A Jetstar plane bound for Bali made a U-turn and headed back to Melbourne on Wednesday (Dec 28) morning because of an "internal miscommunication" in the deployment of a larger aircraft.
In a statement on its website, a spokesperson said: "We swapped yesterday’s Melbourne to Bali service to a larger Boeing 787 aircraft to carry more customers during the holidays."
"Unfortunately, due to an internal miscommunication, we did not have approval from the regulator in Indonesia to swap to the larger aircraft," the statement added.
According to flight tracker Flightradar24, flight JQ35, a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, was scheduled to depart Tullamarine Airport at 6.15pm on Tuesday, but was delayed for almost five hours.
And after finally taking off, the plane was just 34 minutes away from Bali's Denpasar airport when it had to turn back.
Passengers then landed in Melbourne after flying for about 11 hours, reported Yahoo News Australia.
Twitter user @Bennji_95 posted pictures of the flight route from inside the plane, alongside a scathing review: "Thank you @JetstarAirways for the worst travel experience of my life ... Genuinely shocking service. Never again."
According to Jetstar, once it knew of the incident, the plane returned to Melbourne and rebooked flights for the affected passengers on the same day.
It also said that the passengers were provided with hotel rooms, in addition to being given food vouchers and A$200 travel vouchers.
The airline would also "cover additional airport transport costs".
It added: "We’ve begun a review to understand how our miscommunication happened so we can prevent it from occurring again."
"We know this has been an extremely frustrating experience for customers and sincerely apologise for what happened," said Jetstar.