Bereaved man 'red-flagged' by Jetstar

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 09:32 14/01/2014

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A Christchurch man heading to Auckland for his mother's funeral says he was "red-flagged" by Jetstar.

Glenn Reeves attempted to check in on Sunday for his Jetstar flight to Auckland 10 minutes after the airline's strict check-in deadline and was turned away.

He snatched his itinerary from an airline employee and left the airport "distraught".

A Jetstar spokesman said Reeves was placed on a 24-hour standdown because he had "made physical contact" with an airline employee that had to be investigated as part of Jetstar's staff safety procedures.

The airline later agreed that any contact between Reeves and the employee was "not intentional".

Reeves said he may have brushed the employee's hand when grabbing his documents, but he did not intend to touch her.

Unaware of the flight ban imposed by the airline on Sunday, he returned to the airport about 6am yesterday to catch a flight he had booked after missing the first.

"They'd red-flagged me," he said.

"The mental anguish of this whole thing has been really hard.

"They had my phone number; why couldn't they ring me and tell me they'd banned me from flying?"

Jetstar said the standdown was put in place overnight and Reeves was informed when he returned to the airport early yesterday.

"I just think they could have let me on that first flight," Reeves said.

"My mum had died, emotions were running high and I just wanted to get home."

Late yesterday morning, Jetstar cleared Reeves to fly and booked him on an early-afternoon flight.

Reeves said much of his distress could have been avoided by Jetstar staff showing some consideration for his circumstances and communicating with him when he could not fly for the second time.

Jetstar said it would refund the cost of one of the tickets Reeves had booked.

Now in Auckland with his family, Reeves said a full refund would be more appropriate considering the emotional stress it had caused him and his father, who was waiting for him in Auckland.

He had not booked his return flight to Christchurch and had not decided whether to fly with Jetstar again.

Jetstar said it would not reconsider its strict check-in deadlines.

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