A Couple Of Unexpected Events In our Recent Sojourn In Queenstown


A - A disappointing Jetstar Airline flight

In the last couple of years my wife and I went to NZ at least once a year. We spent most our time in our apartment in Queenstown, relaxing and practising the fine art of doing nothing slowly!


This time, my wife & I came to Auckland on 8 of April and stayed in Chifley Suites, Albert Street from 8 to 10 April. We left for our favourite destination, Queenstown on 11 April and we would be here until 26 April.

I have always chosen to fly with an airline which has a direct flight to the destination. However, not all flights are uneventful.

This time we travelled for the first time with Jetstar Airline. We left KLIA on scheduled at about 14.40 pm on 14/06/2014 and reached Singapore Changi Airport at about 15.30 pm. We were supposed to continue our flight to Auckland ( JQ216)  departing at 18.50pm flying with the same plane. After waiting in the plane for about two hours, we were told to disembark and wait in the departure hall for further information.

                                                                    Jam in departure hall

After waiting in the departure hall for about two hours, we were told by the Captan that the air-con in the plane was malfunctioned and we were then served with simple noodle for dinner. No other announcement was given regarding the flight to Auckland. About two hours after our dinner we were told to spend a night in the hotel and the airline would send coaches to pick up all the passengers to the airport at about 1pm the next day. We would have to wait to collect our luggage or depart straight to the hotel. My wife and I  decided to proceed to the hotel without our luggage and we were given food voutures for next day’s breakfast and lunch. It was a right decision because we were the first to board a taxi which took us straight to Samada Hotel. We reached the hotel after midnight. The taxi fare, about S$20, was paid by the hotel.

We spent the night in the hotel room and came down for breakfast at about 7am the next morning. After breakfast we returned to our room to rest and came down to the hotel lobby at about noon for lunch. When we showed our lunch vouchers to the receptionist at the entrance to the lunch hall we were told that the lunch was cancelled by the airline! We then departed for the airport and we had a simple noodle meal in the airport on our own. What a fiasco!

The flight to Auckland was pleasant. But after disembarking and waiting to collect our luggage, we were informed by the airline staff that our luggage was loaded into a different plane which would arrive in about an hour's time!


The passengers would not mind at all if the delay was caused by some engine problems because every one realised that it was better to be safe than sorry. What clearly annoyed the passengers was the lack of timely and clear announcements of exactly what was going on and a precise direction the passengers had to do next. The passengers should not be left in a lurch and fend for themselves.

It must be realised that not many passengers have had experiences of this nature and they would require assurance from the airline to ease their concerns and worries. Many had connecting flights after arriving at Auckland Airport while others had made hotel reservations or arranged for relatives and friends to meet them at the airport upon arrival. It is the duty of the airline to provide satisfactory answers to queries relating to these issues.

The above unpleasant episode is certainly not an isolated experience which I have encountered within the last five years, I  also had a bad experience with MAS in 1996, when the flight, MH004  was delayed for more than 24 hours and little information was given to the passengers at the departure hall for the delay.

Since after the 1996 fiasco with MAS, I have not travelled with MAS to overseas destinations if other airlines are available. It looks like I would do the same to Jetstar in my future oversea travels.

P/S: While in Queenstown, I received an email message from Jetstar offering us to upgrade our seats to Business Class with a payment of about MR450 each, which I happily accepted! The flight back home was pleasant.


BIn Queenstown

In Queenstown, we stayed in our apartment Unit 303, Scenic Suites located in Standley Street, a ten minutes’ walk to CBD Queenstown and also to Lake Wakatipu. Scenic Suites is a three-storey building with over 80 units of one-bedroom suites. Unit 303 is a corner suite and has spectacular lake and mountain views. It has Sky TV, flat screen LCD TV, tea and coffee making facilities, telephone, high-speed Internet access, separate bath and shower and private balcony. It is a service apartment and the returns depend on its occupancy. The owners of the apartments can stay free for a month in a year. So this time, I paid nothing for 15 days but I had to pay $10 a day for Internet services.

We planned to stay in our apartment for two weeks and spent most our time practicing the art of doing nothing slowly. We went to town around 11am in the morning to do some shopping; buying lunch and dinner and also my evening/night drinks – EV & Pinot Noir





As the weather was fine, I planned to either walk around the lake with my wife or cycled around it. But unfortunately I discovered that the mountain-bike I left in the store of the apartment was missing! When I approached the manager, who after spoken to some staff at the reception, told me that one of the staff had taken it to use in his residence. He further told me that I had given him my permission for the use of my bike when I was not staying in Aurum Apartment. It was true that I had given him my consent to use the bike when I was not staying in Queenstown; but not when I was in town! The manager told me that the staff was on leave and he could not get in touch with him! So for two weeks in Queenstown, I had no choice but to walk around the lake. 



This was not the only item I left in the apartment that was lost over the last two years! I brought a half golf-set to play golf in Kelvin Heights Golf Course which is close to our apartment. I also installed a CD player with a few CDs I brought from home. Last year the golf set and all the CDs were missing!

From what I had experienced this time travelling to NZ and putting up in Queenstown, it looks like the available first class facilities are being operated with a third class mentality!

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