Passenger Explodes at Airline Staff over $8 Meal Voucher When Airport Soup Costs $11

Bangkok to Singapore is an 876 mile flight.

  • Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Tiger Airways, Cathay Pacific and Jetstar Asia all fly Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Singapore’s Changi airport.

  • From Bangkok’s Don Muang airport there’s Singapore service on Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, as well as Tiger Airways.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

However passengers booked on Jetstar flight 3K1514 this past Wednesday took an entire day to make the journey. Jetstar Asia is an offshoot of Jetstar Airlines, the low cost subsidiary of Qantas.

  • The 9:20 p.m. flight was put off until 2:45 p.m. the next day.

  • But then it was delayed again

  • The airline wouldn’t release checked baggage so that passengers could re-accommodate themselves, at their own expense, on the myriad other flights between the two airports. Never check luggage.

Boarding in Bangkok

At about 4pm local time, passengers received an email from Jetstar, informing them that the flight had been moved to 8pm.

The display board at the departure gate G1A was updated at nearly 6pm with the correct flight information to Singapore, the passengers said.

In its flight update email to passengers, Jetstar said that both flights were delayed “due to engineering requirements”.

Here’s video of one of the passengers from the flight losing it on airline staff because they were given a voucher for only 250 baht for food (US$7.67) while a bowl of soup costs 360. (“One bowl of mee how much? 360 baht. How to pay?”)

Don’t rely on the airline to feed you — or for overnight accommodations — remember that’s what your premium rewards credit card’s trip delay benefit is for.

However if you’ve only got 250 baht to spend, McDonald’s at Suvarnabhumi is an option.

(HT: Khalil D.)

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @Gary, while I understand the logic behind “never check luggage..”, but how do you deal with 2 weeks (or longer) long trips aboard? Two carry-ons? Insights please.

  2. I’m all for using other situations to analyze what to do differently, but feel a little sad that at a very difficult and exhausting moment, someone chose to tape this person and put it online for others to watch and dissect. I’ve had more than 36 hours in flight delays, but I also lived in the city where the flight was originating from (so I slept at home), had meal vouchers, could afford to go home, etc. I don’t know if that’s the case for him or not or what the circumstances are.

    Once I was on an overnight flight to Europe diverted to JFK because of a mechanical issue and they gave us meal vouchers just 10 minutes before all of the restaurants in the terminal closed. We had no idea how many hours we’d be there (I think it ended up being 6) and anyone who didn’t/couldn’t run or who had to wait in line longer could only get food from Hudson News. Those who tried to get rebooked first didn’t even get that as they were closed by then too. I always travel with snacks with that nightmare in mind.

    I’ve also completely lost it with gate agents, in particular the time I found out while I was in the airport that a parent had died and within seconds, my flight home got delayed. I can only imagine what a tape of me at that horrible moment would’ve looked like. Let’s cut this guy some slack.

  3. “I’m all for using other situations to analyze what to do differently, but feel a little sad that at a very difficult and exhausting moment, someone chose to tape this person and put it online for others to watch and dissect.”

    ^ I agree but also recognize and remain cognizant of this fact.. being subject to recording IS a rush/issue (however one may see it) and as such, I think one would be wise to be mindful of this fact when in a public arena. To that end, I see nothing wrong on the recording issue alone.

    ^ To his behavior… I am 100% in favor of holding a companies “feet to the fire” if you will, when it comes to disservicing events … but I ALSO think that there are acceptable and unacceptable ways to do this…

    I also think there is element of talking to or engaging the right person or people… IF you’re “loosing it” with an employee who just doesn’t have the ability or authority to fix your issue or give you the results you want – then to me, this becomes a wasted effort.

    Like others, I too have been disserviced to the tune of one day, two day and two day+ rolling delays… so I can say I feel his pain… and to that end, I understand and agree with the idea of cutting him some “slack”… but for me, that slack had limits… and based only on what I can see – and only the video – I think he went too far and was purely “out of bounds” in terms of his behavior towards that specific staff member.. he DOES have an issue with the value or the voucher and the overriding delay itself… but that then does dor give him cover to behave in the manner that has been recorded here.

  4. I spent 7 weeks in Spain and didn’t check a bag. My wife and I each bring a carryon and do laundry during the trip. Never check a bag unless they make you

  5. I think the better lesson here may be to “never fly Jetstar” (rather than “never check a bag”).

  6. Never check a bag when flying sketchy (U)LLCs. Also avoid taking a domestic connection when driving or train is practical.

  7. This plug is just weak and unnecessary “remember that’s what your premium rewards credit card’s trip delay benefit is for.”

    I’m sure in this context, telling a person to use their premium rewards credit card would go down very well.

  8. I’ve always heard the dire and often smug warnings of “never check a bag!” … meh.

    Should be to never put irreplaceable items in a checked bag, and never check a bag unless you’ll be at your destination for at least two days. Sure I’ve had them misdirect my luggage, often in infuriating circumstances (how the hell do you fail to load it on the new plane at ATL during a 90min layover, Delta?!), but it always meets up with me again within 48h.
    It’s only when I land and then travel farther from the airport that I worry.

    Baggage delay and lost baggage coverages make the risk minimal. I won’t actively trade inconvenience (struggle packing into small bag, doing laundry constantly on trips) for the risk of the inconvenience of them dropping off a late bag at my home/hotel, or needing to replace clothes/toiletries.

  9. As James K noted, Gary is correct. Never check luggage unless you absolutely must. My wife and I have traveled to multiple destinations, weeks at a time as part of a single trip, with just our carryon luggage and a personal item. You’d be amazed where you can find a washing machine. Worst case scenario, wash your clothes in the bath at your hotel.

  10. I never ever check bags except on family trips (and that will change as my kids age). As a result, I am rarely inconvenienced by delayed bags.

    Need we remind people that you generally get what you pay for? With Qantas maybe you could raise a stink, but goodluck with an LCC.

  11. I’ve had pretty good experiences with Jetstar delays. I’ve been put up over night at Intercontinental hotels, been given a food and beverage credit to spend at the hotel and been reimbursed for cab fare.

    I think if you’re reasonable and treat the GA with respect things just go smoother.

    Also I rarely check a bag even for long trips – I’m on a 3 week trip now with only carry aboard. Highly recommend the Scrubba for laundry on the road.

  12. A chicken burger with cheese combo cost Thai baht 310 at McDonald’s.
    Chicken Tenders combo, TB280.
    I’d be pissed too.
    About all you can get is a Bubble Tea.

  13. I hope this video goes viral. As far as you judgemental types, I applaud this guy’s behavior. He was only voicing what probably 100 plus other passengers were also feeling. Asians usually never complain like this, as it is considered, “losing face”. Big companies treat customers like garbage nowadays. And airlines are the worst! If an airline did this me, I would yelling my head off as well! Keep my luggage, give me bad information and expect ME to nice and accept it? Bullshit!

  14. I’d be that upset about paying 360 baht for soup too! Especially when you can get it on the street for less than 100 baht. I have a feeling the airport soup wouldn’t be anywhere near as good either!

  15. I have flown over 2 million miles. I’ve been traveling by air for 35 years. i’ve flown around the world more than once, visited all 7 continents and 40+ countries. I almost always check a bag. So far, I’ve had one delayed bag (on my way home) and one misplaced bag (tag got torn off by equipment) on a positioning flight, which I managed to locate during a 1-night layover prior to an international flight.

    I’ve never had anything stolen from a bag, either. I don’t put valuables in checked luggage — only clothes, toiletries and occasionally a cheap souvenir) — so I never lock my bags.

    The concern about checking bags is totally misplaced.

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