Jetstar surprise

I booked a flight with Jetstar a couple of months ago and was pleasantly surprised when the emailed itinerary stated I could use online check-in 28 days prior to the departure date.

Well, the day arrived this week when it was 28 days prior to the flight. I therefore logged on and went to online check-in. Then I was told that I could only do online check-in for the flight at this 28 days prior date if I first made a seat selection and paid for it. If I didn’t want to pay for a seat selection, I had to wait until 48 hours prior to the flight in order to check in and accept any seat they wanted to assign.

For a 1-hour flight, I took the 48 hour option. Not much of a surprise was it?


Totally understand your frustration with this type of thing @flight. It seems likely that they’re using that messaging as a soft approach to selling a few additional paid seat selections, but you have to wonder whether the cost of annoying customers has been factored in.


I agree Brendan and I think part of that ignored cost is the time wasted that the customer will never get back.


True, but you should also take into account the money the customer is saving by choosing Jetstar in the first place - it’s a no frills airline.

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That’s also true, but the absence of frills doesn’t confer a right to apply sharp practice in an attempt to increase sales dollars or a right to waste the customer’s time.

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Ryanair must be the poster child for cheap airlines and annoying customers but they still have full flights and eager customers. Their motto seems to be you can abuse your customers as much as you want if you are cheap enough. If they lose a few thousand tickets they also gain a few thousand+ tickets.

Tiger and Jetstar lust after their P/L and seem to emulate the business model as much as they believe our market will bear.


Yeah, agreed. I’ve seen people vow never to fly a particular airline again, but after a period of time and if the deal is good enough, they’ll sometimes take a chance and go back (perhaps even enough for an airline to keep their P/L in order in the short to mid term).

However, while some customers will always return for a cheap deal, I would also argue the path to the healthiest long-term profit for budget carriers is still bound to the quality they can provide consumers for a good price. In the case above, whatever Jetstar benefits from its confusing online check-in messaging, it’s at the cost of frustrating customers and potentially losing them all together if there are enough frustrations piled together.

Just my opinion, but I think the market will also likely bear a slight price differential if the consumer knows they’ll get a better experience with another carrier.


A few months dated, but Ryanair is a standout for ‘service’.

although a year earlier



We have two possible remedies: We can vote with our feet and go to another airline or we can tell our concerns to anybody who will listen. Maybe both.


The problem here is (with our Aussie airlines) that I anecdotally hear a lot of bad feedback about all the airlines, not just Jetstar. Often the customer is left with little or no option as we’re not really big enough for a highly competitive market - voting with your feet can be a bit tricky.

If you want to go to, for example, Launceston direct from Sydney, you can only fly Jetstar. They have no obligation to provide a great service because they’ve got no competition!

In industries with competition issues like these, we need to have some regulations to protect the consumer. This is why we’re fighting for compensation for delayed and cancelled flights (when it’s within the control of the airline). Currently there is no standard and compensation is inconsistent at best. Because of the lack of competition there is no incentive for them to treat their customers with a bit of respect (and abide by the consumer law, it seems).

Anyway, a bit of a tangent, but the core problem is the same - a lack of competition means a race to the bottom in customer service and product offerings!


A question though, explain Ryanair. They have competition, are at the bottom of the customer service barrel, and doing well.

I think a relatively new component of ‘satisfaction’ is only price, regardless of the product, brought to us by the Americanisation of everything where life evolves around ‘the sell’ and the internet where we can get more comparative data and information (real and fake ) than most of us could ever ingest and process. So price gets the gong for so many of us because it is understandable and comparable. The realities of ‘fine print’ (figurative and literal) is all too hard for many.

So hear hear for trying to get legislation like most other countries have had for yonks!


@PhilT I think we have to look at the market as well, and how it differs. I think many people may pick their flight from SYD-MEL (1 hr) on price, but if you’re travelling to Perth or overseas you might be more inclined to choose on quality.

Europe definitely captures a lot more of that ‘1hr flight’ market. They also have better consumer protection so you know you’re going to get at least a baseline level of service (which you can’t rely on here at all).

Personally, if I’m travelling anything further than 7 hours I will travel on a full service, but anything under (e.g. Bali) I don’t mind taking a budget carrier - I suppose everyone has different personal standards (and budgets!).


I recently booked what I thought was a Qantas flight, using QF points, but turns out this one is a code sharing flight with Jetstar as the operator. Suddenly, everything changes. Booking via Qantas and using their points, I would have expected the similar conditions…eg selecting seat on check in, but that is not the case. Contacting Jetstar and trying to communicate with them, is an absolute nightmare. The overseas operator spoke in a very condescending tone…“Now Susan, this is what you should do…”
as he proceeded to tell me more useless information that I already knew. He did not understand what I was asking him. Logging into my Jetstar account doesn’t show the booking, nor the Jetstar app, which I was also querying. As for asking for an aisle seat…nothing they could do…all they suggested was asking at the airport tomorrow. What’s the point of online checkin? And why do Jetstar care if I get a window or aisle seat…why do I have to pay $6 to change it myself online?
I’m especially annoyed as I thought I had avoided all this nonsense by booking QF.


Such is the world of codeshares where regardless of who or how you buy your ticket from, the conditions of travel are completely with the carrier you fly with. It is great for airline profits and not so great (to be polite) for us customers.

That ‘gotcha’ is why the booking sites usually show the carrier operating flights, not just a flight number. Some long hauls I have been on had upward of 8 flight numbers from different carriers, and all ‘enjoyed’ the same schedule and service and amenities regardless of ticket origin or the conditions on the ‘native carrier’ selling the ticket. The only variation I have seen is honouring baggage allowances.