Airport chaos is continuing around Australia with stranded Jetstar passengers forced to sleep on the floor after flights were suddenly cancelled.
The airlines have been inundated with complaints from angry customers as staff shortages, bad weather and school holiday demand combine to leave airports struggling to process passengers.
Photos shared online show Jetstar terminals across Australia packed with lengthy queues filled with people trying to get home, but customers have had little success getting help from the airline.
In the past 24 hours, there have been at least four cancelled Jetstar flights within Australia, Yahoo News Australia understands, including a popular Sydney to Melbourne route.
Other domestic flights including Melbourne to Gold Coast and Melbourne to Brisbane have also been cancelled due to "engineering reasons" and "bad weather."
But in the days prior, hundreds more have shared their frustrations after dealing with their own travel woes, which is causing "a bit of chaos" at the Jetstar terminals across the country, according to one traveller who's currently stranded at Brisbane airport.
Another said he's had four flights cancelled and still has "no way home," and is turning to Jetstar for a solution.
Stranded passengers sleep on gym floor: 'Disaster'
On Monday, a flight from Hamilton Island, Queensland to Sydney was due to take off with about 130 passengers on board, but it was cancelled by the airline at the last minute.
Passengers, including children and the elderly, were ushered onto a ferry and shipped cross to Airlie Beach where dozens were forced to sleep on the floor of a local gym.
One passenger described it as an "absolute disaster," while another said it was the "worst experience of my life," Nine News reported.
Despite allegedly being told they'd be looked after, customers claim there was "no communication and no where to stay".
"Jetstar you have abandoned 130 plus passengers departing Hamilton Island... sent us on a ferry to Airlie Beach and now what!!! No Jetstar rep to meet us here!! Alan Joyce help us please!!" one furious passenger tweeted.
Meanwhile, local families offered up spare beds and their couches for strangers to sleep on while local business dropped off food and supplies, it's been reported.
— Luke White (@whi76706931) July 4, 2022
Engineering issues and bad weather causing delays: Jetstar
A Jetstar spokesperson on Wednesday said the airline apologised to the customers and deeply regretted the “extreme disruption” the situation caused.
The cancellation was due to an "engineering issue and bad weather," they said.
"Our teams worked hard to try to secure accommodation in Airlie Beach, however there were extremely limited accommodation options available on the Whitsundays Coast," the spokesperson said in a statement.
"As a result, a local community centre was used to provide accommodation for those who needed it. We send our sincere thanks to the local community in Airlie Beach for their support overnight."
Furious passengers erupt as flight chaos continues
Social media was flooded with furious complaints from Jetstar passengers whose holidays have been cancelled, or who are simply trying to return home.
On Sunday night a flight from Perth to Bali was cancelled with almost no warning due to "operational reason" which one passenger called "heartless," News.com.au reported.
A Jetstar spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia that the airline has had to "cancel a number of our Perth Denpasar services due to ongoing resourcing challenges, which are similar to those faced by other airlines and the aviation industry around the world."
"Our team explored all options including adding ad-hoc services where possible, booking customers on other Qantas and Jetstar flights or services with other airlines," the spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Jetstar is operating ad-hoc services between Perth and Bali today (Wednesday) to re-accommodate customers impacted by these disruptions."
Two Jetstar flights Perth to Denpasar cancelled the last two days. Which also impacts on the return flights 😕
— Paul Meek (@PaulMeekPerth) July 4, 2022
I hate Qantas. Too expensive for a start. Then there’s Jetstar. Which is completely useless & cancels constantly. I really really hate them.
— wendyemily (@wendyemily2) July 5, 2022
Other local flights have been delayed or cancelled entirely which has caused packed airports and lengthy delays.
"Had my fourth flight cancelled and still no way home. You suck Jetstar!!" a disgruntled passenger posted to Twitter.
"Absolutely disgusted in Jetstar Australia cancel our flight send us a link to change for free which doesn't work and then gives the only option to pay an extra $467 to get home," one man shared on Facebook on Tuesday.
Jetstar responded: "This isn't the experience we'd want our passengers to have". But it seems many others are experiencing the same thing too.
"Good on you for cancelling our flight and limiting carriage options so we simply can’t have the dream holiday we had booked since November! Never again Jetstar you are hopeless," another wrote on Sunday.
Another questioned why Jetstar cancelled flights out of Launceston, Tasmania "for the second time in two days."
To which the airline replied: "We know how inconvenient it can be and we try to avoid them as much as possible."
Virgin passengers also impacted: 'Absolutely useless'
Virgin Australia has also experienced lengthy delays and cancelled flights with reports of "long lines and no communication."
Many claim they weren't notified at all and arrived at the airport to learn there was no flight going ahead.
"Thanks VirginAustralia. Cancelled VA 63 to Bali with NO notification. Zero," one person fumed on Tuesday. "My Virgin app still says the flight is on time!!
The passenger said they were told they "might" be able to get another flight "in a few days."
"Absolutely useless," he raged.
@VirginAustralia don’t care. Not a company that deserves a government handout by any means.
First flight cancelled 30 minutes before departure, return flight cancelled the morning of the flight. No notification via text or email and only by seeking out the information ourselves.
— Courtney Cassar (@courtcassar) July 5, 2022
@VirginAustralia long lines for customer service and no communication about cancelled flights with rescheduled flights going 2 days later. Not good enough!
— Kylie (@kylieelatham) July 5, 2022
Another @VirginAustralia flight was cancelled at the Perth Airport this morning. Those flying to Adelaide have been told the next direct flight is FOUR DAYS away. So many school holiday headaches for so many passengers in the last few days 😖 @10NewsFirstPER #perthflights #chaos
— Anne-Maree Leonard (@a_m_leonard) July 5, 2022
Also on Tuesday, a flight from Perth to Adelaide was cancelled but customers weren't able to get another flight.
"Those flying to Adelaide have been told the next direct flight is four days away. So many school holiday headaches for so many passengers in the last few days," they tweeted.
Overseas airports have also experienced hectic scenes with staff shortages and "inexperienced travellers" said to be the cause.
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