Making a damaged bag claim with Jetstar Airlines

On April 20, 2011 at 4am I arrived in Darwin, Australia after a flight from Singapore and discovered that my brand new suitcase was missing a wheel.

As soon as we cleared immigration I went straight to the Jetstar counter to report it. Considering that there was only one other person in front of me having to wait half an hour to be seen was a real irritation especially at 4am while the rest of my family was patiently waiting.

I was given a reference number and told that someone would be in contact with me in the next few days.

I forgot about it for the next few weeks so it was not until June 6 that I sent an email to the address I was given in Darwin. There were no phone numbers, just one email address. Baggage.Services@jetstar.com

The next day they replied and said they want a photo of the damaged bag. Considering that the bag had been inspected and a report made on the spot in Darwin I thought this was a little strange but dug the offending bag out of storage (lucky that I had not thrown it away) and took a photo. Sorry for the quality but I only had my phone camera handy.

June 8 – The next day I sent the photo as requested.

June 14 – I had received no reply so I sent an email reminder.

June 19 – Still no reply so I sent another email reminder.

Finally on June 20, 12 days after I sent the photo Jetstar finally replied and asked me to provide two quotes to fix the bag. I immediately replied and informed them that that due to my isolation the nearest repair centre was 800kms away in Darwin. I was surprised to get a reply on the same day this time informing me that I now needed to fill in a Statutory Declaration form because I did not have a receipt for the suitcase of which I had told them cost me $125.

I was unsure if this meant I did not need to send them the two quotes or not so on June 27 I emailed to ask them.

Four days later there had been no reply so I sent another email (July 1) this time saying that I am sick of the delays with them replying via email and can I please have a name and phone number of someone for me to contact.

The next day (July 2) they replied saying a Statutory Declaration form will be ok and not to worry about the two quotes. They also told me that I cannot contact them via phone, only email. All the emails had been signed off as Jetstar, not with any personal names.

Things got put on hold for a few weeks at this time due to the birth of my son but on July 18 I managed to organise a stat dec form which I scanned and emailed to the anonymous people at Jetstar.

4 days later on July 22 I receive an email saying that the form has been recieved and a refund for $125 will be paid in the next 15 – 20 days. Up to 20 days? Must be quite a hard job doing an electronic transfer in Jetstar land!

On August 14 I sent the following short email:

“To anonymous person at Jetstar,

It is now day 23 and as yet I have not seen the refund as promised by you for between 15 – 20 days.

Regards

MeMock”

The next day (August 15) they reply with a standard sorry email saying they will refer this problem to management.

Eight days later on August 23 I sent another email.

“Dear anonymous person at Jet star.

This is now getting beyond a joke.

It is now 36 days since you received the paperwork needed to process my claim.

It is now 16 days past the outside estimate that you made saying when my claim would be paid.

It is now 8 days since I last heard from you saying sorry about the excessive delay.

Please tell me immediately what is going on.”

There was of course no reply so three days later on August 26 I followed it up with this:

“To whom it may concern,

I am now following up on my email sent to you three days ago which like the majority of the ones before has gone unanswered.

Can you please get back to me immediately because I am not going to go away until you fulfil the promises that you made.

Regards

MeMock”

Four more days pass and then on August 30 I sent this:

“To whom it may concern,

Once again you have failed to respond to my emails.

You have now failed to respond to my emails dated the 23rd and 26th of August.

It is now 43 days since you received the paperwork needed to process my claim.

It is now 23 days past the outside estimate that you made saying when my claim would be paid.

It is now 15 days since I last heard from you saying sorry about the excessive delay.

Can you please make the payment entitled to me and promised by you immediately to save any further action needing to be taken.

Regards

MeMock”

One hour later I got this response…..

“Haygs,

Urgent na to, paki gawa nlng irate na ung pax eh. Thank You! πŸ™‚

Kind regards,
Candy
JETSTAR BAGGAGE SERVICES”

Followed four minutes later with this……

“Dear Mr. MeMock,

We have already forwarded this to our claims department. Please expect a response from them within the next 24 hours. We apologize for the inconvinience caused.

Thank You for your patience.

Kind regards,

JETSTAR BAGGAGE SERVICES
Fax (03) 8660 2869”

The next day on August 31 I got another computer message….. which I replied immediately to with this….

“Dear computer at Jet Star.

Thank you for your email that was generated at 2am this morning.

This is exactly the same email that was sent to me on July 23 and again on August 15.

I am assuming this will be the same email I will receive again when in two weeks time I email you again asking for answers.

Can you please let a human being know that I am now beyond furious and would like someone to call me immediately. My Phone number is 0417 *** ***.

Thank you.

MeMock”

At midnight that night I received a message different to all the others:

Then within 24 hours guess what turned up in my bank account?

Finally, after four months it was all over!

Some friends thought that it was stupid that I would waste my time over a $125 claim. If I knew it was going to be such a drama I more then likely would never have lined up to lodge the complaint way back on April 20. Once I had started it though there was no going back. Not much gets me fired up in life but poor customer service sure does and in this instance they failed miserably.

I decided to blog about it so that anyone out there in internet land who is having similar problems and does a google search will hopefully read this and get encouraged to persevere with their claim.

If anyone who thinks this might be an isolated incident I would suggest you take a look at the website Don’t fly Jetstar. Very interesting reading!

15 responses to “Making a damaged bag claim with Jetstar Airlines

  1. way to go mate, good stuff 100% agree and support your efforts, its no longer about the money its the fact that they treat you not as a human being but as some number

    congrats

    • Or in some cases not even a number! I am assuming that they have some policy where if they ignore you long enough, that a good % of customers give up and the money saved outweighs the angry customers! Thanks for your comment jdfpblog.

  2. The boss of Qantas just got a 2 million bonus as well πŸ™‚

  3. Good on you for sticking to your guns. It’s the principle.

  4. Thank you FB.
    Brunty – I heard it was 5 million but I guess they can afford the extra 3 million due to the fact that they only pay out on average per year 2 damaged bag claims!

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  6. I flew from Singapore to Manila and my luggage handle was broken. Never got a response from Jetstar πŸ™

    • Why doesn’t that surprise me. πŸ™ The only way is to do what I did. Phone, email then phone again. Repeat and then repeat again. Eventually the figure you will not go away and will reimburse you.

  7. i am going through the same problem right now and that’s how i ended up on this page. I hope I to be treated well and get some compensation as well! wish me luck pls!

    • Hi Anahsrah, thanks so much for dropping me a line. I’m glad you found this blog post helpful. This is the main reason I wrote it – to help others in the same situation. The only way you are going to be successful is to keep emailing them and phoning them over and over and over again.

  8. I had the exact same experience recently. That was at Phuket for the New Year’s Eve holiday break. Obtained a report at HKT airport as no Jetstar counter. Subsequently, bag was thrown away (maybe should have kept and towed all the way back to Singapore to later pursue the case) as it was
    beyond repair. Bought a new one without receipt (another mistake !) while in Thailand.

    Came home and decided to claim from Jetstar instead of my travel insurance company as I thought Jetstar has more direct responsibility and control in baggage damage. (This proved later to be a “mistake” – better chance of compensation from insurance than from budget airline ? )
    Also, past experience with airlines (maybe because they are not budget airline ?) had no issues ; it was quicky repaired or replaced , no questions asked or tedious documentations required. So I thought should go ahead and email Jetstar to follow up on my claim.

    In similar fashion as shared by this forum, I was asked to submit photos which I did. Did not hear from them for a long time. Puzzled, I called the hotline. Jetstar “advised” maybe all the photos might not “get thru” to them as they (customer service staff from baggage dept ) told me when I called Jetstar. The files might have been too big to get to Jetstar email address ?

    She asked and advised me to send maximum 3 photos in one email. So I sent 3 separate emails to “get in” or “get thru” to them. (to be continued ….

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  10. Great that I came upon your blog. I will do the same as my luggage got cracked on the back and one wheel is missing. They told me to get a quote.

    • Glad it has helped you. Just be prepared for a long long haul. They must literally have a policy in place where they have to ignore you until you ask three times. Good luck!

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