Jetstar: Stewardess Strike?

Forgive the politically incorrect title, but flight attendant strike just doesn’t have the same zing.

I had a momentary bout of panic when, just a day after booking my flight to Hue on Jetstar, I pulled up Thanh Nien and saw the lead story: Budget airline staff threaten to strike.

After shooting over to the Jetstar office, a helpful Vietnamese man who spoke impeccable English helped me work out that it was only the flight attendants who were threatening to strike (Thanh Nien referred to them in the obtuse term “workers”). Among their grievances are overtime payment, increased benefits and travel insurance. One flight attendant cited the fact that Jetstar only gives her and her colleagues an annual 500,000 VND (about $30) allowance for cosmetics.

Anyone who has flown Asian airlines enough understands the severity of this particular grievance.

So it looks like planes will still be leaving the tarmac, but Jetstar might still be in deeper trouble. The same article reports that the company is hemorrhaging money–roughly  1.3 billion VND (about $77,000) per day. The losses are largely due to Jetstar’s “‘ineffective’ and expensive promotional programs that included offering super-discount fares,” says Thanh Nien’s source.

Consumers would be wise to check Vietnamese dailies Thanh Nien and Vietnam News before booking.

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