Lifestyle & Belief

Australian airline initially refuses to let shark attack victim's mother change her flight


The great white shark was spotted hunting a school of salmon.


Dan Kitwood

When her son was killed by a Great White shark near Auckland this week, mother Jeanette Strange wanted to change her pre-booked flight from Wellington to next week to Feb 27, citing "compassionate grounds."

But budget Australian airline JetStar didn't see eye to eye with the grieving woman: they denied her request, and told Strange she'd have to pay the $265 change fee if she wanted to fly earlier, wrote The Australian.

Read more from GlobalPost: New Zealand swimmer Adam Strange killed in rare shark attack

Strange's sister Kay Cresswell phoned up the airline to ask about a change when she learned of the fee, and was understandably displeased, wrote the New Zealand Herald.

"They put me on hold for 10 minutes to talk to a supervisor, then said they were very sorry but could not transfer the booking. She would have to pay $321 for a new ticket," said Craswell to, who added that she was "disgusted with their lack of compassion."

Strange ended up flying Air New Zealand back to Auckland, and was given a discounted fare for the trip, added

 JetStar swiftly issued a mea culpa, says the Australian.

"Jetstar appreciates this would have been a stressful situation and regrets if the service received by her relative from our call center caused further distress," said a JetStar spokesman. 

"We have contacted the relative and apologized for the way the call was handled."

Filmmaker Adam Strange was killed by a Great White shark near west Auckland, in the first such New Zealand attack in decades.