SIN – HAN
Alarm was set to 6 am so that everyone have ample time to prepare for the morning flight. Took us awhile to fall asleep thanks to the excitement and stress. Yes stress as well, traveling is not all fun and no stress. So much expectation and uncertainty, so many things that could go wrong at the worst time. This is one of the time. Woke up by a phone call 5:30 in the morning, greeted with “Good morning, Mr Ow, I’m calling from Jetstar” and that’s when everything that could go wrong went wrong.
No it’s not a friendly wake up call to remind us about our early flight (that was my first impression before the lady on the other side continued speaking), “I’m sorry to inform you that your flight to Hanoi has been cancelled, and there is nothing we could do about it”. I couldn’t really recall much but the rest sounded somewhat like these : “You could either take our Sunday flight or forget about it, there is nothing we can actually do because we suck”. This is when we (the rest of us on the trip) decided to coin the term “Jetstarred”.
No explanation given, no remedial actions and the best they could do is to give us a full refund without further compensation. Tried calling their call centre again only to be directed to some mule working in the call centre in Philippines who knows nothing about the cancellation. Best part was when we asked to talk to someone who actually knows what’s happening, they gave us the same number that we dialed that eventually landed us in Philippines.
No wonder they need to do a weekly Jetstar offer to attract people to fly with them. This is definitely the last time I’ll fly with Jetstar. The whole idea of booking a budget flight is to save money, and they cancelled on us last minute and expect us to arrange our own flight? How the hell is that “budget”? Every Tom, Dick and Harry knows booking a last minute flight is going to cost a fortune.
Word of advice, if you do not want your holiday to be ruined, DO NOT FLY WITH JETSTAR or risk being JETSTARRED.
And worst of all, this is not the only time they cancelled on us, we booked the flight a couple of months ago, for the 10th May, but a week later they informed us that they could only fly on the 11th. At least that was reasonable, giving us enough time to decide. I should have detected something fishy was going to happen and asked for a full refund then, at least I could book another flight with other budget airlines to make sure the fare is actually budget.
The least they could actually do is to arrange with other airlines to get us seats but no they decided to do nothing. Luckily for us, there is still seats on Tiger Airways, and of course we have to pay more. If anyone from Jetstar is reading this, the fair compensation would be give us a full refund plus the fare that we actually had to pay to get to Hanoi.
Day 1 in Hanoi was still pleasant although we didn’t get to do much. Checked in to our hostel, had dinner, walked around the backpackers area and called it a day.
Not forgetting the favourite Hanoian ice cream parlour.
And also my first experience getting picked pocket. Not my belonging actually, and only a dummy purse in the bag that was lost fortunately. I saw it coming when the guy actually bumped into the bag but our Hanoian guide said there was nothing valuable in it. So be it. So beware of postcards/maps seller around the Hoa Kiem Lake, like all Vietnamese peddlers they can be very persistent and annoying from our first Vietnam trip a couple of years ago.
And remember DO NOT FLY WITH JETSTAR.