Jetstar passengers were stranded at Hawke's Bay Airport yesterday morning after their flight left early.

Yasmeen Muhammad was meant to be on the 10.05am flight to Auckland, but she and three others were left behind when it departed 10 minutes early.

She had some important appointments in Auckland, and was meeting up with her sick grandmother who was flying home from Rarotonga.

Like another passenger, she had to pay a service fee to catch a later flight.


A Jetstar spokesperson said unfortunately the passengers had arrived at the check-in counters after check-in for their flight had closed.

"If all checked in passengers are on board and all pre-flight operational processes are complete a flight may be able to depart ahead of scheduled departure time", he said.

"After check-in has closed our flights are not re-opened for late check-in passengers to ensure flights depart as close to schedule as possible.

"Our check-in team in Napier were able to transfer passengers on request to the next available flight following payment of a transfer fee."

A passenger who did not want to be named said he felt missing the flight was partly his own fault, but thought Jetstar had some improvements to make.

"They said they called out my name," he said, "but I missed the boarding call."

He had been looking at the departures board when his flight time suddenly changed, but by this point boarding had closed.

"I wouldn't have minded being offered another flight because of the fact it left early."

He decided to reschedule his Auckland meeting, as changing the tickets would have cost close to what he bought the original ones for.

The family of another passenger, Mr Vincent, decided to pay the service fee.

His niece said they had been late to the airport, so took responsibility for missing the flight.

However, her elderly uncle had arrived at the unattended Jetstar counter only two minutes after check-in had closed at 9.35am.