Jetstar flight fiasco: Passengers grounded as 24 hour delays soar

Jetstar Airways faced criticism from passengers when a flight from Bangkok to Singapore was delayed by more than 24 hours. The low-budget airline came under fire after 161 passengers found themselves stranded at Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Wednesday, March 13.

Passengers were scheduled to board Jetstar Asia flight 3K516 for a 1.35pm departure, Singapore time, with an arrival at Changi Airport expected by 5.05pm. Unfortunately, the airline failed to leave the tarmac at Thailand’s premier airport, leaving passengers waiting until 10pm before the flight was eventually cancelled.

One passenger, Yu Zhuyu, told reporters they had initially been notified of a delay until 5.20 pm.

“After the plane arrived at the Bangkok airport, it was parked for three hours. The ground staff said there was a technical issue and the pilot failed the pre-departure inspection twice.

“When we heard the news, several passengers rushed to the counter to seek an explanation from the airline staff, but no one was there to answer their queries.

“We waited till 7pm and were told that the boarding gate had been changed. At 10pm, they said the flight was cancelled.

“The airline didn’t even announce that the flight was delayed. We found out only after checking the flight timing on our own.”

Jetstar flight fiasco: Passengers grounded as 24 hour delays soar | News by Thaiger
Passengers bound for Singapore were stranded at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. Picture courtesy of Shin Min Daily News

The 37 year old, who works in the IT industry, made known that some passengers were supposed to transit in Singapore.

“I heard that someone was supposed to attend his father’s funeral. Many of us were unhappy and the entire scene was chaotic.”

Yu also mentioned speaking to a tour guide who was accompanying a group of 28 travellers from China on a 10-day trip to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Their original plan was to arrive in Singapore on March 13 and proceed to Malaysia the following day.

“Since they are stuck in Thailand, they will have to forgo their travel plans in Singapore. The tour guide said they’ve already paid for their expenses in Singapore, but now everything’s wasted.”

Another passenger, who identified herself as Lian, revealed that she had been informed by airport staff of a leak in the plane’s hydraulic system that was unrepairable.

The 29 year old teacher mentioned that Jetstar provided food and drinks to the passengers around 5pm. At 1am on Thursday, the airline arranged for buses to transport them to a hotel.

“We were all very tired. They said they would ferry us to the airport [the next day] and provide lunch before our rescheduled flight to Singapore.”

In response to press enquiries, a spokesperson from Jetstar Asia stated that the delay resulted from a technical fault detected during a routine pre-departure inspection.

A Jetstar spokesperson further explained that all passengers would be accommodated on a rescheduled flight departing at 9pm on Thursday. Additionally, they were provided with accommodation, transportation, and meal vouchers. Passengers who opt not to board the rescheduled flight will be eligible for a full refund.

“We sincerely apologise for the frustration and inconvenience caused by this delay. The safety of our customers, people and fleet is our first priority and our team is working hard to get everyone to their destination as soon as possible.”

This is not the first time Jetstar has come under criticism for delays. Last year hundreds of passengers on a Jetstar Bangkok flight were stranded on board the aircraft at Alice Springs airport for seven hours.

The latest mega-delay comes just days after a 2-hour flight across Japan became a 16-hour nightmare when a flight was denied permission to land because it was 10 minutes late.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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