Flight Review: Jetstar’s late night service from Hobart to Sydney (JQ724)

On this week’s flight review we travel from Hobart to Sydney with Jetstar, on the final flight of the night to depart the Tasmanian airport.

Airline: Jetstar
Route: Hobart to Sydney (JQ724)
Type: Airbus A320
Class: Economy
Seat: 11A (Window 3-3)
Flight Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
On Time? Departed and arrived about 45 minutes late due to mechanical details.

Check-In and Baggage

Check-in has gotten easier over the years with Jetstar. Now you check in online, then print your bag tag from a machine on arrival and do a bag drop (if required). Once at the counter, the airline kindly assisted in permitting my partner and I to sit together – something which we weren’t able to do online without a cost nor change on arrival from the machines. But they were happy to look into it for us, and we were lucky enough to score two seats together. Baggage is extra so make sure you prepay as it’s significantly cheaper online.

The Departure Airport: Hobart International Airport

Hobart Airport was quiet, as this was one of the last two flights left for the night, so there was no queue for check-in nor for security. While we arrived about an hour 20 before our flight, we ended up twiddling our thumbs for most of that time. It’s an easy 15 minute Uber ride from the city. It’s all Tarmac boarding from both the front and rear doors from Hobart. Everyone boards at once but the procedure was a surprisingly quick one.

Coping with delays

As we were the last flight out from Hobart, delays are the last thing you need. Of course, the plane hit some delays on the Tarmac due to a leaking engine – after assuring us the issue was “well within standards” (yeah, that’s what we want to hear), we departed about 45 minutes late. The airline did a great job at keeping us updated and as soon as they knew we would get the all clear they let us know.

In Flight Service & Entertainment

Shortly after take-off for the one hour 50 minutes we’d be in the air, a drink and food service commenced. Though it’s a cash/card service, they were kindly able to supply cups of ice water on request, which they delivered with a smile after they’d finished their service run.

Entertainment units are available for $10, and there’s no wi-fi, otherwise you can enjoy the complimentary magazine, which has some crosswords and sudoku. I ended up taking up almost my entire flight playing the games page.

Seats and Comfort

Seats haven’t been updated in a long while now, the headrests are immovable but they do have pretty decent rises on either side which is better than other budget carriers. It’s a comfortable enough seat. I’ve always felt like the angling of the seats makes the leg room seem more constricting than it perhaps is. It feels like the seat in front of you is on top of you, though it really isn’t. Still, for taller passengers, it’s never been the airline of choice. For the rest of us, it’s more than comfortable enough for the short voyage of a journey like this.

The Verdict

I’ve always found Jetstar to be hit and miss in terms of service and experience, but this was definitely one of the better for both sides of the coin, in spite of the delays which ensured we just scraped in for Sydney Airport’s strict curfew. It’s a budget airline, so you get what you pay for in terms of comfort and things like “non-included baggage”, but that should never mean you aren’t treated well – and they treated us wonderfully from start to finish.

To book your next flight with Jetstar, visit jetstar.com.

The author travelled at his own expense.