There is something that tells you a business isn’t well run when it announces something you can’t buy, which is what happened when Jetstar said this morning it would return to Melbourne-Honolulu non stop A330 flights from 15 December.
The timetable section of Jetstar.com.au, as at 1332 today eastern time, was last updated on 4 April and offered PDF timetables only as far as 27 October, the start of the northern winter timetable season.
Attempts to use the book flights function failed for requested dates between 1 January 2013 and 15 January 2013.
Of course it will fix the web site, and we’ll revisit both the Qantas and Jetstar sites when the reality for consumers catches up with the press releases for the media.
The announcement also raises questions about the conflict between the tired old 767-300ERs that poor unloved ruinously costly full service Qantas offers between Sydney and Honolulu and what are quite comfortable Qantas full service configured A330-200s gifted or otherwise transferred to Jetstar.
Just what is going on?
When Qantas.com is consulted as an alternative to the non-functional non-updated Jetstar. com site for the weekly timetable it shows one outbound flight, Jetstar’s JQ3, leaving Tullamarine on Monday afternoons for Honolulu via Sydney.
It refused to display any return flight options for any date, which is really odd, since normally the Qantas web site will attempt to match a return flight to a port like Sydney to a connecting flight to Melbourne.
But whatever it was up to, it didn’t display any non-stop Melbourne-Honolulu-Melbourne flights.
Since Qantas customers are supposed to be resourceful, the next step was to ask Qantas.com for the timetable between Sydney and Honolulu with a view to constructing an itinerary that did what airlines are supposed to do, and get you both to and from your destination, unless Alan Joyce has one of those Saturday morning’s like at the end of last October when he grounded the whole shebang, and apparently quickly dicatated and printed thousands of letters of notification to a whole army of bored courier cyclists loitering with intent on the off chance that something might happen.
That timetable inquiry showed the Sydney had six JQ3 flights non-stop to Honolulu in that period per week, and four full service museum fleet 767-300ERs for full service Qantas on four days. There was a close proximity on timings of the Qantas and Jetstar departures on two days out of seven.
There is of course another way to fly non-stop from Sydney or Brisbane to Honolulu in that period, which is on an A330-200 operated by Hawaiian, and if you were travelling from Melbourne there are connections offered by its allied carrier Virgin Australia.
The announcement from Jetstar this morning says its non-stop service from Melbourne to Honolulu will rise to three departures a week by March. All you have to do is find the flights, because they aren’t/weren’t on Qantas.com or Jetstar.com.au.