Up to 4000 Aussie travellers have been stuck in Bali since the start of the month due to Jetstar delays and cancellations, with the airline citing “engineering issues” as people fight for compensation.
The Australian holiday hotspot has seen last-minute Jetstar cancellations every day of September, with families stranded for up to a week and not feeling confident about getting home any time soon, radio 3AW reports.
Traveller Dominic Buick told Neil Mitchel on Melbourne’s 3AW he was due to fly out on August 31 at 10pm with his family and received a message from Jetstar at 2pm on the day saying their flight had been cancelled.
Since then they have had their flight cancelled three times.
“This coming Friday night we have a flight with Jetstar which is great, but we can’t risk waiting for them to cancel again,” Mr Buick said.
“We’ve got two young kids that need to get back to school and my wife needs to get back to work.”
Not wanting to risk another cancellation, Mr Buick booked a Virgin flight for Thursday but that’s left his family $3600 out of pocket, due to flights costing them $900 each.
When asked if he’s getting any compensation from Jetstar, he mentioned that the airline only offers food and accomodation compensation if the passenger is flying back home with them.
“We were at our wits end,” he said.
Many have also taken to social media to express their frustration with the airline, with one person claiming their treatment of passengers has been “a joke.”
This comes only a week after the airline announced cheaper flights to Bali as part of their Spring sale, offering domestic flights for as cheap as $39.
People missing funerals and work in ‘desperate’ situations
Michelle Gill also spoke to 3AW saying she was due to fly out last week on September 1.
She is now starting to worry about her medical supply, as she “was not expecting 5 days worth of extra medication.”
“Our flight has been cancelled for the second time and we are due to fly out tomorrow night but we are not feeling very confident about it,” Ms Gill said.
She and her partner had come with two friends who have missed their family member’s funeral as a result of the delays.
“They had a funeral last Friday which was actually moved for them by family members due to the first cancellation, but now it’s been cancelled again so they couldn’t make it for the funeral,” Ms Gill said.
And from this morning Ms Gill has said their friends are unlikely to get on a flight today as planned, as the airline already has 12-hour delays.
Like many who are missing out on important events and appointments back home, Alize Zohani is claiming she will lose her job if she doesn’t get back to Melbourne tonight.
Jetstar responds to criticism
A Jetstar spokesman has told Yahoo News Australia flights had been cancelled between Australia and Bali’s capital Denpasar due to ‘engineering requirements’.
The spokesman detailed the Boeing 787 fleet has been impacted by a number of issues including a lightning strike, a bird strike, and delays sourcing a specific spare part for an aircraft due to global supply chain challenges.
“We sincerely apologise for the frustration and inconvenience this disruption has caused our customers,” the spokesman said in a statement.
“The majority of impacted passengers have now been re-accommodated on an alternative flight and our teams are working hard to find the remaining impacted passengers an alternative flight (approximately 200).
“A flight credit or refund will also be made available to passengers who no longer wish to travel.”
Jetstar said that between Monday and Thursday, 26 flights from Denpasar to key Australian ports are due to operate.