Jetstar flight delayed seven hours after pilot called in sick
Passengers were left stranded after the pilot of their Jetstar flight from Christchurch to Wellington called in sick on Saturday.
A passenger booked on flight JQ288, set to depart Christchurch at 10.30 am, said they were told the flight had been delayed indefinitely because "there was no pilot".
The passenger, who did not wish to be named, said it was a number of hours before they were told the delay was due to illness.
The flight with the low-cost carrier was initially rescheduled for 3.30 pm but was pushed back again to 5.20 pm, he said.
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"It staggered me that it takes seven hours for an airline to get another pilot".
In the meantime, Jetstar staff were "quite cavalier about the whole thing," offering passengers $8 vouchers for refreshments while they waited, he said.
"It was to shut [us] up really".
The man said he was a frequent flier with Jetstar and prior to this experience he had not had a bad experience before.
It's not the first time Jetstar flights have been grounded due to illness: ten out of 100 flights over the course of a weekend in March 2016 were cancelled due to pilot illness.
Another two flights from Wellington to Auckland were cancelled in one day due to crew illness last October.
Jetstar has been approached for comment.