I’m writing this currently sat in Melbourne Airport on a 10-hour delay with budget airline, Jetstar. For me, even after hundreds of flights I haven’t had a delay this long ever, so its definitely something new. However, being the ever productive I’ve managed to figure out some useful travel hacks that may come in handy if you ever get delayed too.
Let’s face it, budget airlines do promise a lot. Whether it is Ryanair in Europe or Jetstar over in Australasia, you can fly internationally for sometimes, ridiculously cheap prices. It makes for the many budget travellers, including myself, the freedom to travel more frequently to the places we love. Especially if you’re heading into somewhere like Southeast Asia and earn a strong currency like the (US, AUD, CAD, NZ) Dollar which allows you to stretch your trip for even longer. In this case, every dollar adds up.
As for Jetstar, they are a Qantas owned company and offer plenty of low budget flights. I took a flight from Melbourne to Bangkok in June and it cost me $260AUD one way! For a 9-hour flight, which is incredibly cheap! So, if you look out of holiday season, you can regularly find some cracking deals. One initial tip: Please book your baggage PRIOR to arriving at the airport (it’s easy you have the option to book it when you book your flight). If you don’t, they will charge you $160 for adding late baggage, which is scandalous!
If you’re ever in the predicament I’m in and you’ve been delayed for over 6 hours then take a look at some of the pointers below. Remember, it happens more with budget airlines.
You Can Get a Refund
If you want your money back, there is no need to worry for a continuous struggle with the call centres at Jetstar. If you request it with the Jetstar staff, they’ll advise you it takes around 2 weeks to be reimbursed into your bank account.
You Can Definitely Swap Your Flight
If a flight departs pretty much everyday, especially if it the same route then you definitely CAN swap it. Do not let the airline staff tell you any different. Have a look online and arrange it with the Jetstar staff from there.
Ask For More Luxury
If a flight is delayed somewhat too long, there will definitely be passengers who will lose their patience and leave. Some may book other flights; others may just refund and cancel. If you’re lucky, say a group cancels, ask the staff to change their seat to theirs, even book out an entire row! The staff will normally be happy to do such an easy thing than dealing with moans and groans.
Take As Many Food Vouchers
In situations like this, Jetstar provide $10 food vouchers to disgruntled customers, to keep people happy. They can be used in most if not all shops, including the big food chains. Go fill your boots, and they won’t say no, ask for more!
Be a little cheekier and complain about the delays. Suggest free movies and meals should be complimentary as compensation. The more people requesting this, the less likely the follow up complaints will actually happen. Customers can quickly forget once the situation is over.