Michael Earley has conveniently supplied me and others with a fisking of Jetstar’s response to their abysmal service thus far. Notye to Jetstar, don’t piss off people who know how to effectively use social media and are friends with nasty bloggers.
Over the past 4 days, Jetstar has had multiple opportunities to come clean in the media. At every opportunity Jetstar’s Australian PR office has lied to the NZ Media about what happened in the vain hope that the story would not blow over.
This incident could have been fixed had your staff behaved appropriately and within the terms and conditions as outlined on the Jetstar website. It did not help that your staff attempted to get my property confiscated, prevented me from leaving the building, called the police and security on us, and to top it off – your staff member “Alfred” (he was attempting to hide his name badge from view) even challenged us to go to the media.
So far your PR team have lied at every opportunity – and have been caught out at every opportunity:
Jetstar Comment: “but the airline says they were eight minutes late – arriving 22 minutes before departure time.”
Our Comment: we were at the airport at approximately 3:05pm, and I received a phone call at 3:14pm from a friend in Australia that I had to drop due to your staff refusing to serve us, 18 minutes before you first claim that we were even in the airport. I am happy to provide Vodafone records that will back this up.
Jetstar Comment: “Cann says Jetstar carries out two mandatory PA announcements advising the check in is shutting. “
Our Comment: These announcements were not made until we informed your staff member (Alfred). He then proceeded to announce that the checkins were closed while we were at his counter.
Jetstar Comment: “She says Jetstar also closes its check-in barriers and moves any passengers in a queue on a closing flight forward.”
Our Comment: No barriers were closed, and the only passenger who was moved was a middle aged man in a blue jacket with full beard, who was directly behind me in the Queue. He was checked in but we were not, even though we were shouting ‘we are going to Wellington too!’
Jetstar Comment: “Jetstar spokeswoman Simone Pregellio said staff told her that when they closed for check-ins there were no other Wellington-bound passengers visible “in the vicinity”.”
Our Comment: We were at the front of the line, making it very clear that we we were going to Wellington, as were numerous other passengers behind us.
Jetstar Comment: “Ms Pregellio said staff had been verbally abused and felt threatened enough to call airport security.”
Our Comment: No passengers threatened Jetstar staff, but Jetstar staff did behave inappropriately. A Blonde staff member in black jacked tryed to force me to give up my cell phone, and an island woman in an orange jacket attempted to physically block me from exiting the building untill I informed her if she touched me I would press charges.
Jetstar Comment: “Jetstar spokeswoman Simone Pregellio acknowledged having issued incorrect information initially about how late the passengers arrived, but insisted they were all too late.
Although she told the Herald on Sunday they arrived 22 minutes late, and eight minutes before departure time, she said yesterday she had incorrectly transposed the figures.
That meant the passengers arrived eight minutes late, and 22 minutes before departure.”
Our Comment: I was already on the phone to the media, earlier than Simone Claims we were even in the building. She is clearly lying.
Jetstar Comment: “Jetstar corporate communications manager Simone Pregellio said the first contact anyone had with the stranded passengers was eight minutes before the plane was to take off.”
Our Comment: We were in the airport at 3:05pm. I have phone logs at 3:14pm which is 26 minutes prior to the plane taking off. Simone is lying.
Jetstar Comment: “She said a service announcement was made saying the flight was due to close and no passengers made themselves known.”
Our Comment: No Service Announcement was made, and we were at the front of the queue making it VERY clear where we are going. Simone is lying.
Jetstar Comment: “The manager did a “queue comb”, asking if anyone in line was waiting for the Wellington flight.”
Our Comment: This is actually correct, the Manager did go through the queue and chose to check in the Middle aged male behind us. He later denied it.
Jetstar Comment: “”They did not identify anyone else. When they determined there was no one else they closed the flight,” she said.”
Our Comment: Again false, as per earlier comments, security camera footage will confirm this.
Jetstar Comment: “But Pregellio was adamant staff made “every effort when the flight was closing to see if anyone else was there.We’re in the business of carrying people and we want people to make every one of our flights.”"
Our Comment: Jetstar made no effort whatsoever to do so, we were clearly telling staff we were on the flight and they deliberately ignored us.
Jetstar Comment: “The airline says it is standard practice and staff tried to find anyone still queuing at check-in.”
Our Comment: as per our comments above, Jetstar made no such effort
Jetstar Comment: “A Jetstar spokesperson says the group arrived much too late to board the flight.”
Our Comment: as per comments above, incorrect, refer to security footage and timing of media phone calls.
Jetstar Comment: “Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway said that during boarding of Saturday’s 3.40pm Auckland-Wellington flight “a number of people arrived 22 minutes after the scheduled close-out of the flight”.”
Our Comment: Again this has proved to be false, Jetstar have revised their timing but it is still incorrect.
Jetstar Comment: “As long as passengers were in the check-in queue 30 minutes prior to the flight departure time, they would be processed and allowed to board, he told Radio New Zealand.”
Our Comment: We were in the queue 35 minutes prior to departure time. We were not processed or allowed to board
Jetstar Comment: “Mr Westaway said Jetstar made public calls warning a flight was about to close and undertook “queue combing” looking for any remaining passengers still in the queue.”
Our Comment: No such call was made untill after we made it to check in and Alfred told us the desk was closed. He then made the call after we mentioned no announcemnet was made. Again Jetstar lying.
Our expectations – none of these are unfair or unrealistic:
- Jetstar release the security camera footage to the media
- Jetstar admit that their staff did not follow proceedure
- Jetstar PR admit that they have lied about the incident to the media on multiple occasions
- Jetstar offer all affected passengers full refunds
- Jetstar offer compensation to all those for actual costs incurred (i.e. additional flights rebooked, accomdation required, loss of income etc)
- Jetstar staff apologise for lying to the media
- Jetstar staff apologise for refusing to serve paying customers
- Jetstar staff apologise for acting in appropriately towards customers (i.e. trying to get phone confiscated, refusing to let members of public leave buidling etc).
That is a fairly comprehesive destruction of the pathetic PR job Jetstar has done. my advice to them would be to STFU and start hiring people who are effective with Social Media, blogging and Twitter to start mitigating your PR disaster.