Jetstar makes changes to check-in and gate times

Australians stranded in Bali after Jetstar cancellations

Jetstar has announced big changes to its check-in times, putting pressure on passengers to get to the airport just a little bit earlier.

From May 23, the budget airline will shave 10 minutes off the check-in and bag drop times for domestic travellers in Australia and New Zealand.

Jetstar said on Wednesday that its domestic check-in and bag drop would close 40 minutes before departure from next Tuesday.

For Jetstar flights departing from international terminals, check-in and bag drop will close 60 minutes before departure.

The airline, which was singled out as Australia’s least punctual and most unreliable airline in a damning aviation report in April, will also close its boarding gates 20 minutes before departure for all flights.

The changes bring Jetstar’s check-in times in line with other low-cost carriers in Australia and globally,” Jetstar said on Wednesday.

“Customers are being updated by email, text message, at and via signage in our terminals.”

Currently, check-in closes 30 minutes before take-off and boarding gates shut 15 minutes before departure, for domestic flights.

Jetstar ‘not up to scratch’

Jetstar chief operating officer Matt Franzi admitted the budget carrier was trying to improve its reliability and punctuality.

We know our performance hasn’t been up to scratch and we are working hard to boost punctuality and reliability,” he said.

Last month, the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics aviation report found that Jetstar cancelled 7.1 per cent of flights during March – more than any of its rival carriers.

It also had the lowest number of on-time take-offs and arrivals among the bureau’s six surveyed airlines.

“To improve our performance, we’re also recruiting more airport staff, cabin crew and engineering team members and making changes to our check-in, bag drop and boarding times,” Mr Franzi said.

“Everyone across the airline is committed to getting Jetstar to its best while delivering the lowest possible fares so our customers can fly to more places, more often.”  

As well as crunching check-in and boarding times, Jetstar has recently taken delivery of its seventh Airbus A321neo LR (NEO) aircraft.

The NEOs, which use 20 per cent less fuel than the planes they replaced, are used on domestic routes and flights to and from Bali. From June 29, NEOs will also fly the Sydney-Rarotonga route.

The airline said its new aircraft would begin domestic operation in coming days.

Investing in new aircraft is an important part of Jetstar’s ongoing efforts to improve punctuality and reliability for its millions of customers every year,” it said.

“Other improvement measures include recruiting more staff in customer service, engineering and operational roles and upgrading systems and processes.”

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