Planes grounded at Whitsunday Coast Airport today.
Planes grounded at Whitsunday Coast Airport today. Sharon Smallwood

Customers left 'stranded in cyclone' after cancellations

SOME passengers are furious that certain flights to and from the Whitsundays have been cancelled leaving people to bear the brunt of Cyclone Debbie, expected to hit the region on Tuesday morning.

Whitsunday resident Corrie Gardner said her husband John was booked in for an important appointment and was due to fly with Jetstar on Monday to Brisbane.

However after seeing the cyclone warnings their 'gut instinct' kicked in.

Just in case the airline failed them they decided to book John on a Tigerair flight to Brisbane on Sunday morning and avoid the risk of a cancellation when it was simply too late.

It was lucky they did. Jetstar informed them that Monday's flight to Brisbane would be cancelled.

Ms Gardner is furious that people are now facing the risk of being stranded in the Whitsundays during the cyclone.

"I think the mayor or whoever is responsible, someone needs to speak with Jetstar. I think it's disgusting that they have left people in the lurch," she said.

"There was actually nothing wrong with the weather for most of today. Why did they cancel the flight?" In effect they've left hundreds of people who aren't going to be able to get out for days. The right thing to do is help people, not to just leave them in the lurch.

"I think Jetstar have let their customers down."

Jetstar could not be reached for a response but a message on their website reads:

"Jetstar advises that, due to forecast storm conditions in parts of north-east Queensland from Cyclone Debbie, a number of flights scheduled for the region have been cancelled, including for travel from Monday afternoon.

"Please note that the current forecast is for deteriorating conditions from around midday on Monday, 27 March.

"Jetstar will be contacting all passengers on cancelled flights to provide options, including moving to flights on other days or a voucher credit.

"Jetstar's safety and operations team continues to closely monitor weather forecasts and further Travel Alert updates on the status of our north-east Queensland services will be provided on Monday morning regarding flights to/from the region scheduled for Tuesday, March 25."

Jetstar cancelled their Melbourne to Proserpine return flight (JQ 832 and JQ 831) and Sydney return flight to Hamilton Island today (JQ 846 and JQ 849).