Jetstar and Virgin airlines have caused Christmas Eve travel chaos by cancelling dozens of flights as families around Australia prepare to reunite with loved ones.

Hundreds of passengers suddenly found their plans in dire straits as they were notified late on Thursday night of the mass cancellations.

Australia’s busiest route between Sydney and Melbourne is by far the worst affected with 23 flights between the two capitals cancelled on Friday.

Jetsar sent out text messages alerting passengers as late as 9pm on Thursday, when many were already in bed before early departures, with the airline’s customer service line closing at 10pm.

Jetstar and Virgin Airlines have caused commuter chaos after cancelling dozens flights on Christmas Eve

Jetstar and Virgin Airlines have caused commuter chaos after cancelling dozens flights on Christmas Eve

Jetstar and Virgin Airlines have caused commuter chaos after cancelling dozens flights on Christmas Eve

The canned flights include peak hour morning and evening fares, throwing many Australians' Christmas plans into severe doubt

The canned flights include peak hour morning and evening fares, throwing many Australians' Christmas plans into severe doubt

The canned flights include peak hour morning and evening fares, throwing many Australians’ Christmas plans into severe doubt

Virgin also made a huge number of cancellations for December 24, with 12 flights between Sydney and Melbourne cancelled. 

The canned flights include early morning and evening fares, throwing many Australians’ Christmas plans into disarray. 

As many as 13 flights were suddenly cancelled by Jetstar on Thursday, including routes between Sydney and Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide, and Sydney and Melbourne.

The Sydney and Melbourne route was the most heavily-affected, with seven Sydney departures and four Melbourne departures breaking hearts on Christmas Eve.

With all direct morning and afternoon flights either sold out or cancelled, passengers were mostly offered replacements that first flew the wrong direction to other cities and landed up to eight hours later than they had booked to arrive.

As many as 13 flights were suddenly cancelled by Jetstar on Thursday, including routes between Sydney and Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide and Sydney and Melbourne

As many as 13 flights were suddenly cancelled by Jetstar on Thursday, including routes between Sydney and Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide and Sydney and Melbourne

As many as 13 flights were suddenly cancelled by Jetstar on Thursday, including routes between Sydney and Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide and Sydney and Melbourne

Shocked passengers shared their distress over the last minute cancellations online, with many saying their festive periods had been ruined.

‘I feel like screaming. Daughter in Sydney did all the right things. Double vacc, boostered, PCR test, Qld border pass. Jetstar just cancelled her flight to Bris. No explanation,’ a devastated father wrote.

‘With <24hrs notice, they cancelled my flights to my family on Christmas Eve and offered no usable alternatives. Never again,’ another man tweeted. 

In a tepid response to the dozens of people angrily complaining via Twitter, Jetstar offered apologies and asked people to direct message their account.   

‘Sorry to hear that your flight was cancelled, we know how inconvenient cancelled flights can be – and we try to avoid them as much as possible,’ they said in a series of replies. 

Virgin Australia have also cancelled a number of flights on the eve of Christmas with 12 flights grounded between the NSW and Victorian capital

Virgin Australia have also cancelled a number of flights on the eve of Christmas with 12 flights grounded between the NSW and Victorian capital

Virgin Australia have also cancelled a number of flights on the eve of Christmas with 12 flights grounded between the NSW and Victorian capital

The common denominator appears to be Sydney, with skyrocketing Covid cases potentially the reason for the major airlines ruining Aussies' Christmas plans

The common denominator appears to be Sydney, with skyrocketing Covid cases potentially the reason for the major airlines ruining Aussies' Christmas plans

The common denominator appears to be Sydney, with skyrocketing Covid cases potentially the reason for the major airlines ruining Aussies’ Christmas plans

Virgin Australia also cancelled flights on the eve of Christmas with 12 flights grounded between the NSW and Victorian capital.

There were a further nine flights cancelled between Sydney and Brisbane, and another 11 stopped between Sydney and the Gold Coast.

The common denominator appears to be Sydney, with skyrocketing Covid cases potentially the reason for the major airlines ruining Aussies’ Christmas plans.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Jetstar and Virgin Australia to explain why so many flights have been cancelled, but received no response.

Source: DailyMail

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