Jetstar ditches elderly couple as Alan Joyce gets pay rise
Jetstar has apologized to an elderly couple who were left shaking, in tears and waiting for hours at an international airport after being abandoned by the airline.
An elderly couple flying with Jetstar were left shaking, in tears and waiting for hours at an international airport after being abandoned by the airline.
Melbourne man Elijah, 35, says he was so disturbed by what he witnessed at Bangkok airport this week that it put him off travelling.
“Over a traumatic few days, I witnessed Jetstar abandon two elderly passengers in Bangkok,” he told NCA Newswire.
A Jetstar spokesman said the airline would “sincerely apologize” to the couple, Paul Markoski, 78, and Georgina Markoski, 81.
“We sincerely apologize to Mr. and Mrs. Markoski for the disruption to their trip due to unexpected technical issues,” the spokesperson said.
“We are reaching out to them to apologize directly and to better understand their specific experiences so that we can improve our communications during the disruptions.”
The elderly couple were traveling from Skopje to Istanbul and then to Bangkok and Melbourne as priority wheelchair passengers when their Jetstar flight to Melbourne was cancelled.
The couple and Elijah were among 22 passengers who were told a refund had been processed and Jetstar staff were no longer able to help.
“At this point, the passengers were removed from the wheelchairs and escorted to two chairs in the Bangkok airport waiting area,” he said.
“It wasn’t until nine hours later that I went to see the elderly couple to find them in tears, not knowing what to do, seriously distressed.”
With no English and no way to contact loved ones back home, Elijah said they were confused, scared and left to fend for themselves by Jetstar staff.
“Like me they had no alternative, booking a later flight was not an option and hotel accommodation was not provided,” he said.
“Indeed, they have been stuck in Bangkok indefinitely.”
Elijah – who was moved to tears himself by the situation – was finally able to contact their daughter at home via Facebook.
She was frantically trying to find her parents.
“The daughter, also hysterical, had spent the evening and morning on the phone trying to contact Jetstar and Bangkok airport to figure out where her parents were,” he said.
Elijah, who ultimately had to shell out an extra $4,000 to get home on another airline, booked accommodation for the couple at the same hotel they were staying at for the night.
“The standard of care for anyone was non-existent,” he said.
The couple’s daughter told NCA Newswire she was “very, very angry” about the situation, explaining that she was worried they were out of medication.
“I was frustrated, angry, worried, worried about not knowing where they were for hours,” she said.
She said she had still not received a response from Jetstar since contacting them on Friday.
“You can’t talk to anyone, it’s all through Jess, an online chat,” she said.
“You wait and wait and wait and wait.”
She called Elijah her “guardian angel”, saying he did exactly what the staff should have done.
Elijah said his mind was “still blown trying to process the events that unfolded”.
“How an elderly couple in their 80s could be left unattended and uninformed, stranded in an airport with no means of communication to the outside world is beyond negligence,” he said.
When asked if he would consider flying with Jetstar again, the 35-year-old said the low-cost airline “no longer exists” for him.
“I don’t think I’ll be flying full stop,” he said.
Perth father Mark Carder was also caught up in the chaos, missing his daughter’s 10th birthday this week after several flight cancellations by Jetstar.
Mr Carder was delighted to meet his wife and two daughters in Bali after a trip to the United States, booked on a flight from Sydney to Denpasar on September 3.
“The plan was for me to fly from Sydney to Denpasar via Melbourne on September 5 so that I could reunite with my wife and two daughters in Bali for my eldest Zoe’s 10th birthday on September 6,” he told NCA Newswire.
But after two canceled flights, Mr Carder was forced to give up and fly back to Perth, wait 11am at Sydney Airport and shell out another $550 for a flight home on another airline.
The frustrated father said all he wanted from Jetstar was to be able to go “from A to B in the cattle class”.
“I missed my daughter’s 10th birthday and felt like I really let her down,” he said.
“I will never fly Jetstar again – it’s not worth the risk. They have no remorse or respect for completely messing up your plans.
“Jetstar makes you feel like garbage.”
Frustrated passengers like Mr Carder are seeing red after it was announced that Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce had received a 15 per cent pay rise this year despite widespread problems.
Qantas and Jetstar, which is 100% owned by the Qantas Group, have been under fire for months, following major delays, canceled flights and baggage problems leaving passengers angry.
Mr Joyce, whose airline was forced to apologize for mismanagement, saw his paycheck drop from $1.98million to $2.27million this year, according to Qantas’ annual report .
Jetstar has apologized to some 4,000 passengers stranded in Bali last week due to flight cancellations.