Plane to Busan: Singapore to Busan on Jeju Air
Why Train to Busan if you can Fly to Busan? Earlier this month, Jeju Air launched direct flights from Singapore to Busan, South Korea with affordable introductory fares and we managed to snag cheap tickets to South Korea!
When are the flights?
From Singapore to Busan, they have 4 flights on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. These are all red eye flights and fly from approximately 00.25 to 07.30/07.50. What's great about red-eye flights is that you get to save one night of accommodation at your destination and save time! The disadvantage is that sometimes, you end up feeling extremely tired at your destination as you simply can't sleep on the flight. For us, we did manage to catch some Zzzs and a trick would be to plan less on the itinerary for the first day!
From Busan back to Singapore, the flight is in the evening, from 18.15 to 23.25. They also fly four in a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. With these flight times, you can maximise your time in Busan before flying back to Singapore!
How much did it cost?
The cost differs depending on the time period you are travelling plus whether or not you manage to catch their deals! We initially wanted to purchase their flight tickets as soon as they announced the new route to get a good deal but had second thoughts and the tickets were all snapped up! We then put off plans to Busan until the night before the flight, we found these cheap tickets back up for grab! Although there were even cheaper tickets later on, we paid about $280 SGD per pax for a return trip.
How was the booking process?
The booking process was fuss-free. We actually did a last-minute ticket booking and purchased the tickets on the day right before the departure. I was so afraid that the booking wouldn't go through as I've read that some individuals did not manage to get their flight confirmation after payment.
Fortunately, we got our booking confirmation right after payment and had to quickly pack our bags and book our accommodation. We decided to stay at Seomyeon's Lion Hotel this time round as it is more accessible to the rest of the sights in Busan.
Check-in process at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal
We were extremely excited to take the Jeju Air Flight as it departs from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4. Terminal 4 is a new terminal and only a few airlines fly out from there such as Cathay Pacific, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific, Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, etc. This is our first time at Terminal 4.
Since we hardly had any time to waste, after packing our luggage and booking our hotel, we booked a cab straight to Jewel Singapore, thinking that we could have dinner there and then take a skytrain over to Terminal 4.
What we didn't realise was that there weren't any skytrains to Terminal 4, instead, there is a complimentary shuttle bus service that takes passengers from Terminal 2 to 4. The bus ride was short, about 5 minutes until we finally arrived in the terminal.
Check-in process at Jeju Air was not as fuss-free as all the other flights we've taken before. Perhaps because we flew during the first week of the new route, there wasn't any self-check-in or automated check-in counters. Instead, we had to queue for the manual check-ins with the staff. The process took quite a while and we were bumped that we couldn't have more time to check out the new terminal!
Thankfully or unfortunately? We were soon informed that our flight was delayed for about an hour due to the late arrival of the aircraft the following day. That gave us slightly more time to tour the terminal.
After immigration, Terminal 4 is slightly smaller than the other terminals. The gates were located right at the back of all the retail outlets. Most of the food were right at the end where the Peranankan Houses were. There was also a food court on the second floor where you could grab a bite before heading up the aircraft.
The boarding process was fuss-free and the only gripe I had was that they did not exactly update us on the new boarding timing and everyone was simply just sitting or standing around the gates. Also, they did make verbally inform passengers who tried to queue up at the gate in Korean to take a seat but we couldn't quite understand it. I later found out after approaching one of the crew members that the boarding time would possibly be 30 minutes later. They only started to make the announcements 15 minutes pass our original boarding time.
Nevertheless, when boarding, the ground staff were superbly courteous and apologised to every single passenger as we prepared to board the aircraft.
The Flight Experience
Jeju Air was a Boeing 737 so its interior was big and spacious. The leg room for each seat, I would say, it comparable to most low-cost carrier and one should not expect too much. Our flight there was quite a squeeze as even though it wasn't a full flight, we weren't so fortunate to have an extra seat...
Our flight back to Singapore was great though! They gave us seats with extra leg space (and we didn't have to pay anything extra), which was a pleasant surprise when we boarded the plane. We relished in those seats and made it a point to try to pick extra leg room seats as far as possible in future!
What's great about Jeju Air is that even though it is a low-cost carrier where entertainment, drinks, and meals are not included in the ticket price (unless you top up), there were still considerate about their passengers. Throughout the flight, even though it was a red-eye flight, the crew made their rounds to hand out water to the passengers who were still awake. I would think that that was a nice gesture since we get to have the basic necessities and not rely on our own supplies, in which sometimes, we may have forgotten to pack along!
The crew were also able to speak basic English so when we asked for pens or an extra arrival form, they were able to help us with them. They were super nice and friendly throughout, which made our flight a considerably comfortable one.
For those on a budget, we would definitely recommend Jeju Air as a cheaper way to get into South Korea. Since we arrived in Busan Gimhae Airport, there was a lot less travellers and we managed to clear immigration much quicker as compared to the Seoul Incheon Airport. With KTX, it also makes heading to the other regions like Seoul or even Jeju much easier!
This post is no way sponsored but we thought that we wanted to quickly share our experiences with Jeju Air. You can book your tickets on the website, or scan through Skyscanner for the cheapest flights!
You may also be interested in our Busan Blog Post: 10 things to do and eat in Busan, South Korea, which is a summation of our various trips to this beautiful port city!
Have you gone on a Jeju Air Flight? Share with us your experiences in the comments below!
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