Tom from Myrtle Bank, SA, who has provided all of the information requested for our complaints and atrocities forum, reports:

I travelled on flight JQ12 from Tokyo-Narita to the Gold Coast on December 8, 2009. Upon arrival at Narita Airport, I was advised by the check-in staff that the flight would be late. The person at check-in asked if I had any connections to make, to which I informed her that I was travelling on Tiger Airways back to Adelaide. She said I might not make that flight, because customs and immigration at the Gold Coast are lengthy, but that I should try, and if I can’t then I should approach Jetstar staff in the terminal who would arrange a way for me to get back home, because it was Jetstar’s fault that the plane was delayed.

Upon a delayed arrival at the Gold Coast, I missed my flight on Tiger, and I went to talk to the staff at the Jetstar desk. They apologised and said that the Japanese check-in staff had got it wrong, and that Jetstar would not be held responsible for my connecting flight on another airline. This was frustrating and upsetting to hear, having spent a sleepless night aboard the plane with at least some comfort that I would be looked after in the morning. I was forced to buy a $320 ticket on a later Jetstar flight to Adelaide, right there on the spot, so I could get home that day. However, I was told that they could give me a letter explaining that the original flight was late, which I could use to claim back the cost of the ticket on my travel insurance. I was advised to head through security and into the departure lounge, where the staff would page me over the PA, or come and find me with the completed letter.

This never happened, and nor was it handled when I spoke to gate staff later in the day. Ever since then, I have been in constant contact with Jetstar’s customer service hotline, 131 538. I have been repeatedly informed that the letter was in the mail and “one to two weeks” away. I have asked them to explain how it could take one to two weeks for a letter to be posted from Melbourne to Adelaide.

I have even been told that Jetstar does not write the letter, and that Chartis Insurance is responsible. That the person on the other end of the telephone, in India, would put in another request for Chartis to finish the letter. And upon calling Chartis, been told that their company has nothing to do with the production of letters when Jetstar has delayed or cancelled flights.

The latest was being told that they would fax this letter to me. I don’t have a fax machine. I asked them to email this letter, which has still not happened.

I have asked to speak to a customer service manager in the head office. They said they would put in a request and someone would call me back. I waited by the phone all day today and I heard nothing back. And this is all for something which would not have taken much time to complete back on the Gold Coast. I understand that sometimes planes are late and it’s out of Jetstar’s control. And I commend Jetstar for having the low fares in the first place. But I’m completely abhorred by the lack of respect for me as a customer, and the complete nightmare it has been to navigate through customer service.

Jetstar response:

We sincerely apologise to (Tom)  for the delay in issuing him with the letter for travel insurance purposes. The document was issued earlier this week and he should receive it via the post shortly.

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