Flight Review: Jetstar’s Boeing Dreamliner 787 – Gold Coast to Tokyo Narita (JQ11)

Last year,┬áJohnny enjoyed his first ever flight on the 787 Dreamliner, flying from the Gold Coast to Tokyo (Narita) with Qantas’ budget airline Jetstar. As this week’s flight review, we get the low down on what the experience was like on the service with the world’s newest airliner.

Airline: Jetstar
Route: Gold Coast to Tokyo (Narita)
Seat: 23G (Aisle – exit row)
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8 (Dreamliner)
Class: Economy
Flight Time: 8 Hours 45 Minutes
On Schedule? Landed 10 minutes behind schedule due to strong head winds.

Frequent Flyer Program: QANTAS Frequent Flyer program and they’re part of the OneWorld Network.
Lounge Access: No
Web Check-In? No
Mobile Check-In? No
Points and Status Credits Earned: Yes, with QANTAS Frequent Flyer program if the MAX bundle package was purchased together with the flight.

Meal Service:

Two meals were bought for $25 a leg and can only be booked before hand on the web or through Jetstar’s call centre. The meal can also be purchased as a MAX bundle deal. The meal service was served about an hour into the flight and included a hot meal, dessert, bread roll, water and tea/coffee. The lunch option I chose for the flight was a meat ravioli with tomato sauce with steamed vegetables. Dessert was a chocolate mousse. The second meal was served about 2 hours landing which consisted of beef sliders and Tim Tams. Beers, wines and soft drinks can be purchased with a credit card

In-Flight Entertainment:

A $10 entertainment package is available – paid via credit card on the screen, or available as a pre-paid bundle. This gets you a general selection of new and classic movies and TV shows. The latest Hollywood releases include Birdman, The Imitation Game and Interstellar. Japanese movie options are also available. Radio options are free including Triple J Hottest 100, Like A Version and NOVA. There is a USB port for charging your phone or tablet plus a 110V power plug to power your laptop. Pro tip: take a laptop full of movies and save yourself $10.

Comfort:

The brand new 787-8 Dreamliner is new to the Jetstar fleet with a 3-3-3 seating configuration. The aircraft features LED lighting with extra large widows which are tinted electronically. This much talked about feature of the aircraft worked really well, giving the cabin a bright and airy feel for this day flight.

With higher humidity and lower cabin pressure it does make the flight more comfortable; you do notice that the air isn’t as dry as normal. The seat is the standard Jetstar supply: an all leather seat with 30 inch pitch and 17 inch width. Being in the exit row, the seat was also a tad tighter due to the fold out entertainment screen/table. Blankets and pillows can only be pre-purchased beforehand.

Flight Experience:

It was a mostly smooth and uneventful flight except for the occasional turbulence along the equator. The Gold Coast International terminal is quite basic and sparse so if you want food before your flight it is advisable to eat in the domestic terminal beforehand. Due to this flight being the only flight to leave at that time the security and immigration area was fast and painless (through in a record 5 minutes!) The only entrance to the plane is via stairs on the tarmac so if mobility is an issue you should contact Jetstar beforehand.

Customer Service:

Prompt and efficient from the Bangkok based crew. At least one Japanese speaker on the flight. Staff was busy cooking up pies throughout the flight for passengers wishing to purchase a snack. Free water was given when asked.

Baggage:

Checked baggage had to be purchased prior to flight. Jetstar has a 7kg overhead luggage allowance. For more details on all this, head to Jetstar.com.

The writer flew at his own expense.