Following public outcry and other round of bad press, Qantas' JetStar subsidiary has decided to reinstated a December 23 flight from Melbourne to Auckland.
Yesterday, the budget airline cancelled the flight. It said 80 affected passengers were offered alternative flights - but some complained they were offered tickets on Boxing Day, or up to a week before Chrismas when they were still at work. Booking tickets on flights with other airlines had cost hundreds more in some cases.
This afternoon, JetStar communications manager, Phil Boeyen told NBR the airline had "added an extra Melbourne to Auckland flight" on December 23. It could not be called a direct replacement for the cancelled flight because its exact time had yet to be confirmed.
The airline would be attempting to contact the 80 original passengers. Those who had chosen a refund and booked a flight with another airline in the interim had severed their relationship with the original flight, but all affected ticket holders were encouraged to get in touch.
Asked why the original December 23 flight was canceled, Mr Boeyen was unable to give a specific reason beyond "airlines reschedule flights from time to time."
Wellington Solicitor Jordan Williams complained to NBR that JetStar had "tried to censor" a comment, which only appeared some hours later after he complained.
Others have claimed on Twitter that the airnline has removed their comments about the Melbourne-Auckland flight from its Facebook page.
However, at least a couple of robust posts were on show when NBR visited.
"Jetstar, you really have hit an all time low this week ... cancelling flights just prior to Christmas and trying to rebook people on Boxing Day. SHAME ON YOU," posted Michele Cadman.
Ben Dickson offered, "I just want to say you are perhaps the most unethical company I have come across."
The company's Twitter account, JetStar_NZ, has become another magnet for criticism.
It's another example of social media being powerful tool - but not always for the brands that seek to exploit it.
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