BY HANNAH SCHAUDER
Australian budget airline Jetstar has frustrated customers by announcing only credit vouchers will be offered to customers affected by border closures due to the spread of COVID-19.
Jetstar customers who had flights booked between 15 March - 31 May 2020 can claim their credit voucher, but customers want full refunds as financial uncertainty continues to mount during the coronavirus pandemic
First-year university student Eliza Sharpe said customers were so exasperated by Jetstar's decision, they have taken to social media to have their voices heard.
The RMIT student posted a message to Jetstar on Facebook when she could not get a refund for return flights to Queensland, which she had to cancel after its government closed the borders.
"I really am struggling to understand why [Jetstar] are offering credit vouchers on these flights as it’s illegal to go to Queensland during the virus," Ms Sharpe said.
"No one knows how long the virus is going to affect society for, so pretty much the voucher is dead money that [they] are holding onto," she said.
Other customers have conveyed their outrage on Jetstar Australia’s Facebook page, with posts by Jetstar attracting more than 200 angry reactions and comments regarding the request for credit vouchers.
The credit note policy stems from Jetstar’s Conditions of Carriage, which state that in events beyond the company's control, it is only obligated to offer flight vouchers for cancelled flights.
Jetstar’s decision to deem the COVID-19 crisis as an event 'out of its control' has further angered customers, with consumers using online forums as a soundboard for their frustrations.
One user, Corey Ruler said it was unfair Jetstar was making him rebook his flights for a departure date in six months when the flight still could have gone ahead while borders were open.
"I paid for a product that I could only use at that time. They can’t fulfil their end, so they should refund," Ruler said.
The flight vouchers can be used to rebook within a period of 12 months, but customers had to have lodged an application by March 31.
Consumers can consult the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on their rights in regards to event and travel cancellations due to the threat of COVID-19.
MOJO News contacted Jetstar for comment..