Flight test: Jetstar long-haul

Aircraft Jetstar Airbus A330-200.

Route Melbourne to Bangkok.

Class Economy, exit-row seat 44A.

Seat pitch and width Exit-row seats have at least a 40-inch seat pitch. Standard economy seat pitch is 31 inches; all economy seats have 17.5-inch width.

Seat configuration Two-four-two.

Luggage allowance One piece of 20 kilograms included in fare and one piece of carry-on up to 10 kilograms. (JetSaver Light fares allow for only 10 kilograms of carry-on.)

Scheduled flight time Nine hours, 40 minutes.

On-time performance Check-in desks are short-staffed so it is a slow process. The flight leaves 45 minutes late but arrives only 20 minutes late.

Aircraft condition Still looks reasonably new. Jetstar has six A330s in its long-haul fleet out of Melbourne, Sydney and Gold Coast. They started operation in 2006 and 2007 and another is due next month.


Console/entertainment Entertainment pack was pre-purchased for $12 ($15 to buy on flight). Twelve films, four of them child-friendly, and 13 television shows. Comes with noise-cancellation headphones. There are also shows and a movie on communal screens.

Comfort Reasonable. The "extra leg room" (exit row) window seat costs me $30 extra (on sale, normally $60) but the bulky door is a little intrusive. The trays fold out of the arm rest and are smaller than seat-back trays. Mine has an odd bend in it, meaning meal trays and the entertainment console take some manoeuvring to balance. I never have to wait long for the bathroom in front of me and have room to stand and stretch.

Amenities Comfort Pack costs $7. It includes a blanket, pillow, eye shades, a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Service Staff are prompt, friendly and apologetic for the delay in leaving. On-board calls answered in good time.

Food and beverages I buy a "Feed Me" pack for $30, which includes unlimited non-alcoholic beverages, a main meal and a smaller meal. The main is honey-soy chicken with egg fried rice. I'm glad it is written on the foil lid because I couldn't identify it otherwise. It is served with a reasonable coleslaw salad, bread roll and a mini Toblerone bar for dessert. The snack meal is a meat pie and a mango Weis bar.

Flight frequency Melbourne to Bangkok three times a week (one-way from $399). Sydney passengers need to connect to Melbourne for Bangkok flights (from $444).

Online jetstar.com.au.

Tested by Megan Flamer

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