Investigation ordered into Jetstar cancellations that saw passengers stranded at Rarotonga terminal

The Cook Islands Prime Minister has ordered the tourism office to investigate Jetstar’s treatment of customers travelling to and from Rarotonga.

Jetstar passengers stranded in Rarotonga. Source: Supplied

There’s been a string of cancellations from the budget airline stranding customers in the Cook Islands but it’s the latest over the weekend that’s prompted Prime Minister Henry Puna to take action after being confronted by an angry Kiwi tourist.

Stranded traveller Kim King also took to social media about Jetstar's poor treatment of passengers after their flight was cancelled five minutes before it was scheduled to depart at 1.30 in the morning.

She said over 60 customers were left high-and-dry in the open terminal with ground staff telling her "beggars can't be choosers" when she asked about accommodation. She said when passengers rang Jetstar head office they were hung up on.

"No further announcements made, nothing," she wrote. "We had no idea what was happening since the cancellation announcement and we had no food, water or blankets – the airport has no walls on two sides and there were kids asleep on the floor."

There’s been a string of cancellations from budget airline Jetstar stranding customers in the Cook Islands. Source: Supplied

She said it was local staff from domestic airline Air Rarotonga who helped out finding accommodation and gave food to those who needed it.

Jetstar is blaming the weekend cancellation on crew sickness and told Cook Islands News they apologise for "any issues around accommodation availability at short notice during the busy holiday period".