Sydney to Phuket
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has won a lot of fans, and it's not hard to see why. The first thing you notice is the windows, which are considerably larger than average. Perhaps the biggest difference, however, is the air quality; at the end of the flight, my skin feels far less dry than it usually does.
THE LOYALTY SCHEME
Jetstar doesn't have its own frequent flyer scheme, but business class passengers who fork out an additional $200 for the Business Max package can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points, as well as enjoying lounge access.
Business seat 2G
The nine-hour flight takes you direct to Phuket, saving you the hassle of travelling via Bangkok.
Jetstar flies directly from Sydney to Phuket three times a week.
THE SEAT STUFF
The seats are in a 2-3-2 configuration, with a 38-inch (96.5cm) pitch and a width of 20 inches (50cm). This is the old-style business class seat: think cosy leather lounger rather than the new-generation flat beds. On this relatively short stretch, however, you are unlikely to do more than have a quick nap.
Every passenger gets 30kg checked baggage allowance, and can buy an additional 10kg if necessary.
Jetstar is a budget airline, and while business is definitely superior to the economy experience, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles – nor would you expect it for the price. Each passenger gets a mini-pillow, a blanket and an amenities kit, as well as noise-reducing headphones.
How much entertainment do you need for nine hours? There is plenty here to keep you busy, including 16 new releases such as Insurgent, While We're Young, and Furious 7. There are also movie favourites (eight of them, including Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and Home Alone), a single Japanese film, and TV shows. We're talking episodes rather than box sets, but the choices are popular shows such as Game of Thrones, Mad Men and Modern Family. Seven music channels include pop and rock, Australian up and coming, classical, and kids' music.
The staff are friendly, and prompt at bringing drinks and snacks when requested. The only delay is on arrival, when we are asked to stay in our seats for a while. Apparently someone has been arrested for smoking in the toilets (yes, it really does happen), and we have to wait until they have been escorted off the plane by authorities.
Here's the thing about airline menus: you can mostly tell which option is going to be the most popular. With a choice between Thai chicken breast, salmon and red pepper croquettes, and goat's cheese and pesto cannelloni, you just know Thai chicken is going to be the big mover. Certainly it is my choice, so I'm glad to be sitting in the second row; I reckon they may run out before they reach the last rows. Turns out they run out before they reach me. When I express disappointment, the staffer finds me a plate of chicken stir-fry instead.
For dessert, I skip the chocolate orange custard tart in favour of the cheese plate, which turns out to be quite modest, with just two slivers of cheese, a cheddar and a brie. However, the Falwasser crackers are delicious.
Supper is a choice between mushroom arancini and a Reuben sandwich (very tasty); for those who are still hungry, snacks include Red Rock crisps, caramel salted popcorn, Lindt chocolate and Blains fruit jellies.
ONE MORE THING ...
An in-seat power point is a pleasant surprise.
With prices starting at just $799 for business class, this is the most comfortable way to fly to Phuket.
Ute Junker travelled courtesy of Jetstar