Flight test: Jetstar A320 economy class

Aircraft Jetstar, Airbus A320.

Route Gold Coast to Melbourne.

Class Economy, 20C.

Seat pitch and width 30 inches between seats, 17.8 inches between armrests.

Seat configuration 3-3.

Luggage allowance I'm on a JetSaver ticket (a mid-range fare) that allows 20 kg of checked luggage and 10 kg of carry-on.

Schedule flight time Two hours.

On-time performance Clockwork precision.

Lounge access Jetstar's one dedicated lounge in Australia is at the Gold Coast Airport (because it is an international hub for the airline) and access costs $9.99 if bought with your ticket or $15 at the door. For that, you get a clean, cool and comfortable space in charcoal tones. The large, open-plan area is furnished with soft sofas, workstations, dining tables, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. There's free beer, wine, soft drink and food — including sushi, cold meats, soup, sandwiches, sausage rolls and mini pies during my lunchtime visit. Children under six are admitted free and there's a play area for them and a cinema with beanbags.

Aircraft condition Seat pocket full of empty sweet wrappers but all else in order. There are 58 A320s in Jetstar's fleet and this model is the most common on the airline's domestic routes.

Console/entertainment The inflight magazine is beefy at 100-plus pages and provides light reading. In-flight audio entertainment is available with eight channels (reusable headsets $3). Jetstar says no video entertainment is available on routes of two hours or less while it "transitions" to iPads. It will make an announcement about iPads soon.

Comfort A tight squeeze but the leather seats feel good. If you want to pay for more space you can upgrade to an exit-row seat with an extra eight inches of seat pitch.

Service The crew is consistently efficient and bubbly.

Food and beverages The snacks trolley comes last to the middle of the plane but the soft drink ($3) and cheese and crackers ($4) are welcome when they are finally placed on my tray table. There's also coffee ($3), beer ($6), potato chips ($4) and sandwiches ($7) on the menu.

Flight frequency Up to seven flights daily between Melbourne and Gold Coast, one-way fares from $89 including tax; 10 flights daily between Sydney and Gold Coast (Jetstar's busiest daily route), one-way fares from $69 including tax.

Online jetstar.com.

Tested by Robert Upe