Jetstar passengers awaiting a flight from Japan to Australia have been left marooned without food, bedding, or answers for over 40 hours thanks to a repeated slew of delays.
With snowfall and low temperatures meaning they were not allowed to leave the terminal, passengers on Flight JQ16 were forced to rough it in the waiting room of Kansai International Airport, Osaka.
Jetstar has said that the reason for the delays was due to snowfall, which prevented the crew from arriving on top of the passengers not being able to leave.
The plane was originally set to take off at 9pm on January 24, but it was not until 4:15pm on January 26 that the plane was in the air on its way to Cairns.
For the first night of delays, 250 passengers slept in the terminal without any news of when they may be able to board — let alone leave.
With the airport’s restaurant closed and the only source of food being the FamilyMart which soon ran out, many expressed concern for the health of the elderly, pregnant and infant passengers.
The airline only provided awaiting passengers with a muesli bar and some water.
“Many people are feeling sick and all we have to eat around us is food from FamilyMart which ran out on the first day,” said passenger Kellie Banko to NCA Newswire.
“FamilyMart have some sandwiches etc but not a proper meal. Jetstar have only given us muesli bars.”
According to one passenger, the little hospice they did receive was thanks to airport staff, rather than Jetstar itself.
“The only individual we could speak to was a 23-year-old woman from the Osaka airport. She did not work for Jetstar. If it was not for her no one would have had even blankets or muesli bars. Jetstar left us for dead,” he said.
The second day, passengers were allowed to leave and find accommodation. The airline said it would cover some of the costs.
“The bridge has since been reopened however, a problem with the aircraft’s PA system, unfortunately, caused a further delay and we will always put safety before schedule. The flight will now depart 10 am local time today,” said a spokesperson.
“We have arranged hotel rooms for customers or will reimburse those who prefer to book their own accommodation.
“We’ll also cover transport costs to and from the airport, meals and other reasonable expenses. We’re very sorry for the delays to this flight. We appreciate it’s been a frustrating experience.”
The flight was then delayed again, taking off at 4:15pm.
Those trapped by the ordeal took to social media to express their frustration.
— Alison (@alkapow__) January 25, 2023
Stuck at Kansai airport over night cause jetstar can suck my nuts but atleast it's snowing real pretty like pic.twitter.com/ezCW67gQQ2
— Ben (@Chefly98) January 24, 2023
Jetstar only last month was crowned the worst airline for both delays and cancellations for domestic travel, with an on-time arrival time of only 62 per cent, an on-time departure time of 60.4 per cent and a cancellation rate of 7.2 per cent.