TRAVEL | Jetstar operates an average 13 (depending on the day) flights daily between Melbourne and Sydney (and vice versa). The aircraft used on this route is the Airbus A320-200 (“A320”)
Online check in using your computer, tablet or mobile is the easiest option when flying domestically with Jetstar. It opens 48 hours prior to your scheduled flight departure, and closes 30 minutes prior. If you can’t check in online, the process at the airport is quite efficient as there are self service check in counters in Melbourne’s new Terminal 4, which Jetstar operates out of. If you’ve checked in online but have checked luggage, you can use the self service kiosks to print bag tags before dropping them off at the bag drop. If you don’t like any of those options, traditional staffed check in counters are also available.
Do note that seat selection attracts and additional fee – you can pay for it when you buy your ticket . If you don’t want to pay, you’ll be allocated a seat at check in. Interestingly, if you do opt to purchase a seat you can check in up to 28 days before your flight.
Checked luggage is not included with Jetstar Economy tickets when flying domestic, however you can bring on to the cabin one main item and one small item. Basically a small cabin sized suitcase and a regular hand/carry bag. The combined weight of both can’t exceed 7kg.
You can purchase 5kg, 20kg, 25kg, 30kg, 35kg or 40kg checked luggage, and a 3kg top up of your cabin allowance. The best time to do this is when booking, as it is cheapest. If you don’t pay until after you’ve booked, it will increase the cost of the flight substantially, and in most cases will negate the value proposition of choosing Jetstar over a full service Qantas or Virgin Australia flight.
Service is friendly and efficient, and the staff help ensure that all the luggage that’s been brought into the cabin fits where it needs to if space is getting tight.
The Jetstar Economy cabins on the A320 that flies from Melbourne to Sydney features 180 seats, in a 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 white, grey and orange, keeping in line with Jetstar’s branding. Lighting is on the cooler end of the white balance spectrum, and everything nice and clean.
The leather seat has dimensions of about 74cm x 45cm. Like any economy seat, it doesn’t recline that far back, but it’s no better or worse than the competition. Despite being technically smaller than the seat on Tigerair Australia, the seats actually feel larger. Being a budget airline the seats are noticeably smaller than that on Qantas or Virgin Australia, but for a short flight like this it’s perfectly acceptable.
There are small armrests, and a plastic sleeve built into the back of the seat in front to place a few things. There’s not enough space to get any productive work done, but enough space to comfortably read a magazine or hold your tablet/phone in front of you.
There’s no USB or power sockets so make sure any devices you want to use on the flight have enough juice.
There’s no in-flight entertainment, so make sure your phone or tablet is loaded with something to watch, play or listen to, or bring a book along. There is an in-flight Jetstar magazine in the holder at the back of each seat with an assortment of interesting articles.
Food is not included with Jetstar flights, however you can purchase food on board. For a number of meals, you can also order meal bundles beforehand when you book. Think things like toasties, snacks, chocolate, fruit, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It’s quite expensive for what it is, and given the short distance of this flight, you’re best eating before or after, or bringing your own snack on board.
Being a short haul domestic flight, there are no additional amenities provided beyond the Jetstar travel magazine.
Given that the flight is barely more than one hour, when flying from Melbourne to Sydney and vice versa, price is the primary consideration for me – amenities and being supremely comfortable just aren’t that important. Jetstar is a budget airline and, compared to other low cost airlines around the world it does a pretty good job and doing what it sets out to do. The seat, in particular, is quite comfortable and flights are generally on time, which for me gives it the edge over Tigerair Australia.
If one of the other domestic airlines is offering a deal which makes it only slightly more expensive than Jetstar, I’ll generally choose that option, however under normal circumstances with usual pricing, or when can get a great Jetstar deal, I have no issue flying them.