TRAVEL | Jetstar operates five flights a week between Melbourne and Honolulu, with an average flight time of 10 hours and 25 minutes. The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (“Dreamliner”) is currently used on the route, and travellers can choose between Economy and Business Class.
Online check-in is not available for international Jetstar flights to or from Australia. Unfortunately the only option is to line up at the check in counter and wait for a staff member to check you in, even if you only have carry on luggage. The process at the counter itself is straight forward, but with everyone on the flight having to join the one line, many of whom have bags to check in, it can take a while to move through.
When flying international with Jetstar Economy, your checked luggage allowance will depend on your fare. On the basic Economy Starter fare you can purchase between 15-40kg of checked luggage allowance in 5kg increments. A Plus bundle gets you 20kg with the option to purchase up to 20kg more, and the Max bundle gets you 30kg with an option to purchase up to 10kg more. For carry-on it’s one main plus one small bag up to 7kg total, with an option to purchase and additional 7kg.
I had no complaints about the service of the staff at all stages of my flight experience. Staff were friendly and helpful, but not overbearing.
The Jetstar Economy cabin on the Dreamliner that flies from Melbourne to Honolulu features 314 seats, in a 3-3-3 layout. There are enough flight attendants around so getting the attention of someone should you need assistance isn’t an issue. Colour wise it’s orange, and varying tones of grey, in line with Jetstar’s branding. When it comes to cleanliness, everything nice and clean.
The leather seat has dimensions of about 76cm x 43cm, on the smaller end of the scale but in line with what you find on most low cost airlines flying this sort of distance. Like any economy seat, it doesn’t recline that far back. There’s an adjustable cushioned headrest which is handy when you want to get some sleep, and not often found on low cost carriers.
There are small armrests, and a leather pocket sleeve at the back of the seat in front to place a few things. There’s not much space to get work done with the tray down if you’ve got a laptop, but for a tablet sized device it’s possible to get some productive stuff done.
There’s a USB port for charging devices, and a power outlet (two for each bank of three seats) but do be aware that the power provided is at USA power standards of 110V AC 60 cycles (Hz), not Australian power standards of 220V AC 50 cycles (Hz).
I opted to upgrade to a front section seat, which gets you a considerable increase in legroom, plus room to stand and stretch without bothering anyone, for AUD$38.
Unlike a lot of low cost carriers, Jetstar’s Economy seats do have seat back screens (22.9cm), however to make use of the entertainment you’ll have to pay AUD$10 to access it. Entertainment is also included with some of the fare bundles that you can pre-purchase before your flight.
There’s a general selection of the latest movies and TV shows from the USA, Japan and elsewhere, plus music and a few radio stations and podcasts. The radio stations are free and don’t require the entertainment bundle. I opted to load my iPad with a few games and movies rather than pay for entertainment so can’t speak to the quality of the headphones that come with the entertainment bundle.
Food isn’t included with Jetstar’s base Starter fares, but you can pre-purchase a meal, or choose from the on-board menu. If you add one of the bundles to your fare you’ll generally get a meal or meal voucher included. Food options include things like salads and sandwiches, noodle bowls and a variety of snacks and drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic. If you choose to pre-purchase the options are similar to what you find in Qantas economy.
No amenities are included with the base Starter fare but you can pre-purchase an ‘international chill kit’ for $25. It includes an eye mask, earplugs, inflatable pillow, socks, lip balm, hand cream, wet-wipe, pen, and blanket.
Overall I enjoyed my Jetstar flight from Melbourne to Honolulu. When I purchase a seat on a low cost carrier the main things I’m looking for is a good flight price, reliability, friendly service and a comfortable seat. All of the other extras I can live without.
Keep an eye out for regular deals, and you can usually grab a return ticket on the route for AUD$600, making it a great option for a week-long getaway. You gain a day (actually arriving ‘before’ you departed) due to the change in time-zone. If you time things right and sleep to ‘Honolulu time’ during the flight, you can arrive in Honolulu in the morning and get straight to exploring.