So the other day I had the opportunity to fly Jetstar due to my good mate not wanting to pay the “premium tax” for either Virgin Australia or Qantas. Here is what I experienced on one of Australia’s “worst airlines”
JQ769. 7:45 pm scheduled departure, 10:10 pm scheduled arrival. 7:49 pm actual departure, 9:52 pm actual arrival. Adelaide to Sydney route, it was operated by an Airbus A320 with the registration of VH-VGR
Check-in: Check-in was a breeze. Due to Adelaide only having one terminal for both domestic and international and with Jetstar being one of the main carriers to service the city the check-in area was very easy to find. Checking-in itself was breezy, it was one of those kiosks to automatic bag drop systems which most Aussie carriers use these days. Jetstar staff were on hand if you needed any help and seemed quite observant of passengers and almost immediately helped anyone who seemed to be struggling. Full marks to Jetstar on that one
Boarding: With Jetstar being a low-cost carrier the responsibility of being at the boarding gate at the correct time is yours, however, I think they really should have given a little more slack to passengers on this department. They boarded early (due to the inbound flight from Sydney arriving early) and at 7:20 pm (the boarding time on the ticket) it was the final call. No PA announcements, no nothing (unlike all other airlines at ADL), the transparency of flight information is something for improvement, however, the boarding process was one of the most efficient I’ve ever seen. Rows 1-15 via the aerobridge and rows 16-30 via the tarmac, no ifs, buts, when or hows unless you have a disability or need special assistance. Staff enforced the rule which seemed to be appreciated by many people.
Comfort: This was one area that I had no complaints in. Jetstar is refitting there A320’s and A321’s with comfy leather seats, no headrest but it’s low cost so it’s perfectly acceptable, however, the seats recline which is a welcome feature. The legroom is tight but decent (I’m 6ft 3), it helps to have the seat pocket at the top with a little-netted storage pocket at traditional height for all your personal items.
Food: None included. You can prepurchase it online which is a good option if you to guarantee hot food or just buy it onboard. I had a ham and cheese toastie for $11 AUD and a Meat Pie and Sauage Roll for $8 AUD, cheap is always expensive, remember that.
Service: Cabin crew seemed tired and worn out. Sure they did their jobs but they weren’t attentive and nothing was done with a smile. Let’s just say when leaving the aircraft they seemed quite happy to be in Sydney
Entertainment: None, BYO. I just listened to music and looked out at the sunset through the window. Also just in case, you’re wondering Jetstar offer no USB’s or PowerPoints on there A320’s or A321’s, however, they do offer inflight entertainment on there 787 aircraft to/from Bali, Honololulu and select domestic flights
Aircraft and flight itself: The 8-year-old A320 seemed to perform well and looked to be well maintained. She was clean and there was no sight of any grub or mess anywhere around my seat. The flight was bumpy however it was nothing out of the ordinary. The sunset as we departed Adelaide was quite pretty and was a good source of entertainment for the short 1hr and 33min flight
Background info: Jetstar is Qantas’s low-cost subsidiary born in 2003 was a competitor to then low-cost airline Virgin Blue. It has since gained a bad reputation by passengers for being unreliable and having not very good customer service
Overall: If you want to get somewhere on the cheap with no add-ons and minimal service, fly Jetstar. However, if you want checked baggage, food, and even the choice to select your own seat just pay the extra $20 or so to fly Virgin or Qantas.
My rating: 4.5/10
Feel free to ask any questions