Robbery? [JQ denied travel in paid seat for Infant on Check-in!]

Discussion in 'Jetstar' started by fursten, Apr 22, 2014.

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  1. fursten

    fursten Junior Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    Just completed a family holiday to Hawaii flew Jetstar, purchased 6 tickets which included one for a 19 month old toddler. This is recommended on Jetstar home page that if traveling overseas it is recommended you purchase a seat for them and not hold them in your lap.

    Unfortunately Jetstar had an incident on its outgoing JQ1 flight and had to cancel it with all Pax coming back following day. no issue with safety and although stressful until decision made understandable.

    The problems started the following day when Jetstar had to combine two flights into one , it was apparent some passengers were going to be bumped , what happened to us made me question the ethics and legality of what Jetstar did to us.
    Jetstar were offering apparently $500 vouchers and a later flight to passengers willing to give up seats. fair enough as you see this happening all the time.
    Jetstar desk representative when we checked it immediately told us that we were not allowed to have a separate seat for our 19 month old . it should not have been sold to us and the toddler needed to travel on the mothers lap.
    Protests aside Jetstar representative was very forceful in the discussion to point where we felt we could all be bumped if we did not shut up.
    Jetstar rep said since the ticket should not have been sold to us they would refund the money in 15 days/
    (wish I could have 15 days credit with Jetstar)
    Interestingly enough they never cancelled the return leg of the booking so it appears coming back we had a legal ticket???
    Do we have any right to demand that we be compensated in exactly the same way as other passengers who gave up seats ?
    Did Jetstar rep lie to us?


  2. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    BNE & SYD
    #2 markis10, Apr 22, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
    Was the denied boarding on the ex Australia flight??

    Re the infant issue, I would lodge a complaint and if not happy escalate it, its clearly discrimination on the basis of age as I read it, a significant/serious one at that. People who make up policy on the go should be out in their place quickly by the appropriate authority and action taken to ensure repeat occurrences do not happen.

    If you have two infants you have to buy a seat, so I see no reason why doing so for one is an issue.

    An accompanying passenger travelling with two infants must purchase a seat for the second infant to sit in.
  3. MEL_Traveller

    MEL_Traveller Enthusiast

    Apr 27, 2005
    Melbourne, AU
    with the proviso of this:
    if the infant was able to sit upright unassisted then no car seat is required and the seat should have been allowed, as sold.

    However, it seems the fare will be refunded. If the fare is less than the offer of compensation, I would pursue the compensation for 'denied boarding' (even if not strictly so, but the seat was still being used to accommodate another pax) and an additional payment for the inconvenience and loss of comfort.
  4. BAM1748

    BAM1748 Senior Member

    Jul 22, 2008
    That's pretty poor form from Jetstar. If the infant had a ticket why would the check in staff be worried, they of course are simply another paying passenger to be treated with respect and dignity.

    Yes, I would be hitting up Jetstar most certainly for the refund but also a credit. Be clear and concise and unemotional when putting it in writing to them.

    • Like Like x 1
  5. Pushka

    Pushka Enthusiast

    Jan 26, 2011
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    I agree that the infant's age is irrelevant. You had purchased a seat for them. That's the bottom line and that infant was fully able to sit in it.

    Had the staff been honest and said they were under the pump with lack of seats and asked if you minded holding the child, even though you'd purchased the seat then this wouldn't have been an issue (assuming you were refunded for that seat). But the "fake" reason is what always causes angst. And then to imply you could be denied boarding if you didn't agree was just too much.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Mark3000

    Mark3000 Active Member

    Apr 3, 2014
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    I really feel for you, they had no right to treat you that way and they are clearly in the wrong. We've had similar problems with our infants in the past where they seem to make up the rules as they go along.The check in staff were probably stressed that day, but that is no excuse to treat you poorly. Good luck, let us know how you get on with Jetstar's response. In my experience their customer service is not as good as the full service carriers that's for sure, so it won't be easy but you should pursue it.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. fursten

    fursten Junior Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    Thank you to all, we brought an approved harness for the seat so that was never going to be an issue, in fact the never asked if we had a proper restraint.

    from Jetstar
    Cuddling with your kids is great but travelling with them sitting on your lap is not always the most comfortable. It’s worth considering purchasing a seat for your infant, especially for long haul flights. They do however need to be able to sit upright unaided, or you can bring an infant car seat for them to travel in.
    it was weird to go through all of this, we just felt we were robbed, and felt to have done something illegal to have bought a seat for the toddler.

    As you say it is difficult to actually get hold of the decision makers in this organization, they are shielded.
    However I assume if we commence a legal action the proper people will appear.

    your thoughts were welcoming as we thought we were wrong in complaining.
  8. MEL_Traveller

    MEL_Traveller Enthusiast

    Apr 27, 2005
    Melbourne, AU
    start with your state consumer affairs agency. they'll help you out for free :)
  9. harvyk

    harvyk Senior Member

    Apr 15, 2009
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    I'd be sending JQ a firm letter expressive your disappointment that your child was not given the seat which you had paid for. Also include exactly what you expect in compensation (spell it out for them, don't just leave it in the air) and a timeframe in which you would like the matter resolved before you escalate the matter to Fair Trading.

    Spelling out what you want from them is important as it gives them instructions on what to do to make things right, otherwise they don't typically know what to do / will offer the "standard response". Word of warning, keep the request realistic and in proportion, otherwise it is likely to simply be ignored (a full refund of your child's fare is probably not unreasonable).

    Giving a realistic timeframe for them to resolve the issue before it get escalated to Fair Trading is also important, since it gives them a timeframe to work in. The important thing there is you hold them to it, and if they don't resolve it in the timeframe you do escalate it to to Fair Trading (and get a case number and make sure you sent it to them). It's amazing just how flexible a company can become one they know that Fair Trading is on their case.

    Finally, keep emotion out of it... Stating just the facts makes it hard to dispute, being emotional means that complaints are likely to put the complaint into the "rant's" box and be done with it. Writing a factual letter on the other hand which is devoid of emotion makes it very hard for the company to argue "that's just your opinion".

    Good luck with it all.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. fursten

    fursten Junior Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    Thank you, I hope that my post was unemotional and displayed the facts, am interested what anyone knows of usual compensation by Jetstar in these situations.
    We were told by one passenger they were offered $500 voucher and free ticket and travel to destination on following day.
    Any help appreciated:)
  11. Mwenenzi

    Mwenenzi Established Member

    May 17, 2006
    Paying for something and then not getting it very close to robbery - misrepresentation.
    To me jetrats staff were taking the easy way out by making up rules to fix there problem (Note the correct spelling of QF's subsidiary)
    Also write to the airline advocate and your credit card company
    14 business days is more than enough time before going to Fair Trading
  12. iambents

    iambents Intern

    May 5, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
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    Positively sexist of Jetstar too - dictating mum's lap.
  13. rickylee

    rickylee Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    SYD / ADL
    I agree with the replies so far.

    I think writing to Jetstar and giving them 14 days to respond before escalating is appropriate.

    I would not have thought that the appropriate compensation is not just a refund of the infant's seat but there must also be some accounting for the fact that, instead of being able to enjoy the comfort of your own seat, you had to carry the baby for the whole long haul flight - not to mention carrying onboard a car seat or equivalent for no practical use.
  14. Aussie Pete

    Aussie Pete Junior Member

    Apr 7, 2014
    All this rubbish is standard for Jetstar. Stay away if you can. I am very happy paying a little more to deal with a real airline not the warped prodigy and "make it up as you go" rules of the "garden gnome" airline.

    * "Garden Gnome"; slang for a very short guy running a major airline in Australia with an inferiority complex he blames on all Australians because he isn't one.
  15. Pushka

    Pushka Enthusiast

    Jan 26, 2011
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    I agree but my concern re the recent Loyalty Lunch was that surprise was expressed by the Loyalty Team that Jet* was in any way inferior and my concern is that Qantas are in the process of jetstarisation of the Q fleet particularly for airports like Adelaide which they seem to think are quite expendable. And as I mentioned recently, of all the flights i saw for a few hours on Saturday afternoon here, I did not see one Kangaroo Tail but all were Orange. We may not have a choice. well, i guess we do but Virgin's timetables dont always work for business travel.
  16. Sprucegoose

    Sprucegoose Senior Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    SE Aust
    Doesn't matter if you have an infant or a chello, you paid your money and should have a seat.

    Prepubescent know it all checkin staff ........
  17. Danger

    Danger Senior Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    Welcome, Aussie Pete.

    Please post your views and all but comments like the above are best left to FlyerTalk. We're a more pleasant bunch here.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Pleb Status

    Pleb Status Established Member

    Feb 19, 2011
    A little bit off topic, but I believe you are allowed to purchase a second (empty) seat for yourself if you want to (particularly if you are very large). I wonder how the second empty seat is treated in an oversell situation? Can you be forced to give the empty seat up, even if they refund the original fare?
  19. MEL_Traveller

    MEL_Traveller Enthusiast

    Apr 27, 2005
    Melbourne, AU
    dont know how it works on jetstar, but on qantas the seats are linked... the spare seat cannot exist with out the master. so you bump the spare seat you have effectively denied boarding to both seats.
  20. serfty


    Nov 16, 2004
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    The was an issue a couple of years ago where a J* PAX who had booked a comfort seat found it allocated elsewhere on the aircraft.

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