Hundreds of Australians have been stranded in Bali after multiple Jetstar flight cancellations, leaving travelers scrambling to find emergency accommodation as they wait more than a week for the next flight home.
- Since the beginning of September, around 4,000 Jetstar ticket holders traveling to or from Bali have been affected by cancellations.
- The company says the Boeing 787 fleet has been affected by lightning, a bird strike, damage and delays in supplying a spare part.
- An Australian took nine hours to find suitable accommodation to extend his trip.
Eight round-trip services between Melbourne or Sydney and Denpasar have been canceled since September 1.
The company has confirmed that 4,000 travelers have been affected.
In a statement, Jetstar chief pilot Jeremy Schmidt said the company’s Boeing 787 fleet had been affected by a series of problems, including lightning, a bird, runway damage and delays. in supplying a specific spare part for an aircraft due to global supply chain issues.
Schmidt said they were now rolling out five special services to get people home and also to reserve seats on Qantas flights.
“We sincerely apologize for the frustration and inconvenience this outage has caused our customers,” he said.
“Most of the affected passengers have now been relocated and our teams are working hard to find an alternative option for the approximately 200 remaining affected passengers.
“We have also offered a flight credit or refund to passengers who no longer wish to travel and room and board vouchers for those who require it.”
‘Everyone is trying to get accommodation’
Sonia Myers, from Sydney, is on holiday in Bali with her father Lionel, 85, and his friend John Williams, 70, and the trio are now among Australians stranded after their flight was cancelled.
Having heard that the flights were canceled last week, Ms. Myers became concerned.
She worried that she would not be able to find accessible housing that would be suitable for her fellow travelers, who live with disabilities.
“Saturday night we got the message that we had been cancelled,” he said.
“I had to spend the whole day yesterday running around Bali trying to find accommodation because you can’t call anyone or contact anyone on social media because everyone is trying to get accommodation so I literally had to take a taxi and drive to I found a room.”
‘People are really upset’
“I got really lucky after nine hours and found something that suited the ramps,” he said.
Ms. Myers said that when they received the cancellation message there were no options to book another flight in September, but a day after contacting Jetstar, a member of staff found a flight for the trio on Monday, September 12, eight days later. of your original flight.
“Literally, at the breakfast buffet this morning, everyone is talking about it, everyone is stuck here,” he said.
“People are really upset. Some people are going to lose their jobs, some people have kids, some people have work commitments that are really, really important, and some people just don’t have the money to stay here.”
Mrs. Myers is worried that her father and Mr. Williams will run out of medication if there are any more delays on their return flight with Jetstar.
Their concerns are exacerbated by the news that Dnata’s ground workers are on strike, which will affect Qantas travelers on the day the trio are due to fly home.
‘Brilliant’ staff on the ground
Despite his experience, he said the customer service on the Bali trip had been “brilliant.”
“I don’t see Jetstar’s staff as a problem, I think Jetstar’s management needs to take a hard look at themselves,” he said.
“If they can’t get planes in the air that can make a trip back to Sydney, they shouldn’t be selling them in the first place.
“And the fact that Jetstar is owned by Qantas, why wouldn’t they say let’s send up a couple of big Boeings and get these people home?”