As part of our brand new section AU Abroad, we bring you a birds eye view of the world of travel. In this article series, we let you in on the best airlines to fly with. We return to Australia for our latest addition, for the rather brief journey from the Gold Coast to Sydney with Qantas’ discount airline, Jetstar.
Route: Gold Coast to Sydney, JQ409
Seat: 12F (Window seat, exit row, of a 3-3 configuration in Economy)
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Scheduled Flight Time: 1 Hr 30 Minutes (Approx.)
On Schedule? Late departure, on time arrival.
Ticket Type: Starter Economy.
Mobile Check-In? Yes.
Frequent Flyer Program: Qantas Frequent Flyer. I’m a bronze, so no benefits to speak of at this class, and as I would later find out, I didn’t even get any points because of the ticket type.
Meal Service: One cabin service during the brief flight offered food and drink for sale. Nothing complimentary is included with this budget airline. I settled on a $6 Ham and Cheese toastie from Paddington Markets, which hit the spot – though there was a 10 minute wait on it. You can get the whole menu HERE.
In-Flight Entertainment: No entertainment options, though with barely an hour actually in the air, it’s a short amount of time to twiddle your thumbs, or find out that the puzzles in all the magazines in your row have been filled out (probably could have asked for another, but found similar pleasures in a run of Temple Run on my iPhone.)
Comfort: Plenty of leg room in the exit row, though you can’t have your bags under the seat in front of you for take off or landing. Leather seats are comfortable enough and as good as you’ll get on a “budget” airline like Jetstar.
Customer Service: Crew were courteous and offered my jacket back after take off – I couldn’t even hold onto it in the exit row. I noted they remembered to return back to some people who had a question after they promised to return as well. So top marks there.
The automated systems in place, however, are far less conscious of the desires of their customers. This was a late night flight, fulled with constant loud announcements… so don’t expect any rest. After messages on take off, safety and weather notifications, the promotion of Mel Doyle’s StarKids charity came through twice at a blaring volume, followed by quarantine announcements and the captain, then rubbish collection notices. Then landing announcements. You get the idea…
Extra: Bag drop was easy as we had pre-purchased our extra baggage allowance (a must do to avoid ridiculous fees), but they are sticklers for weight. My bag was less than a kilo over the limit and they caused delays for myself and other customers in the process as I went through my bag to remove a single book that fixed the problem; a bit much, even when you’re a budget class transportation service. Priority should be on getting customers ticketed and boarded quickly, not over threatening baggage charges over such a small amount.
Head to http://www.jetstar.com/ for routes and to book flights.