Jetstar Asia is our family’s choice of budget airline when flying to Singapore. Despite its higher fare over competitor Tiger Airways, Jetstar’s winning factor is that it flies and lands at the ‘main’ terminal/airports of the cities it serve.
In Manila, Jetstar departs and arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, while in Singapore, they use Gate C19 of Terminal 1 at the Changi International Airport. It’s easy enough to go to Singapore’s Budget Terminal (for Tiger Airways), but it’s a different story if you’re in Metro Manila going all the way to Clark’s Diosdado Macapagal Airport.
The premise of these budget airlines is that by taking away all the free ‘perks’ passengers get on regular airlines and imposing strict baggage limits, they are lowering their operation costs. Hence, the term low-cost carrier. Doh. (I really shouldn’t be posting entries at 2am)
If you’re thinking that cutting costs meant old and dilapidated flying coffins, you’re mistaken. Their fleet of Airbus A320 are new, and more importantly, unlike the plane I took to Cebu last March, nothing rattles during take off and landing.
Aside from landing at key airports, Jetstar Asia boasts of their 20kg check-in luggage limit; 5 kilos more than Tiger Airways and Air Asia. However, like the other two low-cost airlines, Jetstar is very strict in enforcing this limit and a charge of SG$ 8 (depending on the originating airport) for every kilo over the limit is imposed.
Also, like Tiger Airways and Air Asia, refreshments and meals are not served on board. Well, food and beverages are available for sale. The price is reasonalbe enough, I suppose. SG$ 2 for a soda in can or a bottle of mineral water, SG$ 4 for a sandwich, SG$ 8 for a hot meal. Free inflight entertainment translates to staring into space, chatting up your seatmate, reading the book you brought with you, trying to make the inflight attendant laugh out loud while they’re demonstrating the proper way to put on a life jacket or taking pictures of everything inside the cabin with your trusty digital camera. If that’s not your thing, you can request for video on demand entertainment contraption for SG$ 12 per movie/show.
If you have super long legs, request for a seat in the emergency exit row. If you pee a lot, request for an aisle seat. Leg space is non-existent. I’m only 5’4″ and my knees are only 1 inch from the seat in front of me.
If you want to do some last minute pasalubong shopping at duty free, be sure you’re at the airport early because they are very strict with time. Forty minutes from the scheduled departure time, the flight status is already flashing as “Final Call.” At twenty minutes, it’s flashing “Gate Closing.” Their gate is at the farthest end of Terminal 1, so take advantage of the moving walkways. They sell duty-free items onboard, though, so you can continue shopping there.
Will I fly via Jetstar again next time? Most definitely.