MELBOURNE, Australia – Nathaniel Martin took to Facebook to vent his frustrations after Tiger Airways bumped him from his flight from Hobart to Melbourne on Sunday, telling him it had been overbooked. Little did he expect his Facebook post to attract over 50,000 likes and grab the airline’s attention.
“I went to board the plane and was informed that you had oversold my flight, and that I would have to be ‘offloaded’ and could not board the plane,” Mr Martin’s Facebook post to the airline read.
“The reason given was that ‘I was the last to check in’, even though I had booked the ticket a month in advance and was 15 minutes early to check in.
“The federal police officer of 20 years experience helping my family said it was the ‘worst case of customer service he had ever seen’ and the flight attendant told me to ‘get them for every cent’.”
With an 8am class in Melbourne the next morning, Mr Martin was forced to pay another $296 to get on a Jetstar flight later that night, leaving him nearly $500 out of pocket in total. For a university student earning $9000 a year, it was a substantial financial blow.
Luckily his parents came back to the airport and chipped in half of the fare.
“I am now two hours late, exhausted, $500 out of pocket and with no cash to get home from the airport for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING caused by YOUR INCOMPETENCE.
“Not only do I want a full refund of the $495.45, a full apology to me and my family for the unbelievable inconvenience you have caused and an assurance that you will never deliberately oversell a flight again. I am never flying with your airline ever again and will tell every living soul what you have done to me tonight.”
The next day, after his Facebook post attracted 50,000 likes, he received a call from Tiger Airways who agreed to refund him the full fare and apologised.
After they had reached the agreement, Mr Martin deleted his original Facebook post.
“Tiger Airways have agreed to refund me the full fare of what happened last night including the other flight I had to pay for to get to Melbourne,” he said in a Facebook post to Tiger Airways.
“They have been very good to me in responding to this quickly and rectifying their error.”
Tiger Airways told news.com.au Mr Martin’s situation was a rare one.
“Overbooking of flights is common practice in the air travel industry here in Australia and world over – it’s a practice put in place by airlines (and other travel and tourism industries) to compensate for an average no show rate,” a Tiger Airways spokesperson said.
“While issues in relation to this are extremely rare, we are very sorry to have inconvenienced one of our passengers recently. On review of the situation, we dealt directly with the passenger and resolved his specific situation.
“This is an isolated situation however Tiger does have policies and provisions in place to reaccommodate anyone who is affected by overbooking on the very rare occasion that it occurs, including free of charge transfer to next available flight.”