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Bumped down From Jetstar Starlclass...

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lovetravellingoz

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Well I have just returned from Bali..less than happy with Jetstar.....unlike some of the other travel reports on here.

However perhaps one reason is because when they flew the plane was not full.???


Now in the Air all was ok, or as ok as it could be in the circumstances...the problem was that we had upgraded to Starclass for the trip over....on the Jetstar Promo...but on arrival in Sydney was told that only 4 of us could fly in Starclass and 1 had to fly in economy..

& that of the 4 in Starclass only 2 could be together...the other two scattered.

This for a family of 5, with 3 kids !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our little touch of luxury to start the holiday had turned into a complete waste of money.



..........all this after having bought the original flights back in the original July launch. The upgrade to Starclass Promo were bought back in January.

At that time the Staclass cabin was virtually empty.

As little as a fornight before flying the Starclass cabin was only showing half full. The economy section also showed as only half full.

Now some more background....we flew from Melbourne on QANTAS as part of the airfare booked through Jetstar. However unlike others who have reported on here, that while they checked our bags through.....they refused to issue Boarding passes for the JQ37 flight.

My wife and I are also both QANTAS Club members...though this is probably not relevant..except that we checked in via the QC desk.



In Sydney on arrival after having to join the queue again..which still had people waiting in the queue...but initially oddly kept letting people go past them. We later discovered that they were families of staff waiting for last minute seats..if any.

We were then advised that we could not all fly Starclass...and that one person had been "bumped done".

The Jetstar rep kept stating that we had to be there 2 hours prior (which in fact is not the case...and quite frankly impossible for interstate tranfers such as us).

Also note here that were originally had booked a flight at 12 noon for a 6pm deaprture as that was all I could get in the launch sale)..but that Jetstar had later moved this to 2:30pm fora 5;45pm connection. Also note that in Sydney that one has to get a bus from the Domestic Airport to the International...).

Result is that interstate connections get in AFTER all the Sydney people have checked in.

Now we flew Easter school Holidays..so the flight was full.

The Jetsar families waiting to fly (School Holiday demand I guess ) ensured that every seat was full.

Naturally I tried to insist that we get 5 seats in starclass..but was told all seats had been issued..and that only 4 plus 1 in economy was left..that was it.

Now naturally I was not at all happy...but accepting that this was going to be all that we could get I then asked what was going to happen about the Bumped down fair.

I was told again that we should have checked in 2 hours ago!!!!!!!!!!!!

I reminded the check in person that the starclass fair was an extra cost to an economy ticket and asked what was going to happen about this..

I was told..quote unquote "You will have to take it up with them".

I asked who "them" was and advised the check in staff that "them" was Jetsra and hence surely her as their representatitive as I had made my booking online direct with Jetstar and there was no third party.

She then said that my fare was only a Starclass Promo....

I asked her what the relevance of that was as it still meant that I had paid extra to fly Starclass and now was not being given that option and so therefore some form of compensation should suely being offered.

She refused to give any further comment on the issue.

Flight was now boarding so we had to depart.

On the flight we spoke with a Queensland couple who had arrived on a Jetstaar connection not long before us.

They had 2 tickets in Starclass but were seated apart...but had managed to get them put together.



So two things:

1/ IF you are flying Jetstar with an interstae connection...at a peak time when the interantional flight is likely to be full do not allow Jetstar to book you on flights with minimum flight connections as they take no account of this...and will issue your seats to those in the departing city first despite the fact you may have effectively checked in well before them!!!!!!!!!


2/ How do forumites recommend I go about getting some form of compensation for the Starclass upgrade that I was denied?

I am mightily annoyed that we had one seat bumped down..but evcen more annoyed that there was no compensation offered for the downgrade even when I asked what compensation would be given.



PS Purely as speculation as the body language of the Jetstar check in staff was odd..and with the people waiting around who were later identified (we asked them who they were and they told us)... I think a bit of funny business was going on witha big priority for them being to get as many family of Jetstar staff on the flight as possible.

a fortnight prior...the plane was showing half empty.....so they must have hada large sudden upsurge in ticket sales??????? possible being school holidays I guess.

Even at the boarding gate there was a mother and daughter that we knew to be staff-family who were told to wait till last to board.
 
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d15.in.oz

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What a sad, and unfortunate event. I know how much everyone would have been looking forward to their little touch of luxury! (Especially given the price you paid for the upgrade.)

lovetravellingoz said:
I am mightily annoyed that we had one seat bumped down…
I was bumped down once on a QF flight a few years ago, and I too was mightily annoyed, particularly as I had my J boarding pass in my hand.In my case, a reasonably worded complaint, addressed to the CEO of QAN, elicited an acceptable response from their customer care team.


lovetravellingoz said:
As little as a fornight before flying the Starclass cabin was only showing half full. The economy section also showed as only half full…
The JQ website only shows seating for those passengers that have chosen to pre-request an allocation. There are many other passengers, who will be on a flight, who have not done so, and will have their seating allocated at check-in.


lovetravellingoz said:
My wife and I are also both QANTAS Club members...though this is probably not relevant..except that we checked in via the QC desk…
Unfortunately you can only check-in for JQ (domestic flights) without checked baggage, in the QP. (You can’t use the QP check-in counters, in the check-in area either.) So, when flying JQi, all of us (ex CL) must use the appropriate JQi queue.


lovetravellingoz said:
I was told..quote unquote "You will have to take it up with them"
I think you were dealing with SYD T1 QF contracted staff - surely the most surly customer service staff in Australia, rather than JQ staff.


lovetravellingoz said:
Even at the boarding gate there was a mother and daughter that we knew to be staff-family who were told to wait till last to board…
That is probably because they will be the first ones kicked off the flight, if it is oversold and someone with a regular ticket turns up.
 
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lovetravellingoz

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d15.in.oz said:
Unfortunately you can only check-in for JQ (domestic flights) without checked baggage, in the QP. (You can’t use the QP check-in counters, in the check-in area either.) So, when flying JQi, all of us (ex CL) must use the appropriate JQi queue.

.
Thanks for your reply....

The first flight was on QF metal...

Just to clarify we checked in at the Qantas Club Check in Queue outside....and not in the QP pub itself.

I had understood from others that they had checked in here and received Boarding passes for Sydney JQ...but maybe not????




Your insight into the check in staff being contract staff......explains the "them" comment I guess....though still very poor customer service.
 

d15.in.oz

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lovetravellingoz said:
I had understood from others that they had checked in here and received Boarding passes for Sydney JQ...
Well I would hope that you could…particularly if JQi wants to be taken seriously with interlining.

I reckon, JQi uses antiquated (read cheap) software for check-in, and that is what limits our abilities to check-in at locations that would seem more reasonable from a QAN, loyal, passenger’s perspective. Of course, I hope to be proven wrong, as it would mean an easier time for me to check-in as well!

I figure there are basically two ways to operate a large airline these days (without going into detail they are) –
  • Hub & Spoke – aimed at premium and discount passengers
  • Point to Point – aimed at those in-between
These two strategies adhered to, should perform well in the market against most others. Problem is when you try to combine them, what is a cost saving in one model becomes a burden in the other. J
 

lovetravellingoz

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So does anyone have any advice on how to best approach JetStar for some form of compensation???

I will be writing to them....but am interested in any advice before I do...

Thanks.
 

Mal

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A few things in their Terms of Carriage which are applicable:

Jetstar - Conditions of Carriage
If we need to ask you to downgrade your class of travel for any reason, we will:

* Provide you with an appropriate refund of the fare difference (or frequent flyer points if applicable); or
* Provide you with a reasonable alternative flight on our services.
8.1 Check-in Deadline

For Domestic Carriage, check in will close 30 minutes before scheduled departure and for International Carriage, 60 minutes before scheduled departure.

See also Jetstar - Recommended Connection Times and Baggage Transfers where there recommendations are for connect times.

The Jetstar complaints process is drawn out from all accounts I've heard. Try writing to Alan Joyce (CEO) at their GPO address Jetstar - Contact us and get one of his underlings to deal with the issue. I can't find any names for the heads of Jetstar departments, otherwise I'd recommend writing to someone more responsible for passengers.

You're definately entitled to a refund of the difference you paid so I would keep hammering them for it. Doubt you'll get anything more from Jetstar.
 

lovetravellingoz

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Thanks Mal...

It is useful to have something exact to quote...and yes I was just going to ask for the difference....which is basically what I asked for on the day.


I think in part the trouble was that the check in staff (contact???) simply did not know what the policy should be....hence their response...."take it up with them..."


However even if they had no clue...a reasonable person should have indicated that they would have someone get back to me on it.


Their only interest (there were others..) was to knock off as soon as possible.
 

markis10

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Jetstar Staff

Customer relationships manager, Susan Young
Alan Joyce, Chief Executive
Bruce Buchanan, Commercial Director
Rohan Gernett, Customer Services Director
Terry Bowen, Finance Director
Trevor Jensen, Technical Operations Director
 
P

Platy

Sounds very much to me like Jetstar have decided to give preference to STAFF in the Starclass seats.

This happens on Qantas too although it is not supposed to.

I have had situations with QF where SUBLOAD staff have been given preference to me as a FULL FARE paying business class passenger (ie can't buy a ticket in J and then find staff in were in J).

(Subload staff are travelling at their own time and expense and are supposed to be the last to get their setas at check in - DUTY staff are being transferred and may be entitled to travel J as part of their job - I have seen 13 seats taken up by duty staff in J on a MEL-SYD 767)

I have also had situations where I cannot get an on departure upgrade and found there to be subload staff in J.

And I have also found staff to get the best seats in J.

Perhaps Jetstar is allowing preference to duty staff as well as QF and hence???

If you can't get sense from Jetstar go to the media.
 

NM

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Platy said:
Sounds very much to me like Jetstar have decided to give preference to STAFF in the Starclass seats.
The OP made no claim that staff or their families had taken any Star Class seats, just that being school holiday time there was a significant number of people on staff travel that resulted in the flight being completely full.
Platy said:
I have had situations with QF where SUBLOAD staff have been given preference to me as a FULL FARE paying business class passenger (ie can't buy a ticket in J and then find staff in were in J).
This certainly can happen. It all depends on the timing of when you tried to buy the J ticket. At that time, the flight must have been showing no J seats for sale (J0). So you were forced to purchase an economy seat. If sometime after your purchased your Y ticket, one or more of the J ticket holders changed their plans and either cancelled, changed or no-showed, there may be J seats available on the flight. If this happens less than 2 hours before departure, even a waitlist to purchase a J ticket will be too late.

Subload staff can pay for J travel, but are still loaded only on a standby basis. If J is available when the flight closes, they get it. If not, then they go Y or wait for the next flight.

In this situation, what do you expect Qantas to do? Do you expect them to know that you wanted to purchase a J seat and track you down and sell it to you after the flight has closed? That is just not practical.
Platy said:
I have also had situations where I cannot get an on departure upgrade and found there to be subload staff in J.
That should not happen and if it has, then you have a valid complaint. How do you know they were subload and not duty staff travellers?
 

d15.in.oz

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NM said:
The OP made no claim that staff or their families had taken any Star Class seats…
They way I read the original post, it felt this was subtly being expressed, but definitely not claimed. J

Personally, I doubt JQi airside staff have the inclination or process knowledge to try and pull swifties. Where as on QF, staff might, but I assume there is a technological system in place at QF to track this behaviour down, should it occur. (For example, QF staff making dummy fare bookings in J, then cancelling moments before the flight, to ensure a J seat is available at staff rates.)
 

JohnK

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Sad to hear of your unfortunate experience, especially with the check in staff and their rude attitude!

I hope this is not the type of service we will all experience when JQi take over most QF routes.
 

Evan

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I guess it happens some times, thats not an excuse, just saying it does happen.
Then again QF will always fly the business routes, JQ or JQi the leisure ruotes.

E
 

lovetravellingoz

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d15.in.oz said:
They way I read the original post, it felt this was subtly being expressed, but definitely not claimed. J

Personally, I doubt JQi airside staff have the inclination or process knowledge to try and pull swifties. Where as on QF, staff might, but I assume there is a technological system in place at QF to track this behaviour down, should it occur. (For example, QF staff making dummy fare bookings in J, then cancelling moments before the flight, to ensure a J seat is available at staff rates.)

Yes certainly not claimed....and perhaps rather than expressed being raised as a possibility....


The StarClass seat had to go to someone....whether this was a full paying passenger, a last minute upgrade to someone in economy, someone who paid full whack....or they oversold StarClass...and so being the last to check in in StarClass (hence my warning to those who book through Jetstar with connecting flights) we drew the short straw etc etc...

Now overselling is a common practice by airlines....not that I am defending it...but I guess to some extend I can grit my teeth and accept it...


But what I do not except in any way shape or form that having been bumped down...that:
  • they (ie the JetsStaf staff member/contract worker) acts as the aggrieved party....
  • that I am not politely offered compensation/refund etc.
What occurred was they we were informed that one of our 5 had been bumped down and that one of us had to sit in economy.

It was left to me to query them about what happens now....with the response being that I would have to take it up with "them"....with the additional snide comment that the ticket was "Only a Starclass Promo".

I asked what difference this made as we had still had to pay for it and it was an additional expense and was still a StarClass ticket...Promo or not.....the response being a frosty stare!!!!



Her comment perhaps being an indication that with StarClass being oversold that as our ticket wasa Promo fare that we had been selected as the ones to be downgraded. This however is only speculation on my part.
 
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lovetravellingoz

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JohnK said:
especially with the check in staff and their rude attitude!
Exactly....

I am experienced enough in business to know that things do go wrong.....but if they do that the company responsible needs to smooth the waters and act in a professional manner.

I do not know whether StarClass was accidently overbooked, deliberately overbooked....or that my seat was given to someone that should not have had it...

Irrespective of why it happened....it was clearly a matter within JetStars control and responsibility.

The downgrade was due to them....and for whatever reason it occurred their process to bump someone down should have been upfront and done with tact.

I would still have been annoyed at the bumpdown....but I would have been a lot less annoyed if at the time of downgrading it was stated that(or similar): Unfortunately we have had to bump down one of your party and due to this we will refund the extra amount you paid for Starclass (and /or offer an alternative flight etc)
 

lovetravellingoz

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There is also another part of the story...which I did not say earlier..as it is only speculation.


As I mentioned earlier our 4 reamining seats in StarClass were Scattered...2 were together..1 was a row in front, but across the aisle....
The two together were in the last row in the middle...ie 2 out of 3 seats.


Now it may have been meary coincidence but this seat was filled by a loud and obnoxious guy that as soon as he boarderd spent to entire time up to take off yelling in his mobile phone to several phone calls.

Now after take off I explained my situation to the flightcrew....who in all fairness were pretty good and could see that I was not happy. I arranged with them for my wife down back to get the drinks, video etc...and also asked her what could be done about the downgrade...etc etc (her advice on this was to write to log on to Jetstar Website when I got to Bali and email them to ask for compenation or perhaps an upgrade on return. Her intentions were well intended...though on logging on to the site I discovered that Jetsar do not have a contact us email address anywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can only ring!!! )

Now not long after we were in the air my daughter appeared in the seat next to me..

Now initially I thought great isn't that nice of the guy to swap....

However my daughter then advised me that the seat was broken.....& I must admit that I then wondered why the guy had asked my daughter to swap rather than I her father who was sitting immediately next to him????

Now this is purely speculation...but I can't help wondering if in some way he had bullied himself into a last minute upgrade (even by paying full fare etc..)

From his loud phone conversations it was evident that his trip was made in hurry for private business reasons.
 
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lovetravellingoz

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Thank you for all your advice..

The additional promo fare was only $200 (though the aggravation is of course a lot more than just the money...) and so while I will pursue JetStar for this refund...it is not worth my time and further agravation to go to the media etc etc...

In large part my purpose of posting my experience was to alert others as I have received alot of valuable information from this site.

The warning here is if you are travelling at a busy time on a JetStar flight with a connection prior do not accept them booking you on minimal time between connections.
 

trooper

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I think your warning is excellent advice REGARDLESS of who you is travelling with...

I no longer use travel agents (thoroughly enjoy the online process looking/booking myself) but while I was still doing so I regularly had to emphasize that they were trying to book me into unrealistic connections....

Call me unadventurous.. but I'd rather sit quetly for an extra hour between flights than have to RUSH!!!
 

lovetravellingoz

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trooper said:
I think your warning is excellent advice REGARDLESS of who you is travelling with...

I no longer use travel agents (thoroughly enjoy the online process looking/booking myself) but while I was still doing so I regularly had to emphasize that they were trying to book me into unrealistic connections....

Call me unadventurous.. but I'd rather sit quetly for an extra hour between flights than have to RUSH!!!
True.....however it is more so with JetStar as at the proceeding aiport they would not issue a boarding pass for the later flight ((Which was different advice than I had been given by this site...and from when I rang JetStar last July...ie because I wasa a JetSrar flight on QF metal I was told that we would get boarding passes in Melb)).

Remember here that JetStar chose to move my 12 noon Melb flight to much later...my presumption (wrongly) that they were happy with this and that it would not affect things in anyway.

Knowing what I do now I would have insisted that they stick to the original flight..or at least with a much bigger gap.


(Or that I fly direct from Melb...though in this case I was happy with the long gap between flights as the ticket price was so cheap as was booked as part of their launch sale).
 

Commuter

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Platy said:
This happens on Qantas too although it is not supposed to.

I have had situations with QF where SUBLOAD staff have been given preference to me as a FULL FARE paying business class passenger (ie can't buy a ticket in J and then find staff in were in J).
It is likely to have resulted from someone doing a no-show (or cancellation) in J. Hence the staff getting the J-class when you couldn't buy a ticket in J. I'm not necessarily defending QF but I do know that this happens.
 
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