A Jetstar plane flying from Melbourne, Australia to Denpasar, Bali was forced to turn back after being refused permission to land, following a miscommunication.
Reported by news.com on Thursday, 29th December 2022, the flight was originally scheduled for departure at 6:15pm local Australia time on Tuesday 27th December but experienced a delay of five hours. The plane finally took off from Melbourne at 11pm.
One of the passengers described the event as a holiday nightmare. The plane had almost arrived in Denpasar when they were told by the pilot that the plane did not have permission to land and had to return to Melbourne.
“He said they had checked Darwin and Perth but then chose Melbourne because our (plane) had enough fuel and it would be better for staff and because it was a new flight,” said the frequent flyer who did not want to be named.
When the plane landed back in Melbourne, around eight hours after departure, passengers were told the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was not cleared to land at Ngurah Rai International Airport when they attempted to land at around 2am local time.
“Most of the holidaymakers who have been disrupted several times are annoyed and confused how a flight that has reached 80 percent of the way has been denied landing. Many staff say they have never heard of this happening,” they continued.
After landing back in Melbourne, tensions rose as passengers swore at the crew. Another passenger on Twitter said it was the “worst travel experience of their life”, adding they were on the flight only because their previous flight had been cancelled.
According to a Jetstar spokesperson, there had been an internal miscommunication with the company failing to apply for the necessary approvals from Indonesian authorities to land the plane in Bali and the pilots were informed while in the air. This approval had to be requested because Jetstar was replacing its aircraft with a larger type.
The holiday plans of hundreds are in tatters, after an embarrassing bungle from Jetstar forced a plane bound for Bali to turn back to Melbourne.
— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) December 28, 2022
“We swapped yesterday’s Melbourne to Bali service for a larger Boeing 787 aircraft to transport more customers over the holidays,” explained a Jetstar spokesperson on Wednesday, 28th December. “As soon as we found out, the flight was back to Melbourne and we rebooked passengers for today’s flight. We know this has been a very frustrating experience for customers and we sincerely apologise for what happened.”
The spokesperson added that dissatisfied passengers waiting for a new flight to Bali on Wednesday had been provided with hotel rooms, dining vouchers, and a $200 travel voucher. Jetstar is also committed to covering additional airport transportation costs.
“We have initiated a review to understand how the miscommunication occurred so we can prevent it from happening again,” the spokesperson concluded.