Australia’s budget airline JetStar has canceled their Perth to Bali flights for the third day in a row. The airline currently operates the Perth to Bali route four times daily but has canceled a series of flights at the very last minute.
This comes as travel chaos is unfolding at airports across Australia as the winter holiday peak travel season kicks off. Passengers are reported to be left ‘distraught’ and ‘left on the tarmac’ while others are stuck at the check-in desks with little help or guidance.
Perth Airport is facing a backlog of passengers and luggage and increasingly frustrated travelers. The 18,000 bay car park is full causing havoc for travelers trying to even enter the airport grounds.
Australia’s 9News has spoken with devastated families who have been impacted by JetStar’s ‘heartless’ last-minute flight cancellations. Lucy and Paul Summers are small business owners who were informed of their flight being canceled via an automated text from JetStar in the early hours of Sunday 2nd July.
The text was sent just hours before the Summers family, including their two young children, were set to begin their well-earned beach holiday on the Island of the Gods.
The text, sent to the 186 prospective travelers, simply read ‘Flight JQ110 03/07/2022 from Perth has been canceled. Go to [website link] to check your flight options. We’re sorry your flight has been canceled.’ The Summers family had very few options available to them since the next available direct flight from Perth to Bali departs on July 12th.
This rolls into the second week of the school holidays and the accommodation the Summers family had booked for their getaway said that they couldn’t rebook. Sadly for the Summers family, they have lost thousands of dollars they are unlikely to see again. Their holiday to Bali had been three years in planning.
Lucy Summers told 9News that “It’s [the holiday] been a long time coming — and that’s probably what’s made it even worse…They’re destroying people’s holidays…We work hard to go on these holidays and it’s just heartless’. JetStar has not released any further explanation for the flight cancellation other than ‘operational reasons’.
Not only did the flight cancellation impact Australians heading to Bali, but also those who were returning home after their holiday. The same message was also sent to 162 travelers preparing to fly home at 10.50 am on the 3rd of July. Although the idea of being stuck in Bali, unable to fly home may seem like something of a dream, the implications for families, employees, and business owners are huge.
People who booked time off work have been delayed getting back to the office and have had to find accommodation and fund the costs of the longer stay. Navigating the fine print to understand what compensation travelers are entitled to if they have impacted by flight changes the support is not always easy, especially for travelers who are already stressed, confused, and exhausted.
According to Jetstar’s website, at the time of writing all upcoming Perth to Bali, and Bali to Perth flights are scheduled and on time. Though in light of recent events travelers are urged to regularly check flight status and follow any guidance from their airlines.
Issues with JetStar are also impacting domestic travelers within Australia. 50 passengers heading for Melbourne on Friday 1st July were turned away at their boarding gate after a mechanical issue meant that their flight was canceled. The flight was later downsized and travelers eventually made it to Melbourne.
This travel chaos in Australia will be concerning for the Bali tourism sector which has stated that they believe that demand for flights to the island currently outweighs supply. Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Industries has spoken openly in the last few weeks about how he believes that flight availability is a crucial element in the economic recovery of Bali’s tourism sector.
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