Jetstar Passengers Face Hours-Long Delay After Emergency Landing

Passengers on a Jetstar flight from Bangkok to Melbourne waited for hours inside a plane parked on the tarmac at Alice Springs Airport after they were forced to land early due to a medical emergency on Sunday, February 26.

Paul Tarran, a passenger on the flight, recorded several videos on board explaining the situation.

Tarran said the flight had made an emergency landing at Alice Springs Airport at around 7 am local time on Sunday, but that passengers were then stuck for more than four hours waiting on a replacement plane from Melbourne.

“We’ve been stuck on the tarmac in the aircraft, aren’t able to leave … people are getting quite testy,” Tarran said, “I’ve spoken to the Jetstar staff and they haven’t really offered much of an apology or any compensation.”

A separate clip shows staff discussing a “replacement aircraft”. Walking down the plane, Tarran says: “It’s getting pretty bloody hot inside here as well. They’ve turned off all the on-screen entertainment. It’s getting a little bit crazy.”

Passengers were eventually able to disembark and were taken inside the airport.

In a statement issued on Monday, Jetstar apologised to customers on flight JQ30 for the delay experienced on Sunday:

“We thank passengers for their understanding and apologise to them for the impact to their journey when we had to divert to Alice Springs to support a passenger requiring urgent medical assistance after they experienced a suspected stroke on board.

“When there was a further delay as a result of an electrical fault while the aircraft was on the ground, we worked with Border Agencies, the NT Police and the local Airport Authority to give passengers the option to disembark into a specially partitioned section of the Airport. We worked with the airport to provide drinks and food.

“When the replacement aircraft arrived, passengers were transferred directly onto the replacement aircraft which landed in Melbourne just after 11pm last night,” the statement said.

Flight JQ30 was originally scheduled to arrive in Melbourne at 10:25 am local time on Sunday. Credit: Paul Tarran via Storyful

Video transcript

- I'm on board Jetstar JQ30, which left Bangkok last night at 21:25. The flight took off on time, everything seemed OK. We had an emergency medical landing in Alice Springs around 7:00 AM Australian time.

Since then, we've been stuck on the tarmac in the aircraft unable to leave. We've had no food or drink supplied, and people are getting quite testy. We were told there was a replacement plane coming from Melbourne that would take four hours.

It's been longer than four hours now, and I'm just looking at the flight tracker, it says it's going to be arriving at 15:35. So that's a long time. We're sort of stuck inside this plane. It's starting to get quite warm and uncomfortable.

There's little to no water provided or any drinks. People are getting a little bit edgy, which is understandable. I've spoken to the Jetstar staff, and they haven't really offered much of an apology or any compensation because a lot of people here have paid for extra meals and seat selections and so forth, which they haven't received.

And by the time we get back to Melbourne, people are going to miss their ongoing flights and travel arrangements and be forced to stay at their own expense in Melbourne, because Jetstar don't seem to be offering any compensation whatsoever.


- We're waiting on a replacement.

- And you know what? It's getting pretty bloody hot inside here as well. They've turned off all on the onscreen entertainment. It's getting a little bit crazy.