Airline review: Jetstar Dreamliner 787 business class, Tokyo to Cairns

Our rating

3.5 out of 5

THE ROUTE

Tokyo (Narita) to Cairns

THE PLANE

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

FLIGHT TIME

7 hours 5 minutes

FLIGHT FREQUENCY

Daily

THE SEAT

Business, seat 1F. There are just 21 business-class seats on the plane, set in a 2-3-2 layout. The seat pitch is 38 inches (96cm) with a width of 19 inches (48 cm).

BAGGAGE

Up to 30kg of checked baggage and 14kg of carry-on baggage. If you're switching to a domestic connection that has no business class seats, your business class baggage allowance will still apply.

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

Passengers can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points, depending on the type of fare.

COMFORT

Although this is business class, it's still Jetstar, so you're paying a lot less than you would on a full-service airline and, with that in mind, you get what you pay for.

The business seats do not convert into flat beds like most long-haul business-class seats on full-service airlines. However, you do get significantly more room than in economy. That said, my particular seat faces the bulkhead and the galley entrance. The latter means crew are coming and going throughout the night, making it hard to get some sleep.

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A blanket and pillow is waiting for us on board and we're also given an excellent amenities pack (which can be kept as a tablet cover) containing socks, an eye mask, toothbrush and paste, earplugs, tissues, a pen, an inflatable neck pillow, lip balm and moisturiser.

THE FOOD

Meals are included in business class, though we're not given a menu to select from as we were on the flight over – we're verbally given the options, "fish with rice", a sushi plate or vegetarian lasagne. I opt for the marinated fish, which comes with a bread roll and banana crumble and it's all quite good. Breakfast is also served late in the flight. A bottle of water is provided to all guests in the business cabin.

THE ENTERTAINMENT

In-flight entertainment is also included in the business-class cabin, via seatback TV screens. The touchscreens are not as responsive as they could be – I find myself poking and pressing multiple times before getting a response. The movie selection is decent, with a choice of recent releases and older favourites. TV shows are a little more limited in choice but provided you're not too picky, there's enough to keep you entertained for this haul. Decent earphones are also provided to business-class passengers.

THE SERVICE

The Japanese have high service standards and Jetstar's crew delivers on this front. They're friendly and helpful. The call button is responded to within a few seconds and requests for drinks are met with efficiency.

ONE MORE THING

Jetstar recently announced it is ending its direct Melbourne-Narita route, but the Cairns flight offers domestic connections to the major cities.

THE VERDICT

Japan is one of the hottest destinations for Australians and you're unlikely to find a more comfortable option than this for the price, particularly if you can get a sale fare. However, this is one rare occasion where sitting in the first row is less desirable than the second, due to the bulkhead.

Score: ★★★½

The writer travelled as a guest of Jetstar

​See also: The best seats of business class revealed

See also: The airline with the best premium economy seat will surprise you

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