Dozens of Jetstar and Virgin flights have been cancelled on Christmas Eve with only a few hours notice and no explanation.
Hundreds of passengers have suddenly found their Christmas plans are in trouble as they were notified late last night of the mass cancellations.
Jetstar sent out a text to customers at 10pm Thursday night, when many passengers would have already been in bed for their early flights. As many as 13 Jetstar flights were cancelled including routes between Sydney and Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide, and Sydney and Melbourne.
Virgin has also cancelled 12 flights between Sydney and Melbourne, disrupting hundreds of peoples holiday plans.
Virgin then cancelled another 9 flights between Sydney and Brisbane and 11 between Sydney and the Gold Coast.
Strangely enough, the replacement flights offered to some passengers mostly flew in the wrong direction to other cities and would have landed customers 8 hours later than their scheduled arrivals.
As you can probably imagine, customers and pretty pissed off.
I feel like screaming. Daughter in Sydney did all the right things. Double vacc, boostered, PCR test, Qld border pass. Jetstar just cancelled her flight to Bris. No explanation.
— Slurp1953 (@slurp1953) December 23, 2021
@VirginAustralia with cancelled, rescheduled and now delayed flights, it's obvious you are really trying to compete with Jetstar.
— David P (@slowlifetassie) December 23, 2021
The airlines pushed a few more buttons by sending the same generic answer back to customers:
Hi Kránsky. Sorry to hear that your flight was cancelled, we know how inconvenient cancelled flights can be – and we try to avoid them as much as possible. Would you mind sending us a DM with more info? We’d appreciate the chance to look into this further. Thanks – Dan
— Jetstar Airways (@JetstarAirways) December 23, 2021
Jetstar and Virgin have finally spoken out about the huge number of flight cancellations this morning.
It seems both airlines were severely affected by COVID which meant messing up hundreds of passenger’s plans to reunite with loved ones on Christmas Eve.
A Virgin Australia spokesperson said the airline had to cancel flights already this week and it has already moved passengers onto alternative flights, leaving no one stranded.
“We apologise to any guest impacted by changes to our schedule made earlier this week,” he said.
“All impacted guests have been contacted prior to travel and automatically moved onto alternative services that have a same-day departure.”
So, they didn’t really explain why but at least they’re trying to sort it out.
Jetstar also made a statement, saying that late flight cancellations were a result of their staff having to test for COVID-19 and isolate as close contacts.
“We appreciate the frustration this causes, especially as customers are travelling for Christmas, and sincerely apologise for the impact these changes are having on travel plans,” the spokeswoman said.
“We are working to minimise any delays and re-accommodating passengers on flights as close as possible to their original departure times across both Jetstar and Qantas services.”