Air NZ offers cheap flights to Jetstar passengers

Frustrated Jetstar passengers are to be offered $50 airfares by a competitor.

Air New Zealand announced today it would offer the $50 one-way fares to Jetstar customers left stranded by the airline's 30-minute check-in policy or delayed by more than two hours.

The offer comes after a horror start for Jetstar's operation in New Zealand, in which half of the airline's domestic services departed more than an hour late.

A storm also erupted after Auckland rugby fans booked on a flight to Wellington for the All Black test on Saturday were left behind.

The airline said the passengers had arrived at the airport eight minutes before the flight was due to leave, while the passengers said they had checked in well within the 30-minute requirement.

"They took too long to check everyone in," one of the passengers said.

"Next thing you know they announced that the next passenger would be the last. It wasn't just poor service, there was no service,"

Consumer New Zealand chief executive Sue Chetwin said she had received a "steady stream" of complaints from passengers angry at the way they had been treated by Jetstar.

Air New Zealand said its offer would be available over the school holiday period from June 24 to July 19 for Jetstar customers who had purchased tickets before June 23.

Those customers would be given places on Air New Zealand's next flight where seats were available.

Jetstar tonight refused to comment on Air New Zealand's offer.

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