Budget carrier Tigerair has been given four days to get stranded passengers home from Bali, after the airline lost access to Bali's Denpasar airport on Thursday.
On Thursday evening, Tigerair confirmed the Indonesian Government agreed to give the airline a four day reprieve, which will allow almost 2000 Aussies return to home soil.
Australians were left stranded and furious when Tiger told customers that "a decision by the Indonesian government to impose new administrative requirements" forced it to cancel Bali flights on Wednesday.
No further information was provided around why the airline was not able to fly to Denpasar, or the new requirements, but the ABC reported it was linked to breaches of Tiger's licence around offering one-way tickets.
Initially, just four flights were cancelled on Wednesday, with customers offered refunds, hotel accommodation or being shifted to other airlines. Later on Wednesday, the airline updated customers that flights on Thursday and Friday would also be affected.
"In the event of further cancellations, customers will be contacted directly by Tigerair Australia," the airline said in a statement, promising that Virgin Australia would "operate two flights from Bali tomorrow in order to bring as many affected customers back to Australia as possible".
Customers have been furious, claiming Tiger did not communicate the news of cancellations until far too late, and had left passengers stranded in Bali. The airline did not post news of the cancellations on its Facebook page until Thursday morning.
One woman claimed she was not informed of the changes until she was in line at the airport.
"We are a family of six whose flight to Perth from Denpasar was cancelled today (which we found out while in line to check in after a 2.5 hour drive to the airport)," she wrote.
Others shared stories of disappointment at cancelled holidays.
"Our long-awaited family holiday has been ruined and I have to tell my devastated kids in the morning we are no longer going to Bali today," wrote one woman on Facebook.
"I have spoken to the department who has informed us that our flight money will be refunded in 2-4 weeks. This is totally unacceptable, and disgusting, that we have not only had to forfeit a long-awaited family holiday but we now have to wait this length of time to get our money returned to us.
"We were given no other alternatives and our only option we were given was a refund - alternative carriers are either booked or charging a ridiculous amount!"
Another family said they were in Bali and had received no contact from the airline.
"As of now, 5.20pm local time we have received no communications from Tiger i.e. statement via email or text advising us of when or if alternative arrangements will be provided either tomorrow or over the next few days. Some direct information would be very helpful for us so that at the very least we can make some alternative arrangements," a woman wrote.
"Tiger, I am yet to receive any contact regarding my return flight from Bali today, Wednesday 11 January. I am yet to even receive a mere text advising me of the cancellation," wrote another customer.
"Am I just supposed to hang around for someone to contact me? Does the airline not think that it is basic customer service to notify a passenger of a cancellation of their flight?? Mind you, I successfully checked in last night??"
For more information, see Tigerair's website.
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