Passengers a huge inconvenience to Jetstar employee

Jetstar employee Emily Capewell, via Facebook

Jetstar employee Emily Capewell, via Facebook

Jetstar just can’t shake the attitude

A Sydney Jetstar employee labelled those complaining about delays on Saturday “a bunch of whingers” and “nuts freaking about delays”.

In a Facebook comment, Jetstar employee Emily Capewell blamed passengers who were affected by Jetstar’s computer glitch which caused delays for Jetstar passengers.

“Obviously don’t travel enough. Happens to everyone and today it’s jetstars day,” Capewell wrote in a Facebook comment on the Sydney Morning Herald’s Facebook page which has since been deleted.

“You are all a bunch of whingers! Grow up and think about the people that are working today and have to deal with all you nuts freaking about delays!”

1419057865445More than 60,000 Jetstar passengers have been hit by delays at airports across the country after the airline’s computer system went down on Saturday morning.

A Jetstar spokesman said the company was in the process of contacting Capewell.

“These comments are inappropriate and don’t reflect the views of Jetstar or our employees,” the Jetstar spokesman said.

“We know travelling at this time of the year can be stressful and we are extremely apologetic to all of our customers who have been delayed getting to their holidays today.”

Travellers arriving at Sydney Airport on the first day of the NSW school holidays had to queue out the door to check-in. Ground staff took to processing passengers manually – using fax machines – to get flights going.

Jetstar chief executive David Hall apologised to passengers on Saturday afternoon, saying between 60,000 and 70,000 people had been affected by countless delays and 15 flight cancellations.

“We are working hard to get customers to their destination,” Mr Hall said. “We recognise it’s a special time of year and people want to be with their families and friends.”

All that I can see is that after years, it is still not worth the risk booking your flights with Jetstar.

Do you avoid them deliberately?  Do you book with them deliberately?  What’s your experience?


– Misa Han, Scott Parker and Deborah Gough, Sydney Morning Herald


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  • johcar

    Never flown with Jetstar since I got stranded due to fog/low cloud in Wellington when trying to get back to Auckland. AirNZ could still fly (a better standard of safety equipment, as I understand it), so I rebooked and have (happily and enthusiastically) flown AirNZ domestically ever since.

    • The Accountant


    • TonyM

      Yes had this as well, really frustrating

    • ex-JAFA

      Me too. Morning flight AKL-WLG was delayed an hour with everyone aboard because the plane’s systems crashed on the taxiway and the plane had to be rebooted, including powering off the engines. (Pilot on the PA: “Better it happened on the ground than in the air, though, eh?”)

      Then the afternoon return flight was delayed multiple times before finally being cancelled due to fog in WLG. Was eventually rebooked for another flight two days (!) later. I didn’t mind too much because I was consulting and so got to charge extra time, hotel, meals, etc. at a handsome rate.

  • Stuarts.burgers

    I have used them in the past and am booked to use them early Feb.
    I have had no problems in the past.
    I look at both ANZ and Jetstar to get the best price/depature time combo ( yes I am cheap) and book accordingly. I make my choices and have to stand by them.

  • KGB

    Have flown with Jetstar twice between Auckland & Christchurch, both times flights were cancelled and later flights offered. On both occasions I was sure the flights were not full so this happened to save them money. I was given a free coffee voucher and little sympathy. I always fly with AirNZ now.
    I must say my son flys with Jetstar a lot commuting between Auckland & CC, he has not had these problems.

  • ElleAsks

    I absolutely will not book on Jetstar if I have any choice….. My company has a lowest cost policy, so unfortunately I am occasionally forced to fly with them – every time it just re-iterates the gap between the professionalism of Air New Zealand, and the muppets running Jetstar….

    On Monday I chose to fly on a 6am, rather than my normal 8:30 flight – just so I could fly Air NZ!

    • Aucky

      I’m with you Ellie. I’ve spent a lifetime flying on business both internationally and within NZ and Air NZ is hard to beat – they are consistently very good at what they do. Yes, I’ve had the occasional roughy but I can count them on one hand out of the hundreds of times that I have flown with Air NZ. I plan ahead to get the best fare available and still accrue enough points to pay my Koru Lounge fees each year. For me Air NZ is a win/win and anyway why would I support an Aussie airline when there’s a better local alternative?

      • Cadwallader

        The Air NZ loyalty programme is impressive, especially given its application to the other Star Alliance airlines. I fly to Perth about 4 times each year. I specifically choose Business Class and the air points collected keeps me in Koru Club* fees. The recent tweaking of regional services was necessary but I do feel those who fly to places like Gisborne/Timaru/Wanganui/Masterton subsidize the international fares. Just a feeling…. Air NZ, like our government is another reason for us to feel sympathy for the Australians.
        * Flying domestically in USA is generally bloody awful but if you stick to US Airways or United the Koru benefits earned at Air NZ are gladly shared by the US operators. It makes a great difference.

        • ex-JAFA

          Agreed that US domestic air travel is amongst the world’s most unpleasant experiences.

          • Cadwallader

            Mmmmh look further up this thread and put Fanny in the picture please.

  • Carl

    I have flown with jetstar a few times and never had a problem, I might be in a minority with that. I would say that if Air New Zealand prices are a little bit more expensive than Jetstar I would choose AirNZ first but if there is a decent difference I am happy to fly Jetstar, until the time I have a problem I suppose.

  • Curious

    I am travel industry and refuse to fly JetStar and only book it for my clients when specifically requested and always with the rider that anything they do is not my fault.
    I have flown with them once and was not impressed at all by them and now will only fly Air NZ domestically.

  • Disinfectant

    Emily Capewell might be up for a DCM.

  • Korau

    Facebook – just because you can, not because you should!

  • steve and monique

    Have a feeling this young lady, may be updating her CV shortly. Maybe customer complaints officer is more her style, NOT.

  • Cadwallader

    At last an honest expression of disdain for their passengers from Ms Capewell. I suggest that her words are reflective of Jetstar’s underlying philosophy. She ought be thanked (as well as being booted!) The truth is, no matter who you deal with in life, if you pay peanuts you only get treated by monkeys as monkeys! I am happy to pay a bit extra, in fact a lot extra, to fly Air NZ. This attitude carries over to accounting, legal advice, tradespeople, accommodation, rental cars etc…

  • Rodger T

    What does anyone expect ? A budget airline gets you budget service .

  • Bluemanning

    We have flown Jetstar business class (yes an oxymoron) on our first leg to Europe to Singapore twice; no problems quite good but not up to other airlines business class standard but much cheaper. On the other hand flew Jetstar economy to Cairns more than once, the service was not good the staff didn’t care and were inexperienced no people skills and were legends in their own lunch box. Always try to fly A/NZ or Singapore now

  • Michael

    I have to fly Jetstar as my department manages and enforces travel policy for our company. I’ve been on a plane once when the captain announced there was a delay while they waited for some paperwork to be faxed to the gate. Not in 1990, but 2013!

    They’re okay 99% of the time, and the 30 min rule means you don’t get delayed by latecomers, it’s just as they don’t have regular flights and multiple planes they can’t recover from any delays.

    I prefer Air NZ as I do get premium seating – when you are as tall as I am it matters.

  • Monty Bank

    I once flew with Jetstar about 3 years ago. An early morning flight, I got to the check 2 minutes, yes 2 minutes after “the flight had closed” but of course it didn’t take off for another 45 minutes.
    It wasn’t the fact that I was late that was annoying, but the staff behind the counter actually smirked at me. The had a private little laugh about it. A couple of weeks later a (forgettable) TV reporter took a swing at the Jetstar staff when he was similarly a couple of minutes late and I understood exactly why he did it.
    I avoid jetstar whenever I can.
    Customer service it ain’t.

    • burns_well_eh

      He was no TV reporter – borderline personality disorder failed shock jock maybe.

    • KnowAll

      Hey Monty, dont they warn clearly on all their info material & bookings about gate closure times? Perhaps because you’re so special they should have made an exception for you? Rules are rules buddy.Dont act like a baby.
      Lesson learned:get to airport earlier…like all airlines suggest! Dont hold a grudge because of some perceived smirk. It was your mistake, not jetstars.

      • Aucky

        I’m not a Jetstar supporter but totally agree re gate closure times. The airline has its set pre-flight procedures and these have to be tightly adhered to particularly if you are a LCC which means that you operate with the absolute minimum of staff.

  • dgrogan

    I flew with them a lot, domestically, Christchurch/Auckland, for many years. Great service and pretty much always on time. Have also flown trans-Tasman with them, east and west and no problems.

  • peterwn

    Do not fly very often, but I have a very strong Air NZ bias, especially after their very helpful attitude with an incident a few years ago.

  • burns_well_eh

    I wish Jetstar would fly out of Tauranga. Not so I could fly with them – heard enough horror stories and since I predominantly fly for business I have to know I’m highly likely to get there. But they would bring Air NZ’s prices down from “usurous” to simply “gouging” and make them a lot more affordable.

    • ex-JAFA

      Too right! I could fly AKL-WLG five times for the cost of a TRG-WLG flight.

    • The2Game

      That’s the only reason I approve of Jetstar, burns_well_eh?
      It gives the punter something to compare Air New Zealand with … and goes some way to making sure Air New Zealand stay ‘real’.

    • Euan Ross-Taylor

      I would be interested to know how much provincial airports charge airlines for use of their facilities? I am wondering if there would be a payoff for the province if it was made rock bottom to encourage airlines to reduce fares and thereby encourage more visitors to the region? I guess this would only work if the airports were owned by the respective provincial authority?

  • peterwn

    A Giles cartoon caption many years ago. Shop assistant to customer “Yes, I did read ??????? article which said that many shop assistants look as if they hope the customer drops dead, preferably outside the shop, before they have the bother of serving them and I could not agree more.”

  • LabTested

    I’m flying Jetstar Xmas day! I had no other choice. Fingers crossed. My first time with them.

    • Disinfectant

      Doesn’t Santa fly around in his sleigh on Christmas Day being pulled by his Reindeer?
      Might have been another option.

  • TonyM

    I’ve stopped using them coz this is typical of their attitude. I can catalogue a long list of issues:

    1. Stupid checkin rules. You can wait hrs in their checkin ques in smaller airports because they are understaffed and then they close the flight on you before you get to counter.
    2. If you book a qantas long haul flight and the first leg is jet star and you have a frequent flyer membership, they will not accept the baggage allowance. Long arguments about this multiple times.
    3. They often run late and their communication and attitude is terrible. Can’t trust them to get you anywhere on time and so I’ve completely given up on them.

    • SlightlyStrange

      Agree about the communication.
      I had a family member travelling with a young child on Jetstar, Auckland to Wellington on an evening flight (after work).
      There were delays, but no-one at JS told the passengers waiting in the lounge ANYTHING – the family member was getting all their information from us who were at home in Wellington waiting for the flight to depart. And of course, they had cleared security, and so had no food or toilets available, and were kept waiting 2 hours with no communication.

  • Lemuzz

    We fly frequently with JS With very few exceptions we have always been on time. Even though it is a budget service it is on the whole it is a good service. People complain if they are late and can’t check in. This is not the fault of the air line. Staff get blamed for things out of their control.

    • Ginny

      Agree, there is no excuse for a late check in as you can check in online. We have had the odd delayed flight and on one particular one, two men were anxious because they had connecting international flights. The flight attendant moved them to the front of the plane so they could disembark quickly.
      Also, they usually embark and disembark from both ends of the plane, not an Air NZ feature.

  • Cadwallader

    O/T but on air travel: The mindless msm is still banging on about Big Jerry slightly breaching a security procedure at CHCH Airport. To my mind Big Jerry is hardly a threat to NZ’s security (unless there’s a race for doughnuts) so surely this is a blow up by the gaggle which masquerades as an Opposition?

  • Anthony

    I actively avoid them.
    The company I work for has a lowest fare policy, but this can usually be circumvented by selecting the appropriate travel time.
    Nobody I work with is pleased to be stuck on Jetstar.
    I’ve flown extensively in dozens of countries around the world and had many experiences. AirNZ is very good, and as a taxpayer (owner), flying on them is in my own best interests.
    Fax machine, what years is this, you’ve got to be joking.

  • Mark

    Well, I do not fly for business so not a frequent flyer. However since I have been let down numerous times with delays without explaination while flying AIr New Zealand I book Jetstar if at all possible,at extra cost if need be.
    I admit my experience is unique among my friends,but either I have been very lucky or they are not as bad as painted.
    No grief about traveling with firearms either & they don’t leave thousands of dollars worth of guns sitting in the ski/surf board rack unattended like AIR NZ.

  • Fanny_Schmelar

    The issue for this lot is that they think Jetstar’s service is normal and it’s the same in NZ. Air NZ is not much better (remember when Ansett arrived?) but we can blame Jetstar for normalising very poor service. I tell friends to fly Emirates when they can just to remind themselves what real service is. Their price is not much different but the service is excellent in comparison. Domestic travel in NZ is awful and expensive and we’re expected to take it or leave it.

    • stephen2d

      I disagree, airnz domestic is the best domestic airline I flew in many many countries. BA is probably only one that is better in UK but you pay for it dearly.

    • Cadwallader

      No, to compare Air NZ to some of the cowboy outfits in North America and Europe is an insult to a premium airline, both in the international sphere and the domestic routes. Rob Fyfe, I suggest didn’t only add better performances to Air NZ he injected it with a degree of “class” not frequently encountered outside NZ.

    • Dave

      Fanny, I suggest you really need to get out a bit more, try flying domestically in many other countries. As a regular Air Nz flyer for many years, often several return flights a week, the service was amazing 99% of the time. I like many others, refused ot fly JetStar unless no other options after poor service, delays and cancelled flights. In contrast, even Qantas here in Aussie provide much poorer service, akin to a cattle truck. Get in the line, wait, wait more, check in, get in another line, wait more, traipse on, sit down, shut up, and hang on. No fun, nothing. The domestic Aussie Airlines could learn so much from Air NZ, I guess that is why the Australians refuse to grant AirNZ a license to fly domestically in Aussie!

      • Fanny_Schmelar

        Thanks Dave, Cadwallader and Stephen 2d for confirming the normalisation of poor service. You should not expect anything else, especially the service they used to provide!!

        • Dave

          Fanny – attack the messenger when they dissagree with you, why am I not surprised! The message is clear in the comments from most others, yet you argue otherwise?” and flying in NZ is cheap, if you find it expensive, try driving and calculate the real cost of driving. i can still fly Auck – Wgtn return for a little over $200 if i am careful with travel times, and thats on the premium service and on time AirNz.

          • Fanny_Schmelar

            Dave, I am in the airline business and explaining is losing.

          • Dave

            Fanny, see your original reply to me, yes, in your words, you lost, you had to explain. And if your in the business, you really will know how terrible JetStar is.

          • Aucky

            I’ll endorse that Dave. If Fanny’s is in the airline business she will know that Air NZ has been pretty much at the top of the pile for customer surveys over the last few years. Always in the top ten and often takes out first place. Air NZ has nothing to be ashamed of with its domestic service either. For nine years I had to fly LAX/Miami/LAX which is a flight of almost six hours – time enough for any carrier to roll out some decent service but it was always crap from checkin right through to collecting your bags (if they arrived). Didn’t matter which airline I used, they were all awful. Give me an Air NZ Bombardier flight to Napier any day.

          • Cadwallader

            Do you work in PR at Jetstar?

          • Fanny_Schmelar

            You need to read the thread properly Cadwallader. Trolling will get Pete angry then the big stick will come out.

          • Cadwallader

            That was a genuine enquiry given your statement that you are in the industry. The enquiry rests unanswered.

  • stephen2d

    I avoid Jetstar like a plague. Mind you Virgin isn’t much better. AirNZ all the way, on domestic their service is impeccable and for longhaul mostly great (depends on staff really). Premium and Bus Prem are top notch.

    • Euan Ross-Taylor

      With you on this. We flew Virgin Atlantic as an AirNZ codeshare. It really let AirNZ down. Terrible service. Also have flown twice on Jetstar and both times we had problems; Once into Queenstown where we couldn’t fly in (when AirNZ could) so had to detour to Chch. and once to Gold Coast where we had rear seats and all the kids it seemed were seated back there as well – a horror flight. We refuse to fly with them ever again – don’t care how much their service might have improved, they have done their chips with us.

  • Teletubby

    My previous employer banned us from using Jetstar after a couple of incidents of flights being cancelled and being rebooked on Air NZ flights an hour later. Both of those caused the person concerned to miss the meetings they were travelling for resulting in waste of airfares and waste of a day.
    Current employer has cheapest flight policy so went Jetsatr once recently, missed Koru lounge and the extra legroom so have been going Air NZ ever since

  • HSV325

    Only fly Air NZ. I fly weekly and got booked on Jetstar by mistake and their check in is archaic compared to Air NZ. The cheap seats come at a price and that is customer experiance technology.

  • HSV325

    Actually a pet peeve of mine is how Jetstar share the customs screening with Air NZ at the domestic terminal and those Jetstar non frequent travellers sure know how to jam up the process.

  • Clutch Cargo

    I have flown Jet Star five times in the past 18 months. Four out of five flights were delayed by up to 3 hours for things like crews on maxed out hours, plane un availability etc. Will only fly with them if they are cheap and destination is not time critical, preferably with a day either side of the flight. They are known as Crap Star in our house. As for the staffer posting that stuff, you have to be a special type of stupid to go there surely. What is it about Gen Y, social media and train wrecks!!!!.

  • SlightlyStrange

    We fly Air NZ 99% of the time, since we have an airpoints credit card, so never actually pay cash for flights.
    I had one JS flight before we got to that amount of airpoints dollars available, where a storm came through as we were departing. To ensure they still got their departure stats, we pushed back from the gate, and sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes before we could depart. Because we were showing as departed, there was no update to the arrival time in Christchurch, so people were stuck waiting there for us before we had even departed Wellington.

  • Catriona

    I have never flown Jetstar and have no intention in doing so. Not because of the FB rant of one of their employees. Just because they have always had bad Press. I think of them like that British airline Easyjet – been on that one and not intending to ever get on that again.
    This Employee will probably get the boot – a lesson to all employees out there – don’t make negative a comments about the Company who employs you on your FB page or Twitter or anything else. Keep all slagging off in-house if you know what I mean.

  • oldmanNZ

    I guess the saying goes “pay peanuts and you get monkies”,

    I can imagine Jet star is attempting to build up a good reputation do care..
    but paying for a cheap system that fails, and staff that has no brains will end up costing them.

  • Intrigued

    I had the misfortune to get caught up in Jetstar’s delays a couple of times and swore never again. That was several years ago and it doesn’t appear that much has changed.

    On another note – it’s the attitude-test that Jetstar fails every time. I can’t help thinking that if they got their attitude right from the start – i.e. It’s about providing an excellent service getting customers safely from A to B on time then they might get it right. The focus should be on an attitude of excellence in customer service. Just because it’s (sometimes) a cheaper option to fly Jetstar and you don’t get the “frills” that you pay for on more expensive airlines does not give the Jetstar staff license to treat its customers poorly. Capewell’s attitude along with those of others who WO commenters have had the misfortune to experience (see comments further down in this thread) speaks of an endemic attitude of disdain towards its customers running through the organisation. Extrapolating it out I can’t help wonder if the same attitude might also prevail amongst the IT staff and the people responsible for ensuring all the systems throughout the process work efficiently? If that is the case then the culture of the organisation is sick and the leadership at the top is responsible.
    For one they need a robust social media policy.
    That post by Emily Capewell is appalling from a PR perspective with probably long term consequences for other frontline Jetstar staff who will be tarred with Capewell’s brush. For Capewell the lesson may well be “act in haste and you will repent at leisure.” The age old adage the “pen is mightier than the sword” is one today’s really generation needs to learn.

  • Michael_l_c

    It seems I have been fortunate, flown with them 3 or 4 times and no prob. Guess I got lucky. Air NZ unless u get in early just charge way too much and more importantly took an inch off the seat space a couple of years ago. That really did it for me particularly when they put short people in the leg space seats. Yes I am tall.

  • johcar

    Look’s like Emily’s Facebook profile has been pulled!! :)

  • Dave

    I avoid Jetstar like th eplauge, in Aussie they are just acceptable, and manage to get most flights up and away within an hour of schedule. But Jetstar Nz is awful, especially when compared to Air NZ.

  • Dog Breath

    Gave up on budget airlines a few years agi after going cheap for a few months. Last straw was a flight Los Angeles to Hawaii. Only one person checkin doing evrything so checkin time was something like 2 hours ahead of flight time a long wait, No entertainment at all including no airline magazine, no food or drink no nothing for what was about a 5 hour flight. It was absolutely awful just to save a few dollars, never ever again its full service for me.

  • Tom

    Emily is pretty dam cute.

  • Michael

    Avoid them whenever I’m paying but sometimes end up on Jetstar through work’s cheapest fare policy. Certainly NEVER use them if the meeting is time critical. Their attitude sucks – had a really terrible experience trying to board a flight. They are Air NZ’s best marketing tool.