Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jetstar hits family with levy after baby dies suddenly during family holiday

But publicity produces a much more accommodating communication.

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.

The family of five was spending a week's holiday at the tourist destination when the infant died suddenly, The Australian reported. They were due to return to Sydney today.

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.

Relative Barry Phillips, who travelled to Queensland to accompany the family back to Sydney, said the four family members had to pay more than $160 each. "They reckon they needed to prove that the baby died to change their flight," he said. Mr Phillips said he believed the airline should make it easier for bereaved people to change their flights.

A Jetstar spokeswoman said last night the family would be fully reimbursed for the fare difference and the change fees. "We deeply sympathise with our passengers in such situations and seek to be as flexible and accommodating as possible," she said.

"If documentation is unable to be provided at the time, change fees and fare difference applies. However, the amount is fully reimbursed once the documentation is provided." The spokeswoman said the airline would contact the family.

Jetstar also provides a voucher to passengers no longer able to travel for the amount of the fare originally purchased.


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