Miscommunication error sees Jetstar flight forced to make U-turn back to Melbourne

Passengers travelling from Melbourne to Bali were left frustrated after their flight was diverted following a ‘miscommunication’ between staff.

No approval for plane swap

The Jetstar plane had been flying over the northwest coast of Australia as it headed to Bali on the morning of Wednesday, 28th December. It had been over four hours into the flight when the pilot was forced to turn back. The inconvenience was due to a mistake involving a plane swap in which an Airbus A321 had originally been given scheduled to run. Jetstar, however, switched the Airbus for the larger Boeing 787 so that it could transport more customers during the busy period. Due to a mix-up in communication, Jetstar hadn’t received approval for the plane swap from regulators in Indonesia, meaning that it was unable to land at the airport.

A spokesperson for the airline provided a statement on its website, “We swapped yesterday’s Melbourne to Bali service to a larger Boeing 787 aircraft to carry more customers during the holidays.” The statement added, “Unfortunately, due to an internal miscommunication, we did not have approval from the regulator in Indonesia.”

Unhappy passengers

Flight JQ35 had been scheduled to depart from Tullamarine Airport on Tuesday at 6:15 pm; however, it had already been delayed by nearly five hours, to the passengers’ dismay. They were even more disgruntled to hear from the pilot that they would return to Melbourne despite being just 34 minutes away from Denpasar airport in Bali. After looping back, fliers found themselves back in Melbourne airport after being in the air for around 11 hours.

One social media user (@Bennji_95) took to Twitter to vent their frustration as they said, “Thank you @JetstarAirways for the worst travel experience of my life. After cancelling our original flight, delaying the 2nd and then returning back to Melb only an hour to landing, the staff were unresponsive and unhelpful. Genuinely shocking service. Never again.”

Issued an apology

Jetstar has since issued an apology to all those affected and announced that they will be launching a review into the incident. A spokesperson for the airline said, “We know this has been an extremely frustrating experience for customers and sincerely apologise for what happened. While customers wait for their new flight, we’re providing them with hotel rooms and meal vouchers, and we’ll cover additional airport transport costs.” It also added, “We know this has been an extremely frustrating experience for customers and sincerely apologise for what happened.”

However, @Bennji_95 responded to these promises yesterday as they said, “Update: Thanks to flight companion being out of state was able to get hotel near airport. Rebooked for 4:45pm today. No vouchers, only lucky psg got hotel. We been screwed over 3 times in space of 46 hours. Incompetence & insecurity of staff is icing on the cake.”

What do you think of Jetstar’s response to their mistake? Let us know in the comments.

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