This post has been updated
No, Jetstar does not rule. But it does have rules.
Many people have been complaining that they have booked flights with Jetstar and the airline is not letting anyone check in 30 minutes before boarding time. But these are the rules, and the rules are on every ticket,including mine.
The problem is that the ticket discusses arrival time.
If you are not checked in at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure, you will not be able to check in for your flight. Arrival after this time may result in you forfeiting the entire fare paid.Arrival where? To the airport, check in, queue to the check in? What if you "arrive" at the queue 35 minutes before the scheduled departure time and there is a six minute queue at the checkin?
You don't fly. Nor do you get a refund.Legally, I believe you should get a refund, if you have "arrived" after "this time." i.e. stood in a queue 30 minutes before scheduled departure. I also happen to believe that if you arrive before that time you should also be checked in.
Jetstar needs to get its administration into gear to effectively administer these rules in such a way that everyone gets on the plane. Given their recommendations that everyone aims to check in 1 hour prior to scheduled departure, this means checking everyone in during a 30 minute period.
If they can't do that, the rules are worthless, and their recommendations meaningless. I suspect that people are turning up 10 minutes before the check in deadline - which they can do. Jetstar should up its administration and/or staff levels quick smart so it can meet its own rules and check everyone in 30 minutes before departure if that's what it wants to do.Or else not be so stringent and maintain that everybody must be at the boarding gate 25 minutes prior to departure merely to sit around and wait. This means that if you are last at the checkin you must be able to get to the boarding gate within five minutes. Hope you don't want to go to the toilet. But Jetstar has had problems in Aussie, too as A QC writes in Crikey: "Jetstar: They lied and stole my money".
Anyway, was in contact with Mike Earley, the subject of the highest rating story in today's Herald. He was the one who kicked up a fuss and got on Twitter. He has told me that a middle aged man who was behind his group in the queue was served - perhaps it was deadline time and it was easier to get an older man on before the deadline than checking in a group of young people - or else the airline had overbooked people. Earley has already complained to the Commerce Commission.