My partner and I had to go to Geelong for a 40th Birthday party and it appeared that flying Jetstar was the best option - afterall, who wants to fly to Tulla and drive the 1 hr + to get to Geelong?
Traditionally i'm a DJ supporter and have Velocity status - they are great, mainly because of their laidback staff, but also because they have Live2Air which is a great way to pass the time - even on a 1 hr SYD-BNE or SYD-MEL flight. This time however, Jetstar was the only option as no other carrier link SYD and AVV. I would fly QF if I had to, but Jetstar? Never.
So - with gritted teeth I decided to bite the bullet and book with JQ. Overall, I am humbled... I was very happy with the flight and the Jetstar experience. I guess all this time I had been so Jetstar-adverse, I hadn't quite given them the opportunity to prove themselves to me.
1. Booking. I could allocate my seat at time of booking - I decided against paying the nominal fee for extra legroom, but could still reserve a normal seat without additional charge. Not a bad facility I must say!
2. Checkin. I received an email 48 hours out from departure, which allowed me to check-in online. DJ only allows a 24 hour checkin. When we arrived at the airport, the checkin queue's were empty... we waited about 30 seconds before being served! (mind you, looking toward the DJ queues there were queues and queues of people...!)
3. Departure. We left 10mins before scheduled departure, which was a pleasant surprise.
4. Staff & Service. Much better than I had expected. After all the Jetstar bashing that seems to be out there in the community (Not AFF but the broader "anti LCC" community) this expectation wasn't hard to beat.
5. Seats. Much better than expected, they even look plush when looking at them. DJ's seats appear anorexic in comparison.
1. Aircraft. When we pushed back from the gate, the aircraft made these revolting groaning sounds - WTF was that?!? A few people in my area were freaking out - it sounded like a hydraulics fault. Perhaps this was an ageing ex-Ansett A320 that had seen better days? In fact, I had never heard any of NZ's A320's making this sound previously, so I attributed these "funny" sounds to aircraft age. This did not help my repressed fear of flying When the aircraft pulled up to the gate in AVV, the sound reappeared. If anyone can explain this to me, it will make my flight back to SYD on Sunday much more pleasant...!
2. Food. Specifically the nut mix. DJ's nut mix (Macadamia and Pretzel mix) is legendary and was hard to beat - the JQ nut mix was mostly Almonds. I have a macadamia addiction to feed!!
So.... Overall... A very good flight. If all I have to groan about is crappy nut mix and funny sounds agitating my flying phobia, I have lots to be thankful for.
The only bummer with JQ is that you can't get QF points on all fare types. On DJ - irrespective of the fare type - you still get points.
Thanks for listening.
P.s. Afterall of these years of flying DJ, I never realised that there was a QC in the Jetstar/Virgin Terminal! A few times I had even walked over to the QF terminal to use the QC... I feel cheated