With demand for domestic flights recovering quickly, Jetstar is bringing five of its wide-body Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners out of storage to use on domestic flights from June. Lucky Jetstar passengers on selected flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Cairns and the Gold Coast are set to get a nice upgrade over the usual Airbus A320 experience – in more ways than one.
Jetstar’s Dreamliners are normally used for long-haul international flights, so they’re configured with a 21-seat Business Class cabin at the front of the plane. But Jetstar won’t be selling Business class tickets on these domestic flights. Instead, the Business seats are available for anyone to select for as little as $18 extra (or even for free with a Max Bundle)!
On a flight between Sydney and Gold Coast, you could fly in a Jetstar Business Class seat for as little as $62 one-way! Here’s how…
Which Jetstar flights will be operated by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners?
First of all, you’ll need to find a Jetstar flight which is operated by one of the long-haul Dreamliner aircraft. (Jetstar’s A320 and A321 planes are not fitted with any Business Class seats.)
The following Jetstar flights are currently scheduled to be Dreamliner services…
From 1 June 2021, the following daily Jetstar Melbourne-Gold Coast services will use Boeing 787 Dreamliners:
- JQ432 Melbourne 08:00 – Gold Coast 10:05
- JQ437 Gold Coast 11:35 – Melbourne 13:50
- JQ434 Melbourne 15:20 – Gold Coast 17:20
- JQ447 Gold Coast 18:50 – Melbourne 21:05
From 25 June 2021, the following daily Jetstar Melbourne-Cairns services will use Boeing 787 Dreamliners:
- JQ944 Melbourne 06:30 – Cairns 09:50
- JQ947 Cairns 11:20 – Melbourne 14:45
- JQ950 Melbourne 15:20 – Cairns 18:40
- JQ943 Cairns 20:10 – Melbourne 23:35
From 1 July 2021, the following daily Jetstar Sydney-Cairns services will use Boeing 787 Dreamliners:
- JQ952 Sydney 07:30 – Cairns 10:35
- JQ957 Cairns 12:05 – Sydney 15:00
From 1 July 2021, the following daily Jetstar Sydney-Gold Coast services will use Boeing 787 Dreamliners:
- JQ424 Sydney 17:05 – Gold Coast 18:25
- JQ419 Gold Coast 19:55 – Sydney 21:20
When booking on the Jetstar website, you can check the aircraft type by clicking on “Details” on the flight search results page:
How to select a Jetstar Business Class seat
On domestic flights operated by the Boeing 787, Jetstar is opening up the Business Class seats in rows 1-3 for selection as “extra legroom seats”. There is an additional fee for selecting these seats, but it’s no more than the cost of choosing, for example, an Economy exit row seat.
When booking your flight on the Jetstar website, simply choose a seat in rows 1-3 when you’re offered seat selection during the booking process. If a seat is still available, you’ll be able to select a seat in the Business cabin for free! The seat selection fee will be added to the cost of your booking.
Alternatively, if you’ve already booked, you can choose a seat when managing your booking online.
On a Sydney-Gold Coast flight, for example, it costs just $18 extra to choose one of the Business Class seats. With half-price fares still available on this route for as low as $44 one-way, this brings the total cost of the flight — sitting in a Business Class seat — to just $62!
Of course, this price doesn’t include any extras such as checked baggage or a meal on board. And you won’t receive Business Class service on the flight — just a larger seat with more legroom, greater recline and a cocktail drinks table. (Our Jetstar 787 Business Class seat overview has more information about the seat.)
If you’d like a few more extras included, you could purchase a Max Bundle with your Economy airfare. The Max Bundle includes “extra legroom” seating, as well as 30kg checked baggage, in-flight food, additional flexibility and Qantas Frequent Flyer points & status credits.
It normally costs around $85 extra to add a Max Bundle. But if you happen to book one of the marked half-price airfares, the bundles are also 50% off.
On the Sydney-Gold Coast route, for example, a “half off” flight with a Max Bundle included costs just $86.50. As well as the ability to select a Business Class seat, you would earn 1,200 Qantas points and 20 status credits.
On a longer flight from Melbourne to Cairns, the surcharge to select a Business Class seat is $25. The Melbourne-Cairns route also has half-off fares available, priced at $92 one-way — although availability is limited. Or, it would cost $134.50 to buy a half-off flight from Melbourne to Cairns with a Max Bundle included. That’s an absolute bargain!
There is a possible catch. In the unfortunate event that Jetstar changes the aircraft type operating your flight, you won’t necessarily be entitled to a refund for your seat selection fee. But you would still be entitled to choose another extra legroom seat on the new aircraft, such as an exit row seat.
Qantas Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers, as well as Qantas Club members, are entitled to access Qantas Club lounges ahead of Jetstar flights on any fare type, where a lounge is available.
All major domestic airlines report strong demand
The fact that Jetstar is bringing its larger international Boeing 787 aircraft out of storage is a very positive sign of recovery for Australia’s domestic aviation industry.
Despite international borders remaining closed, Jetstar expects its domestic capacity to reach a whopping 120% of pre-covid levels in just a few months from now. Qantas also expects to get to 107% of its pre-covid domestic capacity as the market recovers, and some Qantas international crew members have been offered temporary employment working on the domestic operation.
Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer
Qantas has already reactivated all of its Boeing 787-9s, too. These are currently being used for freight services and repatriation flights, but Qantas says it plans to use some of its Dreamliners on trans-Tasman flights to Auckland later in the year.
“You will have, at some stage, the 787s operating on the Tasman to get our pilots’ hours and operation up and running. That’s a superb product,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said last week.
Meanwhile, Virgin Australia is seeing domestic demand that’s so strong, it wants to lease another ten Boeing 737-800s and is now even hiring more cabin crew.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Jetstar 787’s coming back?