Customer Service Fails ~ Distaster for Jetstar Brand
I'm writing this blog post from the 18th floor of the James Cook Hotel in Wellington. Sounds nice right? And someone else is paying too. I'm on Jetstar's tab. I'm one of hundreds of people stranded around New Zealand due to grounded planes with "Safety Issues".
Our flight from Wellington to Auckland was due to leave at 7.20pm Friday night. We boarded as usual but were soon told there was a systems error and an engineer was on the way to try to fix it.
30 minutes later we're being herded off the plane and back to the boarding lounge while Jetstar flight crew continue to make announcements that they still don't know anything more than they did before.
Jetstar staff did not walk around the passengers to see how everyone was. One girl was desperately in tears as she had a connecting flight to Samoa this morning to visit her ill father. I tried to reassure her that she would make that flight and calm her down. Of course this morning I cant imagine what state she is in. But Jetstar flight crew just did not care.
After another hour waiting we were told that they had not resolved the issues and we were to be released to the Airport lounge where the bars and cafe's were trying to close.
Still no Jetstar staff, more announcements that they knew nothing.
By this time we're looking at each other saying at least they could have brought around some water or coffee vouchers, but no.
Then we hear that the flight after us has been canceled and those passengers are being sent home or to a hotel or being offered refunds.
Another hour later several police arrive - they proved much better at customer service than the Jetstar flight crew.
A while later the Jetstar flight crew walked past their passengers with their bags and out of the airport. As they walked past some called out to them "What about your customers Mr Flight service coordinator". The one guy who said when we boarded "I'm your service manager and here to look after you on this flight" had just abandoned everyone he said he was charged to 'look after'.
Then the flight was canceled officially.
Now by this point we're not so pissed off about the broken plane. These things happen and we do appreciate safety issues must be dealt with properly.
But some communication and to be shown people at Jetstar actually care and were going to provide solutions and accommodation would have been nice.
All we wanted to hear was "We're very sorry you've been put out. We're going to look after you. You'll get a hotel room if you need one and a shuttle to take you there and refunded or rebooked on the next available flight".
We're given a letter with our recovery options. One option is they will put you up in a hotel. We decided to take that . But we had to wait three hours in line while incompetent Jetstar staff, all too young to actually think or problem solve 'Processes' us. They could have walked down the line themselves asking "do you want to take the hotel option?" If yes, they take your name and put you in groups of ten for shuttles to take you there. That could have been done in 30 min instead of three bloody hours.
The Wellington Airport Manager was awesome, after 2 hours he was the first person to think that water could be helpful while we're all dehydrating in his airport. And his baggage handlers were walking around giving out the letters and taking to passengers. Yes thats right the baggage handlers. Bloody nice guys too.
The lack of communication was deadly. The lack of competent staff brutal. They must have known what the process is, it's not like Jetstar haven't had to deal with this situation multiple times over the last three months. So why did they make the process as long and drawn out as possible.
@Jetstar_nz took a barrage of abuse last night. Least to say the last tweet posted from that account was 14 days ago and I hear it's managed by an agency. In other words their social media strategy is totally pointless, toothless and a waste of money.
Please promise me you will never ever fly Jetstar. If you all agree to this perhaps we'll soon see them leave New Zealand for good.
You cant run an airline or any business for that matter like this. Every service failure is convincing enough for everyone involved NEVER to fly with them again. Everyone there learnt the lesson, cheap flights are exactly that, and believe me you don't get what you pay for!
We are however very greatful for the James Cook Hotel staff for keeping dinner warm and the kitchen open for an extra two hours.