The truth about my upgrade on Jetstar
Sitting back in my large leather recliner with a glass of bubbles and a hot towel, I'm ready to start my Hawaii trip in style. On Jetstar.
The low-cost carrier may not usually conjure images of long-haul luxury, but I'm settling into seat 3D, the third and final row of business class on Jetstar's 787-8 Dreamliner from Sydney to Honolulu, and discovering the comforts on this side of the curtain.
While Jetstar Business Class is closer to a good premium economy than a business class you'd find on a full service carrier it's also a lot cheaper than flat-bed style business class, with one way Sydney to Honolulu Jetstar business class fares starting at $1149, less than half the price of business on Qantas and Hawaiian Airlines.
Seats are arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration and are 48cm (19-inch) wide with a 96.5cm (38-inch) pitch compared to economy's 43cm (17-inch) width and 76cm (30-inch) pitch.
There's a footrest, in-seat power and USB power for your devices, and passengers are supplied with noise cancelling headphones and a complimentary comfort pack. The same "in flight chill kits" including a blanket, inflatable neck pillow, eye mask and earplugs, toothbrush and toothpaste, hand cream, lip balm, wet wipe and pen with a reusable cotton tote bag, are also available in economy for $15 if pre-ordered and $25 if purchased from the limited stock on the plane.
There are only 21 seats in business class, and as two are usually reserved for crew rest on this route, that's a maximum of 19 passengers. The service is friendly and attentive, and my meals including beef chimichurri with herb roasted fingerling potatoes, grilled asparagus and baby carrots are good and tasty. They even manage to serve warm and soft bread rolls, a challenge some other airlines fail dismally even in premium cabins.
Business class wines selected by Jetstar's wine panel, Lisa McGuigan and Usher Tinkler, include Blue Pyrenees Estate Midnight Cuvee bubbles and an Opawa Marlborough pinot noir, and when the cheesecake and cheese dessert cart makes its way down the aisle there are rows of tiny bottles of Baileys and glasses with ice ready to join the temptations.
While I couldn't eat another bite on the way over, after skipping breakfast on way back I was still hungry after a small quesadilla for brunch. When I ask about the snacks mentioned on the bottom of our menu I'm invited to pick from the retail menu free of charge.
As I prepared for my trip I was slightly surprised by the carry-on luggage limit. Business class can have up to 30kg checked luggage, and purchase another 10kg, but carry-on is only a combined weight of 14kg, with a maximum of 10kg for either the main carry on bag or smaller item.
That means it's the same as Jetstar's new economy carry-on allowance, although economy would need to pay to double their included limit from 7kg to 14kg.
If you enjoy a lounge and like to collect frequent flyer points and status credits, make sure you add the Business Max Bundle to your ticket. For Sydney and Melbourne to Honolulu, it costs $160 and includes lounge access in Australia, though as the Honolulu Qantas lounge is not owned and operated by Qantas you will also need status to use that one.
If you don't have Business Max you won't receive any Qantas points, but add it to your booking and you'll get 9750 points and a 150 status credit boost one way. That's the same as flying Qantas business class.
So take it to the max and get as many of those business class perks as you can.
The writer travelled as a guest of Jetstar.
SYDNEY TO HONOLULU ON JETSTAR
Jetstar flies direct from Sydney to Honolulu four times weekly, and from Melbourne three times weekly.