What is it about Qantas and its Jetstar el cheapo airline offshoot, that they treat their passengers so arrogantly and with so little care?

I’ve already retailed the experience of a couple of friends who tried to return to Sydney last November from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast on a Saturday afternoon, only to have the Jetstar flight unexpectedly cancelled because the plane didn’t arrive from Sydney!

They followed the lead of a fellow passenger and booked out of Maroochydore on the Sunday on Virgin Blue and took off the next day as the remaining Jetstar passengers argued about where their plane was.

Ten days ago I retailed the story of about whole Qantas flight one Thursday afternoon who were phoned and emailed by Qantas a day before departing and told their flight at 4.30 pm flight from Sydney to Melbourne had been cancelled and they were re-booked on the 5.20pm flight. They get to the airport just before 4.30pm, only to find the 4.30pm flight was departing and there was no 5.20pm flight. Great one Qantas.

Now another harrowing tale. Unfortunately for Qantas, it’s a Jetstar horror story from this weekend as a friend explains:

Jetstar, the airline setting new standards in passenger unfriendliness, has just lost some more customers. They were the folks who thought they were flying JQ629 from Sunshine Coast to Sydney on Saturday night – scheduled departure 7.35pm.

Jetstar rang their former customers on Saturday afternoon to tell them the flight had been cancelled for “operational reasons”. (What does that mean, not enough bums to put on seats?) The punters were being punted to an 11.35am flight on Sunday instead.

Too bad about people who would have already booked out of their accommodation – they would just have to find somewhere else to stay and, of course, pay. Another dinner to buy, another breakfast. For some, too bad about another 24-hours’ costs of car parking at the Sydney airport. And what if someone was desperately trying to get to Sydney for a bit of Mardi Gras? Too bad!

Was there any offer of assistance from Jetstar? No! What was Jetstar’s response to an inquiry about compensation for extra costs? There’s none! This is the airline that won’t let you on their plane if you reach the check-in counter 29 minutes before scheduled departure – even if the plane is running half an hour late.

CRIKEY: Jetstar – making Virgin Blue look good. That’s if Chris Corrigan has any dim understanding of the opportunity Qantas is presenting Virgin. On present indications there’s none, he merely wants to be a duopolist where he can join Geoff Dixon in treating customers with the sort of complete indifference detailed above. Bring on Singapore Airlines.