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ROH111
6th Dec 2010, 13:15
"JETSTAR yesterday demanded that a distraught family whose baby died of SIDS during a holiday on the Gold Coast pay more than $600 to return a day early to Sydney.

When the four remaining members of the family tried to change their bookings to return home yesterday, they were told they would require proof the baby had died or they would be forced to pay the difference in fares and change fees upfront."

ONYA JETSTAR! You're really setting the example of what a LOW cost (act) carrier means!



Read more: Jetstar told family to prove baby death before changing flight | News.com.au (http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/jetstar-told-family-to-prove-baby-death-before-changing-flight/story-e6frfq80-1225966681307#ixzz17LCDxcQl)

Artificial Horizon
6th Dec 2010, 22:12
It is not uncommon to ask for proof of death, I was asked to show a death certificate for my Grandfather when I was trying to get to his funeral with Air New Zealand. I know it is an awful thing to have to ask, but you can't waive fees for everyone who claims some sort of hardship or death in the family. The way I read the above article is Jetstar would of waived the fees but needed some sort of documentary proof.

theheadmaster
6th Dec 2010, 22:24
I would guess standard practice to ask for death certificate to protect from people trying to scam a cheap fare. This was the subject of a Seinfeld episode - Kramer trying to convince George to get the 'death in the family' fare with George then trying to get a copy of the death certificate...

Jabawocky
7th Dec 2010, 01:02
The problem is at short notice you can not just pluck one out of your ar$e.

I had the same drama with QF about 6 years ago in NZ, all 4 of us on Business Class tickets and needing to get home due Mrs Jaba needing hospital/specialist that we could not get in NZ at New Years Eve (onya NZ). So best option was bail out early and go home where we knew we could fix the problem.

Can't remember what the final deal was.......may have paid or used points or whatever but it was not a compassionate, no problem Sir we will just change your flights for you.

So why bag J* for a QF Group thing :ugh:

theheadmaster
7th Dec 2010, 01:26
Yes, when you purchase a ticket you agree to the terms and conditions of that purchase. Having a company (or industry) policy that allows a variation of those terms and conditions if there are exceptional circumstances should be seen as a good thing. An obligation to give some evidence that there is an exceptional circumstance is not unreasonable.

mustman
7th Dec 2010, 03:17
Maybe other passengers will consider this fact the next time they don't take responsibility for their own actions and they make up some BS strory that the staff have heard thousands of times before ??

I doubt it. Cant blame the airline for this policy! I can only imagine the crap they would hear every day!

Worrals in the wilds
7th Dec 2010, 03:32
Cactusjack, agreed. Even in the age of remarriage it's amazing how many grandmothers some people seem to own. :suspect:
Unfortunately it makes it harder for the honest people who really have had a personal tragedy. It's also a good reason for buying $15 worth of travel insurance, which is cheap at the price in my opinion.

Captain Nomad
7th Dec 2010, 05:01
Ah, reminds me of a country not too far North... 'Traim tasol' they used to call it. Trying to get a discount or free flight for all sorts of reasons. It was hard to determine, even for someone who had spent a lot of time in country, if they were responding to a genuine need or about to be taken for a ride... People can be their own worst enemies...

airtags
7th Dec 2010, 06:30
irrespective of the scammers that try it on the reality is
1. JQ had their money upfront
2. They could only change flts if space avail
3. by taking an earlier flt they actually freed up more space for sale on the originally booked flt
4. To actually ask for proof of the baby's death is absurdly offensive
5. Why did it take media exposure to inject common sense into this moneygrubbing organisation.

also:
why was the baby on the passenger manifest??? - bit of an IT issue I believe was the internal excuse although there is a small issue with AOC compliance (but then when has that ever mattered esp with JQ & QF)

and..........
JQ draconian policy provides nil revenue leakage - just revenue gouge $service and $sensibility are spelt the same way as $afety.

note to company flunkies:
save the correspondence and wave of PMs- I note the JQ company mission posters still have safety as priority two folowed by service.

theheadmaster
7th Dec 2010, 06:49
If you purchase a low cost fixed flight ticket, that is the risk you take. The fare is cheaper for many reasons, but partly because some of the burden of risk is born by the passenger. The Jetstar site does recommend you purchase travel insurance. Why should Jetstar wear the cost of the family's burden? They are actually being reasonable when they state they are willing to vary the terms of the contract on compassionate grounds. If you are claiming that a special condition should apply then the burden of proof should lie with the party making the claim.

I see no issue here.

BTW I am no fan of Jetstar or an employee...

PittsS2A
7th Dec 2010, 18:47
Think about it from this point of view.

How many customers have Jetstar lost because of their lack of compassion for a family that have suffered the pain of loosing a child to SIDS ?

versus

How many customers would Jetstar have gained if the story was reversed ?

It's not like it was going to cost Jetstar the world to show just a little compassion given the circumstances, but this is the filth that has crept into the industry since executive bonuses, profit and shareholder satisfaction has overtaken the prioritys of safety and customer/staff satisfaction.

Shame on you Jetstar and the QF Group once again.

Sunfish
7th Dec 2010, 19:29
If you treat your "customers" like vermin, is it any wonder they accord your airline no more status than a bus?

Skynews
7th Dec 2010, 19:48
I get a bit sick of all the modern day apologists. You make the modern world suck.
Sure they should have been aware they were travelling on a scum bag airline without a conscious and paid bugger all for a ticket and that some where in the fine print it said, we don't have a heart, so if your baby dies don't try and get home with us without expecting o pay again.

I understand the person on the end of the phone, Filipino or Indian most likely, didn't have the to change policy, nor the intelligence to pass the request onto to someone who might be able to deal with such a difficult task.
Some times we all need to stand back and consider the situation, if this was my wife, sister, close friend, how would I be feeling in this situation.
Emotional at least.
Expecting some compassion when trying chage a booking? Absolutely.
Have a dummy spit without thinking when the person on the phone, had trouble communicating with me due to cheap communication systems and a language barrier.

From my point of view and I suspect most non airline readers, the worst type of service by a third rate airline.
Having this story published may educate the general public. They may become more aware of the likely outcome of traveling with this mob, and the result of a family tragedy whilst away.

Roger Greendeck
7th Dec 2010, 20:14
Does the paper that first raised this story seek documentary proof before publishing articles? Yes, they do. Did they they conduct checks in this case? I am pretty sure the would have because how stupid would they look right now if the family was conducting a scam. So why should Jetstar or any other airline not protect themselves?

Skynews
7th Dec 2010, 20:45
Another piss weak cop out.

There is a difference between,

"sir you will have to provide a death certificate or pay for a new ticket blah blah blah"........

Or,

"gee, I am extremely sorry to hear of your loss. We wll be able to help you, however we will need you to helps by providing some information as well I'm sorry. Let's have a look at the flight availability first blah blah blah........"

H
Having the misfortune of dealing with call centers all to often, I am guessing which version was used. Pay peanuts get monkeys, lose customers.

Jack Ranga
7th Dec 2010, 21:02
Regardless, the corporate culture at this outfit stinks, so why wouldn't it feed down to customer service?

The fish rots at the head first.

theheadmaster
7th Dec 2010, 23:26
Hmmm,

They purchased a fixed flight ticket that was an agreement for the airline to transport them on a certain flight. Subsequently, circumstances out of the airline's control, the tragic death of a child, make the family want to travel at a different time. The airline accommodates the request in accordance with he terms and conditions of the contract between them when the tickets were purchased. The airline states it will refund the price penalty if the family can offer some proof that the request is truly compassionate.

I see no problem here.

Tickets with flexible travel times are more expensive for a reason. If the family purchased a fixed flight ticket to save money, then they take the risk that changes in travel times will incur an extra charge.

The airline has been completely reasonable by saying it will waive the required fare adjustment if the family can prove their claim. The family will only be out of pocket if they are unable to substantiate their claim.

Where is the injustice?

Skynews
7th Dec 2010, 23:56
Most people on this planet would out of their way to help a family that just lost a child. I feel sorry for you head master if you can't see a problem here.

Technically Jetstar were "legal" morally, bankrupt!

We are of course basing this on media reports, as we judge most issues outside of our direct lives. If the reports are correct it was the way it was handled.

I know if I became aware of a problem like this for a passenger traveling on one of my flights, I would phone who ever needed to be pond to assist the parents involved.

The real answer is don't travel Jetstar.

Monopole
8th Dec 2010, 00:47
They purchased a fixed flight ticket that was an agreement for the airline to transport them on a certain flight. Subsequently, circumstances out of the airline's control, the tragic death of a child, make the family want to travel at a different time. The airline accommodates the request in accordance with he terms and conditions of the contract between them when the tickets were purchased. The airline states it will refund the price penalty if the family can offer some proof that the request is truly compassionate.

I dont think that anybody here are actually disputing JQ enforcing there T&Cs.

But there can be a MASSIVE differance in the way it is delivered. It costs NOT A CENT more and very very little extra time, to show exeptional customer service. A long lost art though I'm afraid...

theheadmaster
8th Dec 2010, 01:11
How does it cost 'not a cent more' to discount a fare on an unsubstantiated compassionate claim? If policy was to not have to substantiate any claims, anybody could book the cheap fixed flight fare, then change their booking by making up a story. That would be costly to the company. From what I can gather from the reports, Jetstar did change the booking and said it would not apply the additional fee if they could substantiate their claim.

From what I can gather, the responses on this forum against Jetstar come down to the fact that they asked the family to substantiate their claim. I personally don't think this is unreasonable. I don't think it is that different from having to prove death if claiming life insurance, or having to provide a sick certificate if you claim sick leave.

Is Jetstar's policy that different to any other airline? Like I said in an earlier post, it was common knowledge and the subject of a Seinfeld episode almost 20 years ago (I happened to watch this episode on GO last weekend).

If a business has a policy of relaxing some conditions of a contract for compassionate grounds, surely it should be able to have a mechanism in place to protect itself against unscrupulous abuse.

There is plenty to attack Jetstar and the Qantas group about. I just don't think this issue is one of them.

Monopole
8th Dec 2010, 01:26
Theheadmaster,

I dont really care what happened on Seinfeld 20 years ago. Couldnt stomach the crap then and cant stomach the crap now :yuk::yuk::yuk:

But re-read my post. I think you may be arguing just for the sake of it.

I dont think that anybody here are actually disputing JQ enforcing there T&Cs.

I happen to agree with you and I think most posters do here as well. They are well within their rights to ask for proof.
How does it cost 'not a cent more' to discount a fare on an unsubstantiated compassionate claim? I never said it does not cost a cent more to discount anything..... What I said was CUSTOMER SERVICE does not cost a cent more. Done correctly, the customers (as upset as they obviously would have been) more then likely would've understood the procedure and gone home without complaining to the newspapers.

theheadmaster
8th Dec 2010, 01:41
Yes monopole, I see now your point was regarding customer service, not fare policy. My take on the article was that the family was complaining that they were asked to pay unless they could substantiate. The linked article does not have any quotes from the family concerned, so the actual issue the family had with the airline is hard to determine.

Other replies here appeared to me to indicate that there was public disgust with the family having to prove their claim.

The reference to Seinfeld was not an indication that it was a good show or not, or that it was a good reference for airline or business policy, just that having seen it on the weekend it reminded me that the 'death in the family compassionate fare' has been the subject of scams for at least 20 years and that the responding onus of proof is not a policy unique to Jetstar.

Skynews
8th Dec 2010, 01:58
I can find one poster that is of the opinion a death certificate shouldn't be required and one that appears to agree. The rest accept there are unscrupulous people amongst us that make it necessary to prove the case.

What I and some others are saying is there are ways to deal with this situation and my take is that the people involved were told pay extraor provide a death certificate. Without listening to the phone call we will never know.

From experience I suspect it was poorly handled, they generally are.
My last call was relating to a credit card, I dialed the number that Jetstar advertise, only to be advised (and bluntly) that they new nothing about Jetstar master card. go figure?
Well guess what, I don't need to phone again.

theheadmaster
8th Dec 2010, 02:15
The article says 'documentation' not death certificate - a small point. The article also states that if the family cannot provide the documentation up-front, the fare difference would be reimbursed when it was provided. Not unlike going to a non bulk billing doctor. You pay upfront, then get reimbursed.

My experience with media is that they put the spin and emphasis on a story to get the point across that they think should be pushed, or in the worst case, emphasise the most sensational aspect of the story. My comments have been focussed on the policy aspects of the article, not the customer service issue. As I could see no direct quotes from the family, any comments by me regarding the customer service aspect of the application of that policy would be speculative.

Mr. Hat
11th Dec 2010, 08:00
How are the airline to know that its not a scam? Are they to take every phone call requesting free flights as legitimate? At least they offered a compromise.

ROH dishing it out to VB (AFL) then J*. I assume your company is full of model citizens and is the epitome of transparent and ethical practices... hmmm..

J* are no angels and deserve flack in a lot of areas but I think its pretty standard procedure.

I experienced a similar scenario years ago and VB flatly said "no, pay the full difference".

I have no time for pax that whinge about treatment at the hand of LCC's. You want to get in an 80 million dollar machine and fly across the country for $49 and expect nothing to ever go wrong. Get real.

teresa green
13th Dec 2010, 01:58
Well Mrs. TG got a bait in SYD, and took pretty sick to say the least, and JQ bent over backwards to help her, (we were at the airport) (and travelling on staff travel) they got medical help, transferred us to next flight to OOL and all and all were very professional. (Normally on staff travel you are regarded as just a bit lower than a monkey, on most airlines, as you probably all know) so there is another side. A terrible tragedy for this family (we lost a little girl aged 16 days with SIDS and nothing, but nothing, prepares you for it, or the continuing pain for years to come) this was in the seventies and only just being diagnosed as a syndrome then. But you never stop wondering about the "whatifs". Terrible thing.

S70IP
13th Dec 2010, 02:12
Stop.
Sit-down. Please.

Put yourself in that family's feet. What kind of people make up a story that there baby died just to go home earlier?

What would you as a passenger want the company to do in that situation.

psycho joe
13th Dec 2010, 05:30
Stop.
Sit-down. Please.

Put yourself in that family's feet. What kind of people make up a story that there baby died just to go home earlier?

What would you as a passenger want the company to do in that situation

I once knew a Pilot who fronted up to a real estate agent and claimed the death of a family member in an attempt to avoid paying rent. :eek:

Worrals in the wilds
13th Dec 2010, 07:10
A lot of people. Some people use their babies to hide drugs and illegal cash (uder their baby clothes). Some people claim they are dying of cancer to rort money from charities. Some people are so incredibly vile, callous and amoral that decent people have trouble understanding how awful they are.
As a different example of the depths to which some people can plumb (accepting that it's a mental disorder);
Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome (http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sick/munchausen.html)

That's not for one minute accusing these poor people of making the story up, but people do all the time, as anyone who works with Bulk Public quickly finds out the hard way.

What would you as a passenger want the company to do in that situation.

I would want them to handle it efficiently and sensitively, but I wouldn't think worse of them for asking for confirmation. Possibly the staff weren't efficient or senstive enough.