on that flight, should they want to take it."
The spokesman refused to say why the original flights had
been cancelled: "Just rescheduling that we do from time to
time ... That's all we're saying on the matter."
He said people who could not make the extra flight could ask
for a full refund.
Jetstar yesterday (Sunday) vowed it would get everyone home
in time for Christmas, but did not reveal how it planned to
No seats were available on the Jetstar website from Melbourne
to Auckland on any day between December 18 and 27.
Wellington woman Kara Duxfield was startled by a "casual"
email from Jetstar to say they would change her flight but
she would miss Christmas at home.
Ms Duxfield's short holiday in Australia was to finish with a
flight home from Melbourne on December 18.
Instead, the airline cancelled the flight and told her the
next date they could get her back to New Zealand would be
"Which is 10 days later [and] after Christmas. I rang them
and said it's ridiculous," Ms Duxfield said.
Jetstar agreed to put her on a December 17 flight, which
fortunately did not interrupt any holiday plans but simply
meant her stay in Melbourne was one day shorter.
"I would definitely be much more reluctant [to fly with
Jetstar in the future]. Luckily this time it's a casual
holiday," Ms Duxfield said.
Many Jetstar customers vented their frustrations on Jetstar's
Facebook page, prompting others to speak up and say they had
the same problem.