A computer system outage that means Jetstar can't lodge any flight plans has stopped all flights by the no-frills airline across Australia this morning, leading to delays across the network and potential hassles for other passengers. Here are some steps you can take to deal with it.
Much of the advice we've offered in the past about handling delays applies here, and it's worth checking that post for general advice. In particular:
- Jetstar tends to be strict about check-in times, so despite the delays, we can't advise not heading to the airport.
- Travelling without checked baggage gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of changing flights and dealing with delays. Unfortunately, this is a lot harder with Jetstar, which employs staff specifically to see if you're dealing with the allowance.
- Make sure you have a fully-charged phone (and a spare battery if that's an option). You're likely to be stuck at the airport for a while.
- Because Jetstar generally doesn't offer connecting flights, any connection hassles if you have more than one flight are going to be your own problem, alas.
- There's a slight chance that some passengers will be moved to equivalent Qantas flights -- but if that does happen, high-status Qantas passengers are going to be the first in the queue. If you don't fit that description, realistically you'll have to wait until flights resume. Plus, given the high volume of pre-Christmas travel, seats are likely to be scarce.
- It's hugely irritating, but stay calm. Screaming at airport staff won't fix the broken IT systems any faster.
Update: Jetstar says that its systems are coming back online, but customers can expect delays of 60-90 minutes.