How 44-hour Jetstar flight delay ruined an Australian family’s dream Bali holiday

How a 44-hour Jetstar delay ruined a family’s dream holiday as Australian airlines deliver worst on-time performance since 2003

  • Stephen Clements and his family booked a holiday to Bali flying with Jetstar
  • But they endured 44 hours of flights delays and eventually switched airlines 
  • Australians airlines are at their worst flight schedule performance since 2003 

A young family had their post-pandemic overseas holiday ‘ruined’ after their Jetstar flight was delayed three times – leaving them spending nearly two full days stuck in transit. 

Finally able to travel again, Stephen Clements, his wife and three children from north-western Sydney, booked a dream trip to Bali this year only to be hit with 44 hours of flight delays.

‘Our 10-day holiday turned into seven days and was a lot more expensive,’ Mr Clements told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘It ruined what should have been a really great family holiday for us… it has definitely left a bitter taste in my mouth,’ he said.

Stephen Clements had his family holiday to Bali 'ruined' by 44-hour Jetstar flight delays (Pictured: the Clements in Bali on their significantly shortened and more expensive holiday)

Stephen Clements had his family holiday to Bali ‘ruined’ by 44-hour Jetstar flight delays (Pictured: the Clements in Bali on their significantly shortened and more expensive holiday)

He said two of the three texts Jetstar sent advising them of the delays arrived as they were literally waiting to board their flight at the airport.

To salvage what was left of their holiday, Mr Clements eventually asked for a refund and they then paid another $1,000 on top of what they’d already spent to board a flight with a different airline.

But even this wasn’t without issues as what was originally supposed to be a straightforward six-hour direct flight ended up being 14-hours plus a four-hour layover in Singapore at 3am.

When they finally got to Bali, the family tried to make the most of their trip but Mr Clements said the airlines needed to do better. 

‘It’s frustrating that they took the massive handouts from the taxpayers to survive through Covid, sacking workers, and then this is how they repaid the taxpayers,’ he added.

Jetstar’s owner Qantas was gifted $2billion in taxpayer funds during the pandemic in an effort to keep one of the country’s two major airlines in business.

The other big airline Virgin Australia only survived thanks to a buyout from US investment firm Bain Capital. 

Earlier this year it was revealed Qantas and Jetstar were sitting on a combined $1.4billion in unused flight credits and future bookings.

Passengers are enduring the lowest level of schedule performance by airlines since 2003 (Pictured: queues at Sydney airport in September)

Passengers are enduring the lowest level of schedule performance by airlines since 2003 (Pictured: queues at Sydney airport in September) 

New research from the Department of Transport showed that in October across all Australian airlines only 68.5 per cent of flights left on time and 69.3 per cent of flights arrived on time.

According to the data, customers are enduring the worst airline schedule performance since records began in 2003. 

And Jetstar is at the back of the pack with just 61.6 per cent of flights leaving on time and 64.4 per cent arriving on time. 

The budget airline was forced to apologise in September after eight return services between Melbourne/Sydney and Denpasar were cancelled in the same week.

‘Unfortunately, our Boeing 787 fleet has been impacted by a number of issues, including a lightning strike, a bird strike, damage from an item on the runway and delays sourcing a specific spare part for one of our aircraft due to global supply chain challenges,’ a Jetstar spokesman said.

Furious passengers took to social media to vent their frustrations after late notice flight cancellations to and from Indonesia, Thailand and Japan.

Some passengers reported having multiple flight cancellations in the same day, no alternative flights for up to five days and limited access to customer service.

In October, Jetstar had just 61.6 per cent of flights leaving when they were scheduled and 64.4 per cent arriving on schedule

In October, Jetstar had just 61.6 per cent of flights leaving when they were scheduled and 64.4 per cent arriving on schedule

Qantas has argued that while the carrier had several months of poor performance earlier in 2022, it has improved significantly since August, and it was back to a pre-Covid level of service, a spokesperson said.

‘Our call wait queues are significantly improved and our customers have redeemed more than $1 billion in Covid-linked flight credits,’ the airline said.

Jetstar has been contacted for comment. 

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