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Jetstar fails to fly

International airline customer satisfaction survey grounds Jetstar

28 April 2017

Qantas’s low cost carrier, Jetstar, has landed last in an international customer satisfaction survey that rated airlines on their check-in and boarding processes as well as their meals, punctuality and cleanliness.

“This is yet more evidence that Jetstar needs to clean up its act. It’s one thing to be low cost but quite another to be low rent,” said Tom Godfrey, CHOICE Head of Media.

“It’s not too surprising Jetstar rated so poorly given its track record of delays and cancellations and its policy of landing its customers with sneaky pre-ticked extras.   

CHOICE and 10 other consumer groups surveyed 11,000 passengers from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain and found people were plagued by delays and lost luggage.[1]   

“The survey found one-in-four flights are delayed and one-in-ten people had their luggage lost, damaged or delayed,”[2] Mr Godfrey says.

“10 percent of passengers experiencing a flight delay also suffered some financial loss such as missing pre-paid tour bookings, onward transport or hotel accommodation. In more than half of these cases, travellers lost over $140 (100 euros).

“While European passengers can access set compensation following a delay or cancellation, Aussie airlines leave consumers out of pocket when they make a mistake, which may help explain their poor satisfaction rating.  

“We think it’s time the airlines followed the lead of European carriers and offered clear and consistent compensation to consumers for their mistakes. 

“With Jetstar bringing up the tail with a rather sad one star rating and ranked 73rd out of 73 airlines, it clearly needs to change to fly into form with 37.2% of passengers reporting a delay of on average 238 minutes.”

Emirates topped the satisfaction survey followed by Avianca (Brazil), Qatar Airways (Qatar) and Luxair (Luxemburg). Qantas ranked 36th and Virgin Australian 51st. The survey comes in the wake of CHOICE’s 2016 super complaint to the ACCC, Fare Play? Terms and conditions in Australia’s Airline Industry, which identified systemic breaches of Australian Consumer Law by the domestic airlines. 

“With Aussies being slugged with excessive cancellation fees, a lack of redress when flights are delayed and cancelled, and other unfair terms and conditions it is little wonder companies like Jetstar see their ratings plummet when it comes to customer satisfaction.

“It’s time our airlines stopped flying below the radar when it comes to consumer protection.”

Media contact: Tom Godfrey, CHOICE, Head of Media and Spokesperson: 0430 172 669

The Survey

Euroconsumers and Consumers International coordinated an international survey on behalf of eight countries (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France Italy, Portugal and Spain) to measure customer satisfaction of airlines and airports. The surveys were administered by consumer organisations in each country and 11,273 responses were collected. Analysis was conducted by Euroconsumers.

[1] Euroconsumer, Airlines and Airports – Combined paper and online survey, January 2017

[2] ibid