Melbourne rising artist Tash Sultana suffered a major setback to the sold-out European leg of her world tour when a Jetstar Australia connecting flight to Berlin lost thousands of dollars worth of her equipment in transit. It took more than 24 hours to recover it.
The equipment is expected to make it in time for her Notion world tour gig at Berlin pub Badehaus Szimpla in Germany, which is due to start at 8pm Monday (4am Tuesday AEST).
“So I’ve been in transit for 32 hours and I have finally arrived in Berlin! However, Swiss International Air Lines and Jetstar Australia seem to have lost both of my guitars and both of my pedal boards and also broken my suitcase during a connecting flight,” Sultana posted on Facebook at 5.34pm Sunday (AEST), alongside a picture of her broken suitcase.
The equipment was irreplaceable ahead of the tour because “I designed my rig for this specific performance and I can’t duplicate it”.
“I’m still remaining calm, I have good faith. And if I can’t play the show I’m just going to postpone it and release more tickets through a bigger venue to compensate for my fans. I’m here for them and now it’s jeopardised.”
But the urgency of the issue clearly fell on deaf ears with Sultana posting 10 hours later that she’d had “absolutely no help” from either airline and again a few hours later, publicly calling for help from her Facebook followers and Jetstar upon learning that “One of your staff incorrectly tagged my equipment so it seems it’s gone no further than Singapore on flight JQ007”.
The equipment was spotted lying on the floor of the Singapore airport by a fan.
“One of your staff didn’t tag my equipment through to Berlin and now it’s on the floor in Singapore airport where anyone can steal it,” Sultana wrote on Facebook, once again tagging Jetstar.
“So now there is no hiding from the mistake … Please contact me for the 164839300403 time. This is beyond unacceptable now.”
Sultana finally got a response directly from Jetstar to her Facebook posts after she made it known that her plight was gaining media attention.
A Jetstar Australia representative published a very public apology to Sultana’s Facebook page.
“I’m really sorry to hear this, and we apologise for how frustrating this is,” the representative known only as Emma wrote.
“Our system shows that your baggage was tagged correctly for the entire transit through to Berlin, but it missed the onwards connection from Singapore onto another airline. We’re working with local teams in Singapore to get your baggage onto the next available flight, so we’ll keep in touch with you directly.
“Once again, we’re very sorry about this situation.”
This was later updated after Sultana posted pictures of the incorrect tagging, with the same representative saying that the matter was being investigated.
“We’ve been working with relevant teams in Singapore who’ve advised that your baggage travelled onwards on Singapore Airlines SQ346 from Singapore to Zurich, and then on Swiss Airlines LX974 Zurich to Berlin. We hope that you’re reunited with your baggage and equipment quickly.
“If these airlines haven’t been able to reach you directly, you may want to contact Berlin Airport to check with their baggage services team.
“While events like this are rare, we know we’ve let you down and we’re following up the issue internally to see how this occurred.”
Sultana posted this message of thanks once she learnt that her equipment had been found and was on its way to Berlin just before 6pm (AEST) on Monday.
The Age Music Victoria Awards After Party on November 16.