JQ3 SYD-HNL Flight Review


This is my second ever flight review, so enjoy! :)

Flight Details:

Flight Number: JQ3
Aircraft: VH-VKI - B787-8
Route: Sydney (SYD/YSSY) - Honolulu (HNL/PHNL)
Flight Time: 9 hours 40 minutes

Airport Experience

We arrived for our 6PM flight 3 hours before. We were not able to check in online (Jetstar doesn’t have online checkin for flights to the USA) and we had lots of luggage, including skis, so we arrived with plenty of time to spare. We were also able to access the lounge so we wanted lots of time for that!

Upon entering the Airport, we were met with a long line going almost the length of the terminal. We walked past it towards the Jetstar area thinking “phew, imagine that was our flight!” But as we got closer to the Jetstar desks, it became apparent that the queue was for our flight.

The queue from about halfway down the line, you can’t see it but there is also a long winding queue closer to the desks.

We waited in this checkin line for 1 hour and 45 minutes, and apparently this happens every evening when Jetstar’s 2 787 flights depart! Luckily we pre-purchased extra baggage, as fees at the airport were something like $20 per kilogram.

After that rediculous checkin queue, we rushed to the Qantas lounge as we only had about 25 minutes until boarding started.

Qantas’ First Class Lounge in Sydney is amazing. Although we only had about 20 minutes in there, we managed to have a delicious restaurant quality meal in the dining area.

Qantas’ iconic Sydney First Lounge

The lounge was great for planespotting! This was QF1 to London via Singapore

The lounge has an old-fashioned departure board, which is pretty cool. (Note our flight JQ3 says go to gate!)

After a hurried meal, we made our way to the boarding gate and went through secondary screening.

The Seat

Jetstar’s 787 economy is similar to its A320s, but includes an entertainment screen and adjustable headrest.

I didn’t manage to get any photos of the seat so here are some from the internet:

Jetstar’s 787 economy is laid out in a 3-3-3 configuration. Source: traveller.com.au

Jetstar’s 787 economy includes an entertainment screen, which you must pay to use. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/56556922@N07/14803464033

I found the seat was perfectly comfortable, although it was leather, and I find that fabric seats tend to be more comfortable on longer flights.


Jetstar offers entertainment as an add-on that costs A$8 online or A$13 on the flight. It has a nice selection of movies, which I found to be basically identical to Qantas’, but slightly smaller.

Interestingly, a Qantas watermark came up during one of the movies.


Jetstar does not provide any food complimentary, however you can purchase food when booking. I found there were more snack options on the flight that weren’t available online, but pre-purchasing online was cheaper.

I pre purchased a meat pie for the first meal service (dinner) and a chocolate muffin for the second (breakfast). They were quite nice, but a bit small.

I managed to get about 4 hours sleep on the 10 hour flight.


We arrived on time just before 6AM at Honolulu. There was quite a long taxi from the runway to our gate, but the airport experience was perfectly fine. Honolulu airport is quite outdated, it has a very 1970’s style! Baggage collection and US immigration/customs was as expected, and the arrivals area wasn’t too crowded.

One more thing

Jetstar has recently been affected by pilot strikes, and they have had to cancel many flights. Luckily there were no strikes on the day of our flight, and it all went as scheduled.


Overall, this flight was what you’d expect from a low-cost carrier. The check-in situation was terrible, I think. Many other airlines offer online check-in and are able to check people in more efficiently, 1:45 in a queue is just absurd.

The flight itself was perfectly fine, I managed to get some sleep and the food was nice.

Overall, I would travel with Jetstar long-haul again, as it is much cheaper than Qantas, but it is definitely not a full-service carrier, and that really shows.

Airport: 8/10 - Sydney Airport is quite modern, and the post-security area is nice with lots of shops

Check-in/Security: 2/10 - Jetstar needs to fix up their check-in systems. Consistently having 2hr waits for checkin every day is surely not right, and people almost missed flights and check-in deadlines purely because the line was so long. The rest of the security/immigration experience was good, however.

Lounge: 9.5/10 - Qantas’ first class lounge is amazing. The staff are so nice and the food is amazing. The only slight downside is most of the lounge is set up as a restaurant, and there is not quite as much lounging space as other lounges.

Boarding: 5/10 - Easy, there was a small wait due to secondary screening, but it was quick and efficient.

Seat: 6/10 - The seat was quite comfortable, and entertainment was good. It did, however, lack nice extras such as a footrest or remote that you find on full-service carriers.

Cabin: 6/10 - the cabin is quite large and open, and I really like the 787. I did notice though that Jetstar has very small galleys and also lacks a separate crew rest area, there is just a curtained off row of seats available for them.

Crew: 7/10 - The crew were friendly, however they completely disappeared after the meal service!

Service/Meals: 7/10 - the food was quite nice, but relatively expensive when you think about what you are actually getting. $15 for a pie is quite a lot.

Arrival: 7/10 - Honolulu airport is quite outdated, but apart from that there we no major problems.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Thanks for reading! Let me know how my review was below. Have you ever flown on Jetstar’s long haul economy? Did you have a long wait for checkin as well?

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Great review, thanks for sharing😁

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We’re you connecting to anywhere from Honolulu? Because skis and Hawaii don’t exactly work together


Haha, yeah I was spending a few days in Honolulu then going to Colorado.

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What’s that for? US flights only?

Interesting review! Thanks for sharing your experience!


Yeah, all international flights to the USA need special other screening. At least from Australia

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I believe that’s the same in Europe but never flew auch a route, hence I don’t really know. Thanks!

Sydney-Honolulu-The Rockies

Well that’s a pretty big scenery change


Where in Colorado did you end up going? Aspen, Vail, Steamboat, Telluride? If you went to Powderhorn or Sunlight then you’re a G.

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Good you arrived 3 hours before your flight.
I always have a rule.
Domestic minimum 2 hours before a flight.
International 3 hours before a flight.
I had too many close calls when doing less.


I went to Beaver Creek then Vail.

Yeah, I went from 40°+ in Sydney, 30° in Hawaii to -15° in Colorado!!


Yeah it was lucky we arrived early, if we had only arrived 2hrs before it would have been bad…

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Try living on the East Coast of the US, Thursday the wind chill was 8 (F) (-13 C), Saturday was 70 (F) (21 C)

And this Saturday we’re getting 8 inches of Snow!

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you forgot the metric system for the inches of snow (for all europeans 8 inches of snow its 20,32 cm) still interesting. I live in Spain and it’s the same but with higher temperatures and (probably) not so much humidity. Although it does get to freeze in winter.

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