It was almost a year ago that I bought $350 return flights to Honolulu as part of Jetstar’s promotion of its new direct Melbourne to Honolulu route (a steal, I know!). After adding on luggage (I needed lots for all the shopping I had planned!), this price neared $500, but I’m still not complaining.
After two sunny, shopping-filled weeks exploring the Hawaiian islands, I write this blog post as I’m returning home. Reluctantly, I might add. I’ll go into greater detail about my trip in later blog posts, but for now I’ll just give you a quick review of my Jetstar experience.
Despite such cheap flights (typically you can fly Melbourne to Honolulu for around $1,000 on Jetstar), I have no complaints about any part of my journey. The planes left on time both ways and there were no issues checking in.
One thing that amazed me though, was when we arrived at Melbourne airport my boyfriend and I were one of only a handful of people who had checked in online prior to leaving home. The queue for web check-in took around 5-10 minutes to get through, whereas the main queue was as long as airport queues come (and any frequent flyer will know how long that is!). So, bear this in mind next time you fly.
The most unexpected part of the trip was getting aboard the flight and having USB ports and in-seat TV screens. I’m used to seeing these on airlines such as Singapore, QANTAS etc., but didn’t expect it on a budget airline. Big brownie points from me! Although unfortunately I didn’t know about this option beforehand, otherwise I would have loaded up on movies on my iPad or USB drive; you can even open documents, photos and videos on the in-seat screen at no charge.
For $20 you can purchase inflight entertainment, which isn’t badly priced considering it offers a whole range of the latest movies, TV shows, music albums and plenty of games to play – especially ideal for restless kids.
We refrained from buying the entertainment, but did briefly amuse ourselves with the free seat-to-seat chat function. The novelty wore off quite quickly though!
The flight was just over 10.5 hours heading there, and 11 hours on the way back. The flight back, however, didn’t have the in-seat TV units – but you could still hire iPads loaded with the same entertainment options.
Personally, I think that where you sit on a plane is crucial to how good or downright bloody awful your flight can be (think people kicking your chair, screaming kids and being wedged between two strangers), so I didn’t hesitate to pay the $7 or so each way that Jetstar charges to choose your seats (premium seats, such as emergency exits are more expensive). Get in fast though, because you won’t be the only one with that idea.
My preference? Back row, window seats. You might be last off, but you eliminate the risk of having bad ‘seat-buddies’ behind you, there’s easy access to the toilets (essential if you enjoy a sneaky pre-holiday beverage) and it’s just that little bit more cosy 🙂
So ‘mahalo’ Jetstar for making the first and last part of my holiday a breeze! I even did my own cliche Jetstar jump in recognition 😉