Jetstar leaves passengers stranded, but in a whole new way

By leaving early.

No, I’m not kidding.

Jetstar passengers were stranded at Hawke’s Bay Airport yesterday morning after their flight left early.

Yasmeen Muhammad was meant to be on the 10.05am flight to Auckland, but she and three others were left behind when it departed 10 minutes early.

She had some important appointments in Auckland, and was meeting up with her sick grandmother who was flying home from Rarotonga.

Like another passenger, she had to pay a service fee to catch a later flight.

A Jetstar spokesperson said unfortunately the passengers had arrived at the check-in counters after check-in for their flight had closed.

“If all checked in passengers are on board and all pre-flight operational processes are complete a flight may be able to depart ahead of scheduled departure time”, he said.

“After check-in has closed our flights are not re-opened for late check-in passengers to ensure flights depart as close to schedule as possible.

“Our check-in team in Napier were able to transfer passengers on request to the next available flight following payment of a transfer fee.”

It’s always a good idea to be at the airport early enough to cope with any unforeseen delays, but you have to be able to rely on the airline, or bus, or train, or whatever transport, not to leave ahead of its scheduled time.

Once again, Jetstar don’t cover themselves in glory, and I would only consider flying with them if it was absolutly the only option available.


– Victoria White, Hawkes Bay Today


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  • The key line in the story, that makes a mockery of EVERYTHING ELSE about the story, is this: “unfortunately the passengers had arrived at the check-in counters after check-in for their flight had closed.”

    Jetstar makes it abundantly clear in all its ticketing that check-in times are rigorously policed.

    They arrived too late for the check-in, they were eliminated. If Jetstar waited around for people like them, the plane would have been late, not early.

    The implication of the story, that they missed the plane because it left early, is totally false.

    So just another incompetent whinger pimped by the Media Party.

    Nothing to see here, move along please.

  • Now personally I really dislike Jetstar and refuse to fly on them (heck once I sorted out a flight Akl to Chch flight that returned via New Plymouth with an hour’s wait in New Plymouth in order to avoid JetStar….the regular AirNZ flight I take was fully booked).

    But in this case I think they were correct. Check-in had closed. All checked in Passengers were on board.

    I’ve been too late for check-in for an AirNZ flight. I got there before the plane departed, but they still wouldn’t let me check-in for it as it was already boarded. Result was I had to take a later flight.

    • Christie

      Me too – I’ve done that – and only missed it by minutes. My problem was Wellington traffic. But rules are rules – and this is the only way they can make sure that planes leave, for the most part, on time.

  • Sundreamer

    It’s not rocket science. Get there before the check-in closes or walk. Thank god we have Jetstar. You only have to look at the prices on the routes they don’t fly to see what life would be like without them.

    • axeman

      Exactly, can’t wait for them to start flying to Wellington as well

  • Graham Pilgrim

    I have never flown JetStar, so I am unfamiliar with their e-tickets. But Air New Zealand’s e-tickets state “Check in 30 minutes prior to departure.” A specific check in time, (e.g. flight departs at 10.10am, so last check in is 9.40am) is not given.

    If the JetStar flight departed early, did that mean that the last check in time was also early?

    • Nope. Check-in closed on time. All checked-in passengers had boarded the flight.

      • Graham Pilgrim

        So the fact that the aircraft left early is completely irrelevant if check in closed at the PUBLISHED time, and not 10 minutes before the published time.

  • Betty Swallocks

    If a person is so full of themselves that they think they can turn up after check-in has closed, then whinge to the media that the flight left early, they DESERVE Jetstar. If Ms Muhammad had important appointments in Auckland, I would have thought it incumbent on her to ensure that she got to check in in time.

  • PeterD

    No sympathy for these people, agree with these other comments. Everyone knows Jetstar is tough on check-in times (but still not particularly punctual, I always fly Air NZ if I have a tight timetable at the other end).

  • axeman

    No I’m on Jetstar side here, you have to be checked in no later than 30 minutes before the flight leaves if you are 5-10 minutes late it is tough luck
    If I was on that plane and everyone is on board and they can leave early blimin good them. Not only that the airfare would have been considerably cheaper as well.
    Air NZ have had it easy out of the Bay, I recently flew with them and the same flight booked the same the same time was around $150.00 dearer on Air NZ .
    I can’t wait for them to fly to Wellington now.
    Internationally I would support Air NZ but I have been gouged once to often on regional routes

  • In all fairness to Jetstar for once – while the flight did depart early – the check in desk did not shut 10 minutes early. That shut at its specified time, then due to other passengers actually being organised and getting on the plane – they left ahead of schedule.
    Typical muslim arrived at the airport after the stated time the check in counter shut and goes running to the media – im surprised that Islamaphobia wasnt being claimed as the reason for leaving early

    • jaundiced

      Although, in this case I don’t see how you can drag Islam into this….

      • if you look at the article online in the herald – the woman complaining and running to the media is named Yasmeen Muhammad – and has a nice photo of her looking very sad in front of a jetstar desk in a niqab. The other 2 passengers said yes we were late – fair cop

        • jaundiced

          I’m no supporter of Islam, but saying that because the person has an Islamic sounding name has something to do with her being a cry baby about missing a flight is just a bit….

          • the only person complaining to the media is the muslim woman….. i missed a flight 2 weeks ago turning up late by 15 mins after the check in shut…… i certainly didnt run off and get in the herald for it. they managed to find 2 others that missed the flight – and both of them said fair call

          • jaundiced

            Can’t believe I’m defending Muslims, but here goes.
            The only person who complained is a Muslim (assumedly).
            This means that 100% of the people who complained to the newspaper are Muslims.
            It is therefore obvious that being a Muslim causes you to complain.
            I hope you don’t have a job that involves statistics or scientific investigation.

          • well technically they are pretty good with the victim card.
            But i would assume there are plenty of people every day who miss flights because they have turned up to the checkin counter too late – ive done it twice
            I dont see articles every day regarding some other poor person missing their flight – so assume its a slow news day
            The reporter managed to find 2 other people that missed the flight.
            Who rung the reporter in the first place to complain ? – factually the other 2 people said fair enough – they were late. In this instance yes – 100% of the people complaining that the flight left early were muslim – ill place a bet that no-one that turned up on time and left early is complaining about it

          • kereru

            I can’t reconcile your logic with the facts. The only person who contacted the media happens to be Muslim = all who complain to the media are Muslims. That is a bit of a long bow to draw. Muslims comprise 1% of the population so that would tend to discount your hypothesis even if all 1% were travelling at the same time.

            BUT Muslims in general seem to have a victim mentality, seeing prejudice and taking offence, where none is indicated. If they must wear distinguishing head gear then they can only blame themselves for standing out. And if they then complain when they are entirely at fault, why should we not assume that (a) Muslims tend to cry foul because accusations of ‘racism’ works for them and (b) they feel entitled to special treatment, even if it means overriding the normal rules of an airline to gain it.

          • jaundiced

            Yes, my logic is deliberately warped. The point I was trying to make was linking her behaviour to the fact that she is a Muslim is a long bow.
            Issues around victim mentality relating to their cult is correct, but there is no suggestion here of racism or demand for special treatment because of religion.

          • kereru

            Yes, but the fact she’s allowed herself to be photographed and was the only person to make a fuss about it, makes it implicit.

          • kereru

            ‘I hope you don’t have a job that involves statistics or scientific investigation.’

            With respect, that’s not the issue here.

          • jaundiced

            Making generalisations on the basis of ‘she’s Muslim, therefore this behaviour is a result of being a Muslim’ is not good science.
            Lets move on

          • kereru

            Maybe not, but it is good philosophy. There’s more to life than science and statistics.

          • Seriously?

            Most of the losers the media pimp are not Muslim. If you want a stereotype to bash her with why not go with her obvious stupidity and the fact that she is so proud to parade that stupidity in the media.

          • kereru

            Sorry to disagree, but I think the only ‘bashing’ is self-inflicted.

          • Andy

            My name is Al Jazeez Mohammed Huddae. And no, I am not Muslim. Yeah, right.

      • Metricman

        Flexible view of time and that “late” has no specific meaning. But hey is all cultural so its ok.

  • jaundiced

    Not a lot of sympathy in the comments in the newspaper either.
    People, if you miss the check-in time, don’t complain to the media.
    if JetStar starts accommodating to late passengers, we’ll be hearing complaints about flight times always being late.

  • Ruahine

    Don’t these people get it. It is not the take off time, it is check in time that matters if you want to get on the plane.

  • Second time around

    If the plane had been late and Jetstar still stuck to the 30 minutes rule then there might have been a story.

  • EpochNZ

    Personally, I’m starting to worry about how much personal data these airlines are extracting from us. Havent you noticed a pattern where the only people the airlines pick on and make their lives a misery are those with important meetings and/or elderly parents?

    How do they know?


    At the same time it is very annoying when flights are delayed because people check in too late. As a very frequent flyer I have had this experience many a time, sometimes causing trouble for me a the port of destination. Simple solution; check in on time or if you run into delays, call the airport/check in desk to let them know.

  • sandalwood789

    I have no sympathy at all for this woman. For once, Jetstar has it right.

  • FornaK

    Look at the surname of the complaining passenger.
    Need we say more