Gold Coast to Seoul, South Korea
Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
You can earn points on Qantas Frequent Flyer depending on the type of fare you've booked.
Business, aisle seat 3D
Nine hours, 30 minutes
Three times a week.
There are just 21 seats in the business cabin, in three rows. The seats are in a 2-3-2 layout offering 38 inches (97 cm) of pitch and 19 inches (48 cm) of width.
Jetstar Dreamliners have seat back screens that normally cost $13 but access to the entertainment selection is included for business class. There are 59 movies to choose from, a mix of new releases and older favourites. As it's December, there's a selection of Christmas classics which is a nice touch (no Die Hard though). There's also a good selection of TV shows. Noise cancelling headphones are provided.
There's a dedicated check-in desk for business class passengers so check-in is quick and easy. Gold Coast Airport is scheduled for a much-needed upgrade and one of its current quirks is that all passengers, domestic and international, go through the same security queue. International passengers then have to go through security a second time on the other side.
For business class passengers, two carry-on bags of up to 7kg each and one checked bag up to 30kg.
While Jetstar calls it business class, it's what a full-service airline would call premium economy. Nevertheless, it's a large, comfortable seat and there's plenty of legroom - enough, in fact, for my neighbour in the middle seat to squeeze out without the passenger on her right getting up. The amenity kit is a cotton tote bag with wet wipes, hand cream, lip balm, toothbrush and paste, eye mask, ear plugs, socks, pen and an inflatable neck pillow (something I haven't seen even in full service business class kits). A blanket and pillow is also provided. This is a daytime flight but my return flight is overnight and I managed to get quite a bit of sleep despite the lack of a lie-flat seat.
A dedicated crew for the small cabin means service is attentive and efficient. There's a bilingual flight attendant who effortlessly switches from English to Korean when speaking to the woman next to me. The crew is helpful and friendly throughout.
Maybe I'm particularly hungry given an early connection from Melbourne, but I find there's nothing that says "budget airline" about the excellent business class meals. There's a choice of braised beef rib with polenta, vegetable risotto or barramundi with noodles. After an appetiser of prosciutto and asparagus I opt for the barramundi. The flesh is firm and the soy and ginger sauce tasty but not overpowering. Despite being in the back row of the cabin, the meal is still piping hot when served, as is my cup of tea - a rarity, I find, on planes. There's a small cheese platter or raspberry tart for dessert.
ONE MORE THING
Jetstar launched its first flight to Seoul in early December and is initially aiming the service at Koreans looking to visit Queensland, hence the Gold Coast departure point. However, the airline hopes that the number of Australians visiting South Korea will increase and is tipping the destination will become the next Japan for Aussie tourists.
Jetstar may be a budget airline, but their business class manages to deliver food and service on par with more expensive carriers. The only thing missing is the lie-flat seat.
Our rating out of five
Craig Platt flew as a guest of Jetstar.