My Jetstar Experience - Mini TR

Discussion in 'Trip Reports and Trip Photos' started by haydensydney, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. haydensydney

    haydensydney Established Member

    Feb 20, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
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    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 :lol: 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!! :mrgreen:

    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 :)
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  2. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    Nice Mini TR haydensydney. Sounds like the experience (odd plane sounds aside) was a good one.

    I think if there are no 'issues' which require out-of-the-ordinary recovery action by the staff, then smooth experiences are probably as normal on JQ as on any other carrier. My one return trip with them (MEL-HBA-MEL) was fine, apart from the beer I bought being warm...but it was an unseasonally warm day. :)

    That said, I have no plans to fly them again...but never say never, if circumstances suit!
  3. djfuzz

    djfuzz Established Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    I've heard this 'groaning' on a quite a number of aircraft at SYD, and recently at MEL too. I don't think it's a serious problem though, just braking or the lay of the tarmac.

    I'm with you on the macadamia addiction, but not sure I'd rate DJ's mix as 'legendary'. Quite liked the warm almonds that come out on J on various carriers though.

    Nice Mini-TR (maybe should be moved over to the TR section?), please let us know how your return journey goes (and any pics you might have). :)
  4. tuppaware

    tuppaware Active Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    I too have heard the grinding noise on an Airbus 320 on a Vueling flight in Spain... Seems to be a common sound, most likely hydraulics jacks.

    <off topic>
    Which was not the problem compared to the unclean out of the plane was .... Which I noticed when there was a lot of soot on the engine pylon from a engine fire in paris a month before, they had replace the engine new.. but left the pylon.
  5. N860CR

    N860CR Established Member

    Nov 30, 2004
    Brisbane & Sydney
    Nothing to be concerned about, normal noise on an A320. It's the Hydraulic Power Transfer Unit. It's a system that runs automatically when there is an excessive difference between the hydraulic pressures in the systems. This generally happens when starting or shutting down the engines. It's very obvious when there is just one engine running (like during pushback).

    All of the JQ A320's were delivered new to them, so they're all quite new and none of the AN models grace their fleet

  6. samh004


    Apr 1, 2009
    Gold Coast
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    Never heard the noise you described before, but glad it’s nothing to worry about, if I ever do hear it.

    But it takes a little longer to even get to Silver, and Gold is more than double, while SG isn’t :p

    I knew it was there, as I used it in December. Not quite as big as the other lounge, but then again also a little quieter, so not a bad spot. View is all right.
  7. MEL_Traveller

    MEL_Traveller Enthusiast

    Apr 27, 2005
    Melbourne, AU
    If it's the same sound I'm thinking of it used to be very common when flying BA A319s and A320s around Europe (probably still is)!

    When it was first being talked about it was referred to as the 'barking dog' sound.
  8. Travel Guru

    Travel Guru Established Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Gold Coast, Australia
    It's funny you say that because for a long time I thought it was a dog in the cargo hold barking until I realised it sounded the same every time! :mrgreen::mrgreen:

  9. tuppaware

    tuppaware Active Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Yeah I could see it as that. Although I thought it was more grinding then Barking... You don't hear it on the widebodies like 777 or A330's... but then you cant hear anything over those massive engines
  10. pauly7

    pauly7 Established Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    I hear it on all A320's I fly on - it has nothing to do with age.

    Kids always think it is a dog! I have heard some hilarious conversations around me between kids and their also mistaken parents!!
  11. ric_melb

    ric_melb Active Member

    Dec 16, 2005
    I have now had half a dozen flights on Jetstar. After being cautious as to the experience I now find them a pleasant airline to fly. Prefer Qantas if I can get it, but not always possible.
    Crew on all flights have been pleasant, and on two flights exceptional.
    I too have noticed the noise on the A320, as indicated above, there is a logical explanation. show the average fleet age of the Jetstar 320's as 4 years.
    And as they were bought new it is unlikely to be an old aircraft issue.

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