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The priciest mistake I have ever made travelling.
I thought I would never make it to Indonesia!
Who on earth misses two international flights in a row?... I do!
How does someone miss two flights in a row?
A combination of being 5 minutes late, plus one large glass of wine.
Day 1: The first flight I missed the Jetstar check-in by 5 minutes. They had closed the counter and would not help me out at all. My only option was to purchase another flight for the next morning. Thankfully they only charged me for the difference in the tickets. A $75 mistake and back off to home I went.
Day 2: The second flight I missed was the next morning. I made sure to arrive at the airport in plenty of time. Success. I made check-in. However, as I have been flying with Air Asia lately, I fell into the trap of assuming the gate would close 20 minutes before the flight. Instead of heading through security, I went to the bar to buy a giant glass of wine and stupidly didn't look at the ticket to see what time gate closed.
Note: Jetstar closed their international gate before they were supposed to. Not 15 minutes like the Jetstar website states.
I arrived at the gate 20 minutes before the flight was due to take off, and 5 minutes before instructions on their website said was the cut off. Another traveller showed up at the same time, to which we were both promptly told by a staff member that the gate had closed, our bags had already been taken off the flight, and that Jetstar made an announcement for us in the business lounge. The business lounge? What budget Jetstar passenger is waiting in the business lounge? They are a discount airline for frig's sake. They needed to be making their announcements in places their customers are locatated, such as in the bar, or inside the terminal.
Knowing from the day before that if the flight has already departed, Jetstar charges full price for a new fare; we were told to wait at the gate for another staff member who would usher us back through security. After 20 minutes of waiting and seeing the flight leave, this seemed like a planned eternity. The staff member who came to collect us threw some serious attitude our way, especially to me as she brought up the fact I had missed two flights. Back at the check-in counter and $378 later, ($100 more than my original return flight, just to head one way), I was booked on a flight departing in 8-hours.
I didn't travel too far from the airport that day. Breakfast at Lazy Moe's in Mickleham and then straight back to the airport for a 6 hour wait. I did head back to the bar, that was a given. However, this time kept an eye on my phone the whole time. Success, I made the 6:55 pm flight to Denpasar.
My tip for travelling with Jetstar: Ignore everything their website states regarding boarding and be at the gate early!
Finally, up, up and away ✈️