Jetstar customers trapped inside Japan airport after flight canceled

A group of Jetstar passengers stranded at Narita International Airport in Japan overnight were left without food or water after their flight to the Gold Coast was canceled as the country’s strict COVID-19 rules left them trapped inside the airport.
Gordon Knight, who was returning to Australia from the Finnish capital, Helsinki, with his wife, was among the victims of the ordeal.
Their flight, JQ12, was due to take off at 9 p.m. local time on Sunday and arrive at Gold Coast Airport around 6:40 a.m. Sunday.

“We arrived at Terminal 3 around 6pm and noticed there was no gate for the flight; we thought it might be a bit of a wait… and then the texts [messages] reached that the flight was going to be cancelled,” Knight told SBS News.

Mr Knight said he and other passengers affected by the cancellation – of whom he estimated around 20 – were then taken to Terminal Two. He said that by the time they arrived, shops at the airport had closed and they had been unable to buy food.
“And eventually they chained down an area and basically created a little camp inside the airport for us, which unfortunately also didn’t have a water tap,” he said.

“So we were left with nothing until we could leave that area which was just after six in the morning. [on Monday].”

A group of Jetstar passengers stranded at Japan’s Narita airport overnight were left without food or water after their flight to the Gold Coast was canceled as the country’s strict COVID-19 rules left them trapped inside airport interior. Source: Provided

Mr Knight said the passengers were also not given blankets as they were stranded at the airport overnight.

“We were first told to go find a hotel, and it’s up to me to explain to the [Jestar] flight attendants couldn’t leave the airport as a group because none of us had the right documents to do so,” he said.

“I feel like it was kind of a lack of education on the part of [Jetstar] management that they hadn’t got the basics in place, same for getting pillows and blankets.”

Passengers seated while stuck in an airport.

Mr Knight said the passengers were also not given blankets as they were stranded at the airport overnight. Source: Provided

In a statement, a Jetstar spokesperson apologized to customers and said the flight was canceled due to technical issues.

“All customers were offered accommodation and meal vouchers, and for customers who no longer wished to fly, the option of a full refund was also available,” the spokesperson said.
“Unfortunately, some customers transiting through Japan from other countries were unable to leave the airport due to Japan’s COVID requirements to enter the country, including providing a negative PCR test.”

“We are working with Narita Airport to determine how we can best accommodate transiting passengers during disruptions like this.”

Japan’s strict COVID-19 rules mean most independent travelers are barred from the country unless they are Japanese citizens or residents.
People visiting for holidays are only allowed entry if they are part of a guided or organized tour group.

Anyone wishing to enter Japan must return a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel.