Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Jetstar's flight cut angers clients

JETSTAR is refusing to say why it canceled a flight out of Darwin yesterday morning, causing 150 people to change their travel plans.

The 2am flight to Melbourne was not full but the airline denied it was canceled to cut costs, saying "operational requirements" were behind the change.

Jenny Davis, 46, of Nakara, said about 9pm on Saturday night she found out by text message the flight had been cancelled.

Her husband and two children were going to Melbourne to visit their grandparents in the school holidays, with the tickets booked two months ago.

No offer of a rescheduled flight was made but after "two hours on the phone" she managed to get them on a flight yesterday morning.

Yesterday, Ms Davis said it made her "nervous" flying with the budget airline.

The inconvenience came after their flight had earlier been changed from Saturday morning to Sunday - also without explanation.

Jetstar spokeswoman Andrea Wait said the plane did not make it to Darwin.

But she said there was nothing wrong with the aircraft and there was no scheduling clash.

"It was an operational requirement that we had to cancel the flight," she said.

Asked several times what that meant, Ms Wait would only repeat it was an "operational requirement".

She said 150 seats were booked from a capacity of 177, but denied this was the reason for cancellation.

Ms Davis, a doctor, said: "If they're going to cancel a flight five hours before it goes, I feel we're owed an explanation."

All passengers due to fly from Darwin to Melbourne were put on flights via Cairns, Brisbane or Alice Springs yesterday.

Ms Wait apologised for the inconvenience.