Flying on the new Star to Melbourne

4 10 2011

Together with nine other bloggers, I was jetted comfortably and efficiently on a new star to Melbourne – Jetstar that is (one of the very kind sponsors of the trip). While I would have, prior my recent experience, probably not have given thought to flying on a low cost carrier on what is a long-haul route, Jetstar’s long haul services would now be one that comes first to mind in considering the choices on routes served by the carrier. The Singapore-Melbourne route is a relatively new one, having been launched in December 2010, and is served by two of Jetstar’s widebody Airbus A330-200s on a daily service to and from Melbourne. This adds a choice of a no frills, low-cost, pay only for what you need alternative to full fare carriers serving the route.

Jetstar's Singapore to Melbourne service was launched in December 2010.

Boarding the plane was an efficient and no fuss experience, and making my way down the aisle, I soon found my seat and sank straight into it – having had a long day trying to get some errands done and packing for the trip. The seats were comfortable – and I had no complaints at all with the leg room on the standard seats – the neatly arranged cabin and the comfortable leather seats providing a clean, fresh and uncluttered feel to the cabin. Based on information on Jetstar’s website, the seating in the economy class cabins of the A330s, which are arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration, are pitched at 31 inches apart and at 17.5 inches wide, are comparable to similar non-budget airline seating arrangements.

Jetstar inaugural A330 service from Changi Airport (source: Jetstar's YouTube channel).

Again with little fuss, a short pre-flight safety demo by the cabin crew was provided prior to take-off, and we were soon airborne, with the cabin attendants distributing comfort packs – packs which included a synthetic fleece blanket and a zipped case (which can be re-used as a neat pencil case) with a very necessary set of ear plugs, an inflatable neck pillow, eye shades, a toothbrush and toothpaste – pretty useful items for the long journey – the toothbrush especially! These can be pre-booked with the flight (it was included in the ticket that Jetstar kindly arranged for us) or can be purchased on board. Also available on the flight as part of the in-flight entertainment service are Video-on-Demand (VOD) units which can be hired. Again, these can be pre-arranged or hired during the flight. Included with the VOD units are earphones which the passenger can keep – an adapter allows the earphones to be used for flights with other airlines as well. The VOD units provide a selection of the latest movie releases, TV programs, music videos and audio tracks – more than sufficient to keep one entertained on a long flight. I managed to catch an interesting Japanese movie, Rebirth, on the VOD unit either side of dinner that was served before catching some needed shut-eye the flight seemed to lull me into.

Video on demand units can be hired offering latest movie releases, TV programs, music videos and audio tracks.

Meals (along with snacks and beverages) which are also available for purchase on board or pre-booked as ours was, came nice and hot – the small portions perhaps adequate for some – may not be to the liking of those with a big appetite – but that does help to reduce waste as once again – one pays only for what one intends to eat. On the journey to Melbourne, I found it hard to resist having the stir fried beef with noodles. That was, to my surprise, tasty without being too soggy – airline meals are sometimes drowned in too generous amount of sauce or gravy. Also pre-arranged with the ticket was breakfast at the end of the outbound flight, and lunch and dinner on the return flight.

My lunch on the return flight. A range of hot food, snacks and beverages can be pruchased on board or pre-purchased with the ticket.

Based on my experience with Jetstar in which the flight on the whole was comfortable and comparable with that of a full fare airline sans the frills of full fare airlines in which baggage allowances (baggage allowance according to one’s needs can be pre-arranged with the ticket on Jetstar), meals, in-flight entertainment, pillows and blankets, in some cases similar comfort packs, and one that I would definitely consider for my next holiday to Melbourne – especially when it allows me some additional pocket money on the trip!


This is a repost of my post on the omy Colours of Melbourne 2011: My Melbourne Experience site. You can vote for your favourite blogger at the My Melbourne Experience voting page. Voting period is from 15 September 2011 to 5 October 2011 and stand a chance to win prizes worth up to $3000 which include Jetstar travel vouchers and Crumpler limited edition laptop bags.


Advertisements