Canceled Jetstar flight: 16 passengers, toddler stranded at Tokyo airport for 3 days
A group of travelers have been stranded sleeping in lounges at a Japanese airport for three days after Jetstar canceled two connecting flights to Australia.
Their flight landed at Narita Airport in Tokyo on Sunday and was due to depart for the Gold Coast the same evening but was cancelled.
“Gate 26 has become our home,” Victoria resident Judy Jenkins told The Today Show on Tuesday.
The 16 passengers – including a toddler – were forced to sleep in terminal lounges and eat two-minute noodles for dinner after a bizarre rule prevented them from leaving their terminal.
“I was really excited to be back in Australia for a job interview, it’s normal when I travel,” Ms Jenkins said.
“We tried to transfer to another terminal but were told we weren’t allowed to leave.”
Visa restrictions in Japan prevent travelers from leaving the terminal they landed in during a layover.
“Now we start day three with no news from Jetstar that we are going anywhere,” Ms Jenkins said.
Jetstar rescheduled the flight for Monday at 9pm, but by 5.15pm the airline had texted passengers saying it had been canceled ‘indefinitely’.
“It was too late by then to go to any shops because by then they were closed so we had quite big bellies,” Ms Jenkins said.
Around midnight, airport staff dispatched two-minute noodles, sandwiches, bottled water and blankets to hungry passengers.
Teejay Hoch returns to Australia with his wife Krysta to attend the wedding of his best friend of 20 years.
“It’s been very difficult,” he told the Today Show.
“He’s been my best mate for 20 years and it’s two days of neglect from Jetstar”
“I don’t know why I get emotional, but it was taken away from us without any accountability on their part.”
A Jetstar spokesperson told the NCA newswire that the initial flight was among several canceled due to lightning-related safety concerns.
The airline tried on Sunday to rebook customers on an alternative flight via Singapore, but not all transiting passengers were able to do so.
“We understand how frustrating delays like this are, but we will always put safety ahead of schedule,” the spokesperson said.
“We know how difficult it is when plans suddenly change.”
They have since provided food, water, meal vouchers and blankets to affected customers and the customers have now been booked onto a flight from Tokyo at 9 p.m.
“We sincerely apologized to the passengers and our team is working hard to get them on their way as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said.
The travel nightmare comes days after thousands of Australians were stranded in Bali for days after Jetstar canceled a series of flights.