Jetstar’s latest stunt of offering a few 5 cent tickets played out in the predictable way last night – untold thousands of desperates wasted hours on an over-loaded website failing to get the advertised seats, but Jetstar would have picked up a few more email addresses in the process and attracted a little attention away from the imminent Tiger launch.

The mystery though is the excuse Qantas’ el cheapo child used for the stunt – it has allegedly won awards for being the “best” low cost carrier.

One shudders to imagine how bad the LCC competition must be, or what sort of masochists judge such things. You’d also have to wonder if Virgin Blue is no longer considered an LCC if the lamentable Jetstar gets a gong.

The Jetstar awards contrast rather sharply with recent travellers’ tales told on the TravelMole travel industry site.

Stories like the 200 Japanese tourists and 30-odd locals dumped at Brisbane airport after spending four hours stuck in the plane on the tarmac. As usual with such yarns, it quickly starts a string of comments voicing similar dismay.

Such as the post from an American travel agent:

As an agent in the US selling a lot of Australia and the Pacific, I simply won’t use Jetstar. El Cheapo airline policy may be OK for people who just get home a few hours later, but if it screws up a once in a lifetime itinerary it’s a different matter. No problem, you think, don’t book Jetstar. Except, Qantas is moving its flights across to Jetstar with no QF alternative. Tried to get to Hamilton or Hawaii on QF lately? Don’t even mention the non-existent baggage/check in transfer arrangements.

I was with a group of some of the US’s highest producing agents for OZ, and we had to get the public bus – and pay – after being turned away from the QF transfer from International to domestic in SYD because we weren’t flying QF, we were flying Jetstar. And we were ticketed by QF – not just on QF, but by QF – from the States to Hamilton from LAX. Not one of us, including the Tourism Australia people, had any idea this was going to happen. Ticketed from LAX to Hamilton on QF and can’t use their airport transfer?

This is so stupid it boggles the mind. And over and over again I read of Jetstar’s screw-ups.

I guess he didn’t vote for Jetstar in any competitions lately. Who would?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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