Jetstar promo lands airline in strife

By Alex Easton

LENNOX HEAD-based MLC Catherine Cusack has called for an investigation into budget airline Jetstar over a claim it misled customers in a promotion linked to the AFL grand final.

The claim brought an angry response from the airline yesterday, with a spokesman defending Jetstar's advertising and promotion and accusing Ms Cusack of political grandstanding.

The claim follows a one-hour weekend prox motion for 'JetMail' email newsletter subscribers celebrating Geelong's 24-point grand final win over Port Adelaide, by offering 24,000 tickets for May next year at $24 each.

However, Ms Cusack, the NSW Opposition fair trading spokeswoman, said the promotion applied to only 11 of more than 80 Jetstar flights, and then only on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.

She questioned whether Jetstar had sold all the tickets, and whether it had 24,000 seats available on the limited selection of flights at which the offer was directed.

Ms Cusack said she would lodge an official complaint about the promotion with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

A Jetstar spokesman angrily rebuffed Ms Cusack's claim, saying all promotions and advertising were vetted by a legal team, regardless of whether they were aimed at the Internet, radio, television or print.

Not only had all tickets been sold, but that style of promotion had been used several times before, notably the soccer World Cup, without complaint.

The spokesman agreed the promotion was aimed at marketing routes and times which were lightly patronised, but said Jetstar was entirely transparent about that.

"This smacks of political grandstanding," he said. "Ms Cusack is a good politician, but she's made accusations that don't stack up."

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