Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Flying with Jetstar's A330-200 home (MEL-SIN)

Welcome to my trip report for Jetstar's A330-200 (MEL-SIN route)!

Introduction

This trip came about thanks to Scoot's ridiculously low fare to Sydney. Initially I was booked with the airline for only 3 nights, but I decided to stay longer until to the 9th September instead. As Scoot's return date was unchangeable, I decided to sacrifice it and buy a one way on another carrier. What came into my mind was Jetstar's A330 and Air Asia's A330 via KUL. The latter's airfare was slightly cheaper but in the end, I chose Jetstar because I wanted to fly the 2-4-2 configured A330 which is definitely more comfortable than Air Asia's 3-3-3 configured A330-300. I don't think I could tolerate that. Once that was decided, I made my booking and I paid about A$350 including 20kg luggage allowance.








Browsing through the website is easy, in fact its pretty much user-friendly. Its just that you have to pay if you wish to add additional service to the basic price. Added them up together, its still not a bad deal.


My ride, VH-EBC. The only A332 in this albino livery.
                                 
 Photos of Melbourne Airport 














For aviation enthusiasts 

The airport is photography-friendly at the air-side. You are able to take good photos of the aircraft at the tarmac and even take-off depending on which runway is used. So if you have time, you can check-in early and enjoy photographing whatever aircraft you want to take. Just don't forget your flight's departure time. Enjoy!

Carrier: Jetstar
Flight number: JQ7
Date: 9th September
Routing: SYD-MEL
Seat number: 48A
Aircraft type: Airbus A330-200
Departure Gate: 3
Engine type: 2x GE CF6-80E1A2
My 7th ride on this aircraft, 5th airline to have flown on this aircraft type
Departure runway: 27
Arrival runway: 20R
1st time on VH-EBC
Line number: 506
Plane delivered: 12th March 2003
Configuration: C38Y265
Registration: VH-EBC
FL: 400
Flight duration: 7 hours 30 mins
Schedule departure time: 1100
Actual departure time: 1112
Schedule arrival time: 1640
Actual arrival time: 1630
Load factor for Y class: 100%


Boarding took place promptly. Judging from the crowd near the gate, it looked like a full light and apparently it was when I was walking around in the cabin during the flight. The airline must be earning quite a bit of money on this route.

Aircraft was pushed back on time and we taxied to runway 27 for departure. 



What's inside the pocket?










Cabin photos 






















The cabin interior is pleasant. With a comfortable 2-4-2 layout in economy class, no one gets a middle seat which is an advantage over other types of configuration. Seat was comfortable with adequate legroom space, I had no problem with the seat for the 7 hours flight. I had a good chat with my seat mate through out the flight and that made this trip more enjoyable especially without PTV (Personal TVs).




I was quite hungry, so I ordered a meal for myself which I paid about A$17 for it. Quite expensive, but still it was worth a try. The beef fried rice tasted quite good to my surprise. 


In-flight experience


The aircraft departed on time, and make its way north-west routing to Singapore. Service on board this flight was average, and comparing to Scoot's, the latter was better. This set of crew was a mix of Singaporean and Australian. They would rest in Singapore for a day before proceeding on to the next leg, Beijing. 


The flight was relatively smooth, with few bumps along the way. However, the seatbelt sign was not turned on until we were 20 minutes away from touching down. That was a good thing, unlike some pilots which go happy-go-clicking with the seatbelt sign which can be annoying. Whatever it is, its always great to have your seatbelt fastened at all times, just in case of any sudden turbulence, you won't end up anywhere else.

In-flight entertainment


This aircraft was equipped with monitor and drop-down screens. There wasn't much interesting shows to watch, so I enjoyed my entertainment chatting with my neighbour and also watched a couple of movies on my Ipad since I couldn't sleep. 


































Conclusion

Jetstar's service may not be as good as Scoot but the 2-4-2 layout on the A330 is certainly more comfortable than Scoot's 777. The inflexibility of Scoot has gave me an opportunity to give Jetstar a try even though I had to cough out more money for this flight, the experience is worth it. Which airline do I prefer? Scoot's In-flight service or Jetstar's 2-4-2 seats? Tough call, really. If I can just combine them together, that would be awesome, right? But that's not how life works. If you ask me which airline wins my vote, the answer is Jetstar. 



My ratings:


Internet website: 7/10
On ground service : 7/10
In-flight service: 5/10
seat comfort: 8/10
Punctuality: 10/10
Cabin ambience: 10/10
Aircraft Cleanliness: 10/10
In-flight meal: 8/10 
Overall ratings: 57/80 

Thank you for reading!


Cheers,
Charles 

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