In February, we booked flights to Cambodia for July, on two different airlines with a few days stay in Singapore in between (this was before the whole world shut down due to COVID-19).
We are planning on moving there for two years to work in a small school and having to raise funds to support ourselves so we’re being very careful with our expenses. We booked with two budget airlines, offering cheap but generally non-transferrable and non-refundable flights. Scoot is the budget arm of Singapore Airlines while Jetstar is the budget arm of Qantas. I’ve already written in praise of Scoot and since then, Scoot has continued to exceed our expectations!!! Unfortunately we can’t say the same for Jetstar…
Scoot first contacted us in mid-March, long before our booked flight and as soon as it was clear the world was changing. They proactively offered us a free flight change (despite our fares being non-transferable). They also gave us a couple of months to decide whether to accept their offer which was VERY welcome in the midst of so much uncertainty.
In late May, Scoot contacted us again with an even more generous offer (plus multiple options to choose from). They let us choose between a 100% refund to our credit card (processed in the next 14 weeks) or a 120% refund in the form of travel vouchers (processed straight away). The travel vouchers were tempting but, given we needed to book new flights to Cambodia, we decided the refund made more sense.
In mid-June we received the full refund to our credit card, about 11 weeks earlier than promised. At this point our travel date was less than a month away and one airline had treated us wonderfully and refunded our flights whilst the other had not even made contact with us.
The next day we finally heard from Jetstar that our onward flight had been cancelled and that Jetstar was “offering all customers impacted by this announcement a Jetstar credit voucher to the full value of their untraveled booking”. Compared to Scoot, Jetstar was glacially slow, completely inflexible and totally unsympathetic.
Warning: Rant ahead
As it turns out, the Jetstar “Customer Guarantee” is worthless:
3. Our team are always here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Nope! They’ve halved their hours and they offer no way of getting in touch other than chat. I had to wait almost 2 hours to chat to someone and then another 20 minutes to be connected to a supervisor. Overall the chat took more than 2 hours and 58 minutes.
4. We’ll let you know your choices if your flight is changed before you travel
Nope! They didn’t give us any choice and they waited months longer than a comparable airlines to let us know.
5. We’ll keep you updated and provide options if things don’t go to plan on the day
Nope! We received zero updates for three months (long after they stopped selling tickets for our flight so obviously they knew it wasn’t going to fly) and then they didn’t provide any options when our flight was cancelled.
6. You will get what you paid for
7. You can have confidence in how quickly we will respond to an issue
Nope. Not only did they not resolve my issue (did I mentionbut when I asked to register a formal complaint the supervisor refused. I later discovered he should have given me a case number and/or referred me to their call centre.
8. You can have confidence in how quickly we will refund your money
Nope. They refused to refund our money.