Onboard Jetstar Airways from Singapore to Phuket
Already this year we have done a couple of last-minute flights. The beauty of last minute flights is the exhilarating experience in booking, packing and heading to the airport (almost all at the same time)! We made plans to head to Phuket from Singapore just a day before the flight and after checking up on Skyscanner, the cheapest flights to Phuket were on Jetstar!
Why did we fly with Jetstar?
This wasn't our first time on Jetstar; we previously flew Jetstar to Hong Kong all the way back in 2013 and had quite an alright experience. For short-haul flights below 7 hours, flying on low-cost carriers are an affordable way to fly (unless you manage to snag some good deals on full-fledged carriers).
You may also be interested in: Travel Hacks - How to score cheap flight tickets from Singapore?
Plus, we like travelling with just one carry-on baggage each and didn't need the extra check-in luggage, neither do we need any form of food, drinks or entertainment on board. Even if you do, the extras that you pay may still be cheaper than the full-fledged carriers.
The other budget airline with competitive pricing that flew to Phuket from Singapore was Scoot Air. With just a few tens of dollars difference in price, it was tempting to go with Scoot. However, we wanted to save whatever we can, plus fly in the morning to get the most out of the day.
How do low-cost carriers in Asia fare as compared to the European ones?
Fortunately, budget airlines in Asia aren't as stingy or annoying as RyanAir and EasyJet. We flew these airlines when in Europe and had to squeeze our small bags into our carry-ons because they strictly enforced their only one bag per passenger rule. Recently, RyanAir has also made it harder to snag cheap deals as they changed their baggage rules and we had to pay for our carry-ons.
Furthermore, for Asian budget airlines, even if you don't top up to pay for your seats, the system usually would still arrange for you and your travel companions to sit next to each other as long as these seats were available. When flying budget airlines in Asia, we have always had seats together, 100%. But that can't be said for RyanAir as we experienced having to sit apart from each other on two separate flights even though there was clearly an empty seat next to us when we did our online check-ins.
Jetstar Booking Process
Booking through the website was relatively fuss-free. The only problem was that we weren't able to make offline payments due to how late we booked the tickets. Hence, we had to pay the credit card fees which were OUCH, about $16 each for return tickets. That doesn't seem much but when your return tickets cost only $100, paying 16% more for credit card processing fees is indeed annoying.
We were also given the option to add insurance through the airline. We usually get them separately but since it was a last-minute booking, we decided to save the time and effort and added on the travel insurance through Jetstar.
After all that, we just had to head the airport 2 hours before the flight time for our flight. The tickets can all be printed at the airport should you not have any printer at home!
Our Jetstar Flight Experience
We took an early morning flight (8.00am) to Phuket and was surprised to see the crowd. The flight wasn't exactly full but there were so many people awake and ready for adventures on a Monday morning.
Since Jetstar uses the A320, it is a smaller plane and you'll get on the runway a lot faster than the bigger planes. Yay to shorter waiting times! We got to our seats quickly and had plenty of space in the overhead bins.
Our first impressions was that the plane was probably due for an upgrading soon as the seats were quite old (and a little torn). The seat pitch was also alright for our Asian frames but possibly a little tight for those who are much taller. (We absolutely enjoyed being on a JetBlue flight when we were in the United States that has lots of room, even for a budget airline!)
But all that that didn't dull our spirits as we had amazing crew members on board! :)
Jetstar In-flight Service
Hearing from my friends from the Aviation industry, there are some Jetstar crew members who were ex-SingaporeAir stewards and stewardess and even ex-SingaporeAir pilots. For instance, a personal friend's dad we knew, who was previously a pilot with Singapore Airlines, decided that he wanted more time with his family and flying with Jetstar gave him more time in Singapore since most of the flights to-and-fro the city are done within the day itself. That means you know you're in good hands!
Plus, Jetstar Asia is partially owned by the Qantas Group, so some of that professionalism and good service may have spilled over (in a good way!).
We didn't try any of the food since it was a less than 2-hour flight to Phuket. Nevertheless, the crew members were absolutely pleasant, giving us bright smiles for an early morning flight. We also managed to have a quick chat with one of the air stewardess while waiting to disembark the plane in Phuket and she shared with us how she usually head to Bangkok after visiting Phuket, giving us ideas for our next trip! ;)
Perhaps because the A320 was a smaller plane, we could feel almost everything: from the take-off to the landing; and even the slightest turbulence in the air. Since we have been taking bigger planes all this while, I was slightly perturbed by the turbulence and the not-so-smooth landing of the aircraft (as compared to the stable big planes). Though it really isn't the fault of the airline nor the captain, this would be something one has to take note of when flying with Jetstar.
All in all
What impressed us the most was the service of the friendly, pleasant, and very professional crew members on board both our flights. Given the price point, great flight times, and how Jetstar has great direct routes such as from Singapore to Okinawa, I would definitely fly with Jetstar again!
Have you flew with Jetstar before? Share with us your experiences!