I have to say, I used to be completely perplexed by the pricing of airline tickets.
How come, if I wanted to Auckland - Queenstown on the 15th of November and return on the 18th of November (just randomly selected days), it could cost me anywhere from $268 (Jetstar) return to $824 (Air New Zealand on a fully flexible fare) ?
I'm pleased to report that I now have the answer, the difference is getting there.
And I've worked this out the hard way.
This year, for one reason or another, I have spent loads of time flying. If it's for work, I'll go Air New Zealand but if I'm paying for it, I'm seduced by the lowest fare. If it's a matter of twenty dollars or so, I'll go for Air New Zealand, otherwise I'll suck it in and go for, you guessed it, Jetstar.
To be fair, generally they've always been pretty reliable - however when it's come back to bite me on the arse, it's bitten me hard.
The first time was, when my flight that should have landed at 9pm landed at 2 a.m. That was due to fog - but the worst thing about that was that my Jetstar flight was the ONLY flight that had been affected by fog.
After that flight I swore and declared Jetstar were dead to me. Stomped around trumpeting, 'Never again!', 'Fat Chance Airlines', etc etc.
Due to a combination of things - time heals all wounds and I'm very shallow - less than three weeks later I found myself merrily checking in at the Jetstar counter.
However after my latest Jetstar debacle my relationship with Jetstar is OVER. Fried. Ended.
I'd done a last minute change of flight, changing it for a sparrow's fart the morning after I had originally booked . I needed to be on a shoot by 9 a.m and this flight got me in at 7.40 a.m. I checked the weather, which was going to be good, and booked away. Things were going to plan.
Arrived at the airport at 5.45 am. Things still going to plan.
Stood in queue. Read the television screen : CANCELLED.
Plan Royally Screwed.
To cut a very long story short, why did they cancel mid check in? Weather ? Mechanical issues? Earthquake? Crew been abducted by aliens ?
Nope, nope, nope and possibly.
Crewing issues ?
How come you discover, half way through your check in that you have crewing issues?
At least the time when my flight departed five hours later than it had been originally scheduled, they texted me four hours earlier to tell me about it.
Anyway, I screamed around to Air New Zealand and got myself on the next flight, which got me to work 15 minutes late. Air New Zealand saved the day.
But you know what the irony is? All the money I have saved by flying Jetstar this year I blew on that Air New Zealand flight.
When I went to write this blog I did a Google search to find out other people's Jetstar stories and my search didn't just reveal stories - but an entire site dedicated to disgruntled Jetstar passengers titled, unsurprisingly Don't Fly Jetstar. It makes for an entertaining wee read.
Currently Jetstar's tag line is 'Low fares, good times.'
I have a new one for them. 'Jetstar:fly with us if you don't need to get there'.
Anyone else been Jetstarred?